There’s nothing better than exploring a neighboring area over multiple trips to make sure you didn’t miss any gems that were undiscovered prior, which is usually the case. We hit the canyon to do a bit of shopping but mostly just to get some fresh air and spend time outside together. We started at a very cute shop with an even cuter name, Pebbles, where I purchased a book for myself and a necklace for the lady. The shop owner was an amazingly kind soul that kept complimenting C and I. Next we went to a hat shop that just opened up named Busto. The owner recently brought his artisanship from Italy to the canyon and I’m sure glad he did because I can’t wait for him to make me a handmade hat. I’m honestly obsessed with the craftsmanship and love that you can see and feel through his creations. From there we went to Hidden Treasures, a very eccentric thrift store with an even funkier vibe and festive exterior that reflects the treasures one might find inside. This seems to be the most popular of the bunch with the younger crowd so expect a line if you plan to visit. We also stopped by a few more stores that I forgot to document because I was simply trying my hardest to not place my hand anywhere near my wallet or else I would have done some serious damage. It’s s fine, there’s always next time. Lastly, there’s a really interesting gentleman that parks his van on the side of the canyon and sells everything from vintage clothes to rugs and furs to used hair removal machines and video games. If you’re a re-seller, expect to pay top dollar and upscaling prices. If you’re into fashion and vintage, he will surely have something for you. Not only is exploring your area a great way for you to learn what it has to offer but it’s also an opportunity to introduce yourself and build relationships with like-minded individuals. It’s the foundation for a creative relationship that allows you to extend your services all while supporting local establishments.
One of the biggest questions I get is how to make money from taking photographs? I would say my perspective on this has always been the same, which prepared me for the climate that we’re experiencing at the moment and has allowed me to consistently bring in photo income. Since the beginning of my journey into poaching clients, my motto has always been, “they can’t pay me unless I make them pay attention first”. I’ve always been someone who takes initiative by visiting stores that I like or buys products that I’m into, then captures content the way I see fit and emails it to the companies/brands. I think of it as “the first one’s on me, the next one will cost you”. So, that’s my secret and it’s worked for me over the past ten years and I now extend it to you. It’s all part of the ecosystem, you support the companies that you like, take the initiative and reach out to them with content that you captured in your own unique way and then ask if they would like to work together in a creative capacity. Even if they don’t have the budget to hire you, chances are they’ll repost your image(s) which enhances your chances of someone who does have the budget seeing your work. You have to think of everything as an investment all while supporting the system that feeds your creativity and the local businesses surrounding you.
Reflecting on 2020 as a whole I can honestly say it was a wild ride. There were so many negatives (some that we as a society are still feeling the impact of) but I forced myself to mentally guide the challenges into a positive outlook and it drastically changed the course of where my energy flowed. I only paid attention to the things that I could control and the outlooks that I had power over and it lead me to one of the happiest places in my life with one of the most amazing and beautiful humans that I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing life with. Let’s face it, 2020 could have easily gone down as one of the worst chapters in the book of my life but I knew I had to stay strong and navigate the waters with caution. I knew that I had to mentally and physically build myself into someone that can endure the hardships and be powerful enough to change the trajectory of how these events would unfold within the spectrum of my own world. Doing so, opened the door to a magical place. A place where the best version of myself was waiting for me to find and the place where my human that I was always meant to travel this journey with just so happened to stumble upon as well. Talk about the universe steering the course of our destiny. Two strangers, getting gas at the same time, at the same desolate place and in the same mental and emotional space. If you don’t believe in a higher power that is greater than us, I don’t know how else the creator could prove their heartbeat.
So, this is how we spent our NYE. I bought a tuxedo and the lady put on her dress as we got dolled up for each other and rang in the new year with a bottle of Martinelli’s apple cider, one of our special occasion cigarettes and hearts full of gratitude and optimism. We hope this year brings you nothing but happiness and self belief because you truly are so powerful and can create everything that you desire.
Take a little tour of the desk setup that we did at my girlfriends place. She was kind enough to give me my own dedicated space to work from when I’m at her apartment so I figured I would show you around. This just goes to show that you don’t need much and you don’t need anything fancy to start off. Keep it simple and keep it creative.
We find the best gems when shopping at charming boutiques in the canyon. I loved this unique “ashtray” that I found at Moona Star so much I decided to buy two of them and then reached out to the creators of Housetray® and told them I would like to work on a project with them in the near future, which they happily accepted. Stay tuned.
Always support small businesses that are contributing design to the ethos. Cross promote, work together or simply buy their products as a way of keeping new ideas alive.
C, and I reminisced about how much we used to enjoy a cigarette in our past lives and how we’re probably going to be the type of parents that sneak off for a smoke together when the kids are finally asleep. Our one naughty trinket from our youth that keeps us with a rebellious spirit. We laughed and said “lets be crazy and buy a pack (organic, of course) and only smoke one on special occasions”. This was the first Christmas that we shared together and also our first ciggy. Three puffs and tons of laughs later, we acknowledged that the moment was much greater than simply sharing a cigarette.
The day after Christmas we decided to take a short drive to Malibu for fresh air and seasoned fries from The Sunset. It was impossible to not be overwhelmed by gratitude when looking out at the beauty that god and the universe has given us. C and I are extremely lucky to be able to share meaningful moments like these together and there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t give thanks to the creator.