Frequently Asked Questions - brighterimagesphotography

Brighter Images Photography

...Where precious moments in time are captured and preserved for generations!

We are an award-winning photographic team who believe in capturing your story through photographs. We use our combined talent to provide you with an exceptional photographic experience. We use the wonderful and varied aspects of existing light to capture images in natural settings, but we can also provide a studio look with our portable lighting equipment and backgrounds – we bring the photo studio to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you come to my house/a park/my school/etc. to take pictures?

Yes. We will travel to anywhere within 20 miles of Everett, WA for no additional charge. The only exceptions are locations where we have to travel by ferry and/or across toll bridges due to the added cost. Other loctions will require an additional charge to cover travel expenses - these will be negotiated at the time we arrange for your session(s).

Do you have an indoor studio where we can come for pictures?

We keep our costs down and your photography investments reasonably priced by not paying for studio space. We've found that most people prefer not to load their families into the car and head for a studio. We provide professional, studio results on location. We also capture images outdoors. The bottom line is we believe photographs are better when people are comfortable, and that's usually someplace that is familiar.

How are your prices usually lower than other photographers in the area?

We don't have to pay to heat, cool, and maintain a studio. We also provide an online system for you to review proofs and order prints - shipped to your door. This allows us to limit onsite printing for only certain situations.

After you take the pictures, who owns the originals?

By default, we reserve the copyright on all original and derivative images taken by any employee or member of Brighter Images Photography. If you elect to buy the actual digital images from us, we will give you license to copy and edit them as much as you like for non-commercial use, but the copyright is still held by Brighter Images Photography.

How will you know how to get to us for the photo session?

You can choose to email us directions, but if we can look up the location on Google Maps, the address should suffice. We do require a phone number we can call if we get lost. If we're late, it will not encroach on your time; we don't start the clock until everybody is there.

When are you available?

Please contact us to discuss your needs. We work hard to make our schedule fit yours. However, there are certain times of year when photographers are generally busy, such as summers for weddings and in the spring for senior portraits.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash and checks for the sessions - we keep costs down by not paying card processing fees. We accept credit/debit cards for online purchases.

Why do you do digital proofs as opposed to printed proofs?

It is much cheaper for us (and you) to review your images online. This is also the most convenient way for other family members, who might not live in the same area, to review the images as well. The digital files we provide aren't really "proofs" in that they are fully processed and ready for professional printing.

How do I share comments about my experience during my photo session?

Please send an email to You can also leave us your comments and rating on our Comments page. We value customer opinions and would appreciate any suggestions and compliments. We want all of our clients to have a stellar photographic experience and your suggestions and comments help us improve.

To whom do I make the check?

Please make all checks payable to Brighter Images Photography.

What and when do I need to pay you for a wedding?

A retainer of $100.00 (one hundred dollars) is due and payable at the time the agreement is signed, and is non-refundable - it is applied to your total. This holds the date of your wedding exclusively.

One half (1/2) of the remaining balance, plus all applicable travel fees, is due no later than 30 days prior to the earliest event date. The final one half (1/2) of the balance is due no later than the earliest event date.

What do you charge for travel?

That depends on how far we have to go (beyond 20 miles from Everett, WA) and additional expenses that might be involved (tolls, ferries, hotels, airfare, etc.). If your situation is one that might involve extra travel fees, contact us so we can work through the details with you.

What does "event coverage" mean?

We will capture images on location during the specified event. We can also arrange with you special requests, like group photos, images of some special part of the location, etc.

How many photographers are included in your wedding packages?

We generally have a minimum of two. All of the photographers we use regularly are listed on our About Us page - plus that's a great way to learn more about us.

How much time should I plan for formal pictures?

We have a consultation session ahead of your wedding to work out the particulars of your event. Our general rule of thumb is to maintain a two-hour minimum for formal pictures. We have yet to have a wedding where the families didn't think of more pictures than we planned = takes more time. We want to be sure that you get a breather before the ceremony and that we aren't taking pictures as your guests arrive.

Do you take formal pictures before or after the ceremony?

We take the formal pictures before the ceremony. This is when you and the wedding party look your best (it doesn't take long for someone to damage their flowers, mess up their hair/makeup, or spill something on their clothes). Tradition suggests you not see each other before the ceremony. We capture the "first look" as part of your set of images, so that special encounter is preserved for you in photographs. Some clients even prefer this because it's more intimate - we shoo everyone else away so it's just us and you. We have found that the quality of formal pictures is so much better when we take them before the ceremony.

