Most Popular Blog Entries

Featured Posts

Top Ten Places To Take Photos in Las Vegas

 

 

As a native to Las Vegas (and a photographer), I'm frequently asked by friends, family, or just people I meet along the way, "Adam, where are the best places to get photos of Las Vegas?". This is actually somewhat of a tricky question because the places I know that are awesome places to photograph in Vegas are a lot different than the needs of your average tourist so in a future blog, I'm going to offer some of my favorite hot spots to get photos here in Sin City. For now though, I just want to stick to the basics. So for all you tourists coming to Las Vegas and want to get your picture taken in front of something memorable from your trip, here is my Top Ten Places to Take Photos in Las Vegas (in no particular order):

10. The Fremont Street Experience. Located in downtown Las Vegas, this is an experience like no other you've seen before. Fremont Street is one of the most historic areas of Las Vegas with the first hotel opening in the city at that location. As the area grew, the brightly lit casinos made the area a nightly attraction seen by millions. In 1994 a five block area of the street was closed to the public and construction began to make it a pedestrian-only area of shops and kiosks with a canopy 90 feet tall and 1,500 long. Re-Opening in 1995, this canopy over Fremont Street is a free attraction that, with over 12 million LED lights, provides an audio/visual show every 30 minutes starting at dusk with themes ranging from holidays to music to "Viva Las Vegas". It's a great place to get photos for sure!

 

 

9. The Fountains at Bellagio. Set in a 9 acre man made lake, these fountains in front of the Bellagio are a favorite photo op for almost everyone coming to Las Vegas. Whether you shoot them in the day or night, this breathtaking show makes for some awesome photos for you and your family. It's also a real hot spot for newlyweds as well. The fountain show usually goes off every 30 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes after 8 PM and shows may be canceled if there are high winds. You will want to consult the

 

Bellagio Hotel & Casino website for details on show times. A few quick photo tips though…In the afternoon, the sun will be setting over the top of the hotel creating a back light. Even though you will be shooting in bright light, your photos may look terrible from the shadows so be sure to turn on your camera flash to compensate for this.

8. Atop the Stratosphere Tower. Built back when Bob Stupak was still a name in Las Vegas, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States at 1,149 feet. The outdoor observation deck provides you with an incredible panoramic view of Las Vegas and while many take their photos from the indoor observation deck below, the photos shot there look terrible due to the reflections of the angled glass so be sure to take your photos  on the outside. In the winter, this area can be quite cold and a bit windy so if you are planning your shots to be taken from November through March, be prepared to dress warm. Because of its central location, you get awesome views of The Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas, and everything in between.

 

 

7. The Welcome To Las Vegas Sign. This is kind of a no-brainer for anyone on a Las Vegas vacation. The sign, built in 1959 is a real icon of Las Vegas and you would be remiss if you didn't get at least one fun photo there. In the past it was a real challenge to get to the sign but due to a renovation project in 2008, there is now a parking lot adjacent to the sign making access to it quite simple. For everything you ever wanted to know about shooting at the sign, please read my past blog about

 

how to photograph the Welcome To Las Vegas sign.

 

 

6. Hoover Dam. One of the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, Hoover dam is an engineering triumph. Completed in 1936, the dam has undergone a recent renovation to their visitor center and tour of the inner workings of Hoover Dam. It's definitely a great way to spend a day outside the bright lights and slot machines of Las Vegas and definite place to get some amazing photos!

5. The Fountains at Caesars Palace. Yes, more fountains. Caesars Palace was the first high luxury hotel in Las Vegas and remains today as an ultimate destination in Las Vegas. There are so many places to get great photos inside Caesars Palace including the Joe Louis statue currently on display in the sports book, the two moving statue shows inside the Forum Shops, and much more. But a really amazing place to get photos is on the sidewalk on Las Vegas Blvd. facing the property. There you get an amazing backdrop of the Caesars Palace fountains and one you will treasure for years to come.

4. Red Rock Natural Conservation Area (Red Rock Canyon). Just a few minutes drive outside of Las Vegas is a unique outdoor experience unlike any you will see in the world. The one-way scenic loop drive through the area is a 13-mile curvy road (perfect for your favorite sports car or motorcycle) that takes you through a visual tour of the area. There are numerous stops along the loop with hiking trails and picnic tables. If you are going in the summer, be sure to pack plenty of sun screen as the elevation causes easy sun burns and you definitely need to bring a camera for some memorable nature photos of Las Vegas.

 

3. Canal Shops at the Venetian Hotel. Nothing says "tourist" quite like a man-made recreation of the famous canals of Venice, Italy. Complete with singing gondola drivers, the canal shops are a beautiful area to get some amazing photos.

2. The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens of Bellagio.Updated for major holidays and seasons, the Bellagio botanical gardens is a must see location in Las Vegas. The stunning floral designs and artistry here will take your breath away. For an amazing backdrop for any photo, you will find little better than this in Las Vegas. Your best bet is to plan on photos early in the morning or late at night as the crowds gather in large numbers during the day and evening.

1. Mirage Volcanos. "Performing" at the top of every hour, this is the first of the major free outdoor attractions created by Steve Wynn when the property opened in November of 1989. In 2008, renovations to the volcano were performed creating an even more awe-inspiring experience. Complete with sounds of actual volcanic eruptions, lighting, and huge fire balls, this is something you definitely want to experience in the evening.

 

If you are ever traveling to Las Vegas and would rather leave the picture taking to someone else, email me at

 

adam@shotbyadam.com and I can get you those professional photos you are looking for during your visit to beautiful Las Vegas.

