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Food Photography in Las Vegas

Uber is proof that new technology and innovative thinking can take an entire industry by storm. Obviously they aren’t the only ride-sharing company but they certainly are the largest. Launching in 2009, they are currently valued at over $50 billion. It’s an amazing company that created an infrastructure of millions of drivers in metropolitan cities around the world. It should come as no surprise that Uber decided to utilize this network in other areas and now they have with UberEATS.

Delivery drivers for food is nothing new. It’s almost hard to imagine eating a pizza without having it brought to my home, to the studio on a photo shoot, or during a meeting with fellow photographers. For my wife, it’s Chinese food…The driver for our local Chinese restaurant knows us so well that every time he drops off our General Tso’s Chicken, he remembers the names of our dogs. Taking it another step further, there are other third party food delivery services who can bring you meals from restaurants who don’t have food delivery themselves. It’s a great concept and proof that entrepreneurial ideas can really create success stories. Companies like Postmakes, Grubhub, Caviar, and others have been doing 3rd party food delivery for a while now in larger cities. The biggest problem all of them have though is having a network of drivers in areas that can pick up the food and get it to the customer in a timely manner. It’s always been this inustry’s Achilles heel.

Whenever I order pizza, I always ask for a weird request. In this case I asked the delivery driver to draw a robot on the box. If they do...extra tip!

Whenever I order pizza, I always ask for a weird request. In this case I asked the delivery driver to draw a robot on the box. If they do…extra tip!

UberEATS solves that problem. Their massive system of drivers and their already well-designed phone app made food delivery a no brainer concept for them. Living in Las Vegas, I had never heard of UberEATS upon their initial launch because they were only starting with a handful of cities. As they started to expand into new areas, Las Vegas made the list. It made perfect sense too, as Las Vegas has a huge variety of restaurants ranging from family owned bistros to chain restaurants, fine dining restaurants with the “old Vegas” feel up to high-energy restaurants with celebrity chefs, and everything in between. My wife and I love eating out and experimenting with new restaurants and I’m lucky that most of my friends do too.

Before UberEATS launches into a new city, they want to have a huge menu of restaurants (no pun intended) already loaded in the app. As such, they needed photographers to shoot food for a LOT of restaurants prior to them going online. That’s where I come in…I was contracted to be one of the few local photographers in Las Vegas to work with local restaurants in their network to capture great looking food photos to represent them in the UberEATS app. I was excited to get this contract for several reasons; first, because I love the creativity that you can add to food photo shoots, but second, because I knew I would be introduced to restaurants all over Las Vegas for the first time. Best of all, I was getting paid for this…it was a win/win/win!

Photo I shot for Soho Sushi Burrito...an innovative new food concept to hi Las Vegas.

Photo I shot for Soho Sushi Burrito…an innovative new food concept to hit Las Vegas.

UberEATS’ goal was to photograph 100 restaurants in 30 days between three photographers. It was an ambitious venture, no doubt. As I’m writing this, I was a bit curious how many I actually shot for them in that first month and I was amazed to discover my count was 48. All my friends and family pretty much never saw me for the month of August of this year. Because we had so many different restaurants to shoot, the staff at UberEATS gave me a pretty organized schedule, keeping me shooting an average of 3-4 restaurants a day in geographically close locations. The only downside was that they needed the photos immediately after I shot them, so I had to rush home that night and do all the post-processing on the images within hours after shooting them. Their requirements were that I only shoot 3-5 dishes and what we call in the industry, a “Hero Shot”, meaning a masthead image that they will use to represent the restaurant as a whole. The shoots themselves were generally very quick. Unlike many of my other food shoots I do for restaurant menus, billboards, etc., I had little time to actually prep or light the dishes. These weren’t complex photo shoots where lots of staging could be done to make the items look perfect, so instead I had to do the best I could in a very short amount of time with minimal lighting effects at my disposal. Once in a while I could setup lights in the restaurant to get a desired effect, like I did with this shoot I did for Holsteins’s inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, but most of the time I was using natural light with a reflector or two on the table using very low-tech methods to get the desired effect.

Behind-the-scenes of my shoot at Holsteins Shakes & Buns inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I had no natural light to work with so I had to setup a series of lights and reflectors around the room to best capture their amazing burgers, shakes and side items.

Behind-the-scenes of my shoot at Holsteins Shakes & Buns inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I had no natural light to work with so I had to setup a series of lights and reflectors around the room to best capture their amazing burgers, shakes and side items. Here you can also see my staging area of the different items that needed to be photographed.

 

One of my favorite photos from the Holsteins shoot. All their food looked amazing!

One of my favorite photos from the Holsteins shoot. All their food looked amazing!

One thing I can say is that this assignment gave me a lifetime of education in a few weeks of shooting. I couldn’t rely on the ability to take a lot of time to do these shoots, so I had to provide high quality photos in a very short amount of time. My average amount of time I would spend shooting an entire restaurant was less than 45 minutes. On my normal food shoots, I could easily spend that much time (or more) shooting just one dish.

Behind-the-scenes at El Sombrero Mexican Bistro. One of the most amazing restaurants in Las Vegas, they have been a fixture of downtown since 1950. The owner truly understands the importance of visually interesting food and it shows!

Behind-the-scenes at El Sombrero Mexican Bistro. One of the most amazing restaurants in Las Vegas, they have been a fixture of downtown since 1950. The owner truly understands the importance of visually interesting food and it shows!

 

The Shrimp Diablo Taco at El Sombrero Mexican Bistro. They were nice enough to let me sample this dish after the shoot and it was by far the best taco I've ever had!

The Shrimp Diablo Taco at El Sombrero Mexican Bistro. They were nice enough to let me sample this dish after the shoot and it was by far the best taco I’ve ever had and these guys take Mexican food to a whole new level!

 

What do I shoot first? Behind-the-scenes at Joe's New York Pizza

What do I shoot first? Behind-the-scenes at Joe’s New York Pizza

 

Nothing beats a great stromboli!

Nothing beats a great stromboli!

Aside from the crazy shooting schedule, the immediate retouching needs that were required, and the many miles of driving from one restaurant to another, this has been a really awesome project to be involved with. Shooting food is a lot of fun and granted, there are only so many ways you can photograph a pizza to make it look better than the last pizza you shot, the variety of restaurants I worked with was fantastic. I remember one day I shot lox and bagels at the Bagel Café, Shrimp Pad Thai at Ocha Cuisine, Pesto Turkey Sandwiches at PublicUS, frozen smoothies at Pineapple Park, and wrapped it all up shooting sushi wraps at SoHo Sushi Burrito.

Behind-the-scenes at Madhouse Coffee. This place really was a madhouse too. I remember how busy this place was, which is always a good sign of a quality coffee house. Lots of great things to drink and eat here!

Behind-the-scenes with the owner of Madhouse Coffee. Sometimes you have to get creative on where  you stage things for these shoots inside of busy restaurants. Here, we decided to shoot on a bench instead of a table as it made for an easy place to shoot and also provided a nice look as well. 

 

These guys love to make food visual. Everything from their drinks to their sandwiches and especially their chocolates...all look too beautiful to eat!

These guys love to make food visual. Everything from their drinks to their sandwiches and especially their chocolates…all look too beautiful to eat!

 

Behind-the-scenes with some of the team at Tbaar. This hidden gem on Las Vegas Blvd. makes all their smoothies with fresh fruit, which really helps to make for some great photos!

Behind-the-scenes with some of the team at Tbaar. This hidden gem on Las Vegas Blvd. makes all their smoothies with fresh fruit, which really helps to make for some great photos!

 

Mango Orange Smoothie at Tbaar.

Mango Orange Smoothie at Tbaar.

 

It's not easy being green, but is sure can photograph well at Tbaar!

It’s not easy being green, but is sure can photograph well at Tbaar!

Of course one of the benefits of all this networking is occasionally some restaurants call me back and book me to do more shoots for them. One such client is Soulfish Poke, who now has several restaurants around Las Vegas. Not only does their food taste incredible but their chefs put in a huge amount of effort to make their bowls look amazing too. As someone who works in the visual arts I can appreciate that how your meal is presented can be just as important as how it tastes and these guys do a great job at both!

