“2 am Casion Shoot”

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I was recently on a shoot in Black Hawk Colorado photographing a home for a magazine when during the shoot I received a call from my longtime client Haselden Construction. They wanted to know if I could shoot two casinos for them the following day in Black Hawk and meet their deadline of having the images in hand by the beginning of the next week.

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As serendipity had it and as I told them, not a problem, I just happened to be in all places but Black Hawk already. Sometimes the stars just line up! So instead of loading up my gear and driving home after my shoot for the magazine, I headed to downtown Black Hawk to meet with Haselden and do a walk-through of the properties.

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To photograph projects like these its imperative to do a walk-through. Meeting the GM’s of the properties is also key. Security is tight in casinos as you can imagine so getting clearance is a must. Trust me you can’t just walk into a casino with a camera on a tripod and not expect to be confronted by several security guards with guns.

The above images are from the Mardi Gras Casion, below are from Saratoga.

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I was given strict instructions by the owners of the casinos that I was not allowed to photograph any areas where money was handled (the cage) or photograph any employees, or patrons. Also, I was to be out and finished by 8:00 am, no if and’s or buts.

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So the game plan was to arrive at the first location The Mardi Gras at 2:00 am photograph it, and then walk up the street and shoot the Saratoga. So from when the initial phone call came in from Haselden to shoot the casinos (about 1:00 pm that day) to when I would actually begin photographing  was roughly thirteen hours. Keep in mind I had been already shooting a project all morning.

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So after my walk through and getting clearance the time was now 3:00 PM. What to do what to do knowing I was gonna be on the ground running at 1:30 am.  I did what any other seasoned professional photographer would do. I ate dinner at 4:00 PM, had a few cocktails, found a black jack table (i lost by the way) and was in bed by 6:30 pm.

And that’s how that day began….. and ended.

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About James Ray Spahn Photographer
James Ray Spahn is an award winning architectural, interior, lifestyle and resort photographer. He shoots for architects, interior designers, developers, manufacturers, shelter magazines and resorts. www.jamesrayspahn.com

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