Hiring a Las Vegas wedding photographer on 10 days notice?
October 13, 2008 1:56 PM   Subscribe

With 10 days notice, can I find a reputable photographer in Las Vegas to work my evening wedding festivities? Specific recommendations welcome, but general advice also needed.

With 10 days remaining before my wedding, my in-laws have decided that a photographer is a must. My fiancée and I had previously decided against pro photography, and thus did no research on the topic prior to yesterday. Previous Ask threads have been devoured, but I could really use some specific info to assist my hunt.

Assuming that I find a reputable LV photog of moderate cost, with 10 days notice what sort of hourly rate should I expect - or should I expect a flat event fee? Should I expect surcharges for late night/early morning service?

Assuming that I provide transport, are photogs cool with going to 4 or 5 destinations over the course of an event? If we engaged the photog to take pictures during our dinner or lounge/club visits, what is the etiquette or expectation for them sitting, eating or drinking with us?

What sort of ownership of the resultant photos should I expect? Optimally, I'd like to have access to print-quality digital images (after processing if that's the photog's process) and I'd like to have the right to do whatever I want with them in perpetuity. Should I expect an arrangement other than that?

Thanks in advance for any tips, anecdotes or recommendations.
posted by chudmonkey to Shopping (3 answers total)
You can probably find someone, but they are going to know they have you over a barrel. So don't expect to be negotiating things. I'm guessing in LA photographers get paid quite well.

You will probably get charged a flat rate based on the amount of hours the photographer is with you. But it won't be an hourly rate, it will be a package deal.

If you provide transport back to the start point (i.e. don't leave the photographer stranded), multiple destinations should not be a problem.

Usually you provide the photographer with a meal at some time that they won't be as needed. Oftentimes a little after dinner starts. Don't not do the meal, you don't want your photographer to hate you.

Usually the photographer owns the pictures. If you want a full buy out, you'll have to pay extra.

You might find someone on Craigslist, but they also might suck. It is a ton of money to have a professional, but it's a really hard thing to do and very easy to screw up. Depends on whether it's worth it for you. I do a fair amount of weddings and honestly, if I was going to get married, I'd probably skip it. I'd like to have a couple of nice pictures but it's just a crazy amount of money to spend.
posted by sully75 at 2:34 PM on October 13, 2008

The bottom line today is that there are no longer standard expectations.

You can get everything or anything you want, with varying degrees of professionalism and happiness in finished product.

I know photographers who would give you free reign on the post processed photos for ever in exchange for the trip to Vegas and a comped room. I know others that would ask for $8k on top of that. You'd wind up equally happy with both of the results.

This is the ultimate "your mileage may vary" question.

Knock it all out in the contract. Know what you want and what you're willing to bend on and you're fine. Have someone else act as the photographer wrangler so you're not the one that has to keep on top of them to get the right shots. Have a shot list of what you *must* have.

Congrats and best of luck to you on the wedding day and in the future.
posted by FlamingBore at 2:42 PM on October 13, 2008

Mrs Pantagrool here... we have done weddings with just one days notice before- there is no reason why you won't be able to find a good photographer with 10 days notice, especially since we are entering the off season.

Nowadays many professional photographers provide the high res edited files with most of their packages- it's almost becoming old fashioned to not provide the files for your personal use after the wedding.

Check the wedding photojournalist association for the best photojournalism wedding photographers in the area, and their starting prices are listed there as well.

As for hours, some have all day rates (beware of quantity vs quality though), and some will provide packages based on events of the day (getting ready, ceremony, etc..), and some go by the hour.

If you provide a table for the photographer to eat at, they will be able to keep an eye on the wedding to make sure they aren't missing anything. If they simply leave for an hour to get something to eat, they might miss coverage of something important during your reception. But one thing to keep in mind is that you probably don't want to force the photographer to take pictures of people eating during the reception- not very polite.

Most photographers should be cool with multiple destinations, but you need to keep your itinerary in mind-- is it realistic? Usually our couples plan for many destinations, and then because of varying reasons-- delay in getting ready, chatting with all your guests, etc... there is usually half the amount of time than was originally planned.
posted by pantagrool at 3:24 PM on October 13, 2008

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