My first annual Fancy Hotel Bombing at WPPI in Vegas. The idea for this just came to me one day while I was thinking about all the workshops these big name photogs offer in Vegas. I thought, what would I want to shoot? The prospect of meeting and shooting with a bunch of new photogs & models with the potential to get kicked out of fancy hotels as we tromped through the Bellagio, Aria, Crystals & Cosmopolitan, shooting on the fly, sounded amazing. I kept it to a max of 15 photographers (for obvious reasons) and with models we had a total of 25 people running around.
I felt it was important to not charge for this because I didn't want the pressure of $$ on top of teaching at WPPI and it also allowed me to just enjoy myself by doing something I love. Although to be honest, I did a bit less shooting than I would have liked. I mean it was a blast, but it was a bit more stressful than I thought it would be. Coordinating everyone & also trying to make sure all the models were involved and photogs were having a good time. Luckly, I had help from a good friend & fellow photographer - Andrew Gawdun of Arg IMAG Photography. We had photogs sign up from all over the US and abroad, in fact we were full a month before the class was to take place. And our models...our models were just fantastic to say the least. I was so excited at how professional, dedicated and damn sexy these 8 models (6 I'd never met before) turned out to be.
We started out in the Bellagio and headed towards City Center via the tram. I let everyone know that part of this was the excitement of shooting in a place you've never been, setting up a shot quick (lighting, angle, model, background, settings) with the pressure of security behind you and being totally immersed in your creativity. I literally did not know where we were headed. I had an idea of the direction, that was all. That was part of the fun.
Andrew got up on the seat when we were all crammed on the tram and told everyone to smile! The second before he hit the shutter on his Poloroid, the tram took off and everyone jerked backwards, AAAAAAHHH!, no one was holding on and everyone almost fell over..., it was perfect, huge smiles on everyone's faces!
When we got to Crystals, it was probably close to midnight and it was super quiet and empty in there. Lots of high end stores, lots of security. I knew we wouldn't last long. So I had the models switch to their masculine outfits (girls) and feminine outfits (guys) and spit up into groups, male & female pairs with 4 photogs each. And just said, let's all go in different directions, start shooting and see who lasts the longest. Sure enough, we all got kicked out. I think we lasted like 10 minutes.
These two kept cracking each other up...I seriously had the best time & the best models. This is how a shoot should be.
We finally ended at the Cosmopolitan around 1am. We were going to keep shooting, but everyone, including me, was completely spent. A few of us ended our evening at Secret Pizza on the top floor, grabbed a couple slices and some beer & hung out for a bit.
I loved this group and this shoot. Had an absolute blast getting to know new photographers & work with these amazing models. Thanks to everyone who came out and made my night! See you next year!