So we are back from our brief, but very enjoyable trip to Las Vegas, where we attended the annual Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) trade show and convention! It is the largest convention in the country, drawing thousands of photographers from across the country and around the globe. We met a couple from Singapore in the elevator the day we arrived. (And we thought we had a long trip.)
This year’s turnout was massive and we had a blast, attending talks by some world-renown photographers, socializing via late-night dinners and Vegas-style Penthouse parties with friends old and new. Oh, and of course, there was a little gambling…okay, penny slots, but still, it was Vegas, baby! The only bummer of the trip was discovering that the slot machines no longer take coins. Instead, they now take bills and you get credits, which if you win…didn’t see too many folks doing that…you hit the “cash out” button and out comes a credit slip that you can redeem at an ATM-like redemption machine. The change-over to credits has made the casinos a lot quieter and not nearly as exciting in our opinion.
If you’ve never been, Las Vegas really is a town like no other. The nightlife is what it’s all about, with all the neon lights and people everywhere. When you are inside the casinos, you have absolutely no idea what time it is, and this is by design. There are no windows or clocks to keep folks gambling at all hours. Inside the Paris Hotel & Casino, there is a mall-like section with restaurants, shops & casinos, and the ceiling is painted bright blue with white fluffy clouds. The lighting gives the impression it’s day time in Paris…very strange, but very cool! Another mall down a little further down the street must have hired the same artists to paint the ceiling, but they took it one step further and had lights and a sound system installed that provided an eerily realistic thunderstorm every hour on the hour. They even had rain that fell from the ceiling into pools in the center of the mall.
We were also introduced to the Fremont Street section of Las Vegas, known as old town. The casinos are smaller and definitely feel older in their architecture and interior details, but in a very cool Rat Pack kind of way. A portion of the street is covered by a ceiling of light panels that at certain times each night display a crazy light show that can only be described as pure Vegas.
Here are a few photos from our trip.
Directions to the convention from inside the hotel Paris. Most of the programs were held at Bally’s Hotel, but the trade show, which was like nothing we’ve ever seen, was held at Paris. We couldn’t resist and bought some new gear that we’ve already started playing with…so fun!
Family fun watching Bellagio’s incredible water dances.
There is new construction right at the heart of the strip. Some of the locals we chatted with said it will be called “City Center.” Even with just the bare bones of construction showing, it promises to be the biggest hotel in Vegas, and organizers plan for it to offer everything visitors could ever need with several hotels surrounding at least two casinos. Estimate cost? Around $12 Billion! Madness!!!!
And of course it would be rude not to photograph Vegas at night! Here’s a few of our hotel, The Flamingo. We just loved this sign welcoming visitors to the casino. That’s Andy’s poker face…..thus, the penny slots for us!
The strip at night. How would you like to pay that electric bill?
Las Vegas Boulevard with Paris’s Eiffel Tower in the background.
And the Eiffel Tower during the day. We’ve never seen the real one to compare, but the Vegas tower is pretty impressive and we definitely weren’t the only ones photographing it.
Chris having a nap in the glorious sunshine outside Bally’s. Our last day it was about 78F…ahhhhh, dreamy.
Advertising Vegas style…