Las Vegas is a visual paradise. No matter where you are in the city, there are guaranteed photo opportunities within the vicinity. Listed below, in no particular order, is a current list of my favorite places to photograph portraits and wedding photos. Unless otherwise noted, this list refers to the exterior of each location.
On the Strip:
The feeling and mood of the City of Dreams is recreated in this angular, towering hotel. The colorful window facades and flashing lights are an instant visual backdrop for the perfect metropolitan photo. The New York New York provides a plethora of urban photo opportunities, including the impressive Brooklyn Bridge and majestic Statue of Liberty.
Town Square is an outdoor mall on the south end of the Strip - it also happens to be very close to the famous Las Vegas sign. With various architectural structures to choose from, there is no shortage of spots to take pictures. Palm trees, pretty flowers, and street lamps give it a cosmopolitan, yet comfortable, vibe. Within Town Square is a visually rich restaurant called Texas de Brazil. Natural light and tasteful furniture make it a superb location for any small to medium-sized event.
There are three reasons I enjoy photographing at the Monte Carlo.
1. Minimal foot traffic.
2. It looks and feels classy - exquisite statues, neoclassical arches and sculpted fountains abound. 3. I'm convinced the ancient gods live there in spirit.
The Conservatory is my favorite part of the Bellagio. During the day, sunlight pours through the glass dome and naturally lights the indoor garden display. The fountain show and Eiffel Tower backdrop are additional photo opportunities right outside Bellagio's front doors.
Looking for a lush, tropical environment in Las Vegas? Good luck! Just kidding. There actually are a few green locations and one of them is the courtyard/pool area of the Flamingo Hotel. Few places in Las Vegas have as many green trees, waterfalls...and flamingos.
Off the Strip:
The courtyard at the Green Valley Ranch has a luxurious upscale lounge ambiance. Attractive landscaping, a dramatic double staircase and an impressive resort backdrop offer plenty of photo opportunities. The quick ten-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip make it a destination worth considering.
Despite its close proximity to the Las Vegas Strip, most tourists overlook the Springs Preserve. This local treasure is home to 180 acres of gardens, trails, native plants, and interesting architecture. It is a peaceful, spacious retreat from the busy city and the photo opportunities are endless.
If the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign is a must for you, you'll enjoy the Neon Boneyard. The downtown property is home to dozens of retired classic Las Vegas signs and the entire area screams "Vegas!!" Unlike the other places on this list, there is a $200/hour reservation fee to take wedding photos.
Calico Basin is located 20 minutes outside of Las Vegas in beautiful Red Rock Canyon. It is quiet, serene and extremely picturesque. Wildflowers, long grass, and breathtaking mountain views create the perfect natural backdrop. Calico Basin is as "un-Vegas" as you can get while still being in Las Vegas - it's basically the antithesis of the Neon Boneyard.
Looking for urban and eclectic? The Arts District in downtown Las Vegas is full of ever-changing wall murals, graffiti, and various textures. Just a few blocks away is another colorful area: the Fremont Street Experience. If you happen to be there on the first Friday of the month, be prepared for a night dipped in awesome sauce. Live music, street vendors and interesting visual art combine to attract an energetic and diverse crowd.
Time slows down when you enter scenic Lake Las Vegas. Grassy hills, cobblestone streets, and a beautiful lake are key features within the Mediterranean-inspired village. Spacious and never crowded, Lake Las Vegas is ideal for portrait and bridal photo sessions.