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#8. Shoot Into the Sun.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

If you don’t have off-camera strobes or don’t know how to use them [see #4], turn your subjects’ backs to the sun, shoot in manual mode and expose for your subjects’ faces. Your photos will immediately be better than any point-and-shoot civilian who tries this. Their photos will be dark and underexposed.

Turn your subjects’ backs to the sun.

#5. Get Closer. Get Further Away.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

Seems everybody’s got a camera at weddings nowadays.

One way to make your pictures look different than everybody else’s is to get up real close, and to pull way back.

Use a long lens (200mm) to get in real close.

Get close with a long lens, or by walking right into the action (not advised during the ceremony!) You’ll have captured the feelings of the moment, and your brides will be forever grateful when she looks at your photos.

Get far away - see the moment differently than everyone else.

Use a wide angle lens (like 17mm) to get far away.

Step Outside of the Action. Capture the Big Picture. Get far away to take in the big picture, the cityscape, the landscape, the drive into town, the outside of the reception hall, the whole room.

#4. Invest In Yourself. Take Workshops.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

Invest in Yourself. Take Workshops. All clichés aside, you’re worth it! If the workshop is good, and you put that learning into practice, then you’ll quickly earn back its cost with your next several shoots. If you don’t have $1,000 or $500 to go sit at the feet of someone you consider a master, then you’re not trying hard enough, and you’re not serious about becoming a better photographer. Sell your couch. Sell your TV. Have a yard sale.

If you don’t take workshops because you think you have nothing to learn then you have bigger problems 😉 and you may want to consult a member of the psychology profession 😉 Please note, that last comment is not directed at Joe McNally or his peers 😉

Following are some of the workshops I’ve taken that have moved my photography forward:

  1. Doug Merriam, Studio Lighting, The Santa Fe Workshops
  2. Joe McNally, Location Lighting with Small Flash, The Santa Fe Workshops
  3. Matthew Jordan Smith, Glamour Portraits, The Santa Fe Workshop
  4. Denis Reggie, 3 Day Wedding Conclave, Atlanta, GA
  5. Nate Kaiser, Shoot Shop, Oceanside, CA

#1. Shoot Ordinary People.

June 15, 2010 | By | No Comments

When starting out in portrait photography, I shot the best looking people I could find, models and aspiring models and other members of that human minority who enjoy being in front of a lens.

It took me a while to realize that my beautiful models were carrying my bad photography.

Models not only look great just standing there, they usually know how to pose themselves and bend this and that without direction.

If you’re like most photographers who shoot weddings and portraits and high school seniors etc., the vast majority of your income will come from photographing normal people. Regular people have no idea how to pose themselves, and about 95% of people are just not comfortable in front of a lens. As a working photographer, it will be your job to get regular people comfortable in front of your lens. It will be your job to bend and pose them in the most flattering ways.

I can hear the purists now saying “well I don’t pose anybody – I’m a pure photo journalist, and I only capture what’s actually happening.” Here’s a bonus inside secret about earning a living as a photographer. People buy the photos in which they look the best. With zero exceptions, the brides who have hired me who tell me that they only care about photojournalism (pj) buy and ooh and ahh and share and make their avatar POSED DRAMATICALLY LIT PORTRAITS.I love pj and I do a great job of it. But, if you want to make your living selling your photography, you must learn how to bend and pose people to look their best.

Better to shoot average, awkward people as you strive to improve your lighting, composition, story-telling, scouting, banter, post-processing. Then when you get a photo that you and everyone else loves, the love you’re feeling is about your photo, and not your model.

17 Dec



December 17, 2008 | By |

What's Different About You?

