Either you love Vegas or you don’t. I can’t say that I particularly like Vegas mainly because I have no business being there except for attending SEMA. I love being around hopped up cars at the convention center where every nook and cranny has a car and booth. Every other year I attend this monstrosity of a show, as it is one of those shows that I still pay for myself simply out of passion.
Going into this year’s show I had new ideas on how I wanted to cover it. Seeing as I wasn’t there on behalf of a client, I went in trying to capture as many cars as possible for everyone back home, giving them an opportunity to see things the regular public can’t. After all these years of attending I’ve found there’s a process to covering the entire show before the end of the week, and part of that is remembering where all the cars are located in each of the halls.My friend from back home kept calling me asking where certain cars that he saw that I posted and I was always able to tell him.
The first couple of mornings, I got to the convention center early to capture the cars without people around, and I stayed late into the evenings to capture some light painting. I was on a roll for a while until the new security supervisor switched shifts: That guy came at me three strong and booted me. I got some decent shots, and you can bet I’m going to keep trying this strategy next year. Sometimes as a photographer, you just have to bend a few rules to get the best shot.
While in Vegas, I had the wonderful opportunity to stay in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel which used to be the Mandarin Hotel. It was absolutely gorgeous, and was made even better as it didn’t have a casino attached. When I got up to my room, I was blown away by some of the features like the bathroom glass that wrapped into the bedroom and the bathtub that was raised out of the floor. As a techy, I had a hard time putting down the TV remote as it controlled different lighting settings for the room and the shades to the windows. What a fantastic experience to have that privilege for a night!
Many automotive celebrities walk SEMA’s halls and love to talk about this passion for automobiles we all share. Ford Performance had a spectacular setup at the show’s demonstration area with Vaughn Gitten Jr. who launched an RTR Ford F-150 off of a jump and landed right into a full drift! You could even sign up for drift rides in a couple other Ford vehicles. Hotwheels had the finalists from its ‘Legends Tour’ there. Luis Rodriguez and his “2JETZ” took home 1st place and his project will be made into a die-cast Hotwheels car that’ll be sold in stores. What an honor!
I could write for ever about my time at SEMA, but I’m going to keep it short and give you an abundance of photographs to view instead. Just feast your eyes upon this beautiful imagery!