Back at the end of February/Early March I was lucky enough to head out to California with some friends and awesome wedding photographers to attend Field Trip. This is a photographers retreat full of fun, workshops and friendship building all nestled in the beautiful woodland setting of El Capitan Canyon which is not too far from Santa Barbara.
Either side of the Field Trip weekend we got to explore California.
Firstly hanging out in San Francisco in the rain. We are British and used to the shit weather so it didn’t stop us seeing the sights of Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate bridge from Crissy Field, Union Square and walking up through the hippy area of Haight Ashbury. I had done some online research for good places for American breakfast and San Francisco really delivered the awesome in the form of poached eggs, crispy bacon, maple syrup, blueberries and pancakes from Mama’s.
From San Fran we headed down to Field Trip by car and used the coastal road. For anyone visiting CA then this is a must do adventure. We took our time and stopped off along the way for some exploring and photograph opportunities. First stop was Santa Cruz where we had another awesome breakfast and looked around the shops before heading to the infamous Santa Cruz Boardwalk made popular by The Lost Boys movie. Laura and Zoe were super excited to be hanging out at the boardwalk as they are big Lost Boys fans. The Boardwalk beach will go down in legend for me as this is he place where the ocean swallowed up my iphone to never be seen again. Gutted was an understatement!!
From Santa Cruz we continued down the winding coastal roads stopping at every awesome photo opportunity we could namely Big Sur. We finally arrived at Field Trip and checked in to our cabins.
Field Trip was my chance to listen, learn and hang out with some of the best photographers the world has to offer. I totally expected the weekend to be all about learning and yeah there was plenty of that going on but for me it was a weekend to stop and talk to some strangers who share the same passion of photography over lunch or some crazy strong bourbon called Big Bottom. It was a chance to recharge myself before the upcoming wedding season and looking back now from being in the thick of it I am so glad I did it.
Field Trip wasn’t really about classroom learning but more about connecting with the photographers you love whilst cruising down to the beach on bikes or trying to take iPhone pics of each other (even though you lost your iPhone in the ocean).
My two favourite classes were hanging out with my good friend Sachin and shooting with Samm Blake and Dan O’Day whilst watching the waves crash on El Capitan beach. Also, a class which totally surprised me but was so inspiring and re-assuring which was a panel discussion on working together with your other half. It was great to hear what other couples have gone through and how they handle their working relationships whilst still being MEGA loved up. I picked it originally as a kind of gap filler but came away feeling excited to tell Kelly all about it.
At the end of the weekend is a massive party called Flashdance. More Big Bottom was consumed than I care to remember and I danced my fucking heart out all night with friends I already knew and new friends I had made over the weekend. We finished the night off sipping that Fat Bottom in front of the campfire. The next morning was not a pleasant experience but my new friends Sarah + Eric made it slightly easier by knocking up some awesome coffee with their Aeropress.
From Field Trip we headed down the coast again to LA where we spent a couple of days hanging out and shooting some of the sights like the Hollywood sign or hanging out at the end of Route 66 on Santa Monica Pier. We didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked in LA but it was just great to be able to hang with my friends and shoot whatever took my eye.
Massive thanks to Zoe, Laura and Jaye for sharing lots of laughs, wine tasting, Reese’s cupcakes, cheesy radio stations and everything else we did together whilst on our trip. I will remember it for the rest of my life!!!
Check out the hashtag #fourgotocali on instagram for lots of the iPhone pictures of the trip (not many are mine due to the ocean mugging me of the phone)
Here are some of my shots from the trip…