Wedding & Portrait Photographer

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About Tom Ellis Photography

Are you searching for a photographer for your wedding or special event? Have you been traveling from site to site, looking for a photographer who doesn't cost a fortune, but who offers high-quality photography? You've come to the right place! I do things a bit differently here at Tom Ellis Photography, compared to the usual "wedding photographer".

You're unsure if you want your wedding recorded using digital media or film? We are among the few Seattle wedding photography studios that offer you a choice. If you want digital photography, I use only pro-grade lenses and digital cameras. If you opt for traditional film photography, I have both 35mm film cameras and medium format. For either digital or film photography, I have packages made to suit almost any budget. If none of my packages match what you need, I also offer custom packages, so we can create a package to provide you specifically the wedding photography coverage you desire.

All of my packages, either film or digital, include prints of each photo I take at your special event or wedding. These are not cheap "proof prints" made on an inkjet printer, but professionally processed long-life prints created with the use of dye-process equipment.

Are you aware that with most wedding photographers, you don't even possess the rights to your own photos, and that you also don't own the digital files or negatives that will let you make enlargements or reprints? At Tom Ellis Photography, every wedding package includes either a high-resolution CD of all the digital files (if you choose a digital package) or all of the negatives of your photos (if you select a film package). You also get a copyright release that enables you to make enlargements or reprints of any or all of your photos at your chosen photo lab. This can save you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on photography costs.

The majority of my wedding packages also include a selection of 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 enlargements, as well as various albums. With my film packages, you can also choose to have all of your negatives scanned and place in a CD, so you can build a wedding website, email copies to relatives and friends, or even play with your pictures with the use of Photoshop or other imaging software. For details, please see my site's "Weddings" page.

Experience makes the difference!

However, Tom Ellis Photography is not only about the best prices available for wedding photography. I provide experience and quality that matches or surpasses that of any studio in Seattle or anywhere else; you simply don't need to pay through the nose to get it! With over 20 years of professional wedding photographer experience, I have photographed more weddings (1,000 plus) than all but a few other area photographers. Please trust me when I tell you that wedding photography is a business where experience truly makes a difference. I've been recognized by WeddingWire's "Best of Weddings" for four successive years, and by "The Knot Best of Weddings" two years in a row, and am considered one of the top wedding photographers in the Northwest.

Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a friend with a digital camera; you might even have one yourself. But even if your friend has spent thousands of dollars on back-up camera bodies, spare memory cards, extra lenses and flashes, portable studio lighting and all of the other toys and tools owned by a serious wedding professional (and you know they haven't), wedding photography is a lot more than just about having the right tools for the job. Experience is king! To catch the most important moments of the day as they happen, the experienced pro knows where he or she has to be and is able to capture those photos in such a way as to be unnoticed by those whose pictures are being taken.

Here's a biggie. Unlike some studios that use multiple photographers, when you hire Tom Ellis Photography every wedding is photographed by me personally. You probably don't know that many studios will "sub out" to other photographers some or all of their weddings. With these studios, when you look at their work samples, you might not even see any photos taken by the photographer who will be assigned your wedding. When you see examples of any photography, either in my studio or on my website, you are always seeing my own work. When you hire me to record the memories of one of the most significant days of your life, I will be the one who actually does the photography, so you know that you will have the same quality photography at your own wedding as what you saw in my sample albums.

Location

Bellevue, WA 98004

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Question and answer

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. I'd want to look at what i call the "Three P's" - Portfolio, Pricing and Personality. You want a photographer who will give you the style and quality of photos that you want, and at a price you can afford. But that means nothing unless this is also a person you'd like to work in close contact with on one of the most important (and most stressful) days of your life. Meet with your photographer, check out his/her references, be certain that this is the person for you.

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. Most photographers do not give you the digital files of your photos, and if they do the files are usually low-res versions, or have copyright marks that make it difficult or impossible to get reprints. I give my wedding clients ALL of their photos on a high-resolution CD or DVD, as well as actual professional quality 4x6 prints of ALL of their photos.

Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?

A. How long have you been in the business? How many weddings have you personally photographed as the lead photographer? How about your references? What style of photos can you provide? Do you offer retouching? Does it cost extra? Do I get all of my files as well as a copyright release? How long until I will receive my photos?

Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?

A. What style of photography do you want for your wedding? Traditional, photojournalistic or mixed? How much do you want to spend on your wedding photography? Do you want the rights to your prints, so you can make your own reprints or enlargements? Do you want actual prints of your photos or just digital files on a CD or DVD?

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. I guess the biggest reason my work stands out from others is my experience both as a wedding photographer, and just in photography in general. I have been a professional photographer for 30 years, starting right out of college. I have photographed more then 1200 weddings in that time.
Because I learned my craft using film, it gives me a different perspective than photographers who have only dealt with digital photography. With film, you learn how to see the image BEFORE you take the photo, rather than just snapping a lot of pictures and checking your camera to see how you did. This ability to pre-visualize the photo helps me to create better images.

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