Lately it seems like more of our couples are adding off-site photography sessions to enhance the memories of their wedding day. As a photographer, going off site gives me a feeling of rejuvenation. I love shooting all over our beautiful chapel property, and every couple has their own unique inspiration for me. But sometimes it’s nice to get ‘outside’ and see what other backdrops and locales Las Vegas has to offer for photographing brides and grooms. More often than not, our couples choose locations on the Strip near their hotel – Bellagio, Paris, and the Venetian are quite popular; and Cosmopolitan inside City Center is rapidly becoming one of our favorite spots.
For those wanting a taste of ‘old-school’ Las Vegas wedding photography, Fremont Street Experience offers a great number of opportunities. I was recently privileged to have Anthony and Amanda take me up on the suggestion to shoot there. They were staying in the newly renovated Plaza Hotel, so it made Fremont Street a more memorable location for them – the Plaza is the ‘end cap’ to the Experience. The energy on Fremont Street is unlike any other place in town. While the newer properties on the Strip have focused on being high-end and chic, Fremont Street has reinvented itself as an around-the-clock party. Street performers dot the intersections between the casinos, and there are three main stages where bands and DJs keep the crowds entertained.
For Anthony and Amanda, fun was the order of the day. We started our Experience by some of the old neon signs that have recently been installed. These installations allow for interactivity – a welcome departure from the ‘buildings-as-backdrops’ mentality we sometimes restrict ourselves to as photographers. An old lounge sign became a ‘bench’ for Anthony to sit on while Amanda leaned against the stem of the martini glass with doting eyes.
My favorite shot from that series was from the other side of the sign – it frames them while they kiss.
For backdrops, Fremont Street offers a myriad of different wall architectures to choose from: marble tile; the Four Queens;
and even the porte-cochere at the Plaza.
Our favorite location was one of the alleys between two of the casinos. The space is the ‘smoking lounge’ for the staff, and apparently also serves as a storage space for unused stage materials. For our purposes, it became a cool spot way off the ‘beaten path’ for photos (and a smoke break).
Even crossing the street downtown offers some great photo ops.
Amanda really wanted to shoot inside the lobby of the Plaza, and we all fell in love with the furniture and murals inside.
While Anthony ran up to their room to drop off their chapel swag bag, I was able to get some solo portraits of Amanda.
On our way out, I spotted a mural depicting the Southwest, which was perfect because Anthony and Amanda currently live in Arizona, and she is from Utah and he’s from California. Amanda had fun ‘pushing’ him back to California from Arizona.
Our last stop was Du-par’s Restaurant inside Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, where Anthony and Amanda were going for dinner. Along the way, one of the DJs spotted us and invited Anthony and Amanda to have a ‘first dance’ in front of the crowd. Amanda was excited, but Anthony wasn’t as sure. After much coaxing, he agreed, and the crowed was wild with excitement as they were introduced and danced to Prince’s ‘Kiss.’
We ended our shoot at Du-par’s sitting at the counter and then finding a quiet table for Anthony and Amanda to share a milkshake.
If you’re looking for something different for your off-site shoot, consider Fremont Street – there is so much to offer that it truly will give you a unique Experience!