Sunday, October 5, 2008

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer

If you are getting married in Las Vegas, as a part of your wedding preparation you will need to find a good wedding photographer in Las Vegas. Sure, you can opt for a cheap wedding photographer, but before you do so, read this article that explains how to chose a wedding photographer for your Las Vegas wedding as well as the downsides of hiring a cheap photographer to photograph your wedding in Las Vegas. Read this article before you decide on a choice of your Las Vegas Wedding Photographer. This article is a courtesy of a professional Las Vegas wedding photographer, whom you can contact from this page if you are interested in getting more information and pricing for your Las Vegas wedding photography package.

You can get married, photographed and videotaped during your ceremony at a Wedding Chapel on the Strip cheaper than anywhere else on the planet.

But what if you want something special?

Something for all your friends and family?

A big Las Vegas wedding.

Las Vegas weddingYou’ll need to bring in professionals to photograph and videotape your…

“Once in a Lifetime Experience.”



There are a lot of companies that post very beautiful ads in magazines for wedding photographers. What you see is not what you get. If you look in Craigs list you’ll see these companies hiring Las Vegas wedding photographers to work for 20 dollars an hour. What you get is an inexperienced part time student who wants to shoot weddings. Not all companies are doing this but you need to make sure the company you contract is not one of these. These companies will bill you thousands of dollars. You think your getting the best because of the price tag and all the pretty literature or their great looking website.
Don’t be fooled.

I am shocked when I talk to people who are still waiting for their photos a year after the wedding…Some people never get any photos even though they paid in full in advance.

And the wedding photos other couples do get are a huge disappointment. Out of the hundreds taken they find that they don’t like any of them. And it’s too late to do anything about it.

Have you seen beautiful brides and grooms in magazines advertising the photographers wedding photos?

Here’s a reality check…Those are professional models wearing wedding dresses and tuxes spending the entire day taking posed photos at exotic locations. Those are usually not samples of their real work from weddings they have photographed. But they are a good place to see what type of poses you might like to copy for your photos…Of course you won’t have the same backgrounds but they can be added later with Photoshop if you like. By the way that one photo in the magazine cost more than your paying your photographer to photograph your wedding.

Let’s talk cameras…What type is your photographer using? Mega pixels mean nothing anymore. It’s the camera sensor that creates the picture.

You can buy a cheap camera with a lot of mega pixels that takes great photos as long as you don’t try to enlarge them bigger than 5” x 7” larger than that and you lose detail, color, and see digital noise.

I use a Nikon D2Xs…It’s a 12.4 mega pixel camera. 4288 x 2848 pixels. The best camera Nikon made when I bought it. 5,000 dollars was the retail price. Add a 300.00 SB 800 flash and a 300x speed memory card. The memory card is important with digital cameras. If you have a slow card you can take a high-resolution photo and not be able to take a second photo until the buffer downloads onto the card and frees up the memory space in the camera so you can take another picture. I can take them as fast as I can push the button with my 300x card in JPEG FINE. I can also enlarge those photos to poster size with no loss of quality.

The next step up would be a medium format digital camera that runs about 30,000 dollars and is great if you need to shoot small billboards or work for an agency and need very high-resolution proofs for a magazine layout.

Do even think about having your wedding shot with a film camera. Why take the risk of a camera problem and finding out when the film comes back in 2 weeks. With digital you can see the results immediately. And if you to turn your film photo into a digital file…High resolution scanning can cost 25 dollars or more for each one scanned. So, it’s cost effective to shoot digital when your shooting hundreds of wedding photos..

Las Vegas Wedding Photographers with slow cameras can take a picture of the bride and groom right before the kiss and while they wait for the camera to download they miss the shot

Some digital photographers in the past before the faster memory cards existed had to use two cameras so when their buffer or memory card is full on one camera and they are waiting they can use the second camera to take photos with.

So, is your photographer using a cheap and inexpensive digital camera to take your photos with?
Does he know how to operate it and is it set-up properly?

