5 Keys to Shooting Photos in a Las Vegas Casino

While most Las Vegas casinos have relaxed their rules about shooting photos, there are still a few rules to follow to avoid an encounter with security staff… or winding up in some back room for “a little chat.” Whether such back rooms still exist, here are five key tips I’ve personally tested in Vegas to shoot photos in a casino.

NEVER SHOOT THE CAGE: This is the biggest rule of all. A casino cashier’s cage is basically a bank that’s jam-packed with money, and that keeps security on hair-trigger alert 24/7. Taking photos of the cage translates as, “I’m casing the place so I can later pull a heist.” This translation may be a bit misguided and outmoded, but shooting the cage amounts to a daredevil move that you don’t want to take.

Don’t Use a Tripod: Unless you’ve been hired by a casino to shoot a TV commercial or promotional video, tripods are an absolute no-no. Tripod legs are a tripping hazard to guests (especially since many of those guests are drunk).

Don’t Use a Flash. Aside from being a distraction and disturbance to gamblers, using a flash is like switching on a big sign that says, “I’m a person violating the rules. Please use your Tasers on me immediately.” Sure, you’ll have to hold your camera rock-steady by hand to even hope for a crisp image… but by playing around with different shooting modes, you should end up with a selection of good images.

Don’t Photograph Guests: Customer privacy is a top priority for Vegas casinos. Guests have come under the idea that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” and casinos want to protect that expectation as part of the complete Vegas experience. Yes, people will often walk into a shot. That’s practically unavoidable, and won’t be seen as privacy infringement. However, directly photographing guests IS seen as privacy infringement, and if you don’t earn a visit from security, you just might wind up with a hostile guest in your face.

Use a Small Camera: The smaller the camera, the more you’ll go unnoticed, and thankfully, there are many great compact camera options. I used a pocket-friendly Nikon A900 to grab some great shots of the casino at the Aria Resort, and the tilting screen was a BIG help. By holding the camera down at waist height and flipping up the screen, I was able to take some good shots without anyone noticing anything.

For more casino shooting tips, watch the video below to discover what I learned about shooting at places like the Aria Resort & Casino, the Bellagio and even Caesar’s Palace.

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Half-World (The Trailer)

It’s been a year in the making, but yesterday I finally finished enough images to complete this short trailer for Half-World (coming March, 2017).

As a collection of artwork blending original hand-drawn graphics and elements from thousands of photographs begun in 2015, Half-World explores the idea that magical people, places and things are around us every day… sitting in plain sight yet veiled in proportion to the openness of our minds, eyes and other senses. Since the veil tends to drop for most people each December… with the otherworldly magic of the Yuletide misting in from the skies and hills like a dream awakened… Half-World was envisioned to help the veil drop even more.

Each image in Half-World (as reflected in the main part of this trailer) is based around the idea of a carnival… coming to town to set up its tents and attractions and beckon people inside (and beyond) to discover what they may.


Soundtrack music: “Dark Spire” by Darren Leigh Purkiss adheres to all terms and conditions of royalty-free usage. Narration: Xristopher Bland

All images copyright © 2016, Xristopher Bland (abmCreative). Contact: abmcreativeservices@gmail.com.

To preview the soundtrack to the 2017 Half-World video, click here to go to ABM on SoundCloud.

 

Do You Remember Being Wild?

the-wildboy-xristopher-bland-abm-creative-3Do you remember running wild and free as a kid… perhaps through some summer meadow… or just down the street? Do you remember the day when you stopped… because it was “dangerous”… or “foolish”… and you had to get “serious” about your life? Do you also remember the feeling of leaving something behind?

I think that’s where the Wildboy comes from… or, Wildgirl… or pan or sprite… or whatever you like to call wild spirit. And there are those who say, “Oh there’s no such things as wildboys. If there were… well, where are they? Why can’t we actually find one?” And the answer to that is simple: When you look for the wildboy, you can’t find him—because in that moment of looking, you ARE the wildboy. The only question becomes whether to run back to the meadows and greenwoods where your spirit is always waiting for you.


Please note: “The Wildboy” is a preview of “Theatre Xrisville,” an art-music-video project coming soon. Subscribe to this blog to make sure you don’t miss any details.