 

Behind the scene with the chef at Soulfish Poke. As this was a contracted shoot from the restaurant, I was able to spend a bit more time in the staging and lighting for these items.

Behind the scene with the chef at Soulfish Poke. As this was a contracted shoot from the restaurant, I was able to spend a bit more time in the staging and lighting for these items.

 

Quality staging, lighting, and composition makes a huge difference in food photography!

Quality staging, lighting, and composition makes a huge difference in food photography!

 

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My favorite photo from the Soulfish Poke shoot. We had a lot of fun staging this one!

One of my favorite photos from the Soulfish Poke shoot. We had a lot of fun staging this one!

So, if you haven’t loaded UberEATS on your phone yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Their drivers can get food to you super-fast and I can attest that for the majority of restaurants I worked with, the food tastes as good as it looks. Special thanks to UberEATS and the cooperation of all the restaurants I have worked with over the last three months in their amazing food preparations, wonderful staff, and making the process of photographing their signature dishes such a pleasant experience!

If you are a a restaurant, catering company, private chef, or mobile food truck and want to get some amazing photos of your food items, please give me a call today to get you the high-quality photos you are looking for. We can do food shoots for your menus, menu boards, social media, website, marketing materials, and more!

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The Pseudo-Exciting World of Being a Las Vegas Photographer

I was doing a shoot this week for the LDI convention here in Las Vegas, where I was shooting footage for their promo material for next year. LDI is the Live Design International show, a convention for the showroom and nightclub industry that is a sensory overload of lasers, spot lights, fog and haze machines, and video wall displays so large that they make your big screen TV look like a postage stamp. Specifically I was shooting an interview with the owner of a company who manufactured commercial road cases to transport and protect important theatrical equipment and electronics. After the interview, someone in the booth said, “You probably get to shoot all kinds of amazing things, being that you live here in Las Vegas!” While there is some truth to that, there is a whole other side to being a professional photographer that most people never see.

Taking photos at the LDI 2015 convention in Las Vegas

Every booth is a canvas of light at the LDI 2015 convention in Las Vegas. This photo was shot while working for my other photography business, Las Vegas Corporate Photographers. Details on this coming soon!

While LDI, along with some of the other big conventions I shoot for such as the National Association of Broadcasters or for companies at the Consumer Electronics Show, most of what I do is a lot less glamorous. While today I was getting photos and video footage of laser beams and confetti cannons, earlier in the week I spent two days taking photos of conference attendees of a data analytic conference in a booth with a mock “Welcome To Las Vegas” sign. For 8 hours each day, I said hundreds of times to people, “Hi, would you like to have your photo taken with the Vegas Sign”? So not all convention shoots are equally entertaining from a photographer’s point of view, but at the end of the day my clients were super nice and I met some really interesting people throughout the day, which made the days go by fast.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas!

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas!

If you’re a model looking for work, there pretty much are just three major cities you’re going to live in…Los Angeles, New York City, and Las Vegas. I work with models all the time and most people think that when I do, it’s all glitz and glamour on the set but usually nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity knows I love to do cosplay shoots. It’s my creative outlet in photography that I very much enjoy when I’m not out shooting for my different clients on projects that may not be quite as exciting. In fact, today I’m going to be featured with a photo shoot and editorial on CosplayCulture.com with a Supergirl-themed shoot I did recently with model Leah Gruber to coincide with the premier of the prime time television show. It was a really fun shoot that involved a ton of Photoshop work, which I also enjoyed. You can READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE and here are a few photos from the shoot:

 

Las Vegas model Leah Gruber becomes the Girl of Steel!

Las Vegas model Leah Gruber becomes the Girl of Steel in this fun Supergirl photo shoot!

 

This is what 15 hours in Photoshop looks like. Special thanks to Las Vegas models Leah Gruber, Sean Durand, Jenny Fox, Cherish Stahl, and Sigrid Smith for making this image come together!

