In the beginning of 2013, it became clear to me that it was time for a change. I had been living in Stamford, CT since 2008 and it had its highs, like discovering and sharing a passion for Photography in 2009, and it had its lows, like my mother passing away from cancer in 2012. In the beginning of 2013, I felt that it was time to move out of Stamford again, and that choosing a new city to live in would be an emotionally and spiritually healthy thing to do.

California had been quietly influencing me for a few years.  When first getting into Photography, I learned that a few of my favorite photographers, Cherie Steinberg Cote and Apertura Wedding and Portrait Photographers were (are) based in California and their images opened my eyes to the creative possibilities of the west coast. 

For some reason, though, California still felt too “big” and “dreamy” to me. Could I really move all the way across the country? I left it all up to God and just let things flow.

I have a great friend from undergrad who went to The American Film Institute (AFI) to study Screenwriting: Kelly Rothberger.  So talented.  She had been in Los Angeles for a few years and we stayed in touch via Facebook and email chatting about life, work, and of course, movies.  In the middle of 2012, I mentioned to her that I was thinking about making a trip to visit and she gave the thumbs up. I got caught up in Photography work for the remainder of 2012 and by the time 2013 came around I didn't think a trip to California was going to happen; I made mental excuses about money and timing.

But in the spirit of letting God control this big decision, I found myself waking up one morning, in early February,  and without any thought or hesitation, going to Facebook and sending Kelly a message:

I'm coming out for a visit soon, love.  I just need to finish my blog and I'll be on my way :)

I call my female friends "love" from time to time.  I have a silly desire to be British, I guess. At the time of that message, I had been working on another Squarespace blog which was the predecessor of the website you are currently reading. I was dedicated to finishing that blog and then travelling to California. But before I knew it I was booking the logistics for a trip to Los Angeles.  The timing did not go as I had planned: I did not finish the blog first.  The blog would eventually take six more months to get to a place of being publishable.  Had I actually done what I thought I was going to do, finish the blog first, I may not have had the time/money to make this trip.  I took that as a sign that I very much needed to go to California. 

I spent a short five days in Southern California, but it was incredible.  Kelly welcomed me with open arms, was a gracious hostess and guide and we had a blast.  On my first night in town, we ended up taking an impromptu drive around the city, Kelly pointing out LA neighborhoods and landmarks, and she said something I'll never forget: 

"I feel like this is some kind of preview for you."

Something prophetic and comfortable was happening.  I felt very much at home, as if I already lived there and Kelly and I had been hanging out like that in LA for years.  After this trip it became clear: move to LA.

What follows are a few highlights from that week-long visit: 

Random Trivia: there are two images on this page that were not captured with a DSLR, but with a  Samsung Stratosphere.