Tag Archives: photography

Naked in Las Vegas

Greg Friedler is a fine art photographer.  Translated, he has a passion for capturing unique still photo scenes.  But his other finely honed artsy ability is taking photographs of willing people posed clothed and naked in front of a studio canvas. 

Las Vegas, undisputed City of Sin, was squarely in his camera’s viewfinder years ago and is now part of a documentary film, “Stripped: Greg Friedler’s Naked Las Vegas,” by David Palmer, which will premier in March 2010 and is planned to be on Showtime for two years. 

Their creative effort started in 1973, working from scratch and with no confirmed photo subjects nor even a confirmed location to shoot, Denver, Colorado-based avant-garde photographer Friedler and Los Angeles-based filmmaker David Palmer embarked on a multi-dimensional and highly emotional 30-day Las Vegas roller coaster ride, that would eventually bring together 173 naked human beings of every shape, size, and walk of life. 

Participants in the project entered a small white room with a red curtain and opened themselves up, literally, for what eventually became “Stripped: Gred Friedler’s Naked: Las Vegas,” baring not only their naked bodies, but, equally important, a bit of their inner souls. 

In 2008, with a pre-release copy of Greg Friedler’s book “Naked Las Vegas” in hand, David Palmer would journey back to Las Vegas and follow up interpersonally with 40 of the book’s true-life characters whom he had documented during Friedler’s initial Las Vegas shoot.  What would become apparent was that not only had the city of Las Vegas gone through very drastic changes, so too, on multiple levels, did the people whom Friedler and Palmer had photographed. 

Through Palmer’s discerning lens, which at times becomes so humanizing that even clothed, the film’s characters feel more naked than ever; viewers are privileged to see what happens when everyday human beings stripped of clothing, comforts and society’s judgments discover an even playing field of beauty, humanity and ultimately self love. 

The variety of visual candy is amazing.  From a homeless man who strips himself of his past regrets to find employment, a home of his own, and along with it his dignity; to a hermaphrodite couple exposing the truth that beauty and love can be shared beyond social stigmas; to an Elvis impersonator nakedly confronting his own lack of trust in society and finding faith in others by keeping his own commitments, “Stripped” prevails by sharing an honest, true story of ultimate triumph over what may seem like insurmountable social and personal odds. 

In our society that is overwrought with an obsession for money, fame and beauty, this collective of unique and sometimes bizarre individuals, living in one of the world’s most infamous cities, shows all of us it is possible to grow from crisis, to find the betterment of humanity through vulnerability, and ultimately be uplifted and inspired by the triumphs of coming to terms with who we all really are.

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Silver Slipper Gets New Las Vegas Home

The famous neon slipper once sat atop of the historic Silver Slipper Gambling Hall, a part of the Last Frontier Village, a replica of an old western town that was once located on Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas.  

Silver Slipper neon signAlthough the Silver Slipper opened in 1950, the sign did not go up until the 1960s. The Last Frontier became the New Frontier, which was eventually absorbed into the Frontier. The slipper was designed by Jack Larsen, Sr., a designer at Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO). The sign is 12 feet high and 17 feet wide. The slipper’s main body contains 900 incandescent light bulbs, with about 80 more in the bow. 

The slipper is part of Las Vegas’ $1.1 million Neon Sign Improvement Project that includes three vintage neon signs placed in the heart of the Cultural Corridor.  It was refurbished and set into place on the median island of Las Vegas Boulevard, located just south of Washington Avenue in what is called the Cultural Corridor of Las Vegas by eight workers from Ultra Signs on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009 at approximately 11 p.m. after first being refurbished by Rafael Construction. 

The slipper is the last of three Las Vegas vintage signs to be set in place on the corridor, following the Bow & Arrow Motel sign set into place north of Bonanza on Aug. 24 and, a week later, by the installation of Binion’s Horseshoe sign north of Washington Avenue.  New landscaped median islands are also being installed. 

City crews will now work to provide power and conduct a series of tests prior to the signs being officially put into service. 

The cultural corridor is made up of the highest concentration of cultural institutions in Las Vegas and includes Cashman Center, the Las Vegas Library, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, The Neon Museum, the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park and the Reed Whipple Cultural Center.

Please watch the video of the installation:

http://video214.com/play/0IFyBBBcRJhslXBK3V5KOw/s/dark/

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‘Peepshow’ in Las Vegas not for Camera Peeking

Scandalous photographs recently snapped at a risqué Las Vegas show have raised questions about technology versus security. 