Emotion, Personal Care, Lighting, Experience, FUN

  1. I-Pose-Emotions-STEVEN-JOSEPH-PHOTOGRAPHYEMOTION. You’ve probably noticed great emotion throughout my portfolio. Some of these shots are pure photojournalism, where I’ve quietly caught a genuine moment. But many more are actually coaxed, elicited, gently drawn out. Emotions run deep on Wedding Day, yet most people feel awkward in front of a camera. Through the things I say and do, the tone of my voice, I help you forget about the camera and help you feel comfortable letting the Day’s feelings flow.
  2. PERSONAL CARE. From the moment she picks up your phone call to that happy day your gorgeous heirloom album arrives, you will be personally cared for by my wonderful wife Chris, the nicest, strongest, hardest working person I know. Her kicked back personality, easy laugh and regular smiles are all real. She is one of the most responsible and likeable people you will ever meet. I consider her my secret weapon of success. You and I are both very lucky to have her in our corner.
  3. LIGHTING. You’ve also probably noticed beautiful lighting throughout my photos, and maybe not noticed the beautiful lighting I’ve brought to pitch dark restaurants and reception halls. The reason I show lots and lots of reception and portrait photos after dark is because I bring the light (Profoto B1s and discreet Speedlites to be exact 🙂 ) and I can light up the dark. You’d be surprised how many photographers don’t and can’t.
  4. EXPERIENCE. We’ve lost count, but we’ve photographed over 400 weddings & events, from the simplest two person mad-dash love-affair to the most elaborate all-hands-on-deck extravaganza. We like to think we’ve seen it all and handled it all. It’s good to work with someone who knows what they’re doing.
  5. FUN. We have a blast with you because we honestly love what we do.

Do you put us in lots of poses?

While I give you tips on posing and looking your best, more than pose bodies, I pose emotions.

How much do you charge?

INVESTMENT Las Vegas Wedding Photography Pricing STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTOGRAPHYDepending upon what kind of photography (Commercial, Event, Photobooth, Food, Wedding, Elopement), how many hours (5 days, All Day, 1/2 Day, 12 hours, 6 hours, 2 hours, etc.) and whether you choose Steven Joseph or an Associate Photographer, our rates range widely from $100 per hour to $375 per hour, $500 to tens of thousands of dollars.

It really depends upon the job, and the photographer you choose. To discuss the specifics of your photography needs drop us an email, click our chat button, or give us a text or call.

For weddings specifically, It’s important to have a connection with our couples, which is why we don’t take every wedding that comes to us. It’s important that we are a good fit for each other. One size doesn’t fit all. You shouldn’t “just cinch it” like the Gap Girls on SNL. We customize our wedding photography to fit you perfectly. If you’d like to find out more information give us a call at 702-274-4447. We can’t wait to hear all about your wedding plans. We receive many inquiries every day. The people who call us, or who leave us their phone number, get priority response and are most likely to get their date. DISCOUNTS Ask us about our weekday and military discounts! 702-274-4447 [email protected]

Do you offer photo booths?

Beautiful lighting and gorgeous photography by STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOTHS

Yes! We offer one of the very best Las Vegas Photo Booths – both open-air and traditional closed booths! We offer the full range of social media sharing and fast, reliable printing on-site. Unlike most photobooths, ours is set up and run by real photographers, so you know your photos will look fantastic! To see why great lighting matters, see these actual examples BELOW from competitors whose minimum wage non-photographer employees don’t know how to light a beautiful photo. When quality matters, you should choose STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTOGRAPHY Photo Booths for beautiful photography like ABOVE (not like the awful photography in the examples below).

A competitor's photobooth - really bad photography

A competitor’s photobooth – really bad photography

A competitor's photobooth - really bad photography

A competitor’s photobooth – really bad photography

A competitor's photobooth - really bad photography

A competitor’s photobooth – really bad photography

Check this out for more information and examples!

Why do you show so many photographs per wedding?

I’m glad you noticed! While it’s tempting for photographers to show only the very best photos from each wedding (as most photographers do), I think it’s important that my clients get a very good sense of the type and quality of photos they can expect across an entire shoot, be it 2 hours or 12 hours. Most photographers can produce some amazing photos from each session – the top 1%. But wouldn’t you like to know what the other 99% are going to look like? We’re proud to show you that we shoot consistently solid, sharp, beautiful professional images the whole time we’re with you. And we’ve been told that our top 1% are pretty freaking awesome 🙂

How much do you charge?