If you are considering formal pictures after the ceremony, there are some things to consider:

  1. Formal pictures can only start after you've thanked the last guest and gathered everyone who will be in them. Then taking the pictures themselves can take a while, depending on the size of your family/wedding party. Most people don't want to keep their guests waiting that long at the reception.
  2. The time immediately following the ceremony is normally the craziest time of the entire day. People are going through the receiving line, leaving for the reception, talking in the aisles, some even go home not intending to stay for the reception. It can be difficult to get everyone to stay around and be organized enough to get pictures done in a reasonable amount of time.
  3. While couples have the best of intentions about getting pictures after the ceremony, most end up wanting to get to the reception to have some fun or they get concerned with how long they're making their guests wait, so they end up sacrificing photo time after the ceremony.
  4. We've found the most popular wedding pictures are ones of just the bride and groom together and, if taken after the ceremony, there isn't opportunity to get as many as they might want.
  5. You will be free to relax, talk with the guests, and take your time getting to the reception as opposed to trying to get everyone organized in the excitement, if you do all your formal pictures beforehand.

Do you require I sign a wedding agreement?

We require an agreement be completed and signed for all weddings. This is a good business practice and it ensures we talk about and agree on all of the necessary things before the wedding. That will help all of us be clear on what's expected.

We are happy to supply the agreement so you can read through it before you sign.

What if it rains on the day of my photo session?

If inclement weather keeps us from starting or completing a shoot, we will reschedule a time to finish it without charging extra. We will usually do the outdoor photographs before indoor ones during your session so if it does end up raining, we can go inside.

When does the clock start and stop?

Basically, the session starts when everyone is at the first location and ready to start taking pictures. Once the session has started, it will usually go without a break until you are done or we run out of time. Travel time between locations does count. So, if a session ends up being in several locations, there will be less time to shoot pictures which means there will be fewer photographs. Likewise, clothing changes, scene changes, etc. count against our session time. We don't monitor down-to-the-minute, and may choose to go longer because we want the better shots.

Phone calls are expected (you to us or us to you) if either of us is running late. In either case, if it goes beyond 15 minutes, we'll have to consider rescheduling the session. We know things can happen and appreciate you recognizing that about us as well.

If you know you won't be able to make your session, we appreciate 24 hours notice. That gives us the chance to use your appointment time for another client.

Can we take breaks?

We recognize that photo sessions can be tiring and will take breaks as we can. However, it's possible that we have commitments after your session that will prevent us from going longer than our scheduled end time. In that case, breaks will shorten the overall session time.

All that said: if there's an emergency, medical problem, or anything else out of your control that makes us stop, we are very forgiving.

Can I split a long shoot into smaller shoots on different days?

This is by prior arrangement only.

What and when do I need to pay you for my photo session?

A retainer of $25.00 (twenty-five dollars) is due and payable when the session is scheduled, and is non-refundable - it is applied to your total. This holds the date and time of your session exclusively. The balance is due the day of the session.

What do I get for the cost of a photo session?

The photo session, digital images on CD/DVD/Download, and prints are all priced separately. The photo session price is for the photographers equipment, time shooting, time processing, and her/his talent and experience. Although we don't have to pay expenses related to a studio, we still have some expenses to run our business. It is not unlike work being done on a time-and-materials basis. We are providing photography talent during your session. The purchase of the digital images and/or prints are the materials. Doing it this way ensures we are compensated for our time preparing for, taking, and processing the photographs.
What are my picture options (prints vs. license)?

This can be confusing, so let's just look at the different options a little closer:

  1. Our most popular method is purchasing a license for the edited, digital images. We digital proofs, but instead of ordering physical prints from us, we sell you a license to those edited digital images and deliver them on a CD/DVD or as downloads from our website. With this option, you can edit and distribute them as much as you like as long as it's for non-commerical use. You can print them yourself (or take them to a local printer), but you will find that professional quality prints are much better. These can be ordered by you, or anyone you give access to your gallery, online through our website - they are shipped anywhere in the world.
  2. The more traditional process consists of you ordering physical prints and us keeping all printing and reproduction rights. With this option, we put all the edited images on our website and you, your friends, and your family all go there to order physical prints. The prints are shipped directly to your door, anywhere in the world.

If I purchase the license to my pictures, what are the allowed "personal" uses?

Almost anything. You can crop them, email them, edit the colors, put them on Facebook, make one the background on your phone, use them on your wedding invitations (engagement pictures), and basically anything else except things that make you money. If someone wants to purchase the images for commercial use (website, flier, magazine, etc.), they will need to purchase them from us.

When you purchase the license for your pictures, we will provide a document that better defines commercial use. Let us know if you would like to review it in advance.

If I choose to order the license to my pictures, can I still order prints?

Yes; you are not required to, but it is an option. Since we have access to a professional printer, many people will choose to order a few prints online through our website. These are usually the larger prints. The quality on larger prints is normally better than budget developers and the color and clarity is more consistent.

What happens if I buy the license to my pictures, and then I lose them?

There will be a $30 charge to retrieve them from our backups and ship a DVD to you.

We back up all images taken (originals and proofs) in case your computer blows up or something else happens to cause you to lose your pictures. We will not print them for anyone else, but we might use them for our advertising.

Updated 2012-06-16
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