The photos were of performer Aubrey O’Day in topless revue “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood. AubreyODay

Between cameras and cell phones, pictures can be easily snapped and even full length movies can be recorded — causing rising concerns now to producers and performers. 

The pictures taken were not suitable for children and were something the performer did not want to see surfacing on the Internet. 

“I decided to call out tonight because of some nude photos that were illegally obtained last night at the show,” O’Day said.   

O’Day cancelled an appearance earlier this week after the nude pictures circulated the Web. She later posted a video on YouTube addressing the candid photos. 

“It made me feel bad. It made me insecure about my body,” O’Day said. 

Security officials said they are not sure how the photos were captured. “We don’t allow any cameras in the theater,” said vice president of BASE Entertainment Marks Chowning. 

But even with all the security detail and bag checks, many devices still do sneak inside. 

Chowning works for the company that manages “Peepshow” and said it’s a problem that’s getting tougher to handle.  “It’s somewhat of a losing battle. As you know, the devices are getting smaller and better equipped with more technology,” Chowning said. 

At almost every Las Vegas show, nude or not, recording is forbidden.  Knowing it’s almost impossible to stop everyone, “Peepshow” uses trained eyes and even night vision goggles to weed out clandestine photographers. 

“We will be more aggressive about watching the audience. We will have the night vision goggles in use, and people who are found in violation of the policy will be ejected from the theater,” Chowning said.  “Really trying to protect what the women want protected, which is not having naked pictures of them strewn about the Internet,” Chowning said. 

O’Day has since returned to “Peepshow” after sitting out one night. The show opened earlier this year.

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Penn & Teller, Harrah’s Entertainment Give Back to Las Vegas

Comedy-magic duo Penn & Teller will present Goodwill of Southern Nevada with hundreds of men’s and women’s business suits that were collected throughout the Harrah’s Entertainment properties. The event starts at 11 a.m.  April 15 at the Penn & Teller box office in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. pennandteller

The event’s purpose is to raise awareness of Harrah’s Entertainment’s ‘Giving Back to the Community’ resource fair that focuses on professional and personal development on Thursday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  at the Rio Pavillion Ballroom in the Rio Convention Center at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. 

Workshops and presentations planned for April 16 include opportunities to improve skills in job searching, health and wellness, nutrition, and create awareness of financial and community resources available.  Highlights include resume review, interview practice and feedback, free mammograms, health screenings and dental checks, healthy cooking demos and more than 30 organizations that provide services to Las Vegas. 

Both events are free and open to the public.

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Indian Petroglyphs never had it so good

Kevin James Manix, 58, born in Boulder City, Nevada and now living in Henderson, Nevada, knows where all the great petroglyphs are in the Southwest– but he’s just not telling exactly where. petroglyphs

“I don’t tell people where these things are,” Manix said. “We’ve got to preserve them.” 

Mannix’s 35 primo photographs of them, though, weave an unbelievable story.  The photographs were taken between 2002 and 2007 and all feature ancient art – petroglyphs or rock art – and were taken at various places, including Grand Gulch in Utah, White River Narrows in Nevada, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  For some, he walked 50 miles just to take one photograph. 

Mannix is sharing some of the images he has captured, once hidden and left by Native  Americans, in a Southwest Photography exhibit that runs through May 3 at the Rainbow Library Art Gallery, 3501 N. Buffalo Drive, in Las Vegas.

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Sky Holds Answer to Las Vegas Woes?

In this choking, restless economy, how do you draw better focus to your Las Vegas casino or hotel?  Simple:  Put a camera view on the side of your business.  

SkyTag, a building wrap design firm, has provided the ‘guiding light,’ draping two sides of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas with an advertisement that mimics what you see when you look through the lens of your camera or video recorder.   

This “camera” is taking a photograph of the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.  By using this local landmark as the centerpiece to the design, SkyTag has managed to not just focus attention on the Luxor but also focus attention on Las Vegas.  And with some luck, this campaign may just focus attention on SkyTag itself as a viable advertising alternative.

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Out with Miss America, In with Miss USA

No sooner than Miss America pageant contestants sashayed in and out of Las Vegas, then 51 Miss USA contestants strutted in to take their place at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.  On April 4 at 6 p.m. all the Miss USA contestants will have their first official welcoming ceremony, with the public invited to come out and meet, greet and photograph the bevy of beauties outside the resort on Las Vegas Boulevard plaza, 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South. 

