I was in Las Vegas for the very first time in May and we stayed at the MGM Grand. Not only was this my first time in Vegas, but it was also my first trip anywhere since I started shooting HDR in January of this year. Needless to say I was extremely excited about all the amazing photo opportunities I knew I would have, but I was also a bit nervous (and self-conscious) about carrying my camera/tripod setup with me everywhere since I’d never done that in such a public place before. I hope I’m not the only one who felt this way the first time they walked through a busy hotel or down a busy street with camera on tripod, legs extended just looking for a cool shot! After the first day of exploring and shooting I was feeling much better about things and was almost feeling confident…until the first time I got kicked out by security. Well maybe not kicked out altogether, but I was definitely told my tripod was not welcome…so I asked if I could shoot handheld…of course that was forbidden as well. Crap. Back to feeling like I’m some weirdo with a tripod.
To be fair, this was only one of two times I was told I couldn’t use my tripod in any of the hotels in Vegas, and the vast majority were more than welcome to accommodate me. But it’s those few bad experiences that stick with you. So…if any of you have some good tricks for getting in under the radar or how to approach security about permission to shoot I’m all ears!
One very early morning (4 AM) while staying at the MGM Grand, I went downstairs and explored as much of the hotel as I could before it got too busy. Eventually I made my way down a long corridor past the pool and ended up in the conference center which is absolutely enormous! We definitely don’t have hotels with conference centers like that here in Calgary. After snapping a few brackets in the main lobby area I made my way upstairs to where they have some of the smaller conference rooms…and stumbled into this really cool lounge type area. Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s the shot: