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Final post from Vegas…

I’m sitting in Los Angeles airport sipping a weird wheat beer (to calm the nerves – don’t like flying). I thought it would be a good opportunity to do my final Vegas blog post.

I have had a really brilliant time. I have learned and been inspired from the best in the industry. As I sit here I’m definetly looking forward to getting home to my wife and kids… I was wondering if I could condense all that I’ve learned into 3 points…so here goes:

1. The Craft
Everybody seems to be a photographer these days, but not everyone is a ‘great’ photographer. I’ve been reminded to constantly improve my craft – to push the boundaries, to experiment – to improve.

2. The Customer
An absolutely awesome customer experience really is key – its a big deal for me in 2012. Expect some customer ‘wow’ in 2012.

3. The Complexity
Ok I couldn’t think of another ‘c’, but it’s all about the business stuff. To create really great and simple workflows, to remove complexity, to always have consistency.

Well thats 3 headlines – but there really is so much detail behind those! But for now thats it. I’ll leave you with some final thoughts and pictures from Vegas – it really is a crazy place!

Below – the only time you’ll see me using a Canon camera (how awful!). We were playing around with a wee bit of video. 🙂

Not sure the whole wedding chapel thing would catch on in Belfast!

Oh no, a Canon again:

The conference was in MGM, as was our hotel room (thanks to Donal Doherty for the company and craic). He also forced me to go on a rather scary roller coaster 🙂

The sex industry is alive and thriving in Vegas. It really is everywhere. In my opinion its a bit of a pity, as it would put me off taking my kids there:

Probably the only time you’ll see a bum on this website 😉

I took a walk around downtown one day. Unlike the clean and tidy strip, its a lot more urban. I loved it but decided to put the camera away as I was attracting way too much attention to myself. Might not be the safest part of town:  

The architecture really is awesome:


Ok I better go. Hope to see some of you at the Kings Hall Wedding Fayre. If I look a bit jet lagged, buy me a coffee :-))

Quick update from Vegas…

Well I’ve now been here just about a week. After doing some of the touristy stuff, its great to get down to business. This week, I spent two days at ‘University’. Some of the worlds best photographers shared their insight – the likes of Jerry Gihonis, Sal Cincotta, Joe Buissink etc etc. These guys are kinda famous within photography circles. It’s funny to see all the Amercians getting photos taken with them – us N.Irish are a bit less excitable!


Today I’m going to see Zach & Jody Gray. I’ve heard them before – they are excellent and speak a lot about faith and photography – two topics dear to my heart. Then I’m off to learn about social media and baby photography.


Just went down to Starbucks – lots of tired looking people in the Casino. Really must admit I’m not attracted to the Vegas party life at all. But it’s been great to see it and experience the vibe.
Really inspired to learn even more about my craft. This really is a brilliant job to have. The Kings Hall Wedding Fayre in the day after I get back – dear help all the attendees – I might just be a wee bit over-enthusiastic 🙂

One Seriously Crazy Day…

As most of you know I’m in Las Vegas for the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Convention. But yesterday we had a free day to explore – so we thought we would head to the Grand Canyon. It didn’t exactly go to plan…here’s the story!


First off we visited Hoover Damn – which is kinda a cool place…Lovely sunny weather… 

So then we headed towards the Grand Canyon. By the time we reached the Canyon (4hrs later), it was snowing a little and visibility wasn’t too good. That was kinda a bummer, but it was still an awesome sight.

Some Elk:

Some behind the scenes shots from Donal Doherty:

This is what happens when you get too close and the Elk runs at you:

In the visitors centre the guide mentioned a ‘storm’. On the way out I joked how Americans always exaggerate the weather…maybe I shouldn’t have tempted fate :-).


So driving around the Grand Canyon edge (massive drops) – it started to snow….


…. and snow….


…and snow…

Not too worried about this so called storm, we headed to the Imax to watch the Grand Canyon film which was totally awesome..

But on the way back, temperatures dropped and it was properly snowing a blizzard. The Mitsubishi convertible (by the way, if you really really have to buy a Misubishi get this one 🙂 ) wasn’t designed for the conditions, and progress slowed to 10mph.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact I was going to wear shorts (luckily I decided to save the Arizonians from the sight of my knees)..These massive lorries kept passing by – was a little scary. Eventually traffic came to  a stand still. We where told there had been an accident ahead and we had to wait until it was cleared. That was 9pm…. 10pm, 11pm, midnight passed. Problem was we only had 1/4 tank of petrol (gas) left so we couldnt run the car all night to keep it warm. This was the view that greeted us at sunrise (6am) – still in the car after a crap nights sleep:

The road was sheet ice:

Eventually a knock at the door came, and a truck driver offered us a cuppa coffee. We got chatting to the nicest truck drivers ever – Craig & Anne Leonard (check out their blog at ). Really interesting, Craig used to work on Wallstreet and through the change in the markets, changed direction and became a truck driver. They do 6000 miles per week – thats like 3 laps of Ireland each week!

Thanks to Donal for the next one:

Here’s there dogs Max & Lil Bit who also live in the truck:

Another nice lady (think from Volvo truck 3 pics up) made us french toast which was great. We where typical tourists – no food, no water, no gas, no clothes, no clue.It was just so great to meet these guys and learn about what life is like on the road…


Talking about the road, eventually at 10am (13hrs later) we got on the move again – and back to Vegas. As one last homage to the rental car, we popped the roof down, enjoyed the sound of a 747 landing over head and cruised down the strip. Now I’m off to bed!

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