This is what 15 hours in Photoshop looks like. Special thanks to Las Vegas models Leah Gruber, Sean Durand, Jenny Fox, Cherish Stahl, and Sigrid Smith for making this image come together of Supergirl flying over Las Vegas, as seen on the cover of the Daily Planet! I also can’t forget the amazing makup artist, Blue Mitchell, who’s talents were a huge contribution to this project as well.

However most of the shoots I do with models are a lot less exciting. A good example of which is a commercial shoot I did for a client, Hussmann, who manufactures refrigerators for grocery and convenience stores…not exactly the sexiest type of product in the world. They hired me to do a shoot with a model in front of one of their display cases that they planned on using as a large display inside their trade-show booth at a convention they were exhibiting at. I ran a casting call with certain criteria that the client was looking for and wound up booking an outstanding local model, Lesta Isley. We would be shooting in a CVS store, that just so happened to be one of the busiest in Las Vegas, located right on the Las Vegas Strip. Because of this fact, we had to do the shoot very early in the morning so as not to have so many people in the background shopping. We loaded in gear at 4 a.m. and were shooting just an hour later. The client asked for a lot of variety in the photos and angles and since nobody from the company was on set nor had ever been to the location, I had to guess a bit as to what they wanted. We shot in multiple different spots, all requiring lights to be reset and moved each time. Over the course of 90 minutes, we shot 546 photos of Lesta holding bottles of orange juice, cartons of milk, etc., all while she had to make the product look exciting and trust me, making shopping for a carton of milk look exciting is no small feat. The real star though was the refrigerator behind the model though, so lots of product arrangements, angles of shooting, and retouching were needed to make it look as good as possible.

 

Behind the scenes on set of our photo shoot of commercial refrigerators. Shot on location at the CVS Pharmacy on Las Vegas Blvd. in front of the Treasure Island Hotel.

Behind the scenes on set of our photo shoot of commercial refrigerators. Shot on location at the CVS Pharmacy on Las Vegas Blvd. in front of the Treasure Island Hotel.

 

The finished photo with model Lesta Isley and the star of the show, a Hussmann refrigerator!

The finished photo with model Lesta Isley and the star of the show, a Hussmann refrigerator!

If I have the opportunity to work with a good model, it makes my life so much easier so I can focus on getting the photo as perfect as I can without having to worry about directing a model’s facial expressions or body positions. I did a shoot recently for EagleRider Motorcycles with model Christine Barrett. It was for some flyers they are using for distribution at motorcycle festivals. While I do shoot as a means of making a living for myself and my family, it also has its rewards when I get to see my work published somewhere, even if it’s in the oddest of locations…

 

Christine rocks this photo for EagleRider Motorcycles!

Christine rocks this photo for EagleRider Motorcycles!

 

Here is one of the places that photo wound up...blown up to be four feet tall!

Here is one of the places that photo wound up…blown up to be four feet tall!

 

Another I shot and designed that was used by the Las Vegas Bikefest sponsor, EagleRider Motorcycles. Here, Lonnie "Goose" Reed poses with model Christine for a great marketing photo!

Here is another image that I shot and designed that was used by the Las Vegas Bikefest sponsor, EagleRider Motorcycles. Here, Lonnie “Goose” Reed poses with model Christine for a great marketing photo!

EagleRider is one of my most fun clients and I truly enjoy working for them…hell, how can you be in the business of renting Harley Davidson motorcycles and NOT love what you do?! While these types of shoots have better curb appeal for my portfolio, by far the majority of work I do with EagleRider is a lot less glamorous flashy. For years I worked in the world of video production and I’m finding myself returning to that world again as I’m getting more and more requests for my clients to provide quality videography and post production work. So recently EagleRider contracted me to shoot a series of videos for when people reserve a motorcycle rental online. For each of their models, we shot a 4-5 minute video performing a walk-through of the operations of that model bike, safety rules, etc. The shoot didn’t involve girls in skinny jeans or bikini tops, it didn’t have special effects or super heroes. ..it was just a simple instructional video we shot in the lobby of a motorcycle rental location here in Las Vegas. It involved lots of hours sitting in front of a computer editing each video and while very informative and instructional, it is hardly what I would consider worthy of a Golden Globe nomination. So while I do get to have the fun shoots with motorcycles, more often than not the work I do for the same client are probably not what most people think of when they think of what a Las Vegas photographer usually does.

