Wedding Photography


Portland Oregon and Vancouver Washington Metro Area

"Remember, photographs and / or videotape will be the only tangible, lasting memories of your wedding, so resist the temptation to skimp on these services in order to save money." Bridal Guide, July/August 2004, 25 Golden rules for a Perfect Wedding.

Timberline Lodge Wedding, Mt. Hood Oregon
The bride walks along the path to her wedding at Timberline Lodge on
Mt. Hood. At an elvation of 6,000 feet it is almost always sunny in the
Bring suntan lotion.


A wedding is a combination of both posed and "grab" shots.

Capturing the whole wedding is the goal. And getting humorous or unusual photographs is something I am always striving for. I am always open to suggestions from the bride and groom as to what pictures they want and I then work to accomplish that goal.

Rivka Striking a pose under the direction of Tom Philo as he photographs at the fountain at the Portland LDS temple.
Of course there are always some posed pictures.

Joanna and her new HusbandJoanna and Husband. For a large extensive wedding over multiple days of photographing it is best to contact me to come see if the flat rate option of is better for you than the hourly rate.

Unlike other professional wedding photographers I do not own or rent a studio. This allows me to do something quite different: I give the digital and/or negatives to you. I do not have to support a studio, assistants, and other expenses to maintain a studio / outside office so I can charge less.

I only do one wedding a week. Thus I am available throughout the whole week for you. When you hire me I arrive when you want me there and leave when you state that I can. I work with your schedule, not mine.


Send me a wedding question
Wedding contract
Wedding photographic checklist
Wedding Day Event Flow
Wedding day "Emergency Supplies"
Wedding day suggestions on making life easier for yourself, your guests and other helpful ideas
Wedding resources for churches, DJs etc
Sample images from weddings

Oregon Wedding in the Rain
An outdoor wedding in the Oregon spring rain. A photographer
must be prepared to operate in all types of weather.

Wedding Photography Services Provided

As a wedding photographer I want to capture the fun at the wedding and reception - in this case we all went outside onto the golf course.
The Groom and his wife play
around on the golf course.


A deposit reserves me for your wedding.

Hourly Rate for Weddings

Some weddings are too short in duration which makes it inappropriate for the flat rate schedule. If you expect all the wedding functions to last less than 8 hours it is best to use the hourly rate schedule. Weddings at the most churches, wedding chapels and other venues are best covered by the hourly rate.

The hourly rate is an hour (two hour minimum) plus an hourly travel fee of an hour. The per roll fee of for each roll of 35mm film when requested also applies.

I can always attend and photograph any of the functions that occur for a wedding. You can pick and choose what is to be attended and photographed. The final cost is based on the actual hours I spend traveling and in attendance for each function.

You are paying me to be there for my expertise to take photos. The total quantity of images that I take is based on the wedding checklist. If only one image is taken of each item in the checklist then it would take 120 images. This, however, is unrealistic since people blink, someone moves, or lots of pictures of various family groupings, friends, individuals etc are desired then the image count goes up. Since I have no way to know exactly how many pictures that will be taken. I could spent 5 hours at an event but take only 100 images but I still spent my time being available to take those images. When film is used the additional per roll covers the cost relating to film, processing and getting 4x6 prints from it. The average roll count for a wedding is 5 rolls or around 180 pictures.

The amount of money to budget my hourly rate is much more varied but it averages $600. The average number of images taken is 300 (digital).

At an Oregon Coast Wedding - After the vows a groom gives a Thumb's Up signal to his friends.
The groom gives a "thumbs-up" after the vows.
Capturing the spontaneity of the couple means being prepared
which allowed me to "grab" this image
as the couple walked back from their Oregon coast
beachfront wedding at the Inn at Otter Crest.

Flat Rate Wedding Fee

The flat fee that I charge for a wedding is but you should budget at least $1,400 for overall photography work for your wedding. This allows for the average amount of time that I will be there to take the photographs plus money that you will spend getting your wedding album, reprints and enlargements done - remember I do not keep the images so you have to do your own reprints and enlargements.

If you want me to use traditional film, I charge per roll of B&W or color film. With each roll you get a set of 4x6 prints and the images on a CD.

Here is a wedding photographic checklist to give you an idea of some of the pictures that could be taken and help in planning how much time to reserve to allow those pictures to be taken.

Other Services Provided

Bubbles float above the happy couple as they leave the church.Wedding Bubbles in the air.
Here, I waited till two bubbles worked to my
advantage from a hillside and snapped away
as they floated into the correct position.

For those couples who travel here, get married and then return home, I will process the images and send the them back to you after the processing is complete. Basic shipping charge is (insured to USA addresses) plus any extra that USPS, FedEx, UPS may charge based on the service that you want me to use to send the images to you.

Why I give the images / film to the Bride and Groom

Natural Light portrait of the Bride Katrinaat her weddingThere are numerous reasons I do not retain film when it is used:

Win Win Situation

Wedding Toasting goblets on the cake tableI find this method of wedding photography easier for me, no need to track every frame for the custom printing, or making you count and choose the exact number of images that you get. This means that the bride and groom will be able to choose from at least 100 images or more taken during the wedding to create their own wedding album.

It also allows you to go to any lab to get prints done for you own wall or to give away.

The Difference

When compared to the traditional wedding photographer a big difference is that you can choose where to go to get the enlargements. You are not limited to a specific package, quantity of prints or any similar restrictions. It can be done at your own pace. The downside is that you do have to do the work yourself and be dedicated to follow through with the reprints.

LDS family wedding in Portland Oregon temple. Tom Philo Photographer.
A family portrait is a standard at any wedding.
I arrange all the people and ensure that no one
will end up with a blinked eye in the photograph.
This was taken at the reflecting pool at the
Portland LDS Temple.

It is very easy to create your own wedding album. They can be purchased online or at photo stores (see my Wedding Sources page for some) and then you insert your own pictures into it. A traditional wedding photographer does all this "back end" editing, printing and photo arrangement work for you. This is why you pay at least $2,800 or more to have a traditional "Brick and Mortar" wedding photographer photograph and assemble a wedding album - they create the wedding album, the enlargements, custom prints, framing of prints and other items - and you are paying them to do all that work for you from the very beginning.

If you want more prints then you need to contact them and pay them to create more since they own the copyright to the images. This summarizes the trade-off between the traditional wedding photographer business model and mine. Using my service you are now editing the photos, creating the albumn, and getting prints made is now your responsibility and under your direct control.

Equipment that I use

The Old Church (built 1882) Downtown Portland used for receptions and weddings.The Old Church (built 1882) Downtown Portland I use Nikon digital and / or film cameras when I take pictures. For lighting I use Nikon flashes both on camera and as  remote slaves.

These flashes, both on and off camera, enable me to have sufficient lighting throughout the room to avoid harsh "on flash" lighting effects. I use flash umbrellas (reflectors) as needed. This allowed me to illuminate the church completely during a wedding to avoid harsh shadows behind people. This picture of "The Old Church" in downtown Portland was done using my slaved flashes placed around the room.

I will also set up and do individual or A new family group portrait after the wedding. I arrange all the people to ensure they can be portraits of the wedding party.

I use Kodak Portra Professional color negative film - the industry standard. I will also, as I have done in the past, a very posed picture of a bride taken with Tri-X black and white film.photograph the wedding using Black & White film if you wish.

It is your wedding and I will do what I can to suit your photographic desires.

"I know a knight in shining armor who could use a little polish."
— A quote from a TV show.

Interested? Send a a wedding question by e-mail using this form.

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