Hi everyone! Jared here. You may remember me from past blog posts such as Assistant Interview: Jared Castaldi and pretty much any other post where I’m standing in testing light for Chris or acting a fool. I’ve been working with Chris off and on over the years as an assistant, digital tech, second shooter, etc. You name it. But most recently I’ve been handed the task of telling the story of how we came to make two of Chris’ recent portfolio pictures: Neon Boy and Golfer.
Back in January of this year, Chris, Robert, Zack (our in house digital artist), and myself packed up and headed out west to Las Vegas. Chris had ideas for three pictures. Unfortunately due to weather issues, one of our pictures never came to be. I won’t mention what that picture was because it’s still in the works for later this summer. So you’ll just have to wait!
When we end up in Vegas, we usually end up at Tacos El Gordo. They are amazing. Go there and get the adobada tacos.
And when you’re in Vegas, you usually end up at a Casino. We like the Cosmopolitan but we didn’t stay there this time (but we stayed in sight of it!). They have secret pizza. We like pizza.
Here you can see I’m taking a selfie of myself and the back of Robert’s head while riding an escalator in the Belaggio.
It was the Chinese New Year while we were in Vegas. The Bellagio had a huge display in their lobby for it. The goats were robots and they moved around and made noises. Reminded me of the Chuck E. Cheese band. Pretty cool stuff.
So once we got settled our first stop was the Neon Graveyard. The Neon Graveyard is a park like space that is home to a bunch of old vintage signs from long long ago when Sinatra roamed the streets of Vegas. It’s an amazing place. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from there:
As you can see from the final Neon Boy picture up top, we pieced together a variety of the signs and transformed day into night. When we got back home, we shot our hero and a few other pieces in studio. I’m no retoucher but I’m sure Zack had a great time putting the whole thing together…
After we got what we needed for the Neon Boy picture, we headed out to Mesquite, NV. This is where mother nature screwed us out of our portfolio picture. Mesquite is a little town a few hours northeast of Vegas. It’s basically the middle of nowhere. I don’t recommend going there. We stayed at the Virgin River Hotel and Casino. I don’t recommend going there either unless you like second hand smoke and becoming extremely ill….. Let’s not mention Mesquite ever again. Let’s move on.
After our defeat in Mesquite, we headed to back to Las Vegas for our last shot, which details a day on the links with a storied golfer. We needed to get plates at a golf course for this shot and the fine people at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort were kind enough to give us free reign of their beautiful course.
Check out that form! I’m actually an OK golfer. I shot an 84 last weekend. How ’bout that?
President and Vice President of Best Hair in the business right here. I hope they don’t crash their cart. Who will lead us then?!
And again, our golfer in studio back in Philly.
Then things got weird. We stopped in El Dorado Canyon which is even more in the middle of nowhere than Mesquite. It’s the site of the oldest and richest gold mine in Nevada. There were also a bunch of murders and Indian raids here back in the day. We didn’t know what to expect…. Now it’s basically just a few houses and barns filled with all kinds of stuff/junk. I think you can pay them a small donation and they’ll let you walk around with a camera and take pictures.. so we did that. Here are some pictures. You can decide yourself…
So this was our last stop on our trip. Our trip home was not fun though. We were sitting in our hotel room at around 8pm the night before our flights home. A huge blizzard was supposed to hit Philly a few hours before we landed and the airlines were starting to cancel flights. We got on the phones and booked red eye flights home to land before the storm. Unfortunately the rest of the west coast had the same idea and the four of us couldn’t fly on the same flights. Chris and I had to fly to Phoenix then home which went smootly but uncomfortably. Robert and Zack had to fly to Phoenix then to Orlando then home to Philly.
Their trip ended up being a real life version of the movie Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. It was not a good time for them.