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  • Writer's pictureKate

California pt. 3

Day 21

I went shopping for some clothes for Vegas, not for me of course, for the models.

What I usually do and I know most stylists do the same, I buy stuff, keep tags on them, shoot and return everything in their best condition. It may sound weird to most people but that's how it all works unless someone can afford to buy clothes for every job and keep them.

It was one of my lazy days, prepping for my next trip.

Day 22, 23, 24

Don’t know when each day ended or started, just know I didn’t sleep much. It was intense. Vegas on its own disappointed me. We wanted to go out on Sunday when we got there and everything was closed at 1am already, so we just walked around and drove around and couldn’t sleep so at like 5am we had a brilliant idea to drive to Grand Canyon.

What sounded amazing in the beginning, turned out to be a nightmare. We started getting sleepy on the way, almost died a few times in car crashes, it took us 5 hours each way.

Grand Canyon is definitely a place I want to go back to. We only stayed for about one hour,

I took some shots of the girls but because everything was rushed I couldn’t put my mind to it.

Once you get there and you see that hole, you can’t believe your eyes, at least I couldn’t.

It’s breathtaking and unbelievable. It kind of looks like a massive picture someone printed and hanged in the middle of the desert.

On the way to the canyon, you don’t see anything, it’s just empty, very straight road, and you keep driving and driving and somewhere far away you see trees, you get closer to them and drive into a small forest and there it is, hiding in between trees, this massive, beautiful hole in the ground.

It didn’t look like in those pictures you see online, maybe most people shoot it at sunset or sunrise and then it gets that orange and red colors when I was there it looked pink and purple,

I loved it.

We didn’t pay much for entrance, only a few $. We also didn’t go to the most popular site, just a random one but it was beautiful.

Another thing that surprised me was a lack of barriers, there was one but in most places nothing. You could easily die there, just one step in the wrong direction and you’re gone. I would be scared to go there with small children.

We got back to Vegas for another night, I wasn’t feeling very well so just hanged around the casino downstairs, not playing, just people watching.

Another thing I realized on this trip, the girls were super nice to talk to and stuff but like most girls they took ages to get ready. I just can’t cope with that. I was so excited to go out and got ready in 15 minutes and then I took a nap and they were still prepping their hair. It was quite funny.

Not like we had anything else to do, everything was closed on Monday anyways.

Don’t know if I would go to Vegas again, maybe on the way to Grand Canyon but I wouldn’t go just to be in that city.

We were supposed to go on ATVs on the way back to LA but something didn’t go right and we couldn’t get there. Maybe because we had to return the car to California, don't remember.

We got back to Los Angeles around 6pm on Tuesday. I wanted to sleep but that didn’t work out, so I met with a couple of friends and we watched some tv shows and went out to our favorite bar.

Day 25

Only a few days left in this beautiful place. So I went to enjoy the beach and then took an Uber to Caitlin & Anthony’s place. I started feeling a bit down that I have to leave soon so I needed company. We spent that evening on watching Netflix and chatting.

Day 26

I finally met Caitlin and Anthony's group of friends. It was a very fun evening, an awesome group of people, they all have been friends for a long time. Kept asking me a lot of questions about my country and basically tried to get me drunk, didn’t quite work out for them.

Anthony and Caitlin have 2 dogs, 2 big puppies. I’m not a fan of dogs but these two melt my heart. They are very well trained and have the cutest eyes I’ve ever seen.

Day 27

Had a meet up with that guy who re-designs denim jackets, he told me to meet him in Downtown at an art exhibition where he was presenting his clothes. It was interesting, everyone’s stuff was super modern and colorful, I walked around small rooms admiring installations and paintings and headed back to my Airbnb.

It was my last night in LA. I went out with a few people I met on this trip and Caitlin with Anthony came too. We spent this evening at Victorian. They closed it at 1am! On a Friday! Don’t get it at all.

So we went to the beach and stayed there until it got freezing.

Day 28

I packed and went back to the beach to enjoy the sun for the last time.

My plane journey was a nightmare, even until now, I’ve never experienced anything this bad. First of all, I had to pay a lot for my luggage, secondly, they didn’t serve food or drinks at all and there was nothing good about this airline, it was a budget line and that’s fine, I flew with cheap companies after and I think this one is still the worst.

Thankfully it was an overnight plane and I slept almost the whole way back home.

Woke up around 1am and had a little breakdown. I really wanted to stay in California longer, to do more stuff and see more places.

It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

I definitely challenged myself and my safety zone got much bigger.

I've tried to walk as much as I could but most places were so far away from each other I had to take Uber or Lyft which cost me a fortune but considering how often I used it, wasn’t so bad at all. Uber in America is way cheaper than the UK one. I can’t imagine booking a ride from Central London to my house, which should be 45/50 min drive, I think I would pay £100 for it. In LA I once booked Uber and went to Caitlin’s house and that was only $40 for

a 1.5 hour drive.

Generally, I spent way too much money. Every lunch, every dinner was more expansive than what I usually would pay in London, every night out cost me more than I expected but that’s fine, I saved up a bit and wanted to spend it.

My biggest regret is that Airbnb. It was pretty but I was sharing it with at least 3 people, so no privacy. I wanted to edit but haven’t done even one stupid picture. It was so expensive, for the same amount I could probably stay for 3 months in a hostel. Plus some nights I wasn’t even there and still had to pay for it (of course).

Los Angeles is expensive but I think you can find cheap resolutions if you actually look for it.

California has a massive problem with homelessness, you see tents everywhere, especially in Venice Beach, right next to the main pier but also under bridges and just in every corner.

The ones living close to the beach sell art they make to tourists and I think that’s quite cute. Most of them are hippies and you see them sitting under a tree and smoking joints or just relaxing. Haven’t seen anyone being aggressive or doing something inappropriate.

Overall this trip was amazing. I’ve done what I was supposed to do, filmed a lot, photographed many people, I think in total I had around 14 different faces, which looked good in my short video.

I could’ve done it way better, could’ve collaborated with fashion design students and got some proper clothes, the only thing I thought would happen was that they would probably want to get paid.

In London is super easy to collaborate with Makeup artists, designers and stylist, we don’t care that much about the money aspect, especially if you get along with someone, you can just keep creating awesome projects all on TFP basis (which is free). In the US everyone wants to get paid but at the same time, they would expect me to charge them I guess. Models I found online I told them straight away I will not pay them as this was my Uni project, shoots never took too long and most of the time we had a lovely time just chatting and getting to know each other a little bit.

California took a special place in my heart and I will go back at some point but so far I just didn't have the opportunity to.

Fortunately Caitlin and Anthony came to Europe a couple of times and we met up, we’ve been seeing each other once a year so far. This year is the only one I may not see her because of the virus, she was supposed to fly to London for the first time since leaving Uni but her trips got canceled. So unfortunate.

I want to say THANKS to all the people that helped me make this journey great and all beautiful faces who let me photograph them.

See you next time Cali!

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