There are essentially two kinds of shoots I do: run-and-gun and exploration. The exploration style is always peaceful and wonderful because it means picking a location, getting out of the car and spending the entirety of the shoot walking around. This is usually the case with hiking locations like the two magical shoots I had this week. On Monday I had my first shoot with Nova in over a year. I was split on where we should go because of the possibility of rain for the day but I had previously mentioned my recent trips Switzer Falls to Nova and so she suggested we do that. There are certain places I'll never turn down and I'm glad we headed out there. Because of the intense rain from the weekend the river that intertwines the path was raging. Normally you can cross the river with various logs and rocks but the flow on Monday was so intense we just had to wade through it in places. Fortunately Nova is a mountain woman and we both immensely enjoyed the adventure.
Wednesday I wasn't expecting to shoot but just have a coffee/tea meetup with Chelsea Hanes to discuss a potential upcoming shoot and some collabs. Chelsea and I hit it off big-time and after about an hour talking and blazing we both decided since our schedules were free for the day that a full-fledged shoot was in order. We stopped by her place, grabbed some gear, and headed in to another favorite woodsy spot of mine, Solstice Canyon. Even though I've shot there several times it was exciting to see it so lush after all the rain and for the first time ever I got to shoot a model with the waterfall, which was raging. Once again the Exploration Shoot was in full effect. Though we implemented a few elements of the run-and-gun style as caught the sun setting by the coast in Malibu.
The run-and-gun method is something I picked up from shooting street art. In shooting street art you often run in to situations where all you're looking to do is shoot that one piece and get out there for various reasons such as lack of parking, a tight schedule, etc. This means pulling over, potentially leaving the car running for a minute, getting the shot, and going all in just a matter of minutes. I find this is great for my model shoots because sometimes you just see a quick spot that requires no real exploration such as a piece of street art, a cool wall, a particular splash of light, etc. These kind of shoots are my favorite on days with very little game plan.
The two shoot methods aren't exclusive to another as was the case during my first shoot with Liza when we ventured to yet another of my favorite spots: Rock-a-Hoola aka the abandoned waterpark out towards Las Vegas. I first met Liza when my friend Jess invited me to a party for her hemp denim clothing brand: FadedLA (the same party where I did a mini shoot with Grey Garbo). Jess and Liza have been friends for some largely bonding over there love of urban decay and graffiti. Liza and I only briefly met at the party but I had a feeling we would wind up shooting together. We wound up conversing on social media not long after that. She told me how much she wanted to go check out Rock-a-Hoola so we planned a day to shoot and headed out. Even though this would be my sixth time visiting Lake Dolores Waterpark I still consider it an Exploration kind of location because once you are there you pretty much set up shop and shoot. We did exactly that for a while until, for the first time ever, I got kicked out. Some guy in a truck pulled up and said, "You're not supposed to be here!". I was a big taken back as I've spent many hours there and never even had an inkling that there was any kind of security. But for some reason on this day there was.
We could have let this set back be the end of our shoot but these things happen with many kinds of locations and you just have to roll with. We had already shot a ton in the park so I used the opportunity to change the shoot in to a little bit of run-and-gun shooting at some of the other abandoned spots in the area that I had never shot in because of the amazingness of the park. As a big fan of abandoned spots and a great conversationalist Liza was having a blast either way and shooting a ton of her own photos for her Instagram. After a few quick spots we wound up finding a sign that pointed to a nearby "Ghost Town". With limited sunlight left we decided to take our chances. The town was definitely a bit touristy but fun nonetheless and added for some great shots. I wasn't sure what to expect with Liza as a model but she was wonderful and we've shot together since. We are planning to head soon to San Diego to check out some new abandoned places and shoot more photos together so stay tuned for that. In the meantime enjoy our first set with the girl known as Urbex Pinup.
Click the photo below and let's get lost with Liza!