It’s been raining intermittently in Los Angeles for the past few weeks. Luckily, though, on Friday, the skies cleared up and it was a beautiful, warm day. I say luckily, because I had an outdoor photo shoot!
My friend Mike is an amazing photographer (Check out his website here), in addition to being a really sweet, funny, good guy (sorry, ladies and gents, he’s married). I’ve been thinking a lot in recent months about how much I’ve changed, physically and in other ways, during the past year, and how wonderful it would be to have a few kick-ass photographs that illustrate that. So when I saw Mike a few months ago, I asked if he’d be willing to snap a few pictures, and he said he would!
Last night, I picked out a few outfits and steamed them, and today, I went and met Mike. We brainstormed a few ideas on where to go, since we wanted to be outdoors, and we settled on a part of the Angeles National Forest. It’s only about 20 minutes away, and I had gone there on a hike with my friend Tavi in November (you can read about it here) and loved it. There’s a burned-out bridge (thank you, Station Fire, the largest forest fire in Los Angeles County recorded history), some other ruins that are much older, a creek, and it’s really beautiful.
Here are some pics. These are from the hike in November – they’re NOT Mike’s photos from today. He’s gonna send those to me soon, and I’ll definitely post them.
This is the trail you take to head into the forest. Because of all the rain in the past few months, it was a lot greener today:
The burned-out bridge:
Every so often there’s remnants of stone walls and foundations – making me extremely curious about what these structures were, and when they were built:
There’s also lots of dead trees that didn’t survive the fire:
It took me and Mike about 30 minutes to hike down to the burned-out bridge, and then it was time to shoot some photos. I’ll be quite honest and say that I was kinda nervous – some people are naturally very photogenic, and I’m not saying I’m not, I’m just saying it doesn’t come easy for me. Mike was very helpful and very patient and tried a few different tactics to try to get me to relax. We tried a bunch of different set-ups – on the bridge, under the bridge, sitting, standing, leaning, and it took me a little while, but I think I loosened up. What really helped was focusing on a piece of music, and letting it get stuck in my head, because then I was thinking about that, and not what I should be doing and tensing up and getting self-conscious.
The song I let get stuck in my head is one of favorites, and it’s called “Lay Your Head Down” by Keren Ann. When it’s stuck in my head, it’s stuck at a much slower tempo than its actual tempo. You can hear it, and watch the music video, here.
After the bridge, we stopped at one of the stone wall ruins, and took a bunch of photos where I’m leaning against or sitting on top of a dead-ivy-covered wall. Then we pulled out the ladder and I leaned against the top step – oh no wait, I’m thinking of my brother’s high school senior photo from the early ’90s.
Mike showed me a few of the photos on the little screen on his camera, and HOLY SHIT, I can’t wait to see the full-sized versions. I really had very little to say – they almost struck me speechless. You’ll definitely want to check back in with the blog in the coming days/weeks, because I’ll be posting them here!
As I type this, it’s now about 1:30am on Saturday, March 5th, which means 2 things:
- 1) It’s technically my birthday. I’m 32 years old now.
- 2) The deadline has passed to enter my Birthday Giveaway Contest. It looks like I have close to 50 entries, although I haven’t cross-referenced them yet to see if everyone followed the rules – I’m serious about disqualifying the slackers! I’m gonna take the remaining 22.5 hours off from blogging, so no new posts until Sunday, when I’ll reveal the winner. Maybe it’s you!?
Oh, and I ended up having a bonus workout today! I worked out when I woke up, doing 15 minutes of free weights, 45 minutes on a recumbent bike, and 15 minutes ofabs/push-ups, and then Mike and I ended up hiking to get to our photo shoot location! It was about 30 minutes to get to and from the bridge – so another hour of exercise, all up- and downhill…
…Keep it up, David!