Frequently Asked Questions

Lui? How is your last name pronounced?

Lui sounds like “Louie,” like Louis CK, like King Louis, like Louie Louie by The Kingsman, etc.

Do you only shoot weddings?

Weddings are my primary focus. It’s amazing to be there at such personal moments, and that’s a great jumping off point for documenting other events and times that are meaningful to you.

What will it be like to work with you?

It is so important to find a wedding photographer who you connect with personally, whose style feels like the right fit, and who respects the goals you have for your photography. I want to learn what you're excited about, who you love, and what you're hoping for on your wedding day, so that I can make the most unique and meaningful set of photographs for you.

Can we meet with you?

Absolutely! Any opportunity to get to know my couples better is wonderful, and I take meetings here at my home studio in Seward Park, Seattle. If you live out of town and would like to set up a time for a Skype call, that's great too.

My studio really belongs to our two dogs, a sweet Great Dane named Leo and a feisty little mutt named Bailey. If you're allergic or would rather not be around animals please just let me know, we can grab a coffee in the neighborhood.

Where are you located?

I live in the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle with my husband and our two dogs. I photograph weddings, engagements, and lifestyle portraits in Seattle and the surrounding area.

My second location is Orcas Island, where I grew up and where my family still lives. Because I love coming home, no travel fees apply for full wedding collections booked on Orcas!

I also work frequently in Chicago, where I launched my business and lived for years. If you are planning a Chicago wedding, please get in touch!

What are your rates?

Please get in touch for my online brochure with all the information. Many clients customize their wedding collections, so please do let me know how I can help you get the best possible photography to fit your needs!

Can you photograph my elopement or non-traditional wedding?

Traditions are wonderful, but I also love people who break the mold! If you are planning an elopement or very small ceremony, if you are getting married in a lipstick-red dress, if you are a couple who don’t look like a standard bride and groom cake-topper, if you are traveling to a country most people have never heard of… give me a call!

Do you edit every picture?

All the photographs you will receive have been selected for quality and thoughtfully edited for proper exposure, beautiful color, and flattering skin tones. Your final photo collection will contain a combination of color and black & white images that capture your story.

Do you bring back-up gear?

Yes, never fear! I come prepared with an extra set of professional equipment and even a backup to that backup.

What if the weather is bad on our wedding day?

A little sense of adventure goes a long way when it comes to portraits of you two and your wedding party on a stormy wedding day! Some of my very favorite wedding photos happened on days when the weather wasn't "ideal." A little rain? The world can look so shiny, reflective, and beautiful after the rain, this is one of my favorite things! And I can bring some cute clear umbrellas for you and your wedding party. A stormy sky? Fun, how dramatic! Wind? Let's play in the wind!

I come prepared for all the possible weather scenarios, and as long as you're up for taking photos outside, I will be out there laughing and adventuring with you. If you prefer to change plans and remain inside then I completely respect that. We can take that indoor time to explore your venue or discover a hidden bar, cafe, or other indoor public space, making a totally different and unique set of photos.

If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, I do encourage you to have an established rain plan no matter the time of year.

Do you travel for weddings?

Yes, I LOVE to travel! Let's have an adventure together!

Get in touch and let me know your plans. With more specific information I'll be able to quote you a custom package after researching travel costs (unless you happen to be getting married on Orcas Island, in which case travel costs will be waived).

How many images will we receive?

There is no limit set on the number of images you can receive, and the average, full-day wedding results in 500-900 final photographs. I focus on making gorgeous pictures that narrate your day rather than hitting a number.

Will you shoot our family formals?

Yes, of course! People ask me these question because my style looks very natural and un-posed, so clients are often surprised that I highly encourage having time set aside for a select group of family pictures.

Family photos are such an important part of many people's wedding day. Those photographs become a wonderful part of a family history and will mean so much to your relatives who want to have them as keepsakes.

Even better, having a small session with a list of the family members who are truly closest to you can help me best capture your reception. If you have a medium to large group of guests, the best way for me to know who is most significant to you is if I can see that they are in your wedding party, if they were there for your getting ready, or if they were included in a select group during family photo time. That's how I know who to focus on when seeking out important candid moments later in the day.

About a month before the wedding you will receive a worksheet to help guide you in putting this list together and figuring out how much time to set aside for family pictures. Not everyone wants these pictures, and if you'd prefer to ditch the formals for a more photojournalistic approach just let me know.

When will our photos be ready?

It takes 6-8 weeks to polish your complete photography collection.

What if you get sick?

The most important thing to me is to be an upbeat, happy presence on your wedding day and to deliver a beautiful collection of photos, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let a little sickness or a bad day stand in the way of doing a wonderful job for you.

The situation would have to be very serious for me to not be able to photograph a wedding that I have committed to. If I were hospitalized or if a family emergency occurred, I have a wonderful network of talented photographer friends who I could turn to if absolutely necessary. This has never happened to me (knock on wood), but that's not to say that it's impossible.

Will you work from a shot list or copy my Pinterest board?

There are two lists that I will ask you for before the wedding day: a list of the family groupings you'd like photographed at formals time and a list of any meaningful details (like your grandmother's necklace or a special DIY project at the reception).

