Anyone that knows me will be aware of my obsession with Las Vegas. It started nearly 15 years ago now when I married my beautiful wife at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel on the strip and we have been back pretty much every year since.
I have just (well 4 weeks ago... life has interfered with my ability to post this piece up to now) returned from yet another trip and whilst I did need to take a much needed break, photography wasn't far from my mind as I was also there for the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) conference and expo at the MGM Grand. I have attended the conference before and it really is hugely helpful in terms of learning, inspiring and reinvigorating yourself in what can be a pretty lonely industry to work in at times.
I was lucky enough to take some amazing classes by people such as Justin and Mary Marantz, Chuck Arlund, Rick Ferro, Ewan and Brianna Phelan, Rob Greer and Bob and Dawn Davies. I also met many other wonderful folks, including the lovely ladies involved with Denise Birdsongs 'Stripped Down' Boudoir photography courses (hello LeZandra, Jana et al!)...
I also managed to grab a quick chat and selfie (which is an awful picture, so it's staying on my phone) with my hero and greatest inspiration Joe Buissink. I can't (and will never stop) thanking him for changing my life a while back. Thanks again Joe.
I really can't recommend WPPI highly enough to photographers. I know it is a long way to go and it is very expensive to get there from the UK, but I truly have learnt so much and met so many awesome people it is worth every penny. I can't go next year as I have a wedding booked at the same time, but I will absolutely be back at some point in the future that's for sure.
Anyway, aside from the many amazing classes, parties, exhibitions, parties, seminars and parties that we went to, I also took a few photographs! I mainly shot with my Fuji X-T1 during our holiday but also bust out a couple of film cameras now and again for good measure ... a Canon AE-1 for 35mm and my gorgeous and treasured Bronica Sq for medium format. Here are a few (ok a lot) of the images I took whilst away... more or less just strolling up and down the strip but with a few from the odd roadtrip thrown in for good measure. I should thank Ag Photolabs in Birmingham for their wonderful developing / scanning skills. I have barely touched the film images you see here. Digital files were processed in Lightroom using VSCO.
So here goes. There are a lot of images so.........
A few images from Boulder City. We make it a priority to get out to Boulder for a few hours every trip. It's a great escape from the madness of Vegas. Canon AE-1 and 50mm 1.4 lens with Kodak Ektar 100 35mm film.
Here are a few images taken during a few hours out at Mt. Charleston. Who would of thought an Englishman would need to fly all the way to Nevada to see snow during the Winter! Bronica SQ with 80mm f2.8 lens and Kodak Ektar 100 120 film.
Miley, Michael and Marilyn at Madame Tussauds. Fuji XT1 with 23 1.4 lens.
This was a bit of an 'economical' visit so we decided to stay at the Excalibur hotel (it's location over the street from the MGM Grand where my conference was taking place was also a deciding factor). Here are a couple of shots of the view from our room. It always fascinates me just how close to the strip the Airport is! Bronica SQ with 80mm f2.8 lens and Kodak Ektar 100 120 film.
All images © John Colson. Not for reproduction.