Casino Photography: The Basics

Casino Photography: The Basics

08th December 2014, Singapore – Being a casino photographer is a tough job to pull off. Aside from the elements that make it such a difficult task as compared to landscape and portrait photography, there are external variables away from the frame that can make casino photography a daunting feat to accomplish. However, with the right tools of the trade, the extensive knowledge about the rules of photography, and with the way in which casinos look in a photograph, any photographer can capture that perfect shot and achieve what seems to be the impossible.

The rule of thumb is that taking pictures inside a casino is illegal (unless you’re a professional photographer hired by the management). However, there are some instances that taking photos are allowed. During a poker tournament, some casinos allow guests to take pictures of the venue and players.

If you’re planning on taking shots inside any casino, ask permission first or you might get asked to leave the premises. Casinos are very strict when it comes to bringing cameras inside because it is a business that’s prone to cheating. Taking shots of slot machines are usually forbidden. So, bloggers who review slot games are better off taking stock photos of online slot machines. Multilingual entertainment hub InterCasino, the world’s first online casino hub, has wallpapers and pictures of reel play for most of its games. Apart from high-res images, most casino providers allow their games to be played for free so journalists can better review them.

At Poker Tournaments

If you’re at a poker tournament and taking photos are being allowed, make sure to capture moments when players are doing something. Don’t just snap photos of them when they’re sitting still. Wait for the right moment and take pictures when players are laughing, celebrating, throwing chips, or bantering with other players. Check out and compare the photos below. Which one is better, a photo of a happy poker player raking in his winnings (above) or a picture of someone doing absolutely nothing (below)?


The Gear
Some people say that equipment is irrelevant in photography. However, legendary photographer Ansel Adams wouldn’t have captured the beauty of the Rockies if he didn’t use those large-format bellow cameras. In the same principle, casino photography also relies heavily on the right equipment. Since casino photography can only utilize the lighting within the casinos, it is imperative to carry lens with a wide aperture. It also pays to carry a flash that can be “bounced” off the walls and ceiling.

In the end, casino photography is all about capturing that certain “casino vibe” and translating it into photographs without the need to put words to it. While these tips can give you a head-start in taking photos inside casinos, you can only hone your skills through practice.

Contributed Article by Shelley Smith.

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