Screen shot from an EagleRider orientation video of a Harley Davidson Electraglide.

Screen shot from an EagleRider orientation video of a Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

Some of the shoots I do may sound a blast to shoot to the average person, but are really quite the opposite when in the trenches. For the last two years I’ve been one of a handful of photographers who shoot the Best In The Desert Vegas to Reno 600 off road race. This is the longest off road race in the United States with hundreds of vehicles all departing from Beatty, Nevada and heading up to Reno. I’m a huge fan of motorsports and I remember when the first time I was contracted to shoot this race, I thought it was going to be so much fun. Well, the truth turns out to be a lot different than I thought. The race starts at 5 a.m., so for me to be in position to start shooting, I had to drive from Las Vegas leaving at 3:30 a.m. and I am SO not a “morning person”. Most people don’t realize it but even in August, the high desert of Nevada can be pretty cold in the morning. I was shivering when the first few vehicles came by and within a few hours, I was pouring water in my hat to stay cool. Also, I’m out in the middle of NOWHERE for hours on end in the blazing Nevada heat hoping not to get run over by an 800 horsepower truck coming right at me in the middle of the desert (I almost got run over three times in this year’s race). Here’s a little bit of what it’s like shooting one of these events throughout the day…

 

Imagine riding 600 miles on one of these through the middle of the desert.

There’s nothing like a nice, dusty photo shoot at sunrise!

Sometimes I almost think these drivers kick up all this dirt on purpose knowing I'm there with a camera!

Sometimes I almost think these drivers kick up all this dirt on purpose knowing I’m there with a camera!

Desert selfie...ahh, the places I go to get a photo!

Desert selfie…ahh, the places I go to get a photo! I have to wear that sexy yellow vest so that the vehicles that come racing at me don’t run me over!

So while most people think that us photographers in Las Vegas are always out shooting showgirls and rock stars, the reality is, we pay our bills shooting things like refrigerators at 5 o’clock in the morning, couples getting photos after their wedding on the Las Vegas Strip, and trade show booths at a data analysis conference. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love every minute of what I do as a professional photographer and even during the more uninteresting shoots, I still couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I truly am blessed to be able to make a living as a professional photographer and I realize just how lucky I am to be saying that. Now you’ll excuse me as I have to go pack my gear tonight as I have a photo shoot tomorrow morning… I’m taking photos of some rubber mobile phone cases. 🙂

For more information or to book me for your next photo shoot (even if it doesn’t involve super heroes or showgirls), Please email me at adam@shotbyadam.com or call today at 702-204-1740.

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Convention Chaos – Funny Stories of Trade Show Photography

Las Vegas is no doubt the convention and trade-show capital of the world. We get some of the largest, and certainly most interesting conventions come into Las Vegas for industries most people never even think would have a national convention for. Sure, some of the obvious expos we get every year draw lots of attention such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which draws over 100,000 people each year, and next week wraps up the major convention season with NAB, the National Association of Broadcasters Convention, which I am very excited to be shooting for again this year. Of all the dozens of trade-shows I shoot for, NAB I always find to be the most interesting, after all, what other place can you go to shop for communications satellites?

Not only am I a photographer for many of the actual trade-shows themselves that come to Vegas, I am also frequently hired to shoot for trade-show booths while the expo is taking place. Many major companies want to have professional photos of their booth so they can use that presence in their marketing materials, corporate literature, or even as a reference for their future trade shows to see what they can improve upon. At CES this year, I shot booths for seven different companies but one of the more interesting ones was actually not so much for the booth itself, it was for the booth architect, Methodic Environments, who designed an amazing booth for the audio company DTS. If you’ve ever gone to a movie in the last 20 years you are probably very familiar with their amazing audio technology and they certainly were not afraid to have an incredible presence at this years’ show. Remember the incredible sound of the stomp of the dinosaur in Jurassic Park? Yep, that’s DTS.

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My photo of the DTS booth at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

While many of these major trade-shows make international news, it’s all the shows you never hear about that are the real bread and butter that keep the millions of square feet of convention space in Las Vegas busy. Trade shows such as the World of Concrete, the Car Wash Show, the Waste Expo, and who can forget the Management Concepts, Inc. – Budget Analyst’s Essential Guide to Formulation, Justification and Execution Expo 2015! More often than not, these are the conventions you’ll see me at, taking photos of everything from empty booth photos in the morning to corporate parties at night. I’ve learned so much from all these different companies I’ve had the pleasure working with and yet it’s often funny to see the leaders of their industry let their hair down a bit, even when they are in the midst of very serious business. Getting a behind-the-scenes look at these different conventions can be a real eye-opening experience and many of my fellow photographer friends that focus on studio photography or weddings often find funny. I frequently swap funny stories of our exploits in shooting in all these crazy corporate environments with my dear friend and very accomplished photographer, Adam Shane, and he was actually the inspiration for me writing this blog entry. More on that in a moment, but he did bring up to me once in a conversation just how he and I have such a unique perspective on seeing all these expos and there are so many funny things that we learn about that the general public never knows about. 

Looking back at my past several years in corporate photography, he’s right. I’ve shot some very strange things for companies that never cease to amaze me. Everything from talking robots to presentations being given by one form of “Elvis” or another, and everything in between. Then there was the time when I was booked to shoot for a bizarre Chinese smart-watch company where nobody spoke English and one of their executives actually threw a tantrum in the booth over the fact that one of the other local vendors that was hired to translate for them was a woman…a WOMAN! Yes, that was a crazy few days. I remember several months ago shooting for the world famous cigar company Davidoff for their trade-show booth and also their black-tie event banquet and awards ceremony. The expo was the IPCPR (International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association) featuring everything you can imagine for pipe and cigar smokers such as tobacco, humidors, pipe cleaners, and everything else you can think of for heavy smokers. Consuming the entire convention center at the Venetian, the inside of the convention center looked like the smoggy Los Angeles skyline inside. It must have taken the Venetian a week just to fumigate the center after the event ended. Shooting the black tie event was quite interesting, as I and two of my photographers found out, as we surrounded by non-stop, chain cigar smokers the entire evening. The high-end Davidoffs were being given away like candy at Halloween to all the attendees and wow did they ever indulge. All during the evening we were whipping down our cameras and lenses to remove the cigar grime that permeated through the air. They were all wonderful people and yet the next day I felt like I needed a lung transplant. 

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Lighting up at the Davidoff black-tie cocktail reception.

Then there are my Ronco clients. Wow are these guys fun to work with. One of my other clients, Infusion Brands (Maker of the infomercial product the DualSaw) recently merged with infomercial giant Ronco. You have probably heard of Ronco, who’s famous founder Ron Popeil, invented such amazing products as the Mister Microphone, Veg-O-Matic, GLH (hair in a can) and many others. This past year I had the pleasure of working with all of their top executives and infomercial pitch man Marc Gill to shoot their expo booth and also shoot some of their corporate headshots. Leave it to the infomercial people to be some of the nicest and most outgoing corporate folks I’ve ever met. The hardest part I had while shooting for their company was getting them to be serious for photos! I truly believe that the secret to their success is their passion for what they do and their desire to have fun as well. A great group of people!

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That’s one big fish! Infusion Brands CEO Bob DeCecco having fun with infomercial host Marc Gill and the famous Ronco Pocket Fisherman!

Of all the crazy corporate photography experiences I’ve had though, none has topped the time I had to shop for a “Transformer”. In June of last year I was approached by a company who makes research materials for libraries, Proquest, to shoot their booth at the American Library Association Annual Conference. Yes, there actually is a convention for librarians every year. The theme for last years’ expo was “Transforming Your Library” and so ProQuest wanted me to shoot attendees in their booth with a human “Transformer”. “Optimus Prime would be OK, but we really want a Bumble Bee if you can find one” they told me. So now I’m not only being commissioned to photograph this in their booth for a few hours, they also asked me to round up an entertainer with a nice Transformer costume. “Yeah, sure, no problem” I said…”I can totally handle that!” …or so I thought.