The iconic Donald Trump-owned Miss USA® Pageant returns for its second year to Las Vegas and the Theatre for the Performing Arts at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Representing Miss Nevada USA will be Georgina Vaughan, who will have a brief four-mile drive from her home in georgiavaugnSummerlin to the festivities.   The local 20-year-old blonde beauty plans to wear a bikini from Jessica Simpson’s swimsuit line for that part of the competition and promises that she’s also going to take a risk with her evening gown competition as well.

“It’s definitely going to be something spectacular and different. I want to be a trendsetter because that’s what Nevada is all about in the first place. It’s going to have a real sparkle to it, but nobody will see it until the actual moment I walk in it for the competition.”

Rounding out the Las Vegas welcoming committee entourage will be Crystal Stewart, 2008 Miss USA®; Thomas McCartney, president and CEO of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino; Lawrence Weekly, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Director and Clark County Commissioner; and other dignitaries.  KLUC’s Chet Buchanan will be onsite as the local emcee.

If the mass meet and greet is just too bland for you, might want to consider attending the Sunday, April 5 pajama brunch at Simon at Palms Place from noon to 2 p.m.  Twenty-six Miss USA contestants will be in their jammies eating anything yummy.    Then that evening the high metabolism blessed lovelies will pig out on pasta at Buca di Beppo in Las Vegas and be entertained by chef Michael Miyahara.

There is no word on whether Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2007, who was stripped of her title after racy photos emerged of her kissing other women, will show up to kibitz with the new flock of beauties.

Also, no blog postings are being planned about having fun at Guantanamo Bay, as happened when Miss Universe Venezulean beaty queen Dayana Mendoza visited the detainee camp with Miss USA 2008 Crystal Stewart and posted her late-March bombshell entry.  It quickly vanished and was replaced by a statement from embarassed Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe organization.

The 2009 Miss USA® Pageant will air live on NBC on April 19, 2009.

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Playboy Icon Hugh Hefner Turns 83 in Las Vegas this Weekend

hugh-hefnerHugh Hefner will be prancing around all this weekend in his aged red robe all over the Palms Casino in Las Vegas celebrating his 83rd birthday. 

There’s a Palms Place pool party scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 4 at the Playboy Club & Moon Nightclub. 

And there is great potential for some memorable catfights, as Hef’s “old” flame, Holly Madison (and, recently, Criss Angel’s ex), is reportedly joining her “Girls Next Door” gal pals, Kendra and Bridget.   During this fray, Hef will meticulously grooming their replacements with tender loving care: Crystal Harris and 19-year-old twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon.   

If you’re planning on going, be sure to bring Hef a birthday present:  Viagra

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Boulder City Boosts Nevada Tourism Appeal with New Air Terminal

The Boulder City Municipal Airport in Boulder City, Nevada, located about 40 minutes outside from central Las Vegas, has been waiting many years to get a showcase air terminal for their 3,500 customers who fly helicopters and planes daily to the Grand Canyon.  Now their dream is a reality with the opening of the new $9 million Boulder City Aerocenter.  The 30,000-square-foot terminal at the airport is the project of Southern Nevada’s Halvorson family – largest air tour operators in the world – which own Papillion Grand Canyon Helicopters, Grand Canyon/Scenic Airlines and the Canyon Flight Trading Company. 

The terminal has allowed the myriad of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas flight tour operations to consolidate at one location and in so doing reduced some of the mounting air clutter over residential areas and provided more takeoff and landing slots for bigger aircraft at McCarran airport in Las Vegas.

Dramatic 26-foot tall windows face the ramp, runway, and offer a panoramic view of the desert and mountains beyond. 

A large retail store features clothing, accessories, and souvenirs, along with a photo processing center and café. 

On the second floor there are offices and a call center where approximately 350 employees accept travel reservations and conducts tours in 16 languages.

Not bad for a sleepy little Nevada town with no gambling allowed.

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Las Vegas’ Sexiest Cocktail Waitresses

Sooner or later Las Vegas Backstage Access knew it would happen:  a Las Vegas branded sexiest cocktail waitress contest.  Who would have thunk it?  Sponsored by the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, there were 4,539 respondents that were ultimately paired down to a field of 10.  And the winner is… Luxor’s LAX nightclub server Jordan “J-Lee” Abeyta- all 5 feet, 2 inches of 36-24-32 of her. jordanabeyta

The single Abeyta, 22, of Portuguese and Spanish descent, who someday wants to host a travel show on cable TV, briefly talked about her victory: “I’m really honored to be chosen.  All the girls in the contest were beautiful.  Maybe they’ll [customers] recognize me, come in and want to sit at my table.”  

