town hall hotel: gorgeous pool

 (Rachel Juarez-Carr)

 

I really love Town Hall in Bethnal Green (it’s the old town hall, obviously). It’s grand and gorgeous and their swimming pool is inhabited by one tiny yellow rubber duck. I’m vaguely flat hunting at the moment and their rooms have kitchenettes, etc, so technically I sort of could just move in…

I haven’t been shooting as many swimming pools since I left Los Angeles and based myself in London again. That might be why my hotel obsession is even worse now that it ever was before.

(PS. I’m not at all sure I can actually even swim. I just like shooting pools.)

[See more boutique hotel photography galleries]

seven years of ordinary life in LA

I MADE A BOOK! I made a book I made a book I made a book!

It’s called Seven Years of Ordinary Life in LA. I’ll be launching a proper website for it very soon, but in the meanwhile here’s some info.

If you like any of the bands I ever shot in Los Angeles, you’ll probably find them in the book. Off the top of my head, some of the bands included are Darker My Love, Wavves, Fucked Up, Murs, Trash Talk, No Age, Monotonix, Dead Mans Bones, Crystal Antlers, Audacity, Graham Forest, Harlem, Big Freedia, Woah Hunx, Titus Andronicus, Cowabunga Babes, Best Coast, Vivian Girls, Black Lips, White Fence, The Strange Boys and loads more that I can’t remember at the mo.

If you ever used to live anywhere near where I used to live, you’ll be homesick—in a good way—because I documented the hell out of Echo Park, West LA and all the bits in between, sometimes from the #4 bus. And if you fancied any of the many super gorgeous girls and boys with whom I had the privilege of spending my twenties, you will be in heaven. Or, if you just like the idea that ordinary life is just as worth remembering as the lives of richer/more famous/fancier people, this book is for you (and I want to be your friend.)

Head over to Kickstarter and support the project so we can make lots of copies of Seven Years of Ordinary Life in LA. And, please tell all your friends. We’ve got no money whatsoever to print them unless YOU pre-order your copy.

PS—Christopher Jesse Juarez did the music for the promo video in about two seconds flat and I LOVE IT.

Here’s some more info on the project:

We want this book to be very affordable to all the people who appear in it, so it’ll be available in both paperback and hardback form. With our Kickstarter funding, we’ll be able to afford to print the first batch of copies (as well as two proof copies to make sure everything looks gorgeous).

When I was leaving Los Angeles and moving back to London, one of my friends said, “Thank you for documenting our twenties.” We had a lot of fun over the seven years I lived there. I hope you like the pictures.

When I moved to LA, aged 21, even the most ordinary things seemed very foreign and exotic. Over the seven years I lived there, I never got bored love of shooting all the normal things going on around my day-to-day life (which bemused my American friends but delighted my mum.)

Back home in England, we see so much photography from Los Angeles, but the action films, paparazzi shots, beach babes and plastic surgery that make the headlines had nothing at all to do with my normal lives as honorary Angeleno.

Of course, over seven years, sometimes unusual things do happen, like police interrupting a fantastically picturesque street party, the LA Marathon going right past your apartment, or a being woken up by tribal drums as a protest against immigration policy dances up your street, but on the whole I just took pictures of what went on in my neighbourhood, what my neighbours got up to on the weekends, my Russian teacher and her new dog, tons of really good and very loud bands, the weekend balloon-seller man walking past the murals on the wall of the clinic down the road, and everything else that a less picture-obsessed person might be able to ignore.

I didn’t set out to make a book when I first touched down at LAX, but by the time I was lugging my suitcases through security on my way back to London seven years I knew exactly how the book was going to be. It’s a really personal project now, summing up the sunny SoCal years from a small island on the other side of the world.

florida sun at the westin diplomat hotel

Westin Diplomat hotel, Hollywood, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Rachel Carr)

Westin Diplomat hotel, Hollywood, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Rachel Carr)

Westin Diplomat hotel, Hollywood, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Rachel Carr)

It’s been fantastically rainy and chilly here on this small island so here are some pictures from the Westin Diplomat hotel in Hollywood, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale.

I shot an event there years ago; it was three days after a hurricane and some of the the palm trees had no leaves and looked like Q-Tips. The Westin was the only hotel in the area that had power—it was housing the DWP workers.

[See more luxury hotel photography galleries]

independence day in silver lake

It’s almost Thanksgiving, so here are some entirely topical pictures from the 4th of July.

Lots of heavily tattooed men and women with waterproof make up gathered at a DJ’s house in Silver Lake to celebrate their independence from British rule by drinking free rum and ignoring the incongruously booked band, Woah Hunx.

[See more live music photography galleries]

ooh, pretty: photoshelter’s photo wall

documentary photographer galleries: photoshelter photo wallI use PhotoShelter for my archive, and they’ve recently introduced a new “photo wall” display. I like it; have a look.