16 Responses to Top Ten Places To Take Photos in Las Vegas

  • Michael Ferrell says:

    Adam,

    Would it be possible for you to show me and a couple of friends around the Vegas area attractions for photography. We’re in the Military and will be down there for a couple of weeks starting May 29th and are amateur photographers and would love to have some one who knows the area to give some pointers. Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Michael

  • Michael Miguel says:

    Hey Adam i really dig your photos man im a local too well semi local i moved here awhile back. I just started my photography class and i was wondering if you knew some sick spot other then the strip.

  • There’s tons of great places to shoot in and around Las Vegas outside the Strip area. Many of my blogs have been about them such as my blog about Nelson/Eldorado Canyon. It all depends on what you want to shoot. If you want a few ideas shoot me an email.

  • Natasha says:

    is red rock canyon far from blue diamond area?

  • Hi Natasha. The two areas are not that far apart.

  • Martin White says:

    Hi, great pictures thanks for sharing.
     
    Can you recormend some out of town places to get shots of LV from?  I love taking night photography and want to get a shot of the whole place from afar?
    Thx.
    Martin.

  • For someone not familiar with the city it’s a bit of a challenge. One of the better spots I’d suggest, that is easy to get to, is on I-15 South of the city. As you come over the mountain pass from Primm, you get a nice, unobstructed view of the city for a very short distance.

  • Jason says:

    Hey Adam, Im going to vegas in october for 7 days. We are going to be seeing alot of the surround area sights (hoover dam, grand canyon, etc) as well as taking in plenty of night shows. One thing i am for sure doing is taking a picture atop the Stratosphere tower. I was wondering what the must have equipment is for great photos. The stuff that i most definately need to make my shots worth while. Thnks

  • Shooting from atop the Stratosphere is a tricky thing. The first thing to be aware of is that if the city hasn’t had a good windstorm or rainfall recently, the city is going to look really hazy if you shoot during the day. Often times the Vegas skyline looks quite dirty if the smog has been settling in for a while. While it’s tempting to want to shoot as wide as you possibly can, the problem is from the outside observation deck, there is a set of railings just below you so the wider you shoot, the uglier your shot because those rails will be in the photo and it makes for a rather ugly shot. So if you are shooting from outside, you actually want to bring a good telephoto lens (like a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens). From the outside, you can zoom-in on Downtown, on the central area of the Strip, and other great spots.

    If you have the urge to shoot wide, you might want to do it from the indoor observation deck. Here, you will probably doing a long exposure so be sure to bring a tripod with you. Also, you’ll be shooting through a big, angled, glass window so find a place to position the camera where the surrounding lights won’t cause an ugly reflection off the glass.

    It often sounds so interesting to want to get some killer photos from atop the Stratosphere but you’d be shocked at how difficult it is to do so. Best of luck to you though, and be sure to send me some photos of what you got!

  • Michele says:

    I know this is a bit of a drive (30 mins or so), but Valley of Fire is an amazing location too! So is the Boneyard, but you need reservations to get in there!

  • Terralee says:

    I just moved here to henderson nv 3 weeks ago, I am a on location photographer and i was wondering if u new of so good places to take pictures, i take family, kids, babies, couples ect and need some good places to do my shoots at, thank you so much for all your help :)

  • Hi Terralee. To learn more about the many locations to shoot at in Las Vegas, please read through my blog as I have lots of location ideas inside. I also teach classes on photography as well where I take everyone around Las Vegas with their cameras and I show a lot of my hidden locations I like to shoot at. For more information on those, visit my website at http://www.shotbyadam.com.

  • Hi Terralee,
    Thank you for writing this article.
    I have been told by several colleagues to keep a close eye on you camera assets as they can disappear in Vegas. This has gotten me very concerned and almost considering not taking my camera and lens during my business trip there.
    As a photographer I always have my camera with lens around my neck.
    How safe (or unsafe) is it for a photographer there?

  • Hi Daniel. I’m not sure who “Terralee” is but I’ll be happy to answer your question. Vegas is generally a very safe place. When you are walking around on the Strip or Downtown you will notice a very heavy police and security presence. I’m not sure where you got this advice to leave your camera at home but I couldn’t disagree more. I shoot all over Las Vegas with all my heavy gear on a regular basis and in all my years I’ve never once run into any problems. Bring your camera…you won’t regret it!

  • Danilyn says:

    I am going to be going to Las Vegas next week. One of the biggest reasons I am going is to take pictures. Do you think I will need my external flash for pictures and what would you suggest having my settings at to get the best night time shots?

  • Hi Danilyn. Unfortunately these are more complicated questions than you may realize. Without knowing specifically what you plan to take photos of I can’t really give you many tips here. If you are shooting indoors or people outside, then yes, I definitely suggest using an external flash. Just be careful of shooting inside the casinos as they really don’t like that very much and you will probably be asked to stop quite quickly if you are using a flash anywhere near a casino.

    As for camera settings, again, without knowing what you want to shoot it’s impossible to give advice on this. I can shoot in ten different places on the Strip from the Fountains of Bellagio to volcano eruption at the Mirage and have completely different settings. Every time you shoot you need to adjust your settings for the appropriate kind of shot you are looking for. It’s one of the reasons why us professional photographers are hired because typically we know what to shoot and how to shoot it to create a certain mood or a certain effect with our shot. That just comes from hundreds of hours of trial and error and years of experience. Unfortunately, that’s not something I can teach you in a simple email. :(

    If you are ever interested in having me tag along on one of your shoots, I do offer private instructional classes and I do them quite regularly with people just like yourself so if you’re interested in that , feel free to contact me off my website at http://www.shotbyadam.com. Best of luck to you though and have fun shooting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Like Us On Facebook!