Los Angeles was always that place I remember seeing in all the films as a kid growing up. It was that place on the other side of the country that I only knew of through what I saw in the media and what people said about it. What I thought I knew of it was nothing, well slightly, like I imagined.
In the summer of 2014 my friend who had her mind set on moving to Los Angeles, approached me with the idea. Without even giving it time to settle, I knew that was where I wanted to go. At that time I’ve already been working professionally for a few years as a photographer and filmmaker and thought why the hell not.
Here is what I discovered on my first two months in Los Angeles.
Back in April of 2014 we stayed in Altadena at a wonderful bed and breakfast and loved it so much that we decided to rent the place again for our first two months here. Not the greatest idea and here is why. Although Altadena is a beautiful little town with a great view, its far from the center of the city and requires a good deal of driving. We were fortunate enough to get a hook up at the car rental place, but none-the-less, it’s too far for us to truly experience LA’s city life. Ill advise you to move somewhere where your comfortable, but not too comfortable where it requires at least a half hour one way without traffic to get anywhere.
Though I’m a true fan of Pasadena, Id say don’t move any further north than that, especially if you don’t have a vehicle as the public transportation system here isn’t the greatest or most convenient. However, to combat that, recently I’ve been looking at places in Pasadena as I really enjoy the small city vibe Pasadena has to offer without the enclosed madness. Well truth is, I wasn’t having much luck with finding a spot in the city soooo Pasadena seemed like the next thing, but whatever. Oh, but to add to why I dig Pasadena and don’t mind living there is that my job is also in Pasadena so that would avoid the everyday commute to the city.
The people are so nice here for some reason and I assume it’s because of the weather, possibly. Even until this day, I’ve had some of the nicest encounters from the most random people here so far. Everyone is helpful and no one really “cares” what you’re doing especially if it doesn’t involve them. Most of the people I meet aren’t from Los Angeles either, which makes total sense as people flock here to fulfill their dreams. I would say meeting people in California should be a priority especially if you are planning to find and keep a working and or personal relationship with people who are interested in the same things you are. Honestly knowing people here is key, too bad I haven’t really started that as my focus recently has been doing what is necessary for me to live here. Eventbrite and Meetup are really awesome tools I use to find what’s happening with people in my field.
I’ve shot only maybe a few times since I’ve been here. MAJOR no no! Well if you moved to California to peruse your dream in the arts, I’d suggest you get started on it by either finding a job in your field, an internship or even possibly doing it as a freelancer or for free. I’m more of a freelance type of girl so I always look for gigs that don’t require extreme long-term commitments. Well again the truth is I applied to every studio you could think of, when I first got here. I spent hours applying, writing cover letters/resumes, you name it and nothing. Not even a call back. I felt a bit discouraged about that as I knew that getting “in” would be hard. Though I never focused on making that my highest priority, I thought it would benefit me creatively if I could work on a set or in a studio. Nonetheless trying to find gigs in your field can be tough out here, but its possible especially if you have a platform that showcases your work. A good website will do. I had the pleasure of meeting with a group called LA Lady Photographers that really brightened up my perspective.