An ever-evolving cityscape serves as inspiration for an Australian-born photographer
Behind every eye-catching photo of a Las Vegas luxury hotel and resort is a talented photographer devoted to crafting the perfect shot for their client, and many times that photographer happens to be Clint Jenkins.
Jenkins has created a wide variety of stunning visuals, ranging from the sophisticated cocktail lounge Rouge Room at Red Rock Resort to headshots of American celebrity chef Bobby Flay, which many locals and visitors have seen emblazoned throughout this neon city. His abilities, however, are not limited to photographing posh properties, lavish yachts and star-studded eateries.
The Australian photographer also takes striking images for travel photography projects, snaps postcard-worthy pictures while flying in helicopters, and gets a real kick out of creating eclectic fine art collections. Jenkins’ images are more than just photographs; they are precious artworks that seamlessly capture the minute details of a space and amplify an elegant atmosphere, similar to a painter’s brushstrokes evoking a lush landscape on an empty canvas.
Off The Strip chats with Jenkins about what he’s learned from photographing Las Vegas luxury resorts, how social media misconceptions affect professional photography and a special photo series he created to raise awareness for endangered animals.
Please take me back to the moment when you first realized that you wanted to become a professional photographer.
I always knew that I wanted to be in a creative field. But I think it goes all the way back to my first job as a crew member on a boat. I got the opportunity to start doing the photos and videos on board. I knew that, from that moment on, I was going to work hard to pursue more opportunities like that one. I thought if I worked hard, hopefully I could make something of it. So, without a doubt, it was during that photoshoot that I realized I wanted to continue with it.
What is something you’ve learned from photographing luxury hotels and resorts in Las Vegas?
I’d say be patient; waiting for the right time to shoot always pays off, whether it’s sunset, sunrise, overcast or sunny, or even just the sun being in the best place for the image. Obtaining the vision for the property is important. At the end of the day, if it’s not good, that reflects only on you.
Which of your photo collections are you most proud of so far and why?
I’m proud of my entire set of images, and I particularly enjoyed the artwork I created. That’s something I get a real kick out of producing, and I’m driven to do something that’s more for me and do something that’s cool and unique. Then hopefully others will also enjoy it. I really like having a nice collection of images and adding to it. As a whole, I really, really enjoy trying to create visually inspiring images.
So as someone who has worked on both sides of the photography industry, commercial and fine art, does the artist in you ever feel conflicted about bouncing between the two?
No, the only thing would be that commercial stuff takes precedence over artwork because it puts food on the table. I would say that’s a minimum, though, because it’s still cool to do the commercial work. It’s a great outlet for me, and I get a real kick out of it. But the art side does suffer because of the commercial side.
Since social media has become a space where individuals love to share visual arts, including photography and film, what is a common misconception about professional photographers that you have heard or seen being shared online?
I think it’s that people think it’s easier than it is, especially for the stuff we produce. It’s a lot of work behind the scenes. It’s a lot of pre-production as well as every step of the way from shooting to post-production. I think social media has made it appear like you pick up your phone or camera, you take a picture, put a filter on it, and the job’s done. But from our side of things, it doesn’t work like that. That’s the biggest thing. So it’s great when you get clients like Station Casinos who understand the value of high-end photography and the time it takes to produce.
What is the editing side of the photography work like for you?
It’s very heavy. We took a photograph of one of the cabanas at the new pool at Red Rock Casino. And I’ve got 14 images that I stack as layers in Photoshop to blend together. It’s not just me. I have two other guys on my team who do post-production. We divide up the work however works best for each job. Each image requires at least two hours of editing time, sometimes double that. It’s not something you can just jump in and do.
There’s a lot of technical lighting on set, so you have to know what to do with all that footage when it’s time to start post-production. It’s taken us years to get to this point. And in the digital age, my goodness, things have changed and are changing on a yearly basis. We’re constantly buying new gear and new cameras. Things get easier, but it’s still labor-intensive on the post-production side. I’m a sucker for new cameras when they come out.
Most inspiring place in Vegas?
That’s a good question. I love the Arts District. I don’t go there as much as I’d like to, but I hope that it continues to grow. That would be the most inspiring place.
Vegas is inspiring in that it is constantly reinventing itself, changing things to whatever is the latest, greatest, and coolest thing. I like that about it.
When I first moved here, I thought it was a bit strange, but now I embrace it. It’s really cool. I like that casinos and hotels are always evolving. It’s a bit sad when you see the old casinos get knocked down, but we’re always evolving with new, cool venues.
It always gives you something new to photograph.
That’s probably why I’m biased. There’s always work to do.
What’s a local nonprofit or a local cause that you support? And why?
It’s not local, but my first art series was about endangered animals. I’d photograph their skulls, which were almost like these post-life portraits, giving them a voice. I donated a percentage of the proceeds to the World Wildlife Federation.
Clint Jenkins is working on a number of upcoming projects, some of which he cannot discuss publicly yet. One of these projects is a premiere photoshoot for the much anticipated Durango Casino and Resort. Visit jenksimaging.com to view more impressive visuals by Jenkins and his team.