Patrick And I go to Las Vegas/Shoot In A $15,000 Per Night Penthouse

So here's the story; Patrick and I had the idea for FStoppers and we knew that we had to create a bunch of videos to get others excited about creating their own. We had some free time and some money in the bank after a solid wedding season so we decided to go to Vegas. We did not do a good enough job planning anything. We had some ideas but we never really set anything in stone so by the time we got to Vegas we had a couple of models lined up but nothing else. We only brought 3 cameras, 3 lenses, and 3 flashes, and the flycam.

One night we go out with one of our model friends (Tatiana) in Vegas and she introduces us to some guys from NYC that happen to be staying in one of the most expensive rooms in all of Vegas. Long story short, these guys leave the next day but buy their room for one more night so that we can stay there and shoot in it the following day. Being able to stay and shoot in this amazing $15,000 per night room was the highlight of my trip. If the incredibly generous New Yorkers who bought us this room are reading this I want to thank you once again for this amazing opportunity. We really really owe you one.

Behind the scenes of our Las Vegas penthouse photo shoot from FStoppers on Vimeo.

Since this shoot was so last minute and we didn't have enough gear or assistants and we had to do everything ourselves. We didn't get the coverage of the shoot that we wanted and we didn't have enough time to do more interviews. Before we came back home Patrick and I went snowboarding and while we had some time on the long lift ride we decided to talk about the shoot while it was still fresh in our minds.

Vegas Recap: Discussing a Photoshoot from FStoppers on Vimeo.

You can view the same videos on youtube here:

View more photos by charleston wedding photographer Patrick Hall at and Lee Morris at

Here is some of the gear we used for this photoshoot:

Glidecam 4000 Pro Stabilizer: Great for steady moving shots like the tour of the hotel room

Nikon SB-900 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras: We had a few of these to light many of these shots; they are great for general portable light on location

Lastolite 24" x 24" Ezybox Hot Shoe Softbox Kit with Mark II Bracket or CowboyStudio 24" Portable Softbox: Simple modifier to create soft light and fits in your suitcase

Manfrotto 680B Monopod : This our favorite monopod because it's so small. Great with softbox above

PocketWizard PLUS II Transceiver: Pocket Wizards, you gotta have them

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Best Wide Angle Lens for Nikon IMO. 2.8 for low light

Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 Vibration CompensationBest lens for video! VC and 2.8 are a must. Great video lens!

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom LensProbably the best lens Nikon has ever made!

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S NIKKOR Probably my favorite lens for portraits.

Nikon D300s Camera: You gotta have these to film video; I think we used 3 or 4 of them.

Written by Patrick Hall. Patrick Hall is the cofounder of and a wedding photographer in Charleston, South Carolina

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Previous comments
Berni's picture

Thanks for the great video! Wear a helmet for skiing ;-)
Love the pictures. Greetings from Germany....

cebuphoto's picture

very nice video, the room was awesome and the models too

Regine Pandora's picture

Wow - what an inspiring video! Loved it, loved the pictures, loved the view from the penthouse! I'd loved to model for a shoot like that. The models were amazing and the pictures turned out great! Just discovered this page and i'm so fascinated by all the great videos! Thanks!

ReginePandora, Norway.

Patrick Hall's picture

Vernon, times are changing and I'd be thrilled to death if Lady Gaga used anything of mine in one of her productions even for free. Right now the usage rights issue is changing and at least with youtube record companies are allowing certain music to be used for non commercial applications in exchange for advertising of itunes or amazon digital downloads. We are not selling anything and at some point if her music is taken off the youtube list then we may have to remix this video with different music. We are now starting to feature music from up and coming artists who need exposure and are excited to be used as the soundtrack of our videos. Thanks for the concern

Matt Steeves's picture

What are you guys using for audio on the D300s?

Raymond Tuquero's picture

I wanted to say I love the way you guys shot this and how each of the photos came out. What luck about the Vegas shoot. I have seen this video before, and I have to say that it has inspired me a lot.

Keep doing what you guys are doing.


Debby's picture

Thanks for another great behind the scenes look. The pics came out fabulous!!

Juan Carlos Ayala's picture

Definitely a kicker of a way to start-off this site. A very inspiring example of what you can do with limited gear and some inspiration (plus a dose of luck!)

Yves Chanthachith's picture

Wow!! I just found out about this website! I have been on here for the last 8 hours reading and learning! Thank you sooooo much for doing this for folks like myself that are starting. Sooooo jealous of that shoot. Must have been so much fun! Sick pictures too!

Allan Sturm's picture

Ditto on the lighting... live video of photogs and models with an occasional flash only goes so far. Damn fine shots guys - models, you rocked

habster's picture

So glad I discovered this site. So much to learn.

Question: What do you need to do to be able to use "professional" music in these videos? I can't just call up Lady GaGa.

Obi's picture

Great work, and great website too ...

Clear Images Photog's picture

Hey!! Super inspiring guys! I really like the idea of this site, and what your guys mission is here! Wicked stuff, keep it rolling!

Michael's picture

Woah. I just realized something reading through your gear list. You say that the 70-200mm is great for portraits? I've attempted some on-the-go shoots with the 70-200mm, but it's like you need the space to distance yourself from the model. What about the 24-70mm for portraits?

John Kantor's picture

If Patrick is going to be in these videos, he needs a better wardrobe.

Rome's picture

Great site guys

webgirl's picture

wow amazing work! I am very inspired after watching this.