I had several weeks to find a good Transformer for this project so I started running casting calls at a variety of different places online and I got a very wide variety of responses, many of which were from people with less-than-quality costumes. One woman even said she could work the event in her homemade costume she made for Halloween two years’ prior. Uh, no thank you. After two weeks of searching I finally got a response from someone who was a street performer on the Strip and he has a pretty good looking costume. I emailed my client contact and he was approved. I sent him the schedule and the pay-rate for which he agreed to.

Fast forward four weeks and the expo is right around the corner. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to reach out to my Transformer friend just to confirm everything as I had a lot riding on this shoot going smoothly. “Oh, I totally forgot about that thing you needed me for” he said. “I needed some money real bad so I sold the costume to some dude last week. Sorry about that.” Ugh…two days before the start of the show and I don’t have a Transformer. Remembering the last time I ran the ads and how long it took to get a response, I figured that wasn’t going to be the best way to go about this. Then it hit me…let’s go shopping for one on the Strip! Transformers seem to be everywhere on the Strip so my thought was that I should just go shopping for one! Well, hit the streets I did. I started over at the Bellagio and started walking north. By the time I got to Caesars Palace I had already passed three people in Transformers costumes. Some were better than others, but most of those guys had dirty costumes held together with wire and duct tape. Eventually I met up with a fourth one in front of the Mirage who looked great, and was standing with a different Transformer, whom I didn’t recognize. I walked up and introduced myself as a photographer and that I wanted to offer him an easy gig that paid really well for the trade show shoot. “No English” he said. Lovely. His friend he was working with was able to translate for me and I told him that I wanted to hire him for a day and he should give me a call that night when he’s done working to talk about it (my wife speaks a little Spanish so she could translate for me, if needed). He nodded his head and I thought I was in good shape. Still though, I had a lot riding on this so while walking back to the Mirage I found yet another Transformer with a great Bumble Bee costume. Like the previous person, he too didn’t speak much English but he was at least able to have a small conversation. I gave him my card and hoped he would call me too. If neither of these guys would work out, I wasn’t sure what I would do.

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The first Transformers i approached.

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This Transformer said “Yes” to the gig and he worked out great. Say hello to Luis….er, I mean, “Bumble Bee”, who had a great costume that looked like it was well maintained, unlike many of the other street performers I found in similar costumes.

That night, my phone never rang and I was starting to sweat a little. The next morning though, Transformer #2 called me…or at least his English-speaking wife did. I had a wonderful conversation with her and on behalf of her husband, she said he was excited to work the gig. He would even bring his English-speaking daughter along to help out, if needed. The next day we all met at the expo and for three hours, we were a huge hit. Never once did we not have a line around the booth of people wanting to have their picture taken with Bumble Bee. We posted the photos in a custom gallery for the client and they were ecstatic with the results. They were the hit of the convention and the source of all the buzz (no pun intended).

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The wilder side of librarians at the American Library Association Annual Conference.

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Two of the hundreds of people I photographed posing with our awesome street performer!

 

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The entire team of ProQuest who were working their booth at the annual industry conference. Needless to say, the Transformer in their booth was a mega hit with attendees!

It just goes to show that even in the world of corporate or trade-show photography, it can actually be a roller-coaster of an experience in ways most people would never know. If you find these stories funny, you should definitely check out the awesome blog by my good friend Vicki Winters. You can check out her hilarious writings on her website, The Vicki Winters Show!

If you are exhibiting or hosting a trade-show, convention, or corporate event and are interested in getting some amazing photographic coverage, you should hire the best photographic team in Las Vegas and that’s Adam Sternberg Photography. For questions on how myself and my team of professional photographers can enhance your corporate presence or for booking inquiries please email me at adam@shotbyadam.com or call today at 702-204-1740!

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