A film camera is easy to shoot with. Turn it on, put the little black line in the middle of the meter and take the picture. A digital cameras set-up menu can have over 300 settings. You’ll know right away when looking at your photos if the camera had the white balance set right…Are the flesh tones accurate? Is the exposure correct, not washed out, not dark in every picture? Do they know how to use a flash and set it properly for perfectly exposed pictures?

Do you see red eye in every photo? You shouldn’t…There is a pre -shot setting on the menu of most professional cameras that when used closes the iris of the people being photographed to eliminate the red eye effect. The red eye is actually the blood vessels in the eyes pupil. The pre-flash closes the iris to eliminate the red from being seen by the camera. I don’t even want to scare you with what it would cost to retouch ever picture.

Are there any spots in your photos? That would be dust on the sensor plate. I’ve heard stories like…In an outdoor photo a couple saw their photo and a UFO over their shoulder in the sky….Sorry, digital dust on the sensor plate not an invasion…When photographers change their lenses with their cameras on the plate attracts dust onto it’s surface. A little speck can become a mole on your face you don’t have.

One photographer told me he had a professional clean his camera. There was no dust left but he did see a hair in every picture he took. He took over 1,000 photos that needed to be photoshopped to remove the hair the camera tech. left in his camera after he cleaned it. I’ve always have cleaned my own cameras sensor and take a dozen test shots to make sure that it’s as clean as the day I bought the camera.

Does the photographer present a good image, hair neat, dressed sharp, polite?

How many photographers does a wedding really need?

I’ve shot photos and videotaped at the same time for weddings that didn’t have the funds for two people.

It can be done but you really need 2 photographers in the church. One in front and one in back. At the reception it’s nice to have one photographer shooting pictures while the other photographer shoots candid.

The second photographer also allows the free time for the videotaping to be done. So, it really takes 3 people. 2 photographers and one video cameraman without a soundman using a wireless hand mic and a shotgun mic on the camera.

If you want one person to do everything don’t complain if he misses something…You can’t be in 2 places at the same time.

Have you seen your photographers work? Not the agency he works if you’re dealing with a company. But the actual person who will be at your wedding?

Have you talked with his former clients? I would recommend it.

How fast is turnaround for the photos? I give the client every photo I took on a DVD-R disc the same day of the wedding at the end of the evening. They leave with the security of knowing they have all their photos in their possession.

I also include an edited disc later including cropping, soft blur effect, digital noise reduction to remove wrinkles, light retouching for blemishes etc. and send the disc to the client within 72 hours. This is the disc they make prints from.

What about the photographer you pick…

Will he arrive in time? Professionals arrive at least 1-2 hours before the wedding. Traffic delays due to back-ups and accidents on the highway, flat tires, on the way to the wedding are real risks that can make them late. A few weddings ago the bride was over 2 hours late…A car flipped over in the opposite side of the highway onto the side she was driving down and they stopped traffic. She was stuck with nowhere to go and waited with everyone else for the highway to become open again.

Is the photographer you’ve hired going to send you thumbnails of the photos they took and then charge you extra for every photo you want?

The photographers I am talking about do not give you all the photos…They offer a package price with a limited number of photos and prints…They keep the disc and the photo files to make prints from and you have to buy your pictures from them. They will give you prints which they mark up in price…They will offer you a wedding album…Again at a mark-up.
Their prices seem competitive until you add up all the extras and it works out to be more money spent than what you paid to have them photograph the wedding.

I don’t provide albums…There are people who do nothing but create beautiful albums for you. It’s their profession and they do excellent work. You wouldn’t hire them to take your pictures…Why ask your photographer to create your album for you then? You can also do it yourself if you own a Mac…iPhoto does a wonderful job for those on a budget making hardcover books you design. Just buy a beautiful cover with a slip jacket to put your album in.

What about prints. If you do it yourself there are companies on-line like Adorama that do very professional photo enlargements and have very good price specials for prints and enlargements throughout the year. Don’t ever take a high-resolution photo to be printed or enlarged to Walgreen’s or Wal-Mart type stores. They don’t have the professional scanners. Printers, quality paper and inks you need to have a professional quality print made for framing. These companies mentioned above are good for taking your little home camera with photos of your kids and friends playing in the backyard and having 5 x 7 prints made.

