If you were to ask me before July, "what do you think of California?" My response would be simple. "I dunno. Ive never been. Ive heard good things." Driving up the coast in a convertible, heading into the sunset up into the hills of Malibu, the sun setting in front of me casting an orange glow on the pavement teasing me, saying "keep driving life will get better every mile you search ahead." To contrast, the north east is nothing like California. Boston is fun. New York City is, well, New York City. You love it or you hate it. I happen to love New York City. When you compare LA to NYC, you have two completely different types of cities, lifestyles, and of course, different looks. NYC has a jungle of concrete, Steele and glass. You can be on a rooftop in Long Island City and the view is nearly the same as something you'd see in lower Manhattan.
What I have seen in LA seems to be different. Very Different. The light is different, the skyline is different. Turn around and the view changes. Turn around again, the view changes. Hop to another roof top, the view changes, the mood changes, the looks change. The photo of me, below, is from the roof of a building in DTLA. That is from a studio shoot the day before the test shoot with Jessa. That shoot will be discussed following the posts of Jessa.
I bring all of this up, show these images and comparisons for 1 reason, LA is different. Here is why. In the course of 24 hours you can be on the beach, the most quintessential view of Souther California shooting life style fashion, the next day you could be in a studio shooting a look book or some ecommerece. The day after that you could be in the hills shooting an editorial or on a Hollywood set shooting portraits. For me, from my perspective, the vast differences in locations that are seemingly nestled together, LA has a lot more to work with.
My test shoot with Jessa in Topanga is a stellar example of how flexible the area can be. Turn the corner and there is an area ready to be use for any number of shoots. Turn the corner and drive down the road and there is yet another location ready for a shoot. I found Topanga to be especially inspiring. As quite and private as the area can be, I found it to be a hidden gem of sorts. If I was to be commissioned for an editorial to be shot in California, I would turn to Topanga before others areas. I would do so because I enjoyed the area and would like to use the elements that I saw in a shoot. Granted there are countless others spots I saw and have yet to see in the LA area, and other points north and south, but I know that I would like to shoot again in Topanga.
I said it before and I will say it again, the location was like a film set. I knew when I saw the Airbnb listing I just needed to rent the space. I moved a few pillows and made it a bit more comfortable, but other than that, I shot with the space as it was because it was that well set. As you can see by now, this being the 3rd post with Jessa, there really was a lot to work with.