Friday, June 24, 2016

The Quintessential Las Vegas Picture

I was asked for photos that capture the “most quintessential Vegas moment you will never forget,” by #CapturingVegas.

Now, that’s a tough question since I was born and raised here.

So I thought about what I, a native Las Vegan who writes and blogs and photographs all kinds of Vegasy things, sees as a photograph that captures the essence of Las Vegas.

First, I considered the Las Vegas Strip.

Here’s the thing I noticed about my recent photographs of the Strip: they all have that slightly off-the-beaten path, behind-the-scenes view point. That’s partly because I was working on a series of photos from parking garage rooftops  (which tends to attract security guards, by the way), but I think it’s also reflective of how many residents see the Strip. It’s fun and glamorous, but living in any exciting city (San Diego, New York, etc.)  is far different than vacationing there.

People often ask me why I stayed in Las Vegas, instead of moving away as so many people do. We have one of the lowest percentages of native-born residents of any city.

Two things kept me here: family and my love of the desert.

Only about 15% of tourists ever make it beyond the Strip, which is a shame. Hiking, biking, rock climbing, zip lining, golf, and easy access to the stunning beauty through the Southwest—Red Rock, Zion, Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Cedar Breaks, Lake Mead—are right here in our backyard.

I love a great meal, a show, and taking in everything the Strip has to offer. But for me, the amazing wonders around the city are what captures Vegas.

All pictures by Terrisa Meeks. Check out my other photos on flickr — including more of my photos of Red Rock. And check out #CapturingVegas on's Twitter and Pinterest pages for other pictures of Las Vegas.