To have your photos printed via the Internet…
You set-up an account, send them the digital files and your prints come in the mail in any size up to poster size. You have many options in regards to paper quality. Gloss, Semi Gloss, Luster, Matt etc.

Does your photographer post your photos on a website? Las Vegas wedding

I post all the best photos I take on a site that the Bride and Groom can send a link to everyone so that they can see the photos within 72 hours. They can download the photos onto their desktop and make prints with their color printers.

It takes me about 20 hours after the wedding to edit f about 800 photos…I convert some of the photos to black and white, boost color on some, crop all of them, ad a soft blur to others. I take a 3 second 3 shot burst photo of everyone in group photograph to make sure everyone is looking at the camera, eyes open and smiling. If I have 2 good photos in the group, one gets converted to black and one is color. If one person is smiling and the other two people have their eyes closed I crop them out and keep the photo of the person smiling rather than delete the photo.

How much does a wedding cost to photograph? It’s determined by the time of year. June weddings are a premium fee. Everybody wants you…
The size of the wedding…I can take up to 600-800 photos for a wedding of 75 people.
That’s taking photos almost non-stop except for dinner. People don’t photograph well with food in their mouths when they smile. So everyone takes a break. Travel time, expenses for an overnight depending on location and distance figure into the rate. Large weddings of 100 people or more require a second photographer.

Let’s talk Video now.

Videotaping the vows and service is usually a fixed position on tripod. If it’s in a church they don’t want you moving around upstaging the ceremony. After the service the camera needs to be outside to shoot the congratulations, hugs and kisses. A second camera is needed if you want the exit from the alter down the center aisle videotaped.

You can’t get from the front of the church to the back without running to get ahead of the bride and groom. It is much mire civilized if the second camera is already there and waiting. The music is also usually in the choir loft. The second camera position is usually there recording the sound and getting a wide high shot of the church. Of course if you get married on a beach, one camera is fine.

At the reception…I give a member of the bridal party a wireless handheld newscasters mic and we go around from outdoors, indoors, to the tables and dance floor getting best wishes from all the guests and family for the Bride and Groom. That takes about 90 minutes of tape. Each sound bite is from 30 seconds to as long as 3 minutes depending on how much liquor the guest has had…LOL
We also videotape the toasts, the first dance, more dancing, the garter and bouquet toss, cutting of the cake etc.

Editing the video…

Again, there are professionals that specialize in wedding tapes. Not all video cameramen are editors…But professional cameramen have been editors and know what the editors need to edit a great tape with and provide them with all the shots and cutaways necessary.

Editing costs can be inexpensive for cuts only editing to very expensive when you add photomontages, special effects, music and narration. It can start as a wedding tape and end as a movie depending on how much time and money you want to spend. The Groom and Bride can have input into the creative process and be there as the tape is edited vs. having it done and then not being happy with the final product. I make a DVD of all the tape shot that the happy couple can watch at home in the unedited format. They then know what they want and don’t want and save time and money by pre-screening the tape at home. I ran an ad on craigslist once for an editor. You view their demos on-line, consider what they charge per hour and pick 1 out of 20 that live in your area to work with. My associate is an editor. He is very expensive because he’s one of the best for special effects. He worked for an advertising agency all his life and has a very impressive website with all his work. If you wanted to put your wedding on TV as a reality show I would recommend working with Ron…But if you want cuts only, assembled video of the entire event…Any student with Final Cut Pro software on his computer could do the editing. It’s just programming in and out points…You want to add titles and graphics. No problem…The software does everything. Add music from the wedding, add the wedding photos in a montage at the beginning and your done. That’s a simple edit using the existing material you have.

If you want to do layering, putting multiple images over one another…A special effect created from scratch with graphics….A professional narration track…Adding music not recorded at your wedding…This takes time and adds to the cost.
Rates are either hourly for weddings or you negotiate a flat rate with the editor to do everything you want for a fixed price. Get plenty of copies and keep the original tapes. Copies are inexpensive on DVD discs
You can have DV, HD and BLUE-RAY copies made.
They don’t wear out like tape.


