the year in bensimons

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

A little nod to my favorite shoe and big part of my shoot uniform, the slip on bensimon. I’ve worn them since I was a little girl and recently they’ve taken me all over the place. Some of the spots we’ve gone together (all from my instagram): San Francisco, Mexico, Hawaii, Boston, New York, the desert, Vegas, Portland, Paris, Provence, on my daily walks and all over LA. (Follow me on instagram!) Here’s to more travel for everyone in 2014.

And for good measure, a couple of candids of yours truly thanks to Michelle Pullman.

p.s. Me on the left with my cousins climbing the gate of a medieval castle in france, bensimons in place.

If you’re in paris, buy bensimons at Autour du Monde, otherwise in LA you can find them at Poketo and Individual Medley and online at Madewell. Also, totally wasn’t paid for this.


Saturday, February 16th, 2013

I realize I hadn’t posted pictures of my last trip to paris (besides these photos of taxidermy and these photos from pitchfork paris with bon iver). I didn’t shoot a lot, mainly places and moments that are familiar to me; have meaning for me for how invisible they can seem. These places normally live halfway around the world from me and my life in Los Angeles, but when I’m back in Paris, they feel so familiar and real and timeless that I wonder how I live without them so much of the time.

Images, more or less:
The crumbling stairwell and details and views around the apartment where I have my earliest memories and a place that has not changed in 3o years.
The fantastic blue ish light.
Fantastic real butter.
The Jardins des Plantes where I visit my favorite greenhouse, a lalanne sculpture and is also where I like to walk and people watch.
Palais Royale where my grandmother has the smallest shop in Paris–she sells music boxes and the shop makes a special cameo appearance in this local natives video.
My grandfather.
Walking with my family after a long lunch through the arcade of trees in Palais Royale
A plant-filled window I always loved in place des vosges.


oh california + vsco film

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Going through photos from the middle of summer from a quick trip near santa barbara. It was overcast and moody and a bittersweet trip, I won’t go into details but, yeah. On our last morning we drove around so that I could find some bougainvillea to photograph. We found that first house and I fell in love. We also ran across some suburban gardens and moments that seemed so very southern california. So very perfect for applying VSCO Film to.

Visual Supply Company was nice enough to send me a copy of VSCO Film (in may I think, oops!) to play around with. It’s a plug in for light room (and aperture) that has presets that emulate different kinds of film. Once installed you just scroll through and can apply different treatments to your photos and then adjust using the same tools you normally use in light room for all kinds of film looks. I especially liked using the presets on some of the darker photographs to add more depth and emotion. Reminded me of my film roots *though I do not miss printing in the darkroom. Excited to get more practice, especially with black and white (they have t-Max 3200! as a preset!). They also have an iphone app called VSCo cam that I use sometimes on my instagrams (instead of an instagram filter).

These images also reminded me of this video posted on Curbed of, basically, a french existential look at 1960′s los angeles (like this). It has everything that this video has only it is 100% sincere. And it’s why I love the french. And los angeles.


Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Some selects from the first leg of my journey–I stayed in a beautiful and secret house in St. Jean Cap Ferrat right on the bay. We could walk down stairs and directly into the sea, spending hours just floating, picking yachts in the distance to try to swim out to, referencing the count of monte christo. I ate my weight in saucisson, shopped for fresh fruit at the local marché and got to spend time with family. We took some afternoon trips to villa Kerylos and Eze (for the views and the champagne) and a quick morning in Monaco (meh). It was my first time really spending time on the cote d’azure and I guess I get what all the fuss is about.

dix jours en france

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Just back and have too many images to share. So I’ll start here. At my family’s house in Provence we always eat outside together, in ‘the tunnel’. It’s one of my very favorite spots on earth.

things to watch on netflix instant

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

It’s been a long week and a long time since I did any kind of round up. I don’t know what I ever did before netflix and hulu, but I end most days in bed with my ipad streaming something. I need to do that to wind down and fall asleep. A lot of times it’s a terrible tv show, but sometimes I motivate myself to watch something important or cultural. So I thought for the long weekend I would share some of the less embarrassing films I’ve really enjoyed recently, all ready to stream. It’s like I’m doing the work for you:

L’Amour Fou: a documentary about, more or less, the relationship between Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Berge, the life they built together and the dissolution and auction of the estate when YSL died. It’s slow and incredibly moving with beautiful shots of their homes in Paris and Morocco and their extensive art collection. The narration and the stories about YSL’s career and personal life are captivating. The still above is from the movie, and is admittedly a little nod to my family.