Otherwise it's really best that I spend my time focused on creating images that are unique to your day rather than copying a formulaic list or mimicking other photographers. Let's see what's cool about your venue, discover where the light is most beautiful that day, and focus on authentic moments as they happen!

Do you edit every picture?

All the photographs you will receive have been selected for quality and thoughtfully edited for proper exposure, beautiful color, and flattering skin tones. Your final photo collection will contain a combination of color and black & white images that capture your story.

What if we get sick? What if you get sick?

I want you to feel like the most spectacular, awesome version of yourself on the day of your shoot, so if you come down with a cold, flu, etc., we can certainly reschedule for when you're feeling better. Just let me know at least by the day before if at all possible.

If I get sick I will also let you know so that you can decide whether you prefer to keep the shoot date anyhow or to reschedule to avoid catching whatever the bug is.

Engagement and Lifestyle sessions are quite different from a Wedding shoot, so please see the separate answer for this question in the "Wedding" section for very different info on what happens if I get sick on a wedding day.

What if the weather is bad?

Some of my favorite shoots have happened on days where the weather wasn't "ideal." I love to take advantage of various lighting and weather situations to make really cool and different looking photos. A little rain? The world can look so shiny, reflective, and beautiful after the rain, this is one of my favorite things! And I can bring some cute clear umbrellas. A stormy sky? Fun, how dramatic! Wind? Let's play in the wind!

That said, if it looks like the day planned for your shoot is going to have truly miserable weather I am 100% ok with rescheduling. Please let me know a day or two ahead if at all possible, or a minimum of 4 hours before our scheduled shoot.

When should we schedule our engagement session?

Engagements are scheduled Mondays-Thursdays, as the weekends are reserved for weddings.

Any time of year is wonderful, and each season has its own advantages. No matter the season, the ideal times of day are when the sun is low in the sky. If you're feeling adventurous we can meet just before sunrise (talk about a beautiful view over the lake!!!). Most people prefer the afternoon or evening, in which case meeting 1.5 or 2 hours before sunset is best.

If you have a certain season or month in mind, get in touch to schedule the session as soon as you can; at least 30 days out is best. Popular times of year do get booked up quickly.

Are you a natural light photographer?

It's wonderful that you love natural light! I do too, and I take advantage of beautiful natural light as much as I possibly can.

However, there are times when it's not possible. In a dark room with no windows, in the winter when the sun goes down early, at night during the reception - there are so many times in a wedding day when a photographer may deal with tricky artificial lighting scenarios. A skilled wedding photographer will come prepared with the knowledge and equipment to make beautiful photos even under challenging circumstances, and I can handle all kinds of lighting situations.

Bonus: knowing how to handle tricky light makes a photographer even better at taking advantage of that gorgeous natural light we all hope for!

What is your photography style?

My work is about the beauty of real relationships. I combine an eye for candid moments with relaxed, contemporary portraiture that focuses on honest emotion.

Will you shoot our family formals?

Yes, of course! People ask me these question because my style looks very natural and un-posed, so clients are often surprised that I highly encourage having time set aside for a select group of family pictures.

Family photos are such an important part of many people's wedding day. Those photographs become a wonderful part of a family history and will mean so much to your relatives who want to have them as keepsakes.

Even better, having a small session with a list of the family members who are truly closest to you can help me best capture your reception. If you have a medium to large group of guests, the best way for me to know who is most significant to you is if I can see that they are in your wedding party, if they were there for your getting ready, or if they were included in a select group during family photo time. That's how I know who to focus on when seeking out important candid moments later in the day.

About a month before the wedding you will receive a worksheet to help guide you in putting this list together and figuring out how much time to set aside for family pictures. Not everyone wants these pictures, and if you'd prefer to ditch the formals for a more photojournalistic approach just let me know.

Will you work from a shot list or copy my Pinterest board?

There are two lists that I will ask you for before the wedding day: a list of the family groupings you'd like photographed at formals time and a list of any meaningful details (like your grandmother's necklace or a special DIY project at the reception).

Otherwise it's really best that I spend my time focused on creating images that are unique to your day rather than copying a formulaic list or mimicking other photographers. Let's see what's cool about your venue, discover where the light is most beautiful that day, and focus on authentic moments as they happen!

What are Fine Art Prints?

All prints larger that the 4x6 (which is a high-quality "standard" luster print) are custom printed on the same luxury papers that you would find in a museum or gallery. They are meant to be exhibited as art in your home and will look and feel different from the kind of photo print that many are accustomed to.

What are Custom Albums like?

Custom albums come in sizes 10x10 and 12x12. Each album starts with 30 pages (up to 50 images), and additional pages can be added (up to 50 pages and 80 images). The pages are glossy and 1.3mm in thickness; a thinner, matte gallery page is also an option at no additional cost. Color choices include a wide range of beautiful cloth options and a handful of classic leather options. The 12x12 album comes with optional cover embossing.

Usually for couple's albums, I will select the images and build a custom design. One round of changes is included (and of course image selections can be swapped out), and couples have up to 3 weeks to request the changes they would like. Occasionally a couple prefers to select the images for themselves from the start; if that is the case with you, please let me know prior to your wedding.

