My Hollywood Adventure – Part 1 of 3 – Stuck in Customs

My Hollywood Adventure – Part 1 of 3

A 3-Part Story…

Introduction to how I got a Hollywood agent

Over the next few days, I’ll tell you an unexpected story… and when I say unexpected, I was the least suspecting of all.

The details and magnitude of everything may be understated, and I don’t know if the gentle reader will take this as false modesty or not. This is not really a tool of mine, since I drift in and out of situations with a boyish enthusiasm.

In any event, I’ll tell the story how it happened, and I’ll be sure to include a collection of photos, since that is an expectation, even while in the middle of unexpected events.

Insofar as I was able to capture what I was seeing and thinking at the time, I’m happy to share it with you.

The Story

So here I was, in famous Beverly Hills. Just me and my camera. How did this happen? How did I find myself inside the most extreme agency in Century City, surrounded by really famous Hollywood stars? I’m sure all of them were wondering the same thing when they saw me there. Their faces flashed with, “Who let this guy in?”

I’ll start from the beginning of the day.

I stayed at a little boutique hotel in Beverly Hills, and I decided to walk from the hotel to the CAA (Creative Artists Agency) offices in Century City, which were only a few miles away. I gave myself an extra hour for photo-slack as I strapped on my Nikon with a prime 50mm to capture the some of the scenes.

My walk started on the north side of Beverly Drive. I slingshotted my way around Rodeo Drive, went straight down Santa Monica Boulevard, and then finally turned on the Avenue of the Stars. All along the way, I thought about things as I snapped photos to and fro…

This all began quite a while ago. It turns out that I had a little closet fan. In fact, you can see her hidden in yesterday’s photo of the day, linked via the image below.

HDR Photo

Amie's hiding in a mirror...

Her name is Amie Yavor (contact her jaunty assistants for speaking engagements or Nigerian estate documents to [email protected] or tweet her @amieya). She was a lurker on the site… people that come visit this little haven on the internet on a regular basis are usually very interesting people — I have never had a bad conversation whenever I meet someone that pops out of the woodwork in real life!

I assume that at some mysterious point, Amie consulted with The Illuminati, and it was thusly decided that I should visit LA to have some meetings.

On this particular day, the day recorded in these photos, I had already come out a few times, so everything was well in hand. Perhaps like you, I’ve always been fascinated by the Bubble of Hollywood and all the dynamics that pervade it. Personally, I have no desire to be famous or anything, but I am happy to use whatever tools I have at my disposal to help spread the good word about the New Age of Photography. Now, anyone can make beautiful photos… it’s a very interesting opportunity to be able to bring this message to the world.

Actually, if I can indulge myself a bit for a brief aside. After reflection, and after talking to thousands of people about these sorts of matters, I believe that people don’t just want to take better photos — I believe they want to make art. They want to capture the world around them and present it to others in the way they feel it.

Maybe that sounds silly and just doesn’t make any sense at all.

I believe we all remember a magical time in our youth when we would sit down at a table with paper and some colors. We’d go crazy for a bit, and then shake the paper vigorously in the faces of anyone that could share in its beauty. Kids don’t have egos — they just like to make pretty things and share them with as many people as possible. And so it is with many of us.

I believe that many people do see the world in a rich, romantic, cinematic manner. Everyone, everywhere, has a camera nowadays. They capture this and that and record their lives. But, sadly, all of these recordings don’t really do a great job of truly capturing the moment. This recording of our lives is reminiscent of a staid drawing by a courtroom reporter. We do indeed end up with a photographic record of places we’ve been, people we have been with, and things we have witnessed — but rarely do they ever capture the “feeling” of being there.

I believe that new techniques in photography allow all of us to record our lives in dramatic new ways. We can all make art. And, at times, that art can help you and others transcend beyond a typical photograph into something that is deeply emotive.

So, these are of course the sorts of things I am thinking as I am walking through the streets.

Now I’m moving from the glamor of Rodeo Drive to the throwback 50’s architecture of Santa Monica Boulevard. I pass a bundled newspaper with big news about healthcare… I’m not sure that anyone around here is really too worried about it all.

The street is full of buildings – new and old. Brand-new built to look old, and old buildings re-fitted to look new. Nothing is ever what it seems around here.

I pass Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car. The tiny lot is filled with a pod of Rolls-Royces and colorful smattering of other exotics. I’m not a car guy.

P.S. If you like these “different” sort of photos like the ones with this story, let me know… and I can endeavor to include more of them on the blog in the future. I sometimes worry about “overloading” with too many photos, but if you like ’em, then maybe so! I do pop them onto Twitter from time to time, but I tend to save the “major production” art photos for the daily post. Anyway, obviously I’m in a quandary…

This was Part 1 of 3


I wonder if the designer of this classic sign had any idea how famous it might become some day.


I rarely post these sorts of shots, but I do collect bits and pieces as I go throughout my day. I even do my best to take notice of seemingly mundane activities, like going down the stairs of my hotel.


The heart of Beverly Hills is filled with idyllic stores of sophisticated and simple design.


An abandoned gallery of some kind on Rodeo Drive. I don’t know what used to be inside, but the stone etching was quite elegant, if not confusingly spelled.


A smallish rental agency had a full assortment of luxury cars, just waiting for a vainglorious rapper to stop by.


The sounds, streets, and sights in every direction remind you vaguely of scenes that you might have seen somewhere before.


The outside of one of the 1950’s style retro building was covered with these tiny metal discs that would shimmer in the breeze.


The paparazzi are out in full force, scoping out the key locations. They look at me strangely with my big camera…they haven’t seen me around before and there is some alpha-male paparazzi posturing.