As a nude model, I’m always asked about Valley of Fire as a shooting location.
I’ve shot out there many times without incident, but you really have to be careful. If the ranger catches you shooting without a) a permit and b) clothing, your ass is GRASS! I’ve heard this is because the ranger is himself a photographer, and likes to keep the location all to himself. But this is just unconfirmed hearsay.
What I can confirm is that one time I was shooting out there with a photographer and another model, and we were unceremoniously booted out. We had hiked waaaay down one of the remoter slot canyons, and were WELL out of sight from the road (probably a quarter-mile down a sandy wash), blissfully shooting artistic nudes.
I was in the process of climbing up behind a rock, when all of a sudden I heard a loud voice bark out: “Young lady! Put your clothes on. Sir, come with me!!”
I was out of sight behind the rock, so I stayed hidden, thinking that if the photographer was fined, it might go better for him if he only had ONE naked chick with him. The ranger led the other model and the photographer back down the canyon toward the car, lecturing them the entire time: “Now, what would happen if a couple of cowboys had come along and put a bullet in your [photographer’s] head and then had their way with you [model]?!” Give me a break!!! How the hell this fucker even found us way down that canyon, I’ll never know.
I stayed hidden, naked as a jaybird, scrambling along in the bushes about 50 feet behind them. Back at the car, the lecturing went on for another 20 minutes, as I crouched beneath a nearby creosote bush like a deranged Manson Family murderess, listening to everything. The ranger finally left — but not before informing the photographer that he was not welcome at Valley of Fire and had to leave immediately.
As soon as his truck rounded the corner, the other model sprinted over with my clothes, I got dressed, and we all jumped in the car. We had taken my truck, but I had to sit bent over from the waist in the middle of the bench seat, so that my head didn’t show through the window, in case the ranger was watching us down the road. Sure enough, that fucker was waiting around the bend, and followed us the entire way out of the park. I had to stay hidden the whole time while the photographer drove!!
So, photographers: if you want to shoot at Valley of Fire, be warned!! Also be advised that I know of a nearby location with almost identical topography, that is outside the boundaries of Valley of Fire…where I have never been bothered by the Man. It’s a better place to shoot, and I’d be happy to take you there if you hire me as a model 🙂
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