Graveyard Shift Shoot

When your body has adjusted to going to bed at 10:30 to 11pm every night, it kind of freaks out when you have to be at work from 8pm to 7am–two nights in a row.  I just got done doing an overnight shoot for a casino in Las Vegas, NV.  We were shooting at the buffet and needed to hoard the space, so shooting in the middle of the night was the only way to do it.  I was hired to do two jobs, makeup/hair and photography assistant.  We shot still photos of plates of food and video of the buffet and some of the chefs.

It was very strange getting to work at 8pm, but in the casino time has no meaning.  The first night I felt great, even a little loopy.  The second night I was pretty tired and borderline cranky.  Luckily they kept us well fed with lots of goodies at craft services.

Tracy at the Red Rock Feast shoot  photo by J. Sotirakis

This is our setup for shooting the plates of food.  We had to match the current campaign, so the shots were pretty much just overhead, documenting the food.

Photo by Tracy Sotirakis

This poor buffet worker stayed up all night to help us and was used in a few shots.  He was the pizza chef in this set up.  Of course he groaned in agony when I put makeup on him.  His co-workers laughed and told me to use a really nice shade of lip gloss.  I used a little powdered foundation and regular powder.  A few minutes later I went to check the monitor and see how the shot was looking.  The pizza guy’s face was all shiny looking, so I went to check on him.  He was pouring with sweat.  The pizza cooker was on and it was super hot behind the counter.  I had to keep an eye on him and blot his sweaty face repeatedly.

Photo by Tracy Sotirakis

This wide shot is showing the one of the set ups where the camera is moving and panning over the whole BBQ area, showing all the scrumptious food.  You can see the dolly tracks and Alexa camera, members of the crew and the monitor that is showing the bosses the shot.  The lady in the purple shirt was one of the incredibly hard working food stylists.  We had two food stylists and one assistant and they worked their tails off.  If you think the food you see on TV or in magazines just looks like that without any help, you are way wrong.  I have always respected food stylists but after this shoot, I am in awe of them.

Photo by Tracy Sotirakis

The one good thing about working graveyard is catching an incredible sunrise.  It had been raining all night and when I got back to my room at the hotel I was greeted with this beautiful sight.  You can see the Las Vegas Strip back lit by the sun in the distance.  Very pretty.  After that, I shut the curtains and happily slept all day.

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