INVESTMENT We get to photograph the most interesting couples from around the world. We feel it’s important to have a connection with our couples, which is why we don’t take every wedding that comes to us. It’s important that we are a good fit for each other. One size doesn’t fit all. You shouldn’t “just cinch it” like the Gap Girls on SNL. We customize our wedding photography to fit you perfectly. If you’d like to find out more information give us a call at 702-274-4447. We can’t wait to hear all about your wedding plans. We receive many inquiries every day. The people who call us, or who leave us their phone number, get priority response and are most likely to get their date. DISCOUNTS Ask us about our weekday and military discounts! 702-274-4447 [email protected]

What's an 'Unplugged Wedding' and why would I want my guests to leave their cameras at home?

Well-meaning family and friends have ruined key moments of weddings all over the world. In their excitement they stand in the aisle to “get the shot” and ruin the much better shot your professional photographer would have gotten, the one you’ve paid for. While none of your friends and family are trying to be rude, guests who stand up or lean into in the aisle are likely ruining peak photos.

More importantly, with their face glued to the back of their camera, they are not present at your wedding.


Unplugged weddings make an explicit request of guests to leave their recording equipment at home, or in a basket as they enter the ceremony space.

Because we want your guests in-the-moment and we want your photos to rock, we highly recommend it.

Is hiring a professional makeup artist really necessary?

No, however we can always tell when someone has either done their own or asked a friend to do their makeup. Their face is *shiny* in almost every photo. Inexpensive makeup is greasy and shiny. Professional makeup artists who understand your photography needs will use a flat matte makeup that draws attention to your beautiful face instead of to those shiny spots on your forehead and cheeks. We recommend these outstanding professional Las Vegas hair & makeup artists.

Can I get bridals / trash the dress (TTD)?

Yes! Our bridals / TTD really stand out – because we use sophisticated magazine lighting, props, and we spend as much time as we need to make extraordinary images as unique as you are. TTD sessions also take pressure off your wedding day, when *everyone* wants your time. Better to take your time making amazing portraits of bride & groom on a day scheduled before or after your wedding, so that you can spend as much time as possible on your wedding day with your gathered friends and family.

Does the Bellagio Fountain go off on a schedule?

Monday – Friday

3:00 PM – 8:00 PM show every half hour

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM show every 15 minutes

Saturdays & Holidays

12:00 PM – 8:00 PM show every half hour

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM show every 15 minutes


11:00 AM – 7:00 PM show every half hour

7:00 PM – 12:00 AM show every 15 minutes

Will you destroy my dress during a trash the dress (TTD) / bridal session?

Only if you want us to! 🙂 Normally, we just travel to different locations and make great portraits. To date I’ve not trashed, burned, torn nor destroyed any of my brides’ dresses. However, with the bride’s permission, we have gotten a few a little dirty or wet. And more than one bride has purchased an inexpensive second dress just for the TTD session.

Can I get engagement photos?

Totally! We love engagement sessions, because we have more time, more space, we’re able to use a combination of sophisticated on-location studio lighting and natural light, and it’s a very stress-free fun and loving time. Our engagement photos RAWK! Wanna see some? Check out Cori and Rakan; Sofia and Todd; Lindsey and TommyEldorado Canyon Nelson’s Landing;

How many photos will I receive?

You can expect about 100 carefully, artfully finished photos per hour of shooting. So for an 8-hour wedding day, you should expect about 700-800 finished photos (accounting for driving time between hotel, church, and reception venues). For a 90 minute elopement photo tour of Downtown Las Vegas you should expect about 150 finished photos.

What do you mean by 'culled, toned and finished digital images' and 'light editing in Lightroom'?

