One of the most popular requests I get as a nude model is for a good ghost town location. The reality is, thanks to the urban sprawl of Vegas, there ARE no real ghost towns within 2 hours of town…but there is this ersatz substitute, for the truly desperate.
The owners of the Techatticup Mine near Nelson’s Landing beach (commonly referred to as Nelson ghost town) have pretty much cornered the Ghost Town market — they have amassed a collection of dilapidated-looking wooden buildings, with an astonishing array of rusty old cars, airplanes and vintage memorabilia strewn about for good measure. The place is extremely popular with wedding photographers, and there are usually at least one or two graduation/engagement/family portrait sessions going on. It’s the go-to Wacky Desert Site for unadventurous or lazy Vegas photographers.
Because it’s so crowded, and because nude photography is not permitted here, it’s not a favorite site for me personally. If I could make friends with the owners and rent the site for a day, allowing only photographers and nude models in….it would be GREAT. But as it stands, I get the vibe that the owners are fairly conservative…and do not welcome nude photos.
I have shot here a handful of times, and it’s actually a really cool spot — as mentioned, there is TONS of rusty bric-a-brac strewn about, including cars, planes, old Coke machines, gas pumps, am old upright piano, claw-foot bathtubs and much, much more. For a modest $20 fee, they allow you to shoot here — as long as it’s not nude. Although you can sneak some nudies, if you go inside the buildings/old buses…but be warned, you’ll be kicked out if they catch you!
One bonus to shooting here is that it’s only 45 minutes from Vegas…and if you continue on the road through the “town,” you end up at a fairly shitty beach on the Colorado River that is usually strewn with beer cans and trash, and not very scenic :-/ So you could conceivably make that part of your itinerary. Also, if you take the turnoff right before Techatticup, you go thru a canyon with some busted up old cabins and shit, and come out in a really cool outcropping of giant boulders…but everything is really far apart, and I only did this drive once…so I’m not sure I could lead you back there with any accuracy :-/
My personal recommendation for those who want to shoot nudes in a ghost town setting is to either sack up and drive 3 hours north to fabulous Gold Point…or compromise, and shoot at my own abandoned building site. It’s only one building, but it’s very remote…and free 🙂
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