Video cameras used in the broadcast industry have always been handheld, shoulder operated. The new cameras used at weddings are point and shoot cameras held in front of their operators while they either look through a small eyepiece in the back or they use a flip out LCD monitor on the side of the camera. They have to operate these little consumer cameras on full auto in most cases including focus. It is not possible to manual iris and focus these cameras at the same time as you can do with a professional broadcast camera on your shoulder with professional lenses.

I’ve been working with broadcast quality 50,000-dollar cameras all my life. The new HD cameras cost 90,000 dollars. So, when I operate one of the Canon, Panasonic or Sony Handy cams I know the difference and the cameras limitations.

I bought a JVC GY-HD 100 minicam that is a smaller, lighter version of the cameras I use to shoot news with to shoot weddings with.
It has identical controls for camera operation in the same locations. Being able to know where all the switches and buttons are make the difference between operating a camera quickly vs. having to stop what your doing, turn the camera sideways and try and find the switch you just pushed by mistake that is making all your video blue. This was the problem I had with the handy cams…They are not user friendly nor would any professional cameraman given a choice between a professional shoulder mounted camera and the handy cam choice the latter.
Keep that in mind when you pick a cameraman. What kind of camera he is using to shoot your wedding video with.

Although if you have limited funds for a videographer you won’t have much choice. The smaller handy cams operators are cheaper to hire.

The difference will be obvious when you see the quality of the camera work if and when the operator goes handheld.

As I have mentioned…I only use a broadcast shoulder mounted camera. My pictures are always properly exposed and in focus. I also have a Professional light on the camera. No light on a handy cam camera means dark pictures, faded colors and soft out of focus shots. The pictures taken by handy cams are fine outdoors, on a tripod but when used indoors, handheld trying to follow the action from a distance in lowlight you’ll see how the saying “You get what you pay for” applies when you view the grainy video and shaky video. Although it will be steady if they turn on the motion stabilizer if their camera has one.

The biggest problem with the handy cams is the auto focus. It picks the closet object and that’s what it will focus on. You’ll see the camera “Pumping,” Picking different objects to focus on and then going in and out of focus as it searches in the auto mode. If your cameraman is any good he’ll have that off and will attempt to manually operate the camera.


What’s better? DV or HDV? HDV is either 1080i or 720P both look the same when played back on a large screen TV. DV came before HDV. HDV is more than half the quality in picture detail than DV…You want to shoot in HD/HDV. You can always convert down to DV but you cannot shoot in DV and go up to HD. And since everything is being shot and now being shown nowadays in HD Video…10 years from now you’ll want to watch your wedding on your large screen wall TV in the best quality which is HD even if you don’t own a set today…You will someday.


Payment in full should be paid when you receive all your photos on disc and your videotapes, not before.

Most wedding photography companies ask for a partial payment before the wedding and make you sign a contract with a cancellation clause that usually requires a 10% penalty if you cancel.

If my client wanted a steadicam, a second video camera, lighting brought in, backgrounds, extra people…I would require those expenses paid upfront. Anything that I would have to pay out of pocket I would pass on to the client.

If they just want photos…I never ask for anything until I let them view some of the photos taken on my 17” laptop at the reception, they approve and then receive all their images.

Let me add one more thing. I know that there are some great wedding photographers and video cameramen in the wedding business. But what I’ve been writing doesn’t apply to them. It applies to those who are in every profession. People who take an unfair advantage of others by providing inferior services and charging a premium to the client and fail to deliver what they promised. Hopefully what I have written makes your future selection of who takes your video and photos a little easier.

The one reason wedding photographers should be paid a premium for their work is the stress involved with the job. If the camera has a problem during the wedding vows, you need to change batteries etc. You can’t yell out “Wait a minute…Time out.” You only get one chance and everything has to be done right the first time.

Professionals spend money on buying the best and most reliable equipment to provide the highest quality images for their clients.

You have to be on time and ready to go, nothing can go wrong, your pictures have to be perfect…This is the most important day in your clients life and there are no excuses for less than a 100% success rate.

That causes stress you don’t have charging 100 per hour shooting headshots for portfolios.