We deliver your photos to you only after each one has been carefully, lovingly hand-tweaked by the photographer or by a skilled digital artist to look their very best. Like a mom who won’t let the little ones leave the house with shirt un-tucked, hair all caddywhompus, and a dirty face, Steve does not release his (your) photos until they have been lightly but laboriously edited in Adobe Lightroom. Each photo is hand adjusted in some or all of the following settings before Steve gently hands his babies over to you:

  • Color Temperature
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Whites
  • Blacks
  • Clarity
  • Vibrance
  • Tone Curve
  • Luminance
  • Noise Reduction
  • Vignetting
  • Spot Removal

PLEASE NOTE: Light Editing in Adobe Lightroom is not the same thing as Advanced Professional Re-Touching.

To see what is not included in Light Editing in Lightroom, see the next FAQ ‘What is the difference between ‘Lightly Edited in Lightroom’ and ‘Advanced Professional Re-Touching in Photoshop?’

What is the difference between 'Lightly Edited in Lightroom' and 'Advanced Professional Re-Touching in Photoshop?'

For an additional fee, Advanced Professional Re-Touching in Photoshop is available for purchase. Advanced Professional Re-Touching in Photoshop occurs only after all of the above Light Editing in Lightroom is complete. Advanced Photoshop Re-Touching is much more involved, and includes, but is not limited to, things like:

  • Removing Temporary Blemishes (e.g., acne)
  • Softening Wisdom Lines (aka wrinkles)
  • Softening dark circles under eyes
  • Removing scars when requested
  • Modest Digital Cosmetic Surgery, like nip and tuck, reducing bulges in the neck
  • Smoothing complexions using Frequency Separation
  • Removal of fly-away hairs
  • Removal of dandruff and coffee stains

Can you remove my tattoo / remove my back fat / delete my Uncle Bill from all photos / etc?

Yes, for $150 per hour, we are happy to do any Advanced Photoshop work like that listed above (all actual requests from clients). However, you’ll find that it is much more affordable for you if ahead of time you: hire an excellent makeup artist to hide any unwanted tattoos and make you look your best; work with a wedding gown expert to find a dress that fits you and your body perfectly; carefully manage your guest list.

Other things that fall under the category of Advanced Photoshop: making anyone look 20 years younger; making anyone look 50lbs lighter; adding missing guests; controlling wind and weather; opening the eyes of someone who blinks in every single shot; etc.

While we will do everything in our power to make you look your very best in-camera, altering reality in Photoshop requires highly skilled, time intensive, expensive effort.

Can I get digital negatives?

Yes! High resolution print-ready digital .jpg negatives can be purchased at the time of your booking, or after the fact. All culled, toned, finished digital images are uploaded in highest resolution to your personal online shopping & viewing gallery, like this one. In addition to prints of all manner, you can also purchase individual digital negatives (or digital negatives of the entire event) for download from your online gallery. However, most clients purchase digital negatives of the whole session either at booking or afterwards, and prefer to receive them via DropBox or other electronic digital delivery. In all cases we will give you a personal copyright transfer agreement, in case your lab wants proof of your right to print your photos for personal use.

Can I get the RAW files?

Usually, no. Just as a chef doesn’t bring a bowl of eggs, flour and cream out to your table and call it a soufflé, a professional photographer is going to deliver finished, perfected, print-ready high resolution photos to his clients, and not unfinished RAW files. However, in some special cases, for $500 you can purchase all photos taken in their original Canon RAW (.CR2) format on hard drive, mailed to your home or office, available after the finished .jpgs have been delivered.

Will I know who my photographer is?

Yes! Unlike some high-volume studios, when you hire STEVEN JOSEPH PHOTOGRAPHY, you always know who your principal photographer will be (barring Acts of God) and what style and quality of photography to expect. That is, unless you opt for one of our carefully vetted Associate Photographers, perfect for clients seeking the highest quality on a budget or when Steve is not available.

Why did you change your business name from FogartyFOTO?

Because I can barely pronounce FOGARTYFOTO! And because wedding photography superstar Jerry Ghionis said it would be a good idea. 🙂

Still got a question? Get in touch!

♥ 702.274.4447 ♥ [email protected]