When you think about the most talented American photographers and their galleries, where comes to mind? Creative freelancers like photographers and videographers are located around the country. From Florida to Oregon, it only takes a few quick searches to find a list of solid recommendations.

That being said, the East Coast tends to take the headlines when it comes to the sheer number of photographers and their projects. New York City and DC, especially, are considered some of the best places for established and new professionals to start their careers. Not only are they home to vibrant photography communities, but there are plenty of galleries for shows, too.

Aside from New York and Washington DC, other photography hotspots include Connecticut and Massachusetts. In terms of moving farther west, popular areas include California and Utah. But what about Nevada? The state is mostly known for its larger-than-life Las Vegas Strip, which might not be the first place that comes to mind when someone brings up photography. 

But there’s more to Las Vegas and, in fact, the entire state than that which first meets the eye. Could the City of Lights actually be a photography hotspot?

More Than Meets the Eye

In the past, Las Vegas’s primary focus was its casinos. However, over the last five years, more and more US states have launched online gaming markets. Fans of blackjack, for example, can easily access their favorite titles from a mobile device and start hitting and splitting their way to 21. Given blackjack is a global favorite, it makes more sense for active players to opt for a more convenient option. 

That being said, there are few places in the US that offer the same type of big-light displays as casinos on the Strip—or the newly opened Sphere. In fact, only Times Square might come in second in terms of flash and pomp. So, while you might be burnt out on Vegas’s association with casinos, and players might gravitate toward online platforms, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a photographer’s paradise. 

In fact, there’s a lot more than what meets the eye in this city.


Nature Is Nearby

That’s the other thing about photography in Las Vegas—it isn’t sidelined to strictly urban venues. Imagine having access to a busy city like Manhattan only to have a UNESCO-caliber desert within reach. That’s the case with Las Vegas—and its natural wonders are quite varied. Once again, though the city is known for its entertainment sector, there's plenty more to explore.

The Grand Canyon is by far the most impressive natural spectacle that’s accessible from Vegas. But if you don’t want to load into a helicopter, then you can also check out popular sites like Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, and even Zion National Park. This means that photographers can shift from job to job or simply focus on diversifying their creative work.

Untold Spectacles

From its neon-lit Strip to its more rugged natural wonders, Las Vegas and Nevada deliver surprises. But these two factors are just the tip of the iceberg. As you’re probably well aware of, Las Vegas is a place where professionals of all stripes can let their freak flag fly. Unsurprisingly, this has led to more than a few highly intriguing shows and spectacles.

Whether or not a photographer has plans to work for a studio, launch their own event photography career, or focus on commercial shoots, these shows offer tons of inspiration. There’s no idea too strange in Vegas—and that sort of open-mindedness can go a long way in supporting some truly groundbreaking projects. 

Along with its well-known musical residencies and acrobatics shows, Vegas is also home to things like haunted museums, historical landmarks, tiki bars, massacre memorials, and the second-largest golden nugget in the world, to name but a few. And given its borders are constantly expanding, these types of oddity-attractions will continue to grow—but will it manage to become a locus for photographers?

The answer to that question is up to you.