Las Vegas Sun

April 25, 2019

Currently: 72° — Complete forecast

Sights Unseen

Our favorite pictures that didn’t run this year

Unseen Leila

Leila Navidi

THE MOMENT, APRIL 5: Over the lit candles of his birthday cake, Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Bunny girlfriends raise their glasses in a toast to celebrate Hefner’s 82nd birthday at Trader Vic’s inside the Planet Hollywood. Hefner, one of the most over-documented men of his time, had a reality TV crew filming his birthday celebration as he was surrounded by his omnipresent and youthful girlfriends. But Hef seems almost alone, caught between the glasses raised for a toast, finally looking his age.

Sights Unseen by Leila Navidi

THE WAIT, OCT. 19: Johanna Van Oeveren, a showgirl representing the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau, waits for photo opportunities with Justin Timberlake and the winner of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin. Sure, I could have gotten that great shot of Timberlake posing with a trophy at the golf tournament, but the lone showgirl standing apart from the rest of the group, seemingly contemplative while waiting for a photo-op, was much more telling. Launch slideshow »

The made-for-media event is as ubiquitous in Las Vegas as the sprawling shopping plaza, and is just as visually unappealing. People of interest are always poised, coifed and ready for the cameras.

But when most photographers point left, it can be fascinating to turn the lens another way. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to catch moments of individual experience that slink around the edges of red carpet events, news conferences, performances, gala openings and celebrity parties.

The photos that result are a little more interesting to me, and, of those, these are my favorite, unpublished shots from 2008.


Leila Navidi is well into her second year as a staff photographer at the Las Vegas Sun. She has previously worked at the Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and for the Greenspun Media Group publication The News. Her favorite sport is volleyball, and her favorite food is mashed potatoes with gravy.

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