While I was up on the Central Coast shooting for some magazines I produced and shot a "girls wine weekend" concept for Stocksy. My models were my longtime friend Becca and some of her girlfriends-- Mindy, Stacie, Caitlin, and Stephanie. We bopped around a few Central Coast wineries and got to drink some fantastic wine. What's more fun than a beautiful, sunny day, drinking wine with fun girls and making some photos?
I had the good fortune to be in Paso Robles on assignment when Domenique contacted me wanting to do a shoot. Domenique and I had previously worked together to shoot an athletic/sportswear inspired shoot in Paso Robles and she is a rock star, so of course we made it happen. We tried out a couple of different concepts and played around with wardrobe and scenery. The light was spectacular, and Domenique's skin was luminescent. Here's some of my favorites from that day.
New season, new work at Edible SLO. I was super stoked to have some of my harvest photos published in a photo essay for the magazine.
I also shot a story on some local businesses in the area including Komplete Kombucha, based in San Luis Obispo and Villacana Winery's RE:find Distillery in Paso Robles.
Years ago I had a friend that brewed her own kombucha and it was terrible. Bitter, acrid, and way to powdery and green tasting. I was pleasantly surprised that I really liked the brew made by Komplete Kombucha. I tried their ginger flavor and their hibiscus, and both were fantastic. They made me a kombucha convert overnight. The company is made up of three young and ambitious entrepreneurs and I see big things in their future.
RE:find Distillery and Spirits is owned and operated by the truly lovely Monica and Alex Villacana. They make vodka, gin, rye whiskey, and limoncello from the first press grape juice that comes from their own Villacana Winery during the winemaking process. With two businesses to run, Monica and Alex are very busy people but on the day that I photographed them I found them to be energized and very sweet and hospitable. They showed me around the distillery and tasting room and we chatted about the various projects they have in the works. When the shoot was over they very generously gave me a bottle of my choosing to take home. I went with the gin because there are few things better on a hot summer day than a gin and tonic. Wow, was I impressed. My boyfriend Justin proclaimed that it was even better than Hendrick's, which as all gin lovers know is the peak of gin perfection. You can find RE:find products at cool bars and liquor stores everywhere, including my neighborhood Oaks Gourmet in Franklin Village in Hollywood!
Back in October I had the opportunity to photograph three chefs from some of my favorite restaurants in San Luis Obispo County for Edible SLO magazine. The magazine came out in January and is on news stands now. Each of the chefs are committed to sourcing local, seasonal, sustainable products and are really at the forefront of the farm-to-table dining movement. I have eaten at each of the restaurants featured in this issue and I can safely say that if you're on the Central Coast and looking for a spectacular meal you will find one anywhere these chefs are cooking.
A few months back I did a shoot for the new publication, Edible SLO. It is on news stands now; the Summer 2013 edition. The Edible Communities publications are fantastic local resources, and Edible SLO is off to a great start with cool articles and beautiful layouts. As a photographer it is such a pleasure to work for them because they utilize photography in a prominent way with lots of images and full bleed spreads. Look how adorable the cover is!
I shot a profile piece on Chaparral Gardens in Atascadero. The owners Cari and Craig Clark were very sweet and were kind enough to show me around the garden and let me try all of their products. The Clarks make artisanal vinegars from the produce they grow in their garden. I have been enjoying the Tuscan balsamic ever since my visit. Thanks to the Clarks for being so generous (I saw them at the farmer's market and they loaded me up with produce!) and the editor of Edible SLO, Karrie Crane for choosing me to shoot for this issue.
I finally got a moment to photograph my lovely friend Shelby Garland. I was honored to be the first photographer to do a shoot with her. I knew she would be a natural and I'm sure she has a bright future ahead of her if she chooses to pursue modeling. We went down to the beach in Ventura, California and shot at the pier, Surfer's Point, and Marina Park. The cloudy sky made for one large soft-box which is great for portraiture. Shelby looks beautiful and I'm sure we will work together again soon!
I had a fun day shooting Lauren and Kylee Klay last week. They are both really goofy and natural in front of the camera. We shot several different set-ups involving a modern, technology filled morning. Apparently we were having so much fun that Basil (the chicken) decided to escape and join us. After her daring escape we let her model for a few photos.
Thanks to the awesome Krystal Davis for doing makeup for the shoot. You can find more information about Krystal's work here...
The girls looked fresh and lovely. Don't all women look like that when they get out of bed in the morning?
Thanks ladies, I look forward to working with you again soon!
I have been working on a personal project on the California Central Coast wine grape harvest for the past few weeks. It's a work in progress and I am still waking up before dawn, pulling on my boots, heading out to some of the best vineyards in the area, and photographing the harvest. I vacillated between waiting until the project was completed, and releasing it in parts. I decided that it was best to give you small portions at a time. This is mainly because there are way too many images that I love to only show a final 10-20 once the edit was completed. Also, it allows you, the viewer, to see the evolution of the project and how things change over time. These images were shot at Fe Ciega Vineyard, located in the Santa Rita Hills area of California, and Laetitia Vineyard, located in Arroyo Grande.
September has proven to be a busy, busy month! I have started work on a personal project on the Central Coast grape harvest which has led to early mornings and long days! I don't think I've slept this well in ages. I have been incredibly lucky to have gained access to some of my favorite vineyards over the past few weeks and I'm so excited about the images that have come out of the shoots. Unfortunately the harvest project along with my normal assignments has left me very far behind on editing. I foresee weeks of playing catch-up at my computer in my future. The luxury of having time in the field is well worth the editing time later. I hope to have more images for you soon.
Model Christina Diaz is not only lovely, but the California surfer girl is also quite the academic. An aerospace engineering student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, she clearly has a bright future ahead of her. We shot at Margo Dodd Tide Pools in Shell Beach, California on a beautiful summer afternoon. Rebecca Means was a fantastic assistant and the day was lots of fun. Chosing to shoot at high tide left all parties soaked as we waded thigh-high through the water, trying to keep the gear dry. Note to self: check the tide schedule before booking a beach shoot!
During a shoot for Def Jam artist J-12, Lauren and I snuck off and did a couple of really quick test shots before we wrapped up. More images from the shoot to follow later. Thanks Lauren!
Singer, song-writer, musician, Matt Zeltzer was photographed in Pismo Beach, California.
Zeltzer is a fantastic bluesy, rock and roll musician who has just released his second album Desert Tortoise. You can check out some of his music by clicking here. Sit back, grab a glass of bourbon, and enjoy.
I need to pick up the film this week (I shot with my Hasselblad and a Holga during the shoot), and then I will post some selections from the batch whenever I get it scanned.
Thanks again to the team! I couldn't have done this without you!
Make-Up Artist: Carlie Nething
Hair Stylist: Nicolette Slipich
Wardrobe Stylist: Melanie Maxfield
Photography Assistant: Stephanie Thurston
Female Models: Linsey Milligan and Heather Shaw
Male Model: Rob Martin
I've been editing all week, and although I'm not quite finished, I thought I'd get some images up for you all to see. The models and crew were fantasic. I cannot thank everyone enough! I am very pleased with what we created, and would hire you all again in the future.
Avila Beach test shoot part 1 for your viewing pleasure...