Why You Should Consider a Poker Game for Your Next Shoot

Why You Should Consider a Poker Game for Your Next Shoot

One of the greatest arts within photography is finding the right subjects and situations to shoot.

If you are commissioned to work with a specific person or location, you make that work in any way you see fit. However, photographers are not all about commissions; they are artists who will occasionally want to find something to shoot that allows them to work with their skills and produce unique, eye-catching images that they can showcase as an example of their talent. One location that you might consider for your next shoot is a poker room.

Poker is a game enjoyed worldwide, from the poker rooms of the biggest casinos to the smoky backrooms of people’s houses. Whether you shoot people playing with friends in a small game or a huge room filled with the best poker players in the UK, there is something to grab your attention and your lens that is well worth capturing.

Here are three great reasons why you should consider a poker room for your next hobby shoot.


Let’s assume you are in a forest, on a wildlife shoot, armed with your camera; what are you going to take pictures of? How many opportunities will arise for you? With patience, maybe half a dozen? In a poker room, you can have hundreds of faces, all going through a range of different emotions. In fact, there might be too much to shoot, a ‘kid in a sweet shop’ feel to your picture taking. Damian Nigro is a poker photographer, and he explains it as storytelling: “If there are 500 people playing a tournament, there are 500 different stories to tell. Telling stories is what I love to do most when shooting photography.”


Good photography captures emotions, often candid and unposed. In a poker room, nobody will be focused on you and your lens. Instead, they’ll be looking at their cards and their opponents. You’ll see a range of emotions, from anger to delight, tension to excitement. There’s so much that can happen around a poker table, too; it’s not just about winning or losing a hand. If you understand the game, you’ll know about a poker angle shoot or when a game is about to break out into action. Those moments might be few and far between, but if you’re on hand to capture it, you’ll have a truly unique image for others to enjoy.


Shooting in a poker room gives you a chance to test all of your skills. With so much happening, perhaps sometimes at the other end of a room, you’ll constantly be adjusting those settings for indoor photography and changing lighting, playing with depth of focus and maybe reacting quickly to the action. As the games wind down to the big money finals, it’ll be a case of being patient and knowing when something is about to happen. Few situations will throw so many different challenges at you in one go.


Poker photography is a great way to test all of your skills in one go, and you may find you’re the only person in the room with a camera. Many casinos and poker rooms don’t allow photography by patrons, even on mobile phones, so if you can get permission to attend an event, it may just be you capturing the action. You may get requests for specific shots and be given free rein, too. It is a great niche to get into, and who knows, if you are good at it, you might even find yourself around a $1m prize pot at the WSOP, only none of the pressure will be on you to win a hand!