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Cashman Photography

Article ID: 42
Last updated: 05 Aug, 2014
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Posted: 14 Mar, 2012
by vegasgroom.
Updated: 05 Aug, 2014
by vegasgroom.

Website: http://www.cashmanphoto.com/

Services:  Cashman offers photography and videography services in Las Vegas; most of the time if you use them, you've been forced to use them (more on that below) but they can also be hired directly to do things outside of the resorts they have a relationship with.  Reviews and threads before I get into the other stuff.

Secrets:

  • So here's something cool Cashman has set up that you can use.  At the resorts where they offer live streaming of weddings, they have a website dedicated to those videos:  https://webcasting.cashmanpro.com/   Guests who have paid extra fees for the live streaming, and possibly an additional fee for archiving that video (not sure on that part), will have their live stream archived and available on that site for I think possibly as long as six months.  What makes this great is that if you're trying to decide where to get married, trying to decide which officiant to use at a given resort, trying to decide how to decorate or which options to go with at a given resort's chapel or just looking for wedding ideas, you can watch videos of other people's wedding ceremonies.  Just go to the resort you want, click View Weddings, then start clicking through the calendar looking for weddings where the Watch Now button is showing.  It will be there if the particular bride and groom have paid for that option.  Your best bet is to look at Fridays and Saturdays since that's when most weddings occur.
  • You'll see more on their pricing practices in my opinion piece below, but something to keep in mind is that they'll often try to sell you digital rights to your photos, i.e. the photo DVD, three to six months after your wedding, at what can be a very reduced rate.
  • My understanding is that their photographers are assigned to specific resorts, rather than it being a random employee.  With that being the case, if you've chosen a given resort, you can try to figure out who on TK has used Cashman at that resort and which photographer they had.  If you can find a name that has had some positive reviews, you may be able to request that specific person.

People who have used this vendor (sorted by date) and link to the review:

TK threads mentioning this vendor:

My opinion:

I'll preface this by saying I don't like Cashman, so you can take my opinion, of which all of the following will be, with a grain of salt.  Here's my first experience with Cashman.  My fiancee, now wife, and I were in Vegas visiting a huge number of resorts trying to decide where to get married.  One of those options happened to be the Venetian.  We told them what we were looking for via email in advance of our visit, then went in to discuss it and get some firm pricing.  One of our requirements was all-day photography coverage; i.e. photographer on hand for the whole girls getting ready portion, guys hanging out and fooling around, ceremony, photo tour, reception, partying; we figured eight to ten hours would be required.

We didn't think this was a particularly odd request, and after the fact when we joined TK and saw numerous other people discussing photographers and their pricing for eight hours or more, we were relieved to learn we weren't weird.  We were made to feel that this was an unusual request by the Venetian coordinator though when we explained what we meant by all day coverage and were told "I've never had anyone request that."  I think the real reason she was nearly trying to talk us out of the idea is because she knew what was going to come next.

The Venetian is one of the many strip resorts who have some type of exclusive contract with Cashman to handle photography in their chapel(s).  Who knows what the casino is getting out of it but it must be pretty lucrative considering people seem to be dramatically happier with third party photographers yet the resorts keep forcing Cashman upon their customers.  Well our coordinator gets Cashman on the phone to run down our requirements with them since their normal price sheet didn't have "all day" coverage.  In addition to the coverage, we requested a CD/DVD containing all the photos in digital form so we could order our own prints, share them with friends, etc.  Are you ready for this?  The quote came back at $9000.  Yes, eight hours or so of work, a DVD and no requirement for prints for nine grand.  It doesn't stop there though.  I mentioned that was ridiculous so perhaps we would just use them for the ceremony and then hire someone else to shoot with us around the grounds and for our reception which would have been in a private Venetian ball room.  Nope; not allowed; the coordinator told us their policy is that no third party commercial photography is allowed on Venetian-owned property; i.e. the grounds, ballrooms, some of the restaurants.  Now obviously they don't really have a way to enforce that, nor have I ever heard of them doing so, but it left a bad enough taste in our mouths that we moved on.

It went mostly downhill from there; we'd go to another venue, look at their chapel, find out they also have a contract with Cashman, so the same rates apply.  Fortunately none of the others mentioned the policy applied to anything other than the chapel, so at most places you can still use your own photog for after the ceremony.  Their normal ceremony pricing, IF you want the DVD of all photos and just have them cover your ceremony, is going to run you from $2000 to $5000.

Now some random observations from what I've read of them over the past two years:

  • The most common complaint is that too many of the pictures are from the exact same vantage point, caused by the photographer not moving around enough to get different angles.
  • Their pictures are often reported as being average.  I can say that I have not read very many reviews where they were called anything less than average, so there is that, but there are also not very many reviews where they've received a glowing recommendation.
  • My understanding of the way their process works, which some people really don't like, is in the day or two leading up to your wedding, or possibly even on wedding day, you'll be approached and asked to schedule a time the day after your wedding to come see them about your pictures so you can choose which prints you want.  Some have said this feels like buying a used car where they bring you into a small room and try to upsell you on a bunch of overpriced things you don't want like 'enhancements' or 'retouching' of the pics.  Their price for prints is reportedly ridiculous, with costs upwards of $2 per print versus <$0.75 online.  Due to the high prices, many couples on a budget don't end up getting all the pictures they want, let alone the photo DVD which averages about $1000 per hour of photography shot.
  • Supposedly they'll approach you six months after your wedding to sell you the DVD again if you didn't buy it, and sometimes it will have a big discount over the initial offered price.  If you're going to try and wait it out, I would wait for them to call you, otherwise they're going to know you want it.

So what can you do?  Well some resorts that do have the Cashman contract, albeit not very many, do still allow you to pay an extra 'outside vendor' fee to bring in your own photographer.  Those that don't, if you choose to use their chapels, then you're going to use Cashman or you're not going to get pictures.

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