It’s truly a wonder how I’ve been able to continue booking photo sessions after moving to a different state. I’ve expressed this to my friends over and over… “I.. just…can’t…with…Vegas…brides!”
Not all*, but most*. Vegas brides vs California brides.
Cali Bride: I really want to look as glamorous as possible, but also whimsical and fresh.
Vegas Bride: I don’t want to look hung-over.
Cali Bride: Photography is my main priority.
Vegas Bride: The DJ is our priority and the drinks.
Cali Bride: I want an album and at least 4 canvases up in our home with your work!
Vegas Bride: I just need like 2-3 good photos.
Cali Bride: You’re a little out of our budget, but you’re work is worth it!
Vegas Bride: So this other photographer said he would shoot our wedding for $10 an hour, can you match that?
Cali Bride: I completely trust you and your vision, Talia!
Vegas Bride: Here is an entire Pinterest board of photos I love that are going to look nothing like the wedding you are about to shoot. (*I can’t stress how many times this has happened… bride is getting married in a dark, damp church with dim light and she sends me a photo of a garden ceremony from Pinterest with a pose she wants. -_- )
Anyhow, you get the point. The clientele is different, as it should be! People come from all over the world to get married in Vegas, and 99% of them are expecting budget and
cheap inexpensive. Which makes sense! If you’re getting married in Vegas, why should you pay California prices? I totally understand this logic… I just, can’t bring myself to shooting their weddings. And now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had* California clients who expect Vegas pricing. I’ve had* brides in California tell me that the DJ is their priority, and for those brides? The minute I hear that I just tell them I am no longer available. It’s not a big-headed, competition thing. It’s just that I have had a long list of clients who value my work, so if a bride is putting their DJ in the forefront, I already know what kind of wedding that’s going to be, and I kindly back out. In reality, they come off in that they do not trust me, even after seeing my website and my work and all of my Yelp reviews. It’s bizarre, and it’s not worth taking on that job. Those* are the weddings where the mother and aunts and uncles are at my back telling me how to take photos, and sorry… just no. I can handle one or two of those a year in California… but I cannot handle every weekend of that in Las Vegas.
So! This is why I shoot 99% destination weddings. I prefer it. I prefer how I am treated, as would you.
During the week, while in Vegas, I take on side-sessions. Always out -of-towners who want some awesome Vegas photos with a little bit of class, not trashy and flash-filled. Hey, there is* a market for that, so I am not hating, just offering a different service!
I’ll admit, when it started, I thought I would have to take on a lot of crap. All the inquiries were for bachelorette parties, bachelor parties, surprise proposals, and the occasional engagement shoot. I moped in the beginning, but then I told myself YOU KNOW WHAT! I am going to roll with this. I am going to take on these shoots but make them glamorous. If they insist on drinking on the strip, let’s make it classy… no beer cans. If they want me to photograph their bachelorette.. I will meet them AS SOON as they are hair and makeup ready and before they start drinking. (That’s worked.. half the time. Goodness some of them get off the plane completely buzzed. It’s Vegas.) I almost create new slogans in my mind half the time with… “You’re gonna want people to know about what happened in Vegas…” or “I’ll turn your trashy self in to a princess for an hour.” LOL! I wish you could hear the tone in this, I am being completely sarcastic and non-judgmental, I promise. The saying of the year in regards to my shoots is: IT’S LAS VEGAS! Really, almost anything goes. But if I’m going to slap my name on it, it cannot look like the worst version of this client. So far, so good! I think I’ve been able to deliver on what I set out to do, and with every passing shoot, I do find that the cynicism goes away.
**Below is a video from one of those shoots, where my friend Ray was in town so he did some behind-the-scenes of a session I had where a group of 4 friends were in Vegas celebrating. They were in town on Thanksgiving weekend, to get away from their families! Haha! Actually a great group, and two of them just got engaged that trip! So they hired me for an hour to capture them having fun on the strip before heading off to dinner and a show. I’m also including some photos from other sessions I’ve done in Vegas, so you can judge for yourself. 😉
All content and images copyright TheSisterFiles©2017 and cannot be used without expressed permission.
Photography by: Jeff and Talia Cruz