David Nguyen's picture

Fricken killer location and images guys.. Tatiana is a gem her eyes are simply mesmerizing.. Next time you guys get hookedup with a room this killer give me a hollar. The team will be on the next flight out to assist.. Tell Tatiana I said "hello" the next time you speak to her.. had the fortune to have this lady grace my lens last year..

Btw.. killer Nikons!!!

Bert McLendon's picture

Awesome! What a treat with the Penthouse huh? What exactly did you guys have to do to get that penthouse? nevermind nevermind don't wanna know! =) great site guys, keep on having fun, it shows in the quality!

Eduardo Rivera's picture

Come on guys!! One of the best photographer takes you to a total free access Bon Jovi show and then some guys buy you a $15.000 per night penthouse in Las Vegas for a photoshoot... and all this just because you have a webpage? I've seen big and successful movies with worse arguments than this... Can you realize how lucky you are? Think about it, you can make a movie with this... Now I'm getting anxious to see what will be next... if someday you'll need a crew please count with me!!

Patrick Hall's picture

Eduardo...this video was the first thing we ever did as Fstoppers. I had no idea I would meet Bon Jovi, shoot snowboarders, become friends with Peter Hurley, or have 1 million people watch an "iphone photoshoot" within the first 6 months of launching the site! Trust me, Lee and I are extremely humbled by all this "success" and don't let superficial things like $15,000 a night penthouses goto our heads. I think luck is what you make of all your combined opportunities; Lee and I are very hard workers at times!

Eduardo Rivera's picture

Hey Patrick, I'm not sure how to take your reply, you seem upset... but you don't take my comment bad, I was traying to say how amazing is all this you two have done. I come here every day to watch videos and read posts, it's a great job what you do. Bon Jovi was my first rock n' roll band when I was a kid and I am just wishing to have only $5.000 to buy a Nikon with a good lens, that's why I'm surprised.

Augusto Mc Carthy's picture

Thanks for all these videos, they are really inspiring. I'm just starting a photography studio and everything is very useful. Thanks again and keep on doing these great videos. Augusto from Argentina

Richard's picture

Great video guys and great site.

Just one thing, although we all love Lady Ga-Ga, it would be good to hear how you direct and communicate with the models.

- Richard

Patrick Hall's picture

Ah no worries Eduardo, I'm not upset by any means, quite the opposite. I just thought maybe you weren't aware of the sequence of events. Bon Jovi was my first concert as well...pretty crazy to meet them and then be on stage with them.

Brad Delaney's picture

Amazing place to do a shoot. Inspired to find one for myself. Ummm thinking thinking. Great shoot with little preparation and some great images were got from the looks of things. Nice guys that would leave you in their Penthouse suite for the day.

richard's picture

Great video. As a Nikon shooter myself, I love using the speedlights as a portable studio. Did you shoot on Aperture or Manual? And as far as metering, did you let the camera's iTTL figure it out or were you using light meters? Looks like you had a lot of soft ambient light coming in and the speedlights were fills. Any chance of diagramming or discussing some of the light placement and how you worked the ambient/artificial mix?

Jerry Cahalan's picture

so great! What a trip.

Rogier Bos's picture

Just found your website. Awesome stuff. Love how you guys show what you do. Thanks! Will be coming back here a bunch!
From Europe

Irina's picture


I would like to watch this behind-the-scenes Video on youtube, but it is closed by youtube for our country, becaus of Content of UMG. Can you pleas show this video on vimeo or


Lee Morris's picture

@Irina it is on vimeo

Matthew Anderson's picture

Awesome stuff guys! Very inspiring. I'm wringing my hands and wondering what I can come up with over here in Switzerland.

Saad Hafiz's picture

Any chance of posting the final photos so we can see them? BRILLIANT videos, so inspiring!

Mick Levanon's picture

Love it,  love it, love it. I am so jealous. Especially love the shots at 6:30 and 7:01. Beautiful work. Just came across this site and am hooked. I have to tell you though that since I first saw this video this morning I've watched it 4 or 5 times now, and I've got Lady Gaga stuck in my head. And she won't get out! I've seen 5 or 6 videos now and love it, one of my favorite new sites. And completely inspired. Usually shoot architecture, landscape, racing. Now need to go shoot people! With my camera of course.

Anonymous's picture

This video has just inspired me to go and do some work for me, rather than paying clients all the time.. it's about time I got something out of this.. great work guys.

Alberto Vazquez's picture

Thank you guys so much for the recap video. It definitely helped out big time. One thing Patrick said that kinda opened my eyes was towards the end of the video which was how "No one is going to pay you for your work if your not shooting in the style they are hiring you for." Again thank you guys so much for this video.

Abubakar Khalid's picture

you guys are so lucky to have shot that ... beautiful place and beautiful photography!!!

Gregory's picture

Just found this site - you guys are awesome! I'm moving to SC just to hang out with you. :-) I've been doing the photo/design thing for a long time and this site just sparks me back up. Thanks!


I'm a Las Vegas photographer that shoots for Lamborghini and specializes in high fashion photography. But let me know the next time you guys are out here. I have access to the best penthouses in Vegas. My youtube page shows a $30,000/night suite at the Cosmopolitan and I frequently use these rooms for shoots. But if I can help you guys out just let me know.

Hebdenphoto's picture

Love your site, keep it up guys!!!!

malia's picture

I love these BTS videos! Please do more!!

Jeremy Sale's picture

Great video! How much did you spend on the Lady Gaga song? Crazy!

Raymund Arenque's picture

What ever happened to the awesome BTS video? Is it posted somewhere else?

Nick Verbenec's picture

Where did these videos go?