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The Wynn Archives - Steven Joseph Photography

Can you take professional photos inside the top hotels on The Las Vegas Strip? Yes. Maybe. Probably Not. How Badly Do You Want It?

July 13, 2015 | By | One Comment

Las Vegas hotels on The Strip (The Wynn, Encore, The Bellagio, The Venetian, Palazzo, Mandalay Bay, The Cosmopolitan, The Flamingo, Paris Las Vegas, New York New York, The Stratosphere, Planet Hollywood, The MGM, City Center, Aria, etc.) have a well-earned reputation for being very unfriendly to outside professional photography. Very.

Can you take professional photos inside of Las Vegas Strip hotels and casinos?Any professional photographer in Vegas who has tried to take their bride & groom or other clients into a Strip hotel while using off-camera professional lighting can tell you about the Vegas Shuffle, where security approaches within a minute to throw you out. While being tossed is a little embarrassing and inconvenient, it could be much worse.

I understand their position completely. They are private businesses each with extraordinary investment in interior design that they’d like to control, and they have in-house photography franchises that have first dibs on all professional photography within the hotel.

So how did I arrange for this gorgeous couple to get professionally lit professional photography inside The Wynn?

I didn’t.

The groom did.

Professional Photography in The  WynnJoseph – who bought out the back of one of The Wynn’s restaurants for their reception – made it happen. While I don’t know all the details, I do know that he made repeated attempts over a period of weeks, made many many calls, was told by people without authority that he had approval when in fact he did not have actual permission until about one hour before we took these photos. Read More

Candice and Jamal get married in Las Vegas – The Wynn, Mandalay Bay

April 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

IMG_7010.CR2-Las-Vegas-Wedding-Photographers-STEVEN-JOSEPH-PHOTOGRAPHY-The-Wynn-Mandalay-Bay-Boarders-Grill-Candice-and-Jamal

Candice and Jamal got married at the inside chapel at The Wynn – where outside photographers are not allowed. So we met them before their ceremony, inside their suite, for some informal and formal portraits. Even though we shot both families in the same room we managed to keep Jamal from seeing Candice before the ceremony. Both families were so beautiful and fun, and it didn’t take much for me to get them comfortable in front of the camera.

Wedding photography at The Wynn, in the suite, before the ceremony

Wedding photography at The Wynn, in the suite, before the ceremony

After their brief ceremony we met them again on the party bus and we stayed with them for the rest of the night. As is almost always the case, most of the photos we take are camera-unaware photojournalistic, where our clients don’t even notice we’re there.

In the review Jamal left us on WeddingWire he said “The only regret I have for that day is not using Steven Joseph for EVERYTHING! Unfortunately, we married at a hotel on the strip that required us to use the hotel photographer for our wedding. When we received the pictures from the wedding (hotel photographer), they were ok. However, when we looked at the post-wedding and reception photos (Steven Joseph), we were blown away!! They were AWESOME!…” [To see the rest of their review go here.]

I sometimes forget how much I love shooting weddings, until I look at these guys photos, from the starting family portraits in their suite at The Wynn, to the rockin’ rip roarin’ party they had at Border Grill at Mandalay Bay.

Sometimes I forget how much I love photographing weddings, especially the party, and then I see photos like this. Whooooot!

Sometimes I forget how much I love photographing weddings, especially the party, and then I see photos like this. Whooooot!

Maggianos Little Italy Las Vegas Wedding Reception for Margarita and Andrew

March 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

What do you do when you *have* to use the unknown in-house photographers at your wedding ceremony at one of the Strip hotels, like The Wynn, but you want top-notch reception photography, maybe even at a reception venue away from where you got married? Why, you hire Steven Joseph Photography, that’s what!

You say you didn’t know that when you get married on The Strip you almost always have to use the anonymous in-house photographer? Yes. That is as close to an iron-clad rule in Vegas as there is. Outside photographers are *not* allowed into your wedding ceremony, nor to where your after-wedding formal photos are taken.

It’s photo booth sexy time at the wedding reception of Margarita and Andrew at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Las Vegas

Cut the Cake! at Margarita and Andrew's  wedding reception at Maggianos Little Italy Las Vegas

Happy people toasting the Maggianos Little Italy Las VEgas wedding reception of Margarita and Andrew

Maggianos Little Italy Las Vegas Wedding Reception - beautiful bride Margarita with great friends

Maggianos Little Italy Las Vegas Wedding Reception – beautiful bride Margarita with great friends

Las Vegas Photo Booth at the Maggianos Little Italy Wedding Reception of Margarita and Andrew

Las Vegas Photo Booth at the Maggianos Little Italy Wedding Reception of Margarita and Andrew

It's photo booth sexy time at the wedding reception of Margarita and Andrew at Maggiano's Little Italy in Las Vegas Read More

Available Light Photography After Sundown – Don’t Fear The Dark

December 10, 2012 | By | No Comments

I saw additional photos from this wedding that were done at night of the bride and groom and some of the outdoor areas of [******* ********].  I would absolutely love to be able to get a few of those shots to use as they were fantastic and so many brides are scared of doing photos in the dark. This would definitely show how it can be done when a professional photographer is hired!
CATERING MANAGER, WEDDING VENUE

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

When a wedding photographer you’re interviewing proudly says that s/he’s an “available light” photographer, that’s usually code for “I don’t know how to use off-camera lights and I really don’t own any.”

Which is fine for day-time weddings.

However, the final 1/3 of most traditional weddings takes place after the sun goes down. And many reception halls are very dim even during the day.

A professional wedding photographer has to know how to elegantly light up the dark.

Just today the catering manager of a major Las Vegas wedding venue told me that many brides are “scared of doing photos in the dark”. Could it be because the “available light” photographer they’re considering is scared, too?

When interviewing photographers, it’s probably wise of you to ask them questions like:

  1. How do you handle formal portraits in the dark?
  2. How do you shoot a dark reception room?

We love available light. But when the sun goes down and there isn’t any, we make beautiful light for you with our discreet professional off-camera lighting gear.

Why “off-camera” lighting? Because on-camera direct flash looks flat and amateur, like it was taken with a disposable camera. Off-camera light gives depth and pop and magazine-quality to the most important photos in your life.

If your available light photographer shows few or no night-time photos on their website, you should be concerned.

We’re not afraid of the dark 🙂 and when you hire the right photographer, you shouldn’t be, either 🙂

The above photo shows how dark a typical wedding reception hall is. The photos above & below were taken seconds apart – one when my lights didn’t pop, the other with four Speedlites popping all over the reception hall to catch your beautiful moments.The photo above and below were taken seconds apart – the above with the available light typical of many hotel reception rooms, the photo below with my pro lights throughout the room popping.

 

Judith & Kenneth at the elegant and colorful Wynn

January 4, 2012 | By | No Comments


This fusion wedding blended the western elegance of this stylish couple with colorful and distant Nigerian dress and customs. I do not know whether Judith and Kenneth descend from Nigerian royalty but they certainly carried themselves as if, with the grace, confidence and stature of princess and prince. The Wynn offers such an explosion of color and detail, it is a photographer’s dream. And, even though the bride was not allowed to let me photograph their brief ceremony (a privilege reserved by the ubiquitous and high-volume Cashman Brothers), I was with Judith and Kenneth from early in the morning ’til late at night. We even snuck in an “engagement” session the day after. How they dragged themselves from bed after such a great party I’ll never know. Thanks to Chris Purdum for his usual outstanding 2nd photography – it is always an honor and I feel tremendously fortunate to shoot with Chris.