Joshua Tree, CA

Back in February, I had gone on a lifestyle shoot for Life is Good in LA. It was jusssst before COVID really hit the US; and knowing what we know now I recognize 1. Just how risky it was and 2. How fortunate I am that we were able to squeeze this last incredible time in before everything shut down.


This was my second time going on this shoot, but the first time I was able to lead a shoot for a full day vs. second shooting like I did last year. We spent the first day of the shoot splitting our time between an environmental portrait shoot of a Life is Good superfan in Pasadena, and then hit Venice Beach for the rest of the day to shoot with GrlSwirl; an all female skate community. Spending an afternoon skating with and getting to know some of the incredible women behind GrlSwirl was such a treat and an experience I've been so inspired by. This shoot was so much fun, and my favorite set of photography I've captured for Life is Good so far as it's the closest to my personal aesthetic. Here are a couple of my favorite shots from the day!


From there we hit the rest of the shoot, which were two more wild days of run-and-gun shooting. It was such a success and every time I'm lucky enough to work with this team I'm more impressed by what we can achieve. We shot in a beautiful home in Topanga Canyon, another incredible space in Venice, and then one last quick shoot in Malibu. I wasn't able to capture as much on these days as I was busy second shooting, but our production artist/grip/photographer extraordinaire Marcus captured some great moments on film.


I was able to capture a couple photos at the Venice home we shot at. The modern design and art collection in this home is so great I couldn't keep myself from getting a couple shots in my down time.


& a few of my favorite urban/environmental shots I grabbed in our travels.


From there, like the year prior I had decided to extend my time on the west coast after the shoot ended. This time instead of staying in LA I chose to venture out and check out Joshua Tree. I generally like traveling to new places in daylight so I can take in the surroundings, but it ended up timing out so that I had arrived at my Airbnb in Joshua Tree in the middle of the night. I knew I was out there but I had no idea what to expect until I woke up the next day. This was my first time traveling to the desert and I have to say, waking up to this home and the incredible view you'll see below was truly magical.

I love a good Airbnb that is decorated with it's location in mind. This Airbnb was no exception and was designed with intention; a minimal and contemporary space with pops of color inspired by the desert that surrounds it.


I love the floor plan of this home as its all one level and fairly open concept, but the way the space wraps around each "room" feels separate and spacious. Having the house surrounded by the desert mountain is also a unique aesthetic and affected the way light interacts with the space in a way I wasn't anticipating. This is one of the first home tours/interior shoots where I didn't need to bracket my exposures to get the look I typically go for. The light is just that good. So cool to see (and honestly made editing a breeze).


I love the mix of rust and wood tones paired with heavily textured pieces of decor. It softens the minimal & hard lines in the architecture of the home and gives it a cozy feeling.


The bedroom was super cute and cozy. I loved having the huge glass doors you could open for a nice view, and the glass block windows behind the bed let in the most beautiful natural light while still offering privacy.


After a quick hike around the mountain side of the Airbnb I hit the road and drove through Palm Springs to check out Salvation Mountain. I loved cruising through the desert and Salvation Mountain was such a cool sight to see. I've got a newfound appreciation for the desert and would love to make an extended trip back one day.


This shoot and trip were an incredible experience, I'm so glad to have gotten it in while I could!

© ALLISON SEPANEK PHOTOGRAPHY