I see ads on Craigslist where people want to pay only 300 dollars to have their wedding photos taken. They won’t find a professional to take the job but somebody does. These are the people who complain they don’t like any of their pictures. Well, it’s to late to hire a high priced professional and they have to live with their mistake for the rest of their lives…Well not really, I get calls from people who learned the hard way. They want to get dressed up a year later in their tux and gown and retake their wedding photos because they have nothing to show to their friends and families.

The other group are those who never saw their photographer again or their photos. Jimmy Meyer, Las Vegas Wedding Photographer

So, if you need peace of mind and would like a photojournalist style of wedding photography… It’s a 4-hour drive for me.

I am available to come to Las Vegas and be your photographer and or cameraman if I am not shooting a Network News story or working for a Magazine Show.

I like shooting weddings… About the same stress as shooting a breaking news story…Something I’ve been used to doing for over 20 years.

You can reach me at…

Article and photos by guest author Jimmy Meyer, a Las Vegas Wedding Photographer

Sample Portfolio Here and Videos


Anonymous said...

This is just a heads up... BEWARE of Darien Photo, AKA "I do wedding Photography" He/She does not deliver! He/She will shoot the wedding, takes your deposit and not deliver anything, and of course is always looking for more money, (just a little more money will be needed to it done sooner!?). Though, NO matter what you spend the job is never finished! Is there even film in the camera? Yes, I said FILM? (no digital here!) and I think not! Last Fall, Action 13 NEWS did a story on her and "I do", (at the time of the story, he was a she), a "Miss Christine Samson", of "I do wedding photo", Now Christine is doing work as "Darien Photo", and "she" is now a "HE", a "Mr Steve Samson". This person will not deliver! He/she will take the deposit and run! This person has judgments against her, and is now in hiding, and living as a man! I hope this helps you, if "it" try to contacts you. Do not give "it" access to your list!

yours truly,

Mrs. Disgruntled!

1stjournal said...

Lovely Post its nice work

Anonymous said...

Reply to: [?]
Date: 2008-10-10, 9:14AM PDT

I PAID $750 CASH FOR A HORRIBLE SHOOT!! To start, He gave me a hard time for being 5 minutes late which made me feel very uncomfortable. While I was getting my make up done I could hear him in the other room yelling and screaming at people on the phone. He also kept answering his phone while shooting me and would have he wait while he was on it. VERY UNPROFESSIONAL! I ultimately left very unhappy and was brought to tears once I got back to my car. If the photos were beautiful, I would think "oh well, he is crazy but very good" That was definitely not the case.. All the photos are very bad. He said they need to be retouched. I did talk to him about being unhappy and he offered to re shoot me. I declined to do so. I just ran into another girl at an audition Yesterday. She had bad photos that looked familiar. When I asked her about them, She also shot with Michael Maples and had the some story. That is why I decided to do this post. BEWARE LADIES!

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading this "article" when you admitted that you shoot in JPEG! Real photographers shoot in RAW, do all their adjustments, then export to JPEG. Image quality is 100% better this way. Plus, you actually do video AND photo at the same time? Laughable.

Camera accessory said...

HP Digital Camera Care: advices that attention should be paid to batteries:
-'Do not expose batteries to temperatures above 110 degrees F (43 degrees C). For example, leaving batteries in your car in the hot summer sun can result in permanent damage. Your best bet is to store them in a place that’s cool and dry.
- Do not overcharge the batteries.
- Do recharge your batteries before or after long-term storage. Batteries discharge over time, and if not recharged they may leak and corrode the camera.
- Do not mix old and new batteries or batteries of different types.

jimmy meyer said...

