The Best Las Vegas Photo Session Locations by Jennie Slade.
Las Vegas is not only a city of neon, tourists, and bright lights, it is also a city, surrounded beautiful mountains, national parks, and stunning desert landscapes. With 13 years of photography experience and as a native Las Vegan myself, I have rounded up The Best Las Vegas Photo Locations.
Deciding on a Location
When deciding on what location to choose for your photo session, keep in mind:
- How far do you want to or are you willing to travel?
- Does your photographer charge and additional travel fee?
- Do you have small children with you (is safety a factor?… meaning will they want to touch the cacti?)
- What type of clothing are you wearing? Does it match the location you are choosing?
- Is it the best light for your time of session?
When you have figured out your answer to these questions, you are ready to choose a location that is right for you and your type of session. Here are some of me and my team’s personal favorite outstanding photo session locations in Las Vegas.
Floyd Lamb State Park
This park has been around for ages, and it’s green and lush and beautiful for a lot of the year. There is a ton of big trees and shady spots, and a pretty lake as well.
From the website: “The Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs is a welcome oasis with its 680-acre park with wildlife, lush vegetation, lakes and views of the Sheep and Spring Mountain Ranges. The historic Tule Springs Ranch is tucked inside the park and provides opportunities for visitors to learn about the traditional working ranch and early Las Vegas lifestyle. “
“The Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs is a welcome oasis with its 680-acre park with wildlife, lush vegetation, lakes and views of the Sheep and Spring Mountain Ranges. The historic Tule Springs Ranch is tucked inside the park and provides opportunities for visitors to learn about the traditional working ranch and early Las Vegas lifestyle. “
Things to be aware of:
- There are peacocks (and they are total jerks so watch out!)
- Be careful of animal feces
- In the summer, there are some flys and gnats near the lake
- Ducks walking around (in case you have a fear of ducks and peacocks, maybe avoid this spot)
- There is an entrance fee. I believe it is $6 per car, but be sure to check the website.
Calico Basin Red Springs is located on the very west side of Las Vegas, close to Redrock National Park. It has a beautiful boardwalk (which is currently closed 2019) but there are also mountains that surround the basin that make this a very popular photo location.
The following information is from Vegas 4 Locals.
“While the main entrance to Red Rock Canyon requires a National park fee, the Calico Basin Red Springs area does not. The area features spectacular red and white sandstone cliffs and, as the name implies, there are many natural springs that feed the abundant vegetation and attract a variety of interesting wildlife. Calico Basin is a colorful area tucked between the gray limestone La Madre Mountains to the north, the red sandstone Calico Hills to the west, and a desert ridge to the south. Three springs with permanent water emerge from the base of the red sandstone cliffs: Red Spring, Calico Spring, and Ash Spring. Water also runs in washes to the north and south of the springs during the winter months. The water supports large cottonwood trees, ash trees, shrub live oak, honey mesquite, and Saltgrass meadows. Red Spring flows from a shallow tunnel in the rocks at the end of the road. The outflow from Red Spring also feeds a beautiful marshy grassland. There are picnic tables, fire grills, trash cans, and restrooms at the parking area.
From downtown Las Vegas take Charleston Blvd west for 3.8 miles (about 1.5 miles before the entrance to the Scenic Loop of Red Rock). Turn right onto Calico Basin Road and drive north, then west, for about 1 mile to where the paved road makes a 90-degree turn to the right. At this point turn left, drive through the gate, and enter the picnic area. Red Spring is located at the far side of the boardwalk.
Tivoli Village Las Vegas
Tivoli Village is a shopping and living area with interesting textures and buildings and has a European feel. There is a fee for photographers here, which is now a pretty hefty $150.
400 South Rampart Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89145
Spring Mountain Ranch
Spring Mountain Ranch is an old-time Vegas gem. I have been coming here since I was a child to watch plays at the Summer Theatre, play in the grass or just have a nice picnic with friends. There are also a couple of hiking spots and a pond nearby. For some reason, it feels a little cooler here in the summer too, or maybe it’s my mind playing tricks on me, but that’s another reason I have included this spot in my list of the best Las Vegas photo session locations.
Just remember there is a $10 Entrance fee per car.
6375 Hwy. 159
Blue Diamond, NV 89004
From Nevada Parks “Sprawling and splendid, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is adjacent to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and has been used historically as a working ranch and a luxury retreat by a string of colorful owners, including German actress Vera Krupp and millionaire Howard Hughes. Today visitors can explore some of the oldest buildings in Nevada, a 1860s blacksmith shop, the Sandstone Cabin that was home to the founding family and the ranch house. Hiking trails throughout the park, in addition to tree-shaded picnic sites with tables and grills, make day trips to the park a family favorite. And, every year Super Summer Theatre offers a variety of outdoor shows to enjoy. “
The Las Vegas Neon Museum is definitely cool and historic! Especially for me and my parents and my children all being Las Vegas Natives, it brings back a lot of nostalgic memories. The photos here are colorful and vibrant and a great place for any type of unique photos.
I will warn you though, it comes at a hefty price. The Neon Museum charges $500 for a session in the main boneyard, and last I checked it was $350 to use the smaller area of the boneyard. This is just for use of the area, not including the price of your photographer. There is also glass and other sharp objects, and touching any part of the signs is prohibited, so keep that in mind if you have small children.
Jean Dry Lake Bed
Jean Dry Lake Bed is a small dry lake located just 3 miles east of Jean, NV and I-15. Jean Dry Lake Bed is a popular destination for off-road racing as well as commercial photo shoots and major feature films. The flat ground amplifies shadows, helping to create a dramatic summertime look. More notable productions that filmed at Jean Dry Lake Bed include The Hangover, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Casino. (Nevada Film Website)
Rising from the desertic landscape Mount Charleston is one of the highest elevations in Nevada and provides visitors with ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, picnicking, and horseback riding. It is much cooler air, perfect photo location for hot summer temperatures. About 40 minutes from Las Vegas.