5 things you need to know when planning your engagement photos at the Bellagio Fountains

There are so many attractions in Las Vegas to see during your vacation, but one of my favorite things to do on the Strip is visiting the Bellagio Fountains. The rushing waters dance across the lake choreographed to music. And each show is a different song and a different fountain sequence. So when this couple asked for engagement photos at the Bellagio Fountains, a light bulb went off in my head! I want everyone to experience the most out their Bellagio Fountain experience. So I’m sharing 5 things you need to know when planning your engagement photos at the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas.

Not only is it a memorable experience, but it’s beautiful for professional photos.

1 Plan your session time according to the Bellagio Fountain schedule.

You’ll want to make sure you know the fountain schedule before you set your photo session time with your photographer. During the day, the fountain goes off every half an hour. After 8 pm, the fountain goes off every 15 minutes.
You’ll want to arrive at the Bellagio 20-30 minutes before the Fountains go off. During busy seasons (late spring through fall), you’ll find yourself circling the parking garage for ten to fifteen minutes just to find a place to park. Walking from the garage to the fountain takes a few minutes, especially if there’s a crowd. So come early and be prepared to miss the fountains once or twice to find the perfect spot for your photos.

2 What time of day is best for a photo session?

The fountains are truly a sight to see any time of the day, though you can’t beat the stunning lighting at night. If you’re hiring a professional photographer, make sure they are bringing flash photography for night photos (preferably with a soft box, umbrella or diffuser). Though the fountains are well lit, you’ll need professional lighting to light you!

3 Where is the best place to take photos at the Bellagio Fountains?

As a first timer, visiting the Bellagio Fountains may be overwhelming. The side walk right in front of the fountains, parallel with Las Vegas Blvd, may seem like the best spot, but it is a haven for street vendors. Don’t be surprised to see Vegas girls in bikinis with outlandish feathery head dressings, street performers in mascot costumes (usually Elmo, Captain America, or Johnny Depp characters) and the clever artists creating handwoven flowers made out of straw. You get a show while you’re waiting for the fountains! It’s entertaining but, since there is so much activity, it’s often very crowded. You will find yourself shoulder to shoulder with strangers that do not know the meaning of “personal space”. So, there are a few tips and tricks I’ve found to circumvent this cluster.

– Take photos on the upper deck. The upper deck is located right next to the valet drop off and entrance to the casino. There is a lot less traffic there and you get a great view of the Paris Casino Eiffel Tower and High Roller. See more upper deck photos from Lena and Matt’s wedding portraits.

– Take photos later at night – right before you go out to eat or clubbing – why waste your hair and make up?

– Wait your turn. You may not get the perfect spot during the first show, but people move quickly after the fountains are done. Take your time, see a few shows and you may get the perfect spot on the second or third viewing. It’s worth the wait!

4 What are other sites close by?

Don’t let the tall building deceive you. Though it may look like a short walk to the neighboring casino, it could be a long trek that you weren’t prepared to make in your 4 inch heels. But, there are a few favorite locations that are about a 10 minute walk away, just make sure to bring sandals to change into.

– Eiffel Tower at Paris casino – though you can see it from Bellagio, it’s worth it to walk across the street and get an up close and personal view.

– Cosmopolitan – you technically are not allowed to take photos inside this bedazzled hotel, but you may be able to take one or two on the second level of the chandelier bar as you’re passing through.

– Vadara Towers near the Aria – these leaning towers are colorfully lit at night and make for a modern backdrop for your night photos.

– Mandarin Hotel – if you like glamour, the Mandarin Hotel is your place. It’s hard to find, but this hidden jewel is worth it’s weight in gold (pun intended). At the tea room, there’s a golden wall that’s perfect to end your glamorous photo shoot!

5 What to avoid?

The Bellagio has a beautiful conservatory filled with flower arrangements and unique decorations. The theme is changed every quarter to accommodate for the seasone (fall, Chinese New Year, Spring and Summer). It’s beautiful and definitely something you must see when you visit Las Vegas. However, professional photographers are prohibited from taking photos inside the Bellagio. To avoid embarrassment, don’t ask your photographer for family photos inside, just enjoy the scenery and take a few iPhone photos for your Facebook album.