lauren + sam

there’s just something about the beach in the winter time. the only thing you can hear is the waves crashing. you’re the only one on the beach. it’s a huge contrast from the beach in the summer. there’s just something so romantic about a deserted cold beach.

polaroids from palm springs

shooting more film was on my goal list for this year. i bought a polaroid 440 land camera a few weeks ago along with 6 packs of polaroid film. i packed them all in my suitcase to palm springs not knowing if i’d actually pull it out and use it or not. i had used this camera a few times before the trip and none of the shots really turned out, so i wasn’t SUPER excited about the camera yet. but for some reason, i decided to pull it out and take a few shots with it at the airport on my first day. the results were awesome. i fell in love.

i shot around 60 polaroids on the duration of the trip. a few of them didn’t turn out. a bunch of them are slightly blurry. a lot of them got bent from throwing them in my purse after they turned out. but you know what? that’s what i loved about shooting polaroid film. it’s not perfect. even my scanning of them is not perfect. i think this is one of my sloppiest looking blog posts, but also one of my favorites. this whole series honestly changed me.

i’m kind of a perfectionist. the kind of perfectionist who procrastinates on doing something because i can’t do it perfect in that moment. this camera forced me to move away from that. i never knew what i was going to get with each shot i was taking. it was always a risk. i didn’t know if the exposure would be right or if it would be in focus or if i waited long enough for it to develop. it drove me a little crazy, but in a good way. i learned to trust myself and my judgement a lot more. it somehow gave me more confidence in my photos, both digital and film.

it also urged me to do other things that i’m not used to. i started asking strangers if i could take their photos. at first it became an aesthetic thing. i was simply interested in capturing the culture and life of southern california. i started to notice that i was really connecting to each person i asked to photograph. not only were they interested in what i was doing (as most people haven’t seen a camera like that before), but they were interested in sharing a part of their life with me. i talked for a long time with a good handful of people about where they were from, who they were, and what they did. i loved creating a small connection like that to people around me.

lately i’ve been struggling with having connections and relationships with others. i spend 5 or 6 days out of the week at home, by myself, editing and working. so i guess you could say that interaction with people lately has been very low. i have been wrestling with that for a while now, but after this trip i realized something very important. all you have to do is reach out. for a large part of my life, i have expected others to reach out to me and would get frustrated when no one started conversations with me or asked me to hang out, yet i was doing diddly squat. if i were to just reach out to someone…even by simply saying hello to a stranger, i could feel those little connections every single day.

so, while this post may look like a bunch of under exposed, messy polaroids, please know that it has changed me for the better.

palm springs, ca

palm springs. man, what a great place. this was my first time visiting palm springs and i am absolutely, head over heals, in love. this was by far my favorite trip i’ve ever gone on. emily and i only spent 4 days in california, but we got so much done in such a short amount of time.

the first day, we decided to drive to huntington beach, walk on the boardwalk, and enjoy the ocean. that same day, we drove south to san diego. we heard there were sea lions there and at the last minute decided to check it out. it was dark by the time we found them, but still an awesome experience. we ended the first day with a bonfire on the beach (with wine and s’mores!) and an in-n-out midnight snack.

the second day, we headed into the desert in search of salvation mountain, the salton sea, and joshua tree. it was definitely the most beautiful drive of my life. i’m so thankful for this day. we got out of the car many times to stop and take pictures. i wish we could have spent more time at joshua tree, because it was the most amazing place. and so huge! we only explored a tiny section of the park before the sun started going down. it’s now a life goal to go back there and camp/explore the rest of the park. we ended the day by finding a hot spring and relaxing before bed.

on the third day, we walked through the little town of palm springs, did a little shopping, got lunch, and the headed over to the ace hotel. it was so nice, we spent the afternoon laying by the pool with drinks. it was a pretty relaxing day! we ate at the king’s highway for dinner and then did some thrifting. we were both so sleepy after that, we just went to bed!

on our last day, we went out for breakfast. i couldn’t decide between the blueberry and corn pancakes or the waffle with salted butter, so i went with both, obviously. i was a huge pig this whole vacation and i have zero regrets. every single place we ate at was amazing (thank you yelp!). after breakfast, we took the air tram up 8500 feet into a mountain. amazing experience! we didn’t realize that the temperature would drop down to 30 degrees up there (we weren’t prepared clothes-wise), otherwise i would have liked to explore more. we decided to spend a bit more time by the pool once we got back and then had a massage scheduled for 4:45. amazing. so worth it. we ordered pizza in our room that night and then took a dip in the hot tub before packing up our room and heading to bed.

i still can’t believe we did so much! i already miss the sun and warmth. coming home to snow after a trip like that is no fun.

hope you all had an AMAZING valentine’s day. did any of you get engaged? i still have a bunch of dates left for weddings this summer! *wink*