Arizona Says Farewell to Summer

I was able to go and visit Arizona again this month and experience more of their wet, monsoon-ridden summer where dry riverbeds overflowed, streets flooded and businesses and schools shut down because of the intense rain this season. My brother even ruined his girlfriends car by driving it through a flooded street. I only saw raid one of the days that I was there, a rogue leg of Hurricane Odile, and was able to experience the beautiful aftermath of most of the storm. In fact, one of the days I was there I woke up to pouring rain yet was able to go swimming on a perfectly sunny day later that afternoon. You've all already heard about my recommendations on where to stay in my previous post about Tucson, so I won't repeat myself, but I stayed in that area again this time and thoroughly enjoyed my time. Enjoy the photos!

The edge of the Catalina Foothills on the Eastern side of Tucson, AZ.

My father and his new ride, a vintage Chevrolet Jimmy.

Dad is really proud of his vehicle.

Remnants of the monsoon clouds linger over the foothills.

Driving through Saguaro National Park

The Arizona sunsets are just incredible.

Barely enough light to see much of Saguaro National Park. Spectators watch military helicopters fly over.

The Jimmy

Sonoran Mexican food is better than all the other kinds. Actually, I'll hold my tongue until I visit Oaxaca.

Shoot with singer Amanda Krueger

This past weekend I had the opportunity to hang out and take some photos with a long time friend of mine, the incredible singer, Amanda Krueger. She now goes by Amanda Noelle with a small but notable YouTube following and she's about to bust out the big guns with a new pop single she's been working on with a popular Hollywood music producer. To say the least, it's catchy and I have a feeling America is going to be hearing about Amanda Noelle in the very near future if her progress continues the way it currently is! Not only can she sing, but she also has been flexing her hip-hop muscle and has a short rap verse on her forthcoming single. This girl's got swag. 

Amanda asked me to put together a shoot for her, she had an 'abandoned gas station' in mind to give the shoot a cool vintage feel, to go with the vintage clothes and new hair style she sported. So we drove out to Palmdale, California hoping we'd come across a good spot to shoot, something with a dilapidated, derelict exterior long forgotten and cared about. However, what we found was far better than what we could've hoped for! In Los Angeles (and even 100 miles out) there are all sorts of old movie sets and anything and everything that looks like it could be a movie set has a set rate for filming and photography, most of such rates are terribly expensive. 


It's an interesting culture around LA because everyone knows they can charge an arm and a leg to shoot at their location if it's even mildly interesting. Luckily for us, we happened upon an old movie set that gets rented out for filming very often, but we happened to be there on a day that nobody was around! Our luck couldn't have been better! Now, if I had been trying to use these images for commercial purposes or if I was being paid to do some kind of ad campaign I would certainly have to have a high budget to rent out this place and take photos. This job happened to be a favor just to promote Amanda's music, so here's to hoping that nobody will mind that we took a few photos there!

The location was just so visually rich and interesting, I don't think we took a bad photo all day. For my setup, I used my Canon 6D with my trusty 50mm 1.4 and my 24-85 3.5 (the old dinosaur that came before the well-loved 24-70). I had Amanda's friend hold a silver/white reflector to help bring in some fill light. The whole thing ended up being sort of a "waiting" story of someone that can easily entertain herself. I'm pretty pelase with the way the photos turned out, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!