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January/February 2006 | Sin City: Behind the Scenes

January/February 2006 | Sin City: Behind the Scenes

What happens on a photo shoot in Vegas stays in Vegas (unless it ends up in a Q&A with the photo team)

With enough artificial light to rival the blinding desert sun and a buffet of visual spectacles, the Las Vegas strip is a photographer’s delight. Where else on Earth can one find an erupting volcano, the Eiffel tower, and a pirate ship all situated in the same zip code? At the height of summer, photographers Gitte+Delaney and The Out Traveler Photo Editor Shannon Hall packed their bags and set out across the desert to capture the essence of this sensational city. You can see the fabulous results of this endeavor in the January/February 2005 issue.

What was the most difficult aspect of the assignment?
Hall: There’s such a mythology about Las Vegas that it’s this wild and crazy place-it’s called sin city. That all goes on but in a much more private way. It was difficult to manufacture that sense of drama in each shot.

What was the most random moment of the trip?
Delaney: Our representative from Bellagio got on her walkie-talkie and demanded the best song for the fountains. It happened to be Celine Dion’s song from Titanic. We suspected that she just wanted to hear her favorite song, so she made them play it over and over again.

Which of the shots were the most challenging?
Hall: Backstage at the Cirque shows. The performers could only be photographed in certain areas. Some places were completely off-limits to us. Because most of the performers were already so deep in thought in anticipation of their show, we didn’t want to disturb them too much so it was difficult to get what we needed.

Which of the shots best captures the spirit of what Vegas means to you?
Delaney: It must be the loft party. You think it’s going to be an amazing night in a fantastic location with lots of friends, but it ends up being a couple of strangers posing in different positions around the room.

Which shot was the most fun to capture?
Hall:
The gay wedding scene. We brought in a lot of props and worked with two strippers from Thunder from Down Under. At Excalibur, they provide you with costumes. We tried to choose ones that were most gay-friendly.

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