Rock A Hoola Waterpark Portrait Shoot

Last year on the way to WPPI we noticed an interesting graffiti’d out structure as we were passing through what the maps told us was Newberry Springs. We made a mental note to check it out on the way back. On our return trip we were all pretty exhausted, but we decided to stop anyways. The property, formerly known as Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark was totally abandoned. We spent about an hour exploring the eerie structures and listening to the wind. I kept thinking to myself as I was taking photos there that it would have been so cool if we still had some of the models with us we had worked with over WPPI.

Flash forward a year and we were on our way to Vegas again, this time with two models in tow. The plan was to stop at the ruins on our way in. Well there was some good and bad to it. The bad was that the park is no longer totally abandoned. There is a guy actually living on the site “restoring” it. I put that in parenthesis because the way it was a year ago is EXACTLY the way I wanted it to be currently for my shoot. The guy and a couple of his co-workers (who seemed very intent on just awkwardly staring at our models) are in the midst of painting over some very awesome graffiti art. Granted a lot of it was just mindless tagging, but some of it was pretty fantastic. And it’s all about to be gone (if it’s not already). If you take a look at my past images there versus these you can see that a lot of it is already gone.

The guy doing the “restorative” work now charges if you want to go in and shoot there. Considering the draw to the spot was for me the ruined nature of it, I definitely will not be going back for a shoot there. For one hour we paid him $40 cash. Hopefully he is legit. I do have his contact info if anyone wants to arrange a longer shoot there. Again with the graffiti being covered up a lot of the cool edgy factor is gone. Still on the good we did get to shoot there, and it would have been a bummer if we had been denied. That said on the way back from Vegas as we passed through Newberry again we noticed there are a ton of abandoned buildings that would make great portrait shoot spots.

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