Hiring the Right Photographer in Las Vegas

10 Must Know Tips

Hiring the right photographer can be very similar to looking for a hair stylist or barber. You ask friends and family, you search reviews but how can you really be sure you’ve made the best choice.

We all want to look great when we take photographs especially professional ones. Whether you are wanting to update your headshots, create new marketing material or looking for corporate event photos they each require a professional photographer.

How can you tell the difference between a good photographer and a not so good one?

Since this question comes up quite frequently we thought we would share 10 amazing tips you need to know to help you hire the right photographer.

1. Look at Photographer’s Specialty

The most important thing to look for when hiring the right photographer

whether here in Las Vegas or any other city, is expertise.

Different photographers have different specialties There is special event, architecture, headshots, weddings, conventions, product photography, etc.

Some photographers work best in natural lighting conditions, while another uses strobes or enhanced lighting. It all depends on the look you want to achieve, what aesthetic appeals to you and what message you wish to convey.

If you want a photographer who can captures people in the most flattering way, then you may want to consider one who works well under a controlled lighting situation.

We photograph people. It’s what we’ve have always done. Our studio specializes in headshots, events, and business lifestyle branding.

We’re known for creating naturally orchestrated, ‘spontaneous’ moments while always getting the money shots.

Those are the remarkable photos that speak to your audience and really show who you are and what your brand represent.

When hiring a photographer, be sure to look for a well-rounded, seasoned photographer who can capture every scenario you envision.

Depending on how important these images are you you, it is recommended to choose someone with at least 3 – 5 years experience.

2. Get Some Recommendations

When hiring the right photographer, one of the first places to start is to ask your friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. They may know or have even worked with a reputable, first-rate photographer that can deliver the type of images you are looking for.

You can also go online to search sites for reviews and testimonials to learn about the photographer’s quality of work and reputation.

3. View Their Portfolio

Professional photographers must have a collection of their work whether an online portfolio in the form of a website, blog, or a social media page.

It’s the number one way to judge the skill set, style and more importantly whether a specific photographer is the one for you.

Professional photographers must have a collection of their work whether in an online portfolio a website, blog, or a social media site.

Then the question begs, how do you know what you’re viewing online is really the work of the photographer you are planning to hire?

Sadly, it’s very easy to get ‘tricked’ in today’s world of technology.

Do a Google search. Be diligent!

When in doubt ask to view or have them email a few photos from sessions that are like or relatively similar to the one you want to hire them for.

Which takes us to the next tip.

4. Consider Their Photographic Style

Just like other industries, photographers should have a photographic specialty and style they work best in.

Some clients may prefer shooting artistic and natural-looking photos and others may look for more posed, traditional and formal pictures.

Again, when hiring the right photographer a professional portfolio can tell you everything about the photographer’s eye and his style of capturing images.

I keep stressing the word professional because ever since the invention of the smartphone, everyone thinks they are a photographer.

Here in Las Vegas, everyday I see well-meaning tourists trying to photograph a beautiful scenic shot or selfie to remember their trip by.

Of course that’s more than fine for a quickly captured memory, but these snapshots don’t hold up in the business world where you have a professional image to uphold.

5. Your Consultation or ‘Interview’

When it comes to hiring the right photographer, ask the tough questions.

Once you go through the above points, it is time to interview some potential candidates in order to discover more about them.

If you have any questions in mind, don’t hesitate to ask them.

Remember, they will be working for you.

This is the time you want to work in collaboration and consult with the photographer who will be creating your images, so you both can identify exactly what you want.

If you have a mood or specific ideas in mind, express those thoughts during the consultation

Here are a few questions that can make your decision easier:

  • Is photography your primary source of income or is it just a side hustle/hobby?
  • How long have you been a professional photographer
  • How much experience do you have in this specific field?
  • How far in advance do I need to secure your services?
  • If needed, are you available for additional consultations or phone calls?
  • Will you be photographing alone, or will you have an assistant for the session/event?
  • Do you have backup equipment?
  • What is the turnaround time to deliver the photographs?
  • Will the final images be in digital or printed format?
  • Do you have a written contract?
  • What are the terms of payment?