Clicking her six-inch stilettos smartly, Abeyta turns and works her magic- like she does three nights a week across the three football field lengths of hardwood floor at the LAX nightclub from 10 p.m. to 4 or 5 a.m. 

Abeyta earned 21 percent of the vote, followed by competitors Andrea Atkinson from Christian Audigier The Nightclub (16 percent) and Joey Williams from Tao (14 percent).

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Nevada Film Industry Weathers Economic Storm with Gusto

While most segments of Nevada’s economy have been shrinking, if not temporarily disappearing all together, there’s one area that not only met budget projections but those projections earned more than $100 million dollars for various Nevada coffers.  witchmountain

The Nevada Film Office (NFO) announced that film related production revenue for 2008 totaled $110,552,900, making it the 9th year that the NFO has met their $100 million benchmark. 

“The figures from the last decade confirm that Nevada is at the forefront of the film industry as a production destination.” said Luis Valera, Commissioner for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. 

The NFO assists a variety of productions including commercials, television series and student and feature movies.   The movie “21″ and CSI: Las Vegas are favorites that come to mind.  But already in 2009 the reality program The Locator, comedy show Howie Do It and the news program ABC Primetime have all completed Las Vegas filming segments. 

In 2008, the current box office smash Race to Witch Mountain spent several weeks filming in downtown Las Vegas- and it didn’t just spend time under the glitzy neon glamour lighting.  As with other productions, non-Strip Las Vegas facilities served as useful and realistic filming locations.   The Fergusons Motel on 10th street was the home of down on his luck hero cabbie Jack Bruno (aka Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson).  The El Cortez Hotel and perennial filming favorite, Planet Hollywood, was featured prominently.  And in addition to filming on the Strip and through Fremont Street, the Race to Witch Mountain crew spent time working at Red Rock Canyon – which once again appears to be the perfect setting for another far, far away and very arid planet. 

With a growing list of Las Vegas film projects already approved and permitted for 2009, this is sure to be another banner year for NFO revenues.  That should translate into more revenue in the bank for hotels, caterers and equipment rental agencies.  And, of course, Las Vegas residents who earn extra bucks playing extras, will continue to bring Nevada to life on plasma TVs around the world.  

With this amount of money spent by film crews each year, Las Vegas won’t even mind if the hero makes a grand exit through the side door of the Tropicana and walks out under the blinking winking lights of the Fremont Street canopy (Angel – Season 4 – The House Always Wins).   

After all, the buck stopped in Las Vegas, right?

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First Beer Fest at MonteLago Village in Las Vegas

MonteLago Village Resort is nationally known for their luxurious Spa Vita Di Lago, boutique shopping and a championship golf course.  But on Saturday, March 14, they are adding a whole new wrinkle:  The MonteLago Village Resort and Buckbean Breweing will host the first ever Village Beer Fest to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy beerfestFoundation of Las Vegas.  Tickets are $20 per person for the four-hour event; ticket cost includes an engraved commemorative glass. 

Buckbean Brewing recently expanded into the Las Vegas and Northern California markets.  Currently is it is the largest production microbrewery in Nevada. The craft beer company produces two signature beers, Original Orange Blossom Ale and Black Noddy Lager, which are available in environmentally-friendly cans.  This allows beer fans the opportunity to carry their favorite beverage with them during all outdoor activities without being worried about broken glass. 

“Buckbean’s is excited to partner with The Village on this event and hope it will become an annual event,” said Buckbean Brewing Company Owner Douglas Booth. “The location is perfect for this type of event with restaurants and shops to enhance the experience and a resort in case guests have had too much fun and need a place to sleep.” 

In addition to tasting the countries most distinctive brews, The Village Beer Fest will have live music and offer delicious snacks.  Hotel packages including tickets to The Village Beer Fest are available at MonteLago. (Please click on link for further information.)

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Cirque du Soleil Art Exhibition Comes to Las Vegas

The creative genius of Cirque du Soleil will present their fifth annual collective art exhibition at The Rever Gallery at The Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., beginning on February 6 and running through February 27. 

