Since 2012, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada has been the host for AVN “week” consisting of the Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE), the Adult Novelty Expo (ANE) and the AVN Awards show. 2012 was the second year for me covering AVN and I’ve watched how everything has grown and expanded – the exhibitors, vendors, more talent, and more attendees. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has been willing to accommodate this growth to the point that between the end of AVN 2016 and the start of AVN 2017, they added on an additional exhibit hall and was still in the process of additional renovations. I liked what they did and look forward to seeing how everything looks next year.
This new expansion allowed things like the BDSM Exhibitors (aka The Lair) to be moved from the second floor of the Joint where they didn’t get enough foot traffic, to one of the main exhibit halls for better exposure and foot traffic. I know in the past there were some vendors who didn’t like where The Lair was and it affected their sales. I hope this new placement brings The Lair vendors more business and brings back others. The only major issue I had with this year’s expo was the air conditioning. In exhibits rooms like the Muse and Artist, there didn’t seem to be any air conditioning whereas in The Joint and the hallways where exhibitors were ok temperature wise. I don’t know if the room expansion and construction had anything to do with it, but there’s nothing like friends trying to give each other hugs while your both sweating.
With all this expansion came a question for a photojournalist such as myself – am I able to cover it all? In reality, I doubt it. Not that it’s an impossibility, but because with the expanding crowds of attendees, it makes it hard to be able to get all the pictures I want. There used to be a “media hour” which was time before the general public was allowed in that gave us in the media time to go around to do interviews and get pictures of the talent without waiting in long lines. Especially in the Artist and Muse exhibit halls. I really wish we still had the “media hour”, but again, when some things expand, some things are sacrificed.
Now I’m not really complaining because I try to get as many shots of the talent present as possible, but standing in long lines only takes away time from getting shots of the other talent. Especially when they are at certain areas for certain periods of time. And you don’t know where who is going to be when. So I adapt, get what I can, and be happy with the results. What never ceases to amaze me is how a simple thing like a woman placing one leg up on a counter or railing can create a “logjam” of people. Really? Like this is some new ability? And watching people take pictures of this is almost comical. Especially if they are using a smartphone, or as we like to call “phonetographers”. For those taking pictures with a smartphone I need to tell you this: DO NOT SHOVE YOUR PHONE WHERE IT DOESN’T BELONG! Just because the woman has her leg up doesn’t mean she wants your phone shoved next to her underwear! Despite what you may think. There this thing they call a zoom, learn how to use it. Don’t have one? Oh well…..
Overall, unless somebody decides to get in my way, I can get the shots I want and move on to the next person. What I like is that there are other photographers that will work with me and therefore we can get shots of the same person and not take up more time than necessary. And this is not to say that those around the outside can’t get shots as well, they just don’t want to stick their camera, or smartphone, in our way. Not a good idea. So for all the “phonetographers” out there, remember you’re a fan and I respect that. But those of us in the media are there to get pictures too so showing us mutual respect may get you father (and possibly better pictures) than you may realize. And I have to add that if I had received a dollar for every time someone has asked me to take a picture with their smartphone, my trip to AVN would basically be paid for every year.
I kid you not. And I digress.
Every year I cover AVN I notice the changes in the “talent pool” – who’s there and who’s not. Some are busy and couldn’t make ii whereas others have just quit or “retired” – depends on who you talk to. This year getting to see some of my friends was a challenge due to the additional convention space because some of the talent being shuffled around to do their signing. But when I did finally catch up with them, it’s always nice to see my industry friends and make new ones. In looking at some of the new talent I wonders why some of these people are in the industry. They look good, but their attitude is “off”. hard to explain except they look like they are lost and possibly unsure why they are there. But then I look at their managers, mostly men, not dressed like business professionals but more like street thugs and giving off a “pimp vibe” or attitude if you know what I mean. Not that there aren’t the professionally dressed who don’t give off the same kind of vibe, they just don’t look the part. And yes I’m talking about those in an industry where people get paid to have sex on camera. But the adult entertainment industry suffers at times from a negative public perception that dressing like a thug or pimp only furthers that negative perception instead of trying to eliminate it. Food for thought.
So I went around taking pictures, talking to people, and then I met Alix Lovell.
Now, I’m not one to go on about a particular adult performer unless there’s a reason. Alix Lovell is someone I believe REALLY has her shit together. And yes I have come across numerous others who have their shit together, and are successful. But when it comes to new industry talents, especially women, if you’re not prepared, you’re fucked. And not in a good way. I find Alix Lovell is an example of how to do it right. She showed she uses her brain, does her research, is not naive in what working in this industry entails, and understands she can always say “No”. Bravo. I met Alix the first day of the expo when she was accompanied by her mother who is NOT in the industry, but very supportive of her daughter doing what she loves. I applaud that support because in this industry having a good support system is very important. Without one, I think it’s why some of the new talent doesn’t last more than a couple of years. If even that long. For Alix, I can see a long career in the industry if she sticks to her principles. She’s very beautiful with a figure that makes you want to look again. Yeah, I know that may sound corny, but it is what it is and I wish her all the best in this industry. If you haven’t seen any of her work, I highly recommend it. You’ll see what I mean.
before I end this, I want to mention one more thing expanding at the expo is the presence of booths with people doing live webcam shows during the expo – both men and women. No, there’s NO NUDITY, but with the number of cammers that were present, you could easily fill an entire room with just them. But that’s where the hallways come in handy! Another example of the diversity in the adult entertainment industry. I know a few people who do webcam shows and with the growth it’s having in the industry you never know where the next star may come from.
Hmmmmmm……….I think I just had an idea for another article…….I’ll have to give it some thought.
Other than that, the rest of the expo was great as always and the busiest AVN weeks I had since I started covering this show. Besides the expo, I covered three after parties, a small gathering of new adult product vendors, four photo shoots with five models and the AVN Awards show. So I have plenty more coming and when you’re looking at the pictures I share pay attention because as always I have a few “hidden gems”.
The pictures from the AVN Expo can be found in the “Event Photos section” or you can click on the following links:
Enjoy! Till next time……..