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman: Any fan of architectural photography, los angeles or modernism will get a lot of out this doc. It tracks Julius’ career and his start with Neutra. There are great interviews with him and lts of footage of him actually shooting and explaining why he’s shooting what he’s shooting. I met him once, on his 98th birthday, and I was speechless. He is a hero of mine.

Tiny Furniture: A film by Lena Dunham of Girls fame. She wrote/directed/starred in this and I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s thoughtful and awkward and painful and hilarious. She’s not afraid to be ugly, to be vulnerable, or to be strong. I really appreciate it.

Bill Cunningham: Most everyone has seen this by now, but if you’ve been putting it off, it’s great and light and happy with some very poignantly sad moments thrown in for good measure. I definitely teared up.

The Gleaners and I: I first saw this film in an art house theatre in Seattle when I was visiting a friend on bainbridge island right after college (I drove to Seattle from LA and back, one of the best experiences ever). Agnes Varda became my hero. The film is partially autobiographical and partially about the idea of collecting, scavenging as it relates to the food left over at the marché and to the making of artwork. It’s very meta about the creative process and the process of a life well lived. Some of it is kind of weird, but it’s poetic and thoughtful and very very french.

Wet Hot American Summer: I’m not even going to describe this. If you’ve seen it, you understand the genius. If you haven’t seen it, watch it this weekend.

Also, in case you hadn’t heard, Drive is available to stream now. And I still need to see Eames: The Architect and The Painter and Manufactured Landscapes.

What should I add to my queue?

[image: still frame from L'Amour Fou]

pitchfork paris

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Thanks to Mike and Dean I got to go to the big Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris with backstage access and a press pass. Yes, that means I brought my camera and took a ton of pictures. It was a 2 day festival with Bon Iver headlining in the beautiful Grande Halle de la Vilette. I was super excited.

I was surprised and blown away by Lykke Li who played right before Bon Iver. Her performance was incredibly powerful and moving. She was kind of badass. Like way more than I would have expected. I could have gone home right then, but instead we all waited patiently for Bon Iver.

And then I got to go into the photo pit while they/he came onstage. All the photographers were piled up on each other, so I took the other side and tried not to shoot in a frenzy.

The crowd was great and I would say 90% of them recorded the concert with their phones. You can also see good quality videos of the show here for skinny love, here for The Wolves, here for for emma.

I floated around and shot from all over. There was nowhere I couldn’t go. Including backstage.

Converse sponsored the backstage area and built this cabin complete with an old Nintendo system, taxidermy, plaid and lots of uber hip people. It was awesome.

I loved all the piles of gear out in the fluorescent lighting just a hundred feet from the booming concert in the other room. I also loved the cups the beer came in.

And all the Bon Iver stuff was really beautifully labeled.

musée de la chasse et de la nature

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Took a quick detour after a very long sunday lunch with the extended family (wine! for everyone! champagne aussi? pourquoi pas!) into the musée de la chasse et de la nature in the marais. It was just stunning. Outside was bright and sunny, the streets teeming with people out for a stroll. Inside it was dark and quiet, just you and the beasts.

Reminded me that I want to go to Deyrolle before I leave.

place des vosges

Friday, October 21st, 2011

The oldest square in paris and where my grandmother had her apartment. I chased pigeons here when I was a toddler. Today I sat under the fall foliage, bundled up, eating a tarte aux pommes and enjoying it all.

bon voyage

Monday, October 17th, 2011

So many last minutes things to take care of before a big trip! Leaving tomorrow and will be reporting back towards the end of the week. Here are some french related posts to keep you in the spirit: how to make croissants from scratch, perfect for fall – my take on boeuf bourgignon, Claude and Francois Lalanne, my dad’s favorite store in paris, making madeleines and some art nouveau inspiration.

Also I branched out and shot an entirely person-based shoot for Refinery29. Natalie was great, it was hot, we made it happen. See it here.