Photos with my lover: California desert road trip

biker hippie man from the 60s cool senior citizen

The desert always centers me. There is something really wonderful about cruising on the open road with the windows down listening to classic rock. I love the approaching clouds of a desert storm and  the otherworldly landscapes.

americana remains in the desert of route 66 vintage gas station

Random relics of days gone by are always perfect for impromptu photoshoots. Even though it’s extra super hotttt with the temperatures reaching 115+, the washed out lighting at high noon is my absolute favorite time of day to stop and take pictures.

vintage fashion gym shorts budweiser on model torso in the desert

When I wear my cut up half tops and vintage mens budweiser swim trunks rolled at the waist, then you know i’m ready for a mid-summer-desert-road-trip-photo-adventure.


american folk art by photographer heather hussey of installation in the desert

Long down the road we stumbled upon the socially interactive installation of the shoe wall. Smack dab in the middle of nowhere, passers-by stop and contribute to the ever evolving collection of mostly tennis shoes. They’re strung from remaining fences, poles and wires. I found a great pair of vintage 80s Nikes spray painted kelly green that I would have loved to have grabbed but my conscience said “no”.  Instead I contributed a woven pink easter hat with a polka dotted ribbon that my man found earlier on the side of the road.

cool biker hippie man with short shorts in desert

He’s always finds the most awesome shit just laying on the ground. I grabbed this shot of him while he was roaming around searching for treasure. He looks so cool with his red tinted aviators and a grungy old Harley Davidson tee. Also, if you have the balls to sport them, I’m seriously diggin’ on the cut off denim shorts as a sexy ticket for men.




Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays! Its truly American! I love all the people and children in their red, white and blue fashions. American flags blowing in the gentle breeze are always photogenic. Picnics, pool parties and bbq’s are such a blast; It’s so perfect that it falls in mid year. What better time of year to sit outside on a warm summer night and watch the fireworks from the back of a pick-up truck or perched up on a roof.

americana photographer



There are so many photo opportunities on July 4th that I wish I could photograph them all. Kids eating watermelon &  time-lapse shots of fireworks are images that come to mind when I think of Independence Day. They are all so beautiful and so very storybook “American”.  It’s an absolutely fantastic time to do family portraits in a relaxed environment with people being natural and having a great time.

My kids, my camera and I will be attending the Van Gaale family annual Fourth of July Horseshoe Tournament in Temecula on the compound. I think tomorrow I will be using my old Canon a1 film camera. It’s probably going to get crazy and that camera is so sturdy that it’s the perfect choice. Plus, I love the way film handles bright afternoon light.  Cowboy boots, jean shorts, kids with dirty faces, slip n slides, kegs of beer and a pig-in-the-ground for dinner, all call for the beautiful aesthetic that film offers.

In honor of the holiday I’ll share some photos from my Americana series. The Americana series isn’t necessarily the apple-pie vision of America.  They are absurd and somewhat surreal pics  that say something about the state of our society today. Some are lighthearted and have a sense of humor and some are a bit more heavy and symbolic of economics, politics, transportation, technology & government. Most of the images were shot in southern california desert regions and are featured on my other site

Dear Jager
Faux dear head in classic dive bar with checkered floors sits atop a table with american flag in background

Have a safe holiday

P.S  I love sparklers, flag print bikinis & ice cold beer.


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