Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

First “Destination Wedding”

I don’t specialize in weddings, nor do I claim to be a “wedding photographer” but sometimes it just happens.  Here’s another 2012 catch-up post from a wedding we shot in September, which marks our first ‘destination wedding’.  Since I’m still playing ‘catch up’ with my posts, I’ll try to keep this brief, so I can eventually get caught up.

After shooting images for Kyle’s band in March, he later asked if I did weddings.  “Not really, but from time to time, yes.”

Oceans on Fire

When he asked if we’d be willing to shoot a wedding in Las Vegas, I was hooked!  I’ve never been to Las Vegas.   We met with Kyle and Yen and started making plans.  They covered our airfare and hotel, and we had a blast.  Those details will be on our personal page (Jared & Jenny) later.

Lighting Gear ATA TSANot knowing exactly what to expect, I came prepared for (almost) anything.  Found a friendly note in my bag from the TSA, and only minor damage to my gear.

Las Vegas - Aria Hotel Las Vegas - Aria Hotel
We loved our room, and we’ll definitely be returning, as soon as we think up a good excuse!

After we got settled in and met up with Kyle and Yen, we headed out together and started scouting locations for shooting just the two of them.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

The “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign was a must, and I wanted this series of images to carry that vintage grainy film look to compliment the sign.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

It was really hot outside, and we did a few test shots before subjecting Kyle and Yen to the blistering heat.  There were tons of others trying to get pictures, and we had to wait for a break in the crowds so we could make it look like they were the only ones there.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

On our way to the courthouse, I spotted a graffiti wall, and we had to detour.  I was so glad we did, and since it wasn’t in direct sunlight, Kyle and Yen were glad not to be melting.

Kyle and Yen - Las VegasThere were so many pictures we took at this location, playing out different scenarios of each of them being in some urgent need of the bail bonds place.  We really worked the gritty elements of this scene.  Still trying to keep this post brief, I’m limiting it to only two ‘non controversial’ images.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

We were with them every step of the way, all the way up to signing their paperwork, and beyond.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

After the paperwork was done, it was time to find a few more location shots.  We found a few gritty looking stairwells, and some views from a parking lot.  Too many pictures to include them all here.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

We even got several pictures of Kyle and Yen inside a couple of the casinos, but I’m probably not allowed to post those publicly.

Kyle and Yen - Las VegasThere is quite a story behind this simple series of pictures.  The hotel had a beautiful waterfall in front of it, and lots of people would stop and take pictures here.  When we rolled up with all my gear, the over-militant security guard tried to shut me down (hence the tag “Photography Discrimination” on this post).

The security guard said that I’d need permission from the hotel to take pictures in front of the hotel.  I asked why that applied to me, and not to everyone else taking pictures there?  He said it was because I had a professional camera.  I was able to point out at least 2 or 3 other people with Canon and Nikon cameras that were as good or better than my 3+ year-old camera.

Kyle stepped in to see what the problem was, and then the security guard said it was because of my lighting equipment.  I said “I understand.  If you don’t want this stuff blocking people, I’ll put my lights away, and just shoot in ‘tourist mode’ like everyone else.”  He said I couldn’t do that without a permit, because I was a professional.

After realizing we were getting nowhere with security, Kyle went into the hotel and got permission for us to shoot, and use the lights, too!  All that drama, for a few pictures.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

We had to get a few shots of them in their room, before the dinner.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

The lights outside would change colors, so we turned off the room lights and got several different colored pictures like this.

After this, was a huge get-together of everyone invited.  Lots of candid pictures of people sharing a good time together, and getting to know one another.

The next day was the actual wedding day.  The venue has a built-in system for photography, and the venue has exclusive rights.  Knowing that we would not be able to take pictures during the actual ceremony, we took several pictures at the hotel before heading over.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

We left the hotel, and got to ride in the limo with Kyle, Yen, and their families.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas

We parked at the wedding venue, and I was the first one out.  Immediately, the staff shut me down, and I wasn’t even allowed to take a picture of the couple stepping out of the limo.

Kyle and Yen - Las VegasAt least the family and guests were allowed to take pictures.  But I did manage to get a few before they warned me a second time.

After the ceremony was over, we went to another location for dinner.

Kyle and Yen - Las Vegas
In addition to already being a busy bride, Yen hand-made all the pinwheels.

Kyle and Yen - Las VegasLots of food, wine, and good times.  We really enjoyed ourselves.

On a technical note, I had just upgraded to Lightroom 4, shortly before this wedding.  I was having all kinds of problems with it crashing and running incredibly slow.  It took me much longer than normal to get the images to Kyle and Yen, but they were very patient as I struggled through my technical difficulties.

There were so many additional cool pictures, but I’d never have time to include them all.

Kyle and Yen’s 1-year anniversary is in less than a week, and we wish them the very best!

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