Leaving Las Vegas

carey wilson and don wright photo in las vegas nevada

That's Us!

Okay so unlike Nicolas Cage in “Leaving Las Vegas” we didn’t drink ourselves into a [complete] stupor and neither of us fell in love with an escort. However, we did leave with some great new knowledge, new friends, and some awesome photos to add to our portraits portfolio! In case you haven’t kept up with our facebook page recently, Carey and I just got back from attending the Wedding Photography Professionals International convention in Las Vegas last week.

We decided at the last minute to attend when our friend and fellow photographer Matt was looking for some travel buddies. It was mine and Carey’s first time to Vegas and we couldn’t believe:

Photography Crew shooting at Nevada Valley of Fire

Carey assisting Matt at our Valley of Fire Shoot

1. That a coke was $4 in the vending machine (and you could swipe your card!)
2. That the limit on the ATMs was $5000 at a time (what kind of limit is that??)
3.  That we could get free drinks simply by GAMBLING?! Who knew? Okay, we knew, but it seemed too good to be true! Till we realized how the system works of course . . .
Carey: “I’m up $40! I should walk away. Walk away. But, but, my gin and tonic hasn’t arrived yet!” She ended up down $20 but up a G&T. Suckers.
4. That we lost money at the black jack tables before we discovered the black jack machines built into the bars! $0.25 minimum bet and you’re sitting AT THE BAR. Face it, bartender, you can only avoid my longing gaze for so long.

Anyway, down to business—we took a few classes but mostly we wanted to shoot in an exotic new location, network with other photographers, share stories, and feed off of ideas from one another! Success!  Matt Andrews, Carey and I went out to Red Rock Canyon with Jordan Kate Mitchell and had a great time snapping a few photos before the sun dropped behind the mountains. See how much fun we were having?!  Little did we know, we’d get stuck in the park for an hour and a half after the shoot. Note for future travels: Nevada is serious about its state parks after-hours security. 13 terrifying miles later, we finally got out.) Thanks to Jordan for being such a natural – she was beautiful and has a great voice to boot!

Day 4 we headed out to Valley of Fire with Anita and Meg and decided to do a few slightly risqué shots before it got too cold. Meg hung with Carey and me for most of the shoot while Matt shot with the lovely Anita.

The models were really great to work with. Meg was totally game when I suggested we hike up to the top of a HUGE MOUNTAIN (read: smallish but very rocky . . . boulder). I’m glad we did, some of our very favorite shots were up there:
Carey had to catch an earlier flight back and unfortunately missed the impromptu shoot with Matt, Joe, Justin and Lisa. Next time she won’t book a 1am return flight from a party town like Vegas! Live and learn.

So, to recap: We got to shoot in the desert, but we DID NOT get stuck there, we got (mostly) free drinks, we got to know some other great photographers, and we survived riding with Matt! Overall, we say this trip is a WIN.