Once you and the photographer have the answers to your questions, you can now make an informed decision.

6. Focus on the Questions the Photographer Asks You

Pay attention to the questions the photographer asks you. They should be quite thorough as they gather information on during this discovery call to find out about your budget, style, personality and overall end goal.

Make sure they ask the questions that will give provide insight and understanding about what you really want.

You know you have a professional in front of you if they are asking about the most important aspects of what you want them to highlight like types of photos you want (i.e. close-ups, candid, overview,  product shots,) you should also find out about retouching, delivery times and other specifics.

7. Select the Photographer with More Experience

Semi-professional photographers who own camera gear are just like first-time drivers.

They don’t have much experience and can be easily distracted or intimidated by unexpected changes due to their limited experience when dealing with unforeseen events or mishaps.

This can lead to a not so subtle disaster during a once in a lifetime moment.

Your photographer should be 100% responsive and instinctive. They should know the right camera setting, the way to pose a subject, the perfect image composition, the right moment to click the shutter to get perfect shot.

This all comes down to a helluva lot of experience.

You cannot expect newbies to have this capacity.

Yes, they might get lucky and click off a good shot or two, but why take a chance. When it comes to working under the pressure of a deadline and financial commitment you want to make sure you are hiring the right photographer who can deliver what was promised.

8. Beware of Heavy Editing

Many inexperienced photographers rely on Photoshop or some other software program to make up for underexposed, improperly lit, poorly composed, lame photos and then they call it ‘style’.

Beware. Don’t fall for it!

An experienced, professional photographer won’t need to resort to heavy, post-session editing to make his photography great.

Unfortunately, many amateurs get away with these tactics because the average person with an untrained eye won’t be able to point out the difference between a heavily edited picture and a great stand-alone image.

If you have any suspicions, be bold.

Ask the photographer to show some unedited versions of a shoot and compare it to edited versions.

This may be an uncommon request but a confident, experienced photographer should show you unedited images based on your concerns.

If the photographer flat-out refuses, I suggest you continue your search.

Now with that said, it should be understood that post-session work is a normal part of the digital photography world.

Essentially the photographer is enhancing an already great photo. This process may include digital color correction, toning, photo optimization, light retouching, etc.

Truth be told, a bad photo will remain bad no matter how much post-production work you do on it.

The key here is that even the unedited images should stand on their own as good photos.

9. Compare the Cost When Hiring a Professional Photographer

Photography pricing in Las Vegas depends on different things i.e. timing of event, equipment, photographer’s experience level, location, session type, etc.

So here is where there is a potential for a varying range for fees charged.

I suggest securing a minimum of three estimates from different photographers and compare them according to their specialties.

Also, consider any hidden charges that may exceed your budget later.

The photographer may not include the cost of a flash drive, prints, editing, taxes or other extras so it is better to ask about them in advance.

Pricing is typically calculated by considering the following points:

  • Length of session or event
  • Type of session or event
  • Date of session or event
  • Staff required
  • Equipment required
  • Props (if required)

If you want to get the most bang for your buck when hiring a Las Vegas photographer don’t make cost your single determining factor.

You may want to compromise on your budget rather than taking a risk on getting sub-par photographs.

10. Don’t Hesitate to Negotiate

Negotiation is your right as a client.

Negotiate on price if you find it is more than your budget, but never compromise on quality.

Competency, skill and professionalism are crucial for a remarkable photo-shoot.

If you honestly, state your case many photographers will take certain factors into consideration. They may be able to come to a compromise that brings them to your budget without compromising quality or the integrity of the final photographs.

That’s a Wrap

Make sure you follow the above-mentioned tips when hiring a skilled, confident photographer who can successfully manage all aspects of your session from the first inquiry to the final amazing images.

It’s about hiring the right photographer for the job – one who has enough experience, talent and expertise to bring out your best, making you look like a rock star!