Saturday, November 26, 2011

Las Vegas Weekend Concert Photography: Kris Kristofferson

This weekend I had the opportunity to photography Kris Kristofferson. It was a very intimate performance—just him and his guitar playing in a smaller sized, but sold-out, theater.  Kristofferson doesn't play Vegas very often, let alone perform—the last time he played here was in the early 90's—so it's no surprise both of his shows at in the Orleans Casino showroom were sold out.

There really is something to be said for a 75 year old artist who can take the stage solo, and captivate an audience, but that's exactly what Kristofferson did.  The sounds from his guitar are simple and melodious; his lyrics are world famous.  His fans burst in to applause as he sang many of his best known songs.

While I initially thought of him as a country music performer, I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of the songs performed by Kristofferson were of the Folk genre.  It was an amazing experience to be able to photograph Kris Kristofferson and listen to him perform.

Pics from the show:

Kris Kristofferson performs at The Orleans Showroom
Kris Kristofferson performs at The Orleans Showroom

I love hearing from my readers.   You can follow me on Twitter or use the "Contact" button to get in touch, so feel free to send me your comments and let me know if you have any suggestions.  Please visit my the concert section of my website to see additional photos from the show.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I hope you're able to relax and enjoy a special day with friends and loved ones!

Tomorrow night I'll be photographing Kris Kristofferson  performing at the Orleans Casino.  I'll have pictures and a mini review posted here sometime this weekend.  Country music isn't my normal genre for concert photography, but I'm game!  There's always something to be said about a guy who can carry a show with just his voice and a guitar...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Las Vegas Concert Photography Part 2: Lt Dan!

As a former Army officer, I have a strong appreciation for Veterans Day.  There are always numerous events to honor our soldiers, but hen an opportunity presents itself that allows me to participate in one of my favorite hobbies—cycling—and honor our soldiers, I'm all over it!

The Ride2Recovery made its way through Las Vegas last week.  On Saturday, Team Mandalay Bay/McGhies (for which I ride) participated in a forty mile ride with wounded veterans and the Ride2Recovery team members.  Many of these riders have lost limbs as a result of injuries obtained while serving in Iran and Afghanistan. Did that stop them from riding?  Nope!  They have specially modified bicycles that allow them to ride, despite their handicap.   Riders in hand-cycles have a "push pole" attached to the rear of the cycle that allows a bicycle rider to dock on and help push the hand-cyclist over hilly roads.

During the ride, I was fortunate enough to help push a hand-cyclist along.  It's a unique experience for a cyclist because we're normally only concerned with getting ourselves up and over a hill.  When pushing a hand-cyclist, the work-load is almost doubled and the effort is intensified as you work to get yourself and the cyclist your pushing along up the hill.  The non-handicapped Ride2Recovery team members have been pushing their hand-cyclist teammates all over the country.  I did it for only twenty of our forty mile ride and could definitely feel the effects of the added intensity!  One can only imagine what it's like to do it for hundreds, or even thousands, of miles.

After the ride everyone was treated to a private lunch at the Mandalay Bay beach and got to watch Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band give a special performance in honor of Veterans Day.

This is one event that I always wish to be a part of,  and I strongly encourage anyone with any interest in cycling to seek out a Ride2Recovery and show your support for these wounded vets by participating.

Unfortunately, since I was busy peddling, I don't have pictures of the ride.  Those can be found at  I do, however, have pics of Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band!

Pics from the show:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Las Vegas Weekend Photography Part 1: Are you Tuff-N-Uff?

This weekend I had to opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a bit and do some Mixed Martial Arts photography.  This was my first time shooting this type of sporting event, and needless to say, just as there are rules for concert pit etiquette, there are similar rules that a photographer must comply with when shooting ring side.  Once I was up-to-speed on what to do and not do, I was ready to start capturing the action!

My involvement with this particular event was the result of an invite by the family of Jillian Lybarger.  Jillian was participating in the Tuff-N-Uff Future Stars of MMA Fighting Championship and I was there to hopefully capture her victory.  Jillian is a very talented fighter and easily dominated her opponent.  The match was over almost as quickly as it started!

Photographing sporting events and concerts are extremely challenging.  Both present unique lighting challenges and both are action packed.  MMA fighting, however, doesn't provide the best results by simply firing in burst mode.  You need to be able to observe, and almost anticipate what's about to happen.  Blink and the fight can be over.  It happened to me!  I had to tap on the shoulder of the photographer next to me in order to see what I missed.  I simply lost focus for just a second on the action in the ring and the fight was over.

Will I cover MMA fighting again?  If given the opportunity, definitely!  MMA carries a very similar addicting energy I find with shooting concerts, and once immersed in the environment, I don't want to quit!

Pics from the event below:
(TIP:  Click on any photo below to be taken to the full gallery on my photography website)

Jillian Lybarger dominating her opponent

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween—Las Vegas Style!

Las Vegas and Halloween.  Picture the worst and chances are you can find it walking around somewhere on the Strip or down on Freemont Street.  But in addition to all the "Oh know you didn't!" costumes, Las Vegas is a great place to see some truly creative individuals who go all-out on a day that encourages creativity and artistry—bringing to life some eye-popping visuals that probably wouldn't be accepted on any other "normal" day.

But Las Vegas also hosts some great haunted houses!  Fright Dome, at Circus-Circus is easily the largest annual Haunted House in town.  There are also some of the smaller, but equally fun venues, such as Freakling Brothers, Bonnie Screams, and The Asylum and Hotel Fear.  If you missed one this year, have no fear, they're here every year!  New on the list, and unfortunately, short-lived, was the adult-themed haunted house at the Green Door.  If you don't know about the Green Door, Google will help fill you in.  I had the opportunity to do some photography work at the haunted house to help with the advertising. While it's certainly not for everyone, what I saw was definitely unique.  The all volunteer cast were a group of dedicated and creative individuals who were looking to put on a good show and give customers a unique experience no other haunted house could offer.  With any luck and hopefully some better advertising, it'll be back next year so that the more adventurous Halloween goers can experience a haunted house—Green Door style.

Some of the extremely "tame" pictures taken at the haunted house:
(TIP:  Click on any image to be taken to galley containing the full set of images)

Green Door Haunted House
Suicide Shower
Green Door Haunted House