When parents, friends, and family purchase a custom album, they will have up to a week to make their image selections for the initial design.

The Custom Albums are thoughtfully designed and beautifully produced. They become treasured heirlooms and will forever be part of your family story!

What are Simple Albums like?

The Simple Album comes with museum-quality matte paper at 0.5mm thickness and a black, textured cloth cover. There are 30 pages and the design will be simple and elegant - one full image on each page.

The 30 images in the Simple Album are chosen by the couple or client. Because of the straightforward design, no changes are included; the book will go straight to print when I have received your choices.

These books make wonderful parent albums and gifts. They are also a lovely option for couples on a budget who would love to have a professional-quality album of their wedding day.

For more options and customizations, consider the Custom Album.

Can you hold my wedding date?

Wedding dates are reserved on a simple first-to-book basis. A non-refundable thousand dollar deposit and any applicable travel fees, plus with a contract signed by myself and the wedding couple is all that's needed to make it official!

Unfortunately I receive too many inquiries to keep track and let you know if somebody else expresses interest about your date before you've booked it. To be fair to everyone, I just honor the first booking that comes in regardless of any other factors.

What equipment do you shoot with?

My bags carry an extensive, ever-evolving collection of professional Canon equipment that really covers all possible scenarios on a wedding day.

For the gear lovers, I'll elaborate: two 5D Mark IIIs are on me at almost all times. Rather than having a single favorite lens, my favorite is the lens that best suits the scenario at hand. The L-series versions of the 35mm, 85mm, and 80-200mm (yup, 80 is not a typo) lenses are my most frequent go-tos, but my full lens kit is much more extensive and everything has a purpose.

I am very used to dealing with low light situations and am somewhat over-prepared with prime lenses and an extensive off-camera flash system.

Will we get copies of the photo files? Can we print them?

Yes and yes! You will receive high-resolution files of all your edited images. These are not the RAW files, but the final JPEGs that have been selected and edited to meet my high standards. They are yours to print and share, forever.

 

What if you get sick?

The most important thing to me is to be an upbeat, happy presence on your wedding day and to deliver a beautiful collection of photos, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let a little sickness or a bad day stand in the way of doing a wonderful job for you.

The situation would have to be very serious for me to not be able to photograph a wedding that I have committed to. If I were hospitalized or if a family emergency occurred, I have a wonderful network of talented photographer friends who I could turn to if absolutely necessary. This has never happened to me (knock on wood), but that's not to say that it's impossible.

Will our pictures be blogged?

Maybe! The blog, social media, and other publications are how I get the word out about my work. All agreements include the right to publish my photography at my own discretion. Lots of factors go into the decision about how to share my photos; it's a mix of business strategy and (let's be honest) how much time I currently have to devote to blogging, etc.

Is there a discount if our wedding isn’t on a Saturday?

Fridays and Sundays are also incredibly popular wedding days, and so I can't offer a discount for them.

I may be able to offer you a set discount for an offseason wedding or a Monday-Thursday wedding, especially if it's a tiny wedding or elopement. This honestly depends on my schedule and bookings at that time, so please feel free to ask when you first inquire about your date.

Are you insured?

Yes, I carry a million-dollar policy, and I am happy to provide proof of insurance if your venue requires it. Please give me 8 weeks notice to allow for processing by my insurance company.

Should we provide a meal for you?

Thank you for asking! Yes, most couples feed my second photographer and/or assistant and I the same hot meals that the guests are served. A boxed vendor meal is fine, too. If for some reason it's not possible to provide dinner for us, please do let me know in advance so that we can come prepared. It's best if we eat at the same time you eat (after all, nobody wants pictures of themselves chewing!) within earshot of the reception so that we can be ready to catch the action right after dinner.

I love my work, but a day on my feet carrying heavy equipment is quite draining! Staying well-fed and hydrated is key to staying focused and taking great photos, so you may also see me taking a quick moment aside throughout the day for a little snack or a drink of water.

Oh, and I'm a vegetarian. :)

 

When are payments due? What forms of payment do you accept?

The $1000 deposit and any applicable travel fees are due upon booking in order to hold your date and are non-refundable. The remainder of the balance is not due until two weeks before the wedding date.

The default is to make all credit card payments online through my simple booking system. I'm also happy to take checks, so just let me know if you'd prefer to pay by check.

Can we have the copyright to the photos?

The copyright to the photo collection stays with Liz Lui Photography; it is both the legal default and industry standard that the artist keeps the rights to her own work.

That said, MY CLIENTS RECEIVE THE FULL PERSONAL USE LICENSE TO THEIR PHOTOS. This means that you can print your photos, archive them, pass them on to future generations, and share them on social media. Forever.

What if we have to cancel or postpone the wedding?

The initial deposit is non-refundable. If you are re-scheduling the wedding I would certainly still love to shoot it (applying your initial deposit toward the new date), but my availability is not guaranteed and rate changes may apply. If an unforeseen predicament has caused you to move your wedding date I can certainly sympathize, and I'll try to make the change as easy as possible for you!

Check your date: