Rock A Hoola Waterpark Portrait Shoot

Last year on the way to WPPI we noticed an interesting graffiti’d out structure as we were passing through what the maps told us was Newberry Springs. We made a mental note to check it out on the way back. On our return trip we were all pretty exhausted, but we decided to stop anyways. The property, formerly known as Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark was totally abandoned. We spent about an hour exploring the eerie structures and listening to the wind. I kept thinking to myself as I was taking photos there that it would have been so cool if we still had some of the models with us we had worked with over WPPI.

Flash forward a year and we were on our way to Vegas again, this time with two models in tow. The plan was to stop at the ruins on our way in. Well there was some good and bad to it. The bad was that the park is no longer totally abandoned. There is a guy actually living on the site “restoring” it. I put that in parenthesis because the way it was a year ago is EXACTLY the way I wanted it to be currently for my shoot. The guy and a couple of his co-workers (who seemed very intent on just awkwardly staring at our models) are in the midst of painting over some very awesome graffiti art. Granted a lot of it was just mindless tagging, but some of it was pretty fantastic. And it’s all about to be gone (if it’s not already). If you take a look at my past images there versus these you can see that a lot of it is already gone.

The guy doing the “restorative” work now charges if you want to go in and shoot there. Considering the draw to the spot was for me the ruined nature of it, I definitely will not be going back for a shoot there. For one hour we paid him $40 cash. Hopefully he is legit. I do have his contact info if anyone wants to arrange a longer shoot there. Again with the graffiti being covered up a lot of the cool edgy factor is gone. Still on the good we did get to shoot there, and it would have been a bummer if we had been denied. That said on the way back from Vegas as we passed through Newberry again we noticed there are a ton of abandoned buildings that would make great portrait shoot spots.

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Nikki Smith - Oooooh so pretty 🙂

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BAPR 2 – the Vangina rides again

BAPR2 was a more intimate BAPR than BAPR1 – which required less van as a result. Back at WPPI 2014 Jessica‘s husband Matt came up with the term “vangina” that aptly described the nearly all female occupancy of our trip. Since then it’s stuck, and regardless of the gender variety (although typically I’m still the only male occupant most of the time), vangina is forever our transportation call sign.

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 This particular vangina was fancier than most and featured leather seats and an interior that did not smell like children.

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 Reno and Nikki were thrilled to discover they had their own reading lights.

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 Nikki doesn’t have her ears pierced, so this photo amuses me.

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 Nikki demonstrating water drinking techniques and her love of world peace.

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Reno and I model our baseball style t-shirts. Photo by Nikki.

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Boho inspired desert explorer fashion editorial shoot

Our inspiration for this shoot was a stylish adventurer. Sorta like Indiana-ette Jones minus the whip and pistol. We sourced the outfits from Anthropologie, Free People, with accessories also coming from Lucky and Forever 21. Melissa and I did the styling and Cheriene did makeup. Madeline’s hair pretty much does it’s own thing, and that was perfect. The only factor not very onboard with our plans that day was Anza Borrego – who decided on a whim to be cold, windy, and threatening rain. Somehow we managed to brave the elements long enough to get some amazing stuff.

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Madeline Lydia Stammen - love love love!! You are AMAAZINGLY talented Josh

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San Diego Modeling | Madeline

Madeline leads an interesting life. She makes her living as a professional figure skater and works on a cruise ship. She’s seen a lot of places and hasn’t spent much time in at home since she began her adventure. It was a bit of a fluke that she wound up in San Diego training for ice skating pairs. We managed to make our schedules align so she could have some time to hang out with us. She also has an interest in modeling, which works out well for me and my cameras. We had planned on doing an editorial sort of shoot in the desert one day. Of course having nothing else to do host-wise in San Diego but to take photos, I brought her downtown to get in a little practice before the desert shoot the following day. Her sweater and maroon jumper-thingy are Anthropologie. The black leggings are Forever 21.

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Zac Solomon - these are cool Josh

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Torrey Pines + Old Town Mexican Cafe

If you visit us as a guest you can be guaranteed of two things. One we will take you to Torrey Pines to hike at some point. Most people automatically assume this is a really vigorous activity. Not so much. And even though we likely haven’t burned off many calories we’re probably going to take you to the Old Town Mexican Cafe anyways. We’ll strongly recommend you order the carnitas, and if you don’t you’ll probably regret it.

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