Luxury in the Nevada Desert

Around the beginning months of each year,  it’s often a slow time for wedding events.  I decided to have a styled shoot just to create content and have some fun. Then the idea of a desert themed shoot in Nevada popped into mind I got excited at all the possibilities.

I thought, “why not do something totally new and go explore.” 

Around this same time, I happened to meet some other entrepreneurs in the wedding industry through the Clubhouse App.  One in particular was a wedding planner from LA named Jessica, who owned the company Not Jess A Planner.  She shared my enthusiasm for creating a luxury styled shoot in the desert and we brainstormed the idea to make it happen.

One of the first tasks on the checklist was to find a couple adventurous enough to be our models.  We wanted people who were an actual couple, easy to get along with, and shared our love for exploring the world and the outdoors – enter Antonio and Lauren.  They are friends of mine who I have hiked and traveled with and just recently got engaged.

When you travel out into the wild, you're sure to find it.  Its best to be stable on the inside so you can overcome.

-Randy Ignacio

Planning and Preparation

After several challenges in the planning process we were able find two great spots – El Dorado Dry Lake Bed and Tule Springs Fossil Bed. They were both on the outskirts of Las Vegas and just about a half hour drive from the strip.

Through Jessica’s meticulous efforts and networking with additional vendors, we were able to obtain amazing pieces for Lauren and Antonio.  We had two suits, two dresses, two bouquets, and some elegant table settings.

The shoot was an all-day process.  It started bright and early  with scouting the exact shoot locations ahead of time, driving back to document the make-up and hair, then going to both shoot locations to prep and then create the content.

Road Bumps

There were a few hiccups along the way that slowed us down – such as the road to Tule Springs being shut down for construction and some heavy wind at both locations.  We didn’t let it get our spirits down.  We ended up going around via some backroads and it added to our memory of the day.

Once we arrived, the wind was whipping Lauren’s hair around; it added a wild element to the photos which I really enjoyed.  After an hour of getting some gorgeous shots at the fossil beds, we headed off for the second location.  We took a quick pitstop to get some sandbags at a local camera shop since the wind was blowing over our floral arch.

Plan “A” very rarely works out the way you want. Its helpful to always have back-up plans and make the best of each situation. When you travel out into the wild, you’re sure to find it.  Its best to be stable on the inside so you can overcome.

A Dry Lake Bed & Golden Sunset

We arrived at the lakebed around 4:30 with an estimated sunset at 5:45.  We had a good hour to shoot content but the wind was posing a major challenge. It kept blowing over the floral arch as well as the table sheets and table settings. 

For the arch, I bought some weighted sand bags to hold it down but for the table, we were forced to use our cars as a shield to deflect the wind.  We parked our cars in a line about 3 feet away from the table so items on top wouldn’t be blown away.  We didn’t have the option of putting weights on top of the table since it would defeat the purpose of the shoot.  

Wedding vendors are no stranger to working under the pressure of a timeline and a challenging environment.

It was beautiful to see everyone’s team work and collaborative effort.  By the time had set, we got everything we were aiming to capture and were happy with a job well done.  Every shoot, I start the day off as a professional enjoying my job, but more often than not, throughout the process, I become good friends with those I shoot and work with because we share amazing moments together.

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