More than 30 art pieces will be on display.   For information, call 702-352-0225

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Sports Illustrated’s First Model Strip Preview

February is a month that offers something for everyone.  Historical celebrations, groundhogs in top hats, romance and roses, and if none of that appeals to you – how about the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue?  sportsillustrated

Since 1964 February has been the month when men wait by their mailboxes to peruse the latest high fashion poses from the world’s most beautiful women.  Models yearn for the opportunity to pose in Sports Illustrated as it traditionally provides their entry ticket into supermodel status.  To support the yearly launch, there’s been an HBO special, video’s and CD’s, a reality TV model search and countless calendars.  And to introduce the 2009 edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, now there’s a first ever personal appearance launch party planned.

Southwest Airlines will cover and wrap one of its Boeing 737-700 jets with art that celebrates the 2009 swimsuit edition.

And very early on February 12  they will fly between several and a half dozen of the magazine models from New York to Las Vegas for a series of opening events to be held in Las Vegas. 

Stop by later this week and read our Las Vegas Backstage Access blog for a list of the models and the local public celebrations that will kick-off the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

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Bald Eagles Love Las Vegas

The bald eagle, the iconic national symbol of the United States, is our new Las Vegas snowbird.  Results from a recent survey show 108 eagles – 29 adults and 59 immature – now make their winter residence at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. bald-eagle

Once on the brink of extinction, the bald eagle was declared an endangered species in 1967  for much of the United States, except Alaska, where about half of the world’s bald eagles live. 

This year’s bald eagle survey results at the Lake Mead Science Symposium on January 14 reported the second-highest tally of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area since the midwinter counts began in 1985.  

Last year the record tally was 116 bald eagles. 

A good area to view and photograph the mighty bald eagles is at the Overton Arm of Lake Mead.

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Morph Into President-Elect Barack Obama

In our Las Vegas Backstage Access blog posts we’ve given you information on how to register your new inaugural dress on-line to prevent the embarrassment of being seen wearing the same one as other women.  And we’ve given you the inside scoop on where all the Las Vegas inauguration parties will be.  But don’t just stop there. 

Now, you can top it all off and be morphed into Shepard Fairey’s iconic style print of President-elect Barack Obama with your own mug.  Just surf on over to http://obamiconme.pastemagazine.com  (no .www) and upload your beaming photo, choose the word you’d like to have  placed underneath it, and – Viola! - you’ll be visually transformed immediately and effortlessly into Barack.  You can e-mail your work of art to all your family and friends.  Or just place in their gallery.

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‘Weddingmooning’ in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day

What’s a “weddingmoon?”  A weddingmoon is a new word for a growing trend to combine your solemn marriage weddingvows with the fun of the honeymoon.  Las Vegas, the destination wedding capital of the world, remains at the top of the weddingmoon list by offering sumptuous locations, unique ways to say your “I Do’s,” and cap it off with affordable reception celebrations.  And this year, with Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, the Las Vegas wedding chapels and locations are gearing up for extra business and starting to advertise many online specials and hotel combo discounts.  

 

If you want something kitschy, you could consider having your vows from the same Elvis impersonator who wed ‘Entourage’ star Kevin Dillon to actress Jane Stuart.  Or you could select a poolside wedding at the Bellagio and follow in the footsteps of “King of Queensactress Leah Remini and Angelo Pagan.  

 

However, more visitors are opting for a different view of the Las Vegas wedding this year- making it not just a location to visit, but their complete destination wedding spot.  And, if the Valley of Fire and Mount Charleston areas in Las Vegas aren’t the backdrop you’re looking for, you could trying look down instead – from the gondola of a hot air balloon during a sunrise or sunset marriage ceremony.

 

There are, of course, many stories of quick and failed marriages that line the chapel walls – Nicky Hilton and Todd Meister married at the Vegas Wedding Chapel on August 15, 2004 and just two months later the party was over.  Yet, successful unions have also begun along the Vegas Strip.  Look at the longevity of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward married at the El Rancho hotel-casino in 1958 or Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa who married May 1, 1996- at what Miss Ripa calls the “chapel of cheese”.

 

There is one thing to know if a Vegas weddingmoon is in your future:  At least one year before you plan your walk down the aisle bring some I.D. and $55 to the Las Vegas Marriage Bureau at 201 Clark Ave between the hours of 8am to 12am.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try now, but the earlier the better.  Because while you can gamble on everything from a horse race to your future 24×7 in Vegas, the county offices will be closed after midnight.

 

And, if you need some professional photography or videography of your special day to last a lifetime, don’t forget to contact us:  http://www.BackstageAccessVegas.com   and please complete the contact link. We do hundreds of weddings each year, tailoring to your needs, while being very economical in these challenging times.

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