A Gin and Sake Engagement Photo Session, Champagnes Cafe Las Vegas

We were so excited when we found a couple that had the a. courage and b. personality to shoot their engagement photos in one of my favorite places, Champagnes Cafe in Las Vegas. First of all, Champagnes does not serve food (at least not enough to call it a cafe) nor do they carry champagne, (that I'm aware of at least), except on New Year's, and yes, I have spent New Year's at Champagnes. This is one of the few true spots that still embodies Classic Vegas. I love it so much that there's a limited edition Gin and Sake print: Champagnes Cafe, Vintage Vegas, Limited Ed.

Like most classic bars in Vegas, the ambient lighting is kept to a minimum. If you're drinking and gambling at 11 am, you don't want to be reminded that it's 11 am. While this is great for degenerate behavior (that's not an insult!), it makes for a tricky photography situation. We knew this going in of course. Regardless, we wanted to go for a very cinematic look reminiscent of the movie Casino, which used very bright hair lights in most of the indoor scenes. In the top photo from the series below, we used two remotely triggered speed light type flashes, one in the seat next to the couple with a red gel pointed at the Rat Pack poster to add some color and drama. The second flash is boomed out on a light stand with a small soft box (6" I think) which Jill (camera left in front of the Marylin Monroe poster) is holding slightly behind and over the couple's heads and pointed just in front of them, toward her ring and the cash she's lifting from his stack.

Champagnes Cafe