In regards to the JPEG comment. I shoot TIFF at weddings for all family and bride and groom shots. I shoot JPEG for all reception photos. The Nikon D2Xs shoots 4288 x 2848 pixels in JPEG and TIFF and RAW. JPEGS load faster and post easier on websites for families to view the photos. Most people cannont see any difference in a JPEG VS. a RAW file. I would use RAW if I wanted to photoshop all the hundreds of pictures taken if there was something wrong with the original that needed correcting. I am also using a 5,000 dollar Nikon to take pictures with JPEGS on my camera that probably looks superior to whatever camera you use when you shoot RAW. Another reason to shoot in RAW it means you are worried that your photos weren't taken properly...You need to adjust your color temperature maybe because your pictures are too blue or red? In regards to shooting video and photos. Just because you can't do it don't assume no one else can. I always have a second photographer with me to take my place when I shoot video. I have done both and the clients were very happy i saved them money and we're happy with the quality. It's easy to do at a small wedding...I never do it at a large traditional wedding.
The only reason I can think that someone would post a negative comment on this site is because you're one of the photographers I am warning people about. I see you didn't leave your name.

Anonymous said...

Professional photographer looking for new talent to model for bridal portfolio. Use will be for advertising and website. Experience is absolutely not necessary. Anyone interested or new to modeling is preferred. New talent must be slim, good looking, easy going and be between the ages of 20-29. Photoshoot will take a day on location in the OC or LA area. Please email with current pics including full body. Compensation will be $150 with wedding dress, hair and makeup covered by photographer. Model Release is required.

Anonymous said...

Another craigslist ad...

We are expanding our business and we are looking for a wedding videographer who is ambitious.
You should have your own equipment, 3 chip camera or HD camera, good mic or wireless mic, Monopod and tripod.
You should have a good eye and have experience as a videographer.
You should have shoot weddings before.
Use to work long hours.
And have a easy going, nice personality.
You should be professional.

Please not first timers or starters.
We are doing quality wedding production and we need quality people.

If this is you. Please apply via email and sent me a link to your work.

We pay $100 -200 day. Working on weekends only. We are looking for someone long term.

jimmy meyer said...

From jimmy meyer...My new website and contact info...

Anonymous said...

From craigs list...Why are the photographers so upset? 2 camera bodies. Pro gear 5,000 each. 1,000 photos to screen and edit...At least 1 full day after the wedding. Figure 1 minute per photo...60 divided by 1,000=@16 hours with no breaks.
travel and set-up time not paid. Let me put it this way.

When you hire a company that doesn't do anything but charge you 1,000's of dollars for your wedding photos...This is why and how they do it and how other professional photographers feel about it. The company you hire takes all the money and screws the photographer. Guess what? PROs won't work for him or her. So what kind of photographer are you getting? The kind that can't get a wedding on their own and has to remove all the bad pictures before you see them. How many moments are lost?

This is what the person who hires the person to take the majority of your photos says....Can someone please explain why my post keeps getting flagged for offering someone a paying gig?

This is a photographers response...
That one is hilarious!!!
You think that with your peanuts budget, you are going to get all of this!!! Wake-up.. What you are asking is worth at least $2,000.00, if you're lucky!!!

Flag her stupid ass...

Wedding Photographer (Sherman Oaks)

Professional photographer needed(with at least five years experience in the wedding business) with his/her own equipment: hi-end digital SLR camera, good lenses, flash, and tripod. Two camera bodies are a must. You must be able to shoot the entire wedding in RAW OR NEF. Bad images should be removed (i.e. images that are over or under exposed, out of focus, etc.) Raw images must be converted to high resolution JPEG images and delivered on a DVD within 2 weeks.

An outgoing personality is a must. A charismatic photographer that can enchant people, and bring the best out of them.

The pay is $450 for a six hour wedding. Meal will be provided.

If interested please tell us a bit about yourself, e-mail a link to your site, a recent photo, and complete list of equipment.

* Location: Sherman Oaks
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: $450

The Andrews said...

Regarding the comment about Darien Photo, stay away from Christine/Steve Samson. She/He is a con artist and thief! When she was a she at I Do Wedding Photography, she charged us another $1000 when we went to pick up our photos for the CDs and wouldn't give us our original photos until we paid her. Then she never delivered our enlargements that were supposed to be part of our package and never delivered the DVD of our wedding! Then she went out of business and disappeared. Check out the BBB on I Do Wedding and East/West Photography. Nothing has come up on Darien Photo yet, but it will only be a matter of time. Check out the photographer for your wedding through the BBB and talk to references! We learned our lesson the hard way.