You Make Me Wanna La La

Recently I was inspired by some photos I’ve been seeing of models in convenience stores. It reminds me of the Ashlee Simpson video for “La La.” Both came as an inspiration when I began to work on this shoot with Samantha, my model.

There is a little wild side to it. An innocent recklessness. Things you think are bad when you’re a teenager, but they are just annoying to adults. I still enjoy those things! I am still young at heart! Enjoy the images.

WordPress Galleries

I try to keep my blog mostly about travel and photography, and this is more website themed, but still in the realm of photography, especially if you have a blog or are a photographer!

I have been testing out some galleries and recently fell in love with a WordPress widget and it can be found here: A WP Life Gallery

I have the free version, but I am interested in what the premium version has to offer. It’s so easy (very important to me) and I like that I can customize the galleries. It’s in use on several of my pages: PlacesPeople, and Things

I’m sure I’ll be posting more blogs using this gallery, so keep at eye out!

What Do I Do With All My Photos?

Maybe you’re wondering what I do with all the photos I take? Besides sharing them on social media and on my site, I also enjoy making photo books. I have recently been having fun with making these. Shutterfly is my go-to online printer. (No, they don’t pay me.) They are pretty generous with sales and free offers. In fact, here is a link to a free book:  https://invite-shutterfly.com/x/kTCnAT

When I get enough images I like to print them into books, so I have a physical copy and it’s also nice to look at images when they are printed. It’s not often I see my images printed so these books are a great way for me to have a physical copy and also less clutter. Photo albums in the past were so bulky and pictures always slid out and were lost. Now I ever have to worry about that.

They are fun to make as well! You should try it!  Click here to get a free book (you still have to pay for shipping, but it’s inexpensive!)  Get your free 8×8 book! It’s 20 pages!

 

The Film Process

Like most photographers these days, I have film laying around that has already been shot and needs to be processed. I no longer have access to my processing supplies or the chemicals… let alone space to properly process film. Sigh. I asked a few film photogs on social media all replied, “I just do it at home.” Sigh again.

Thus started my research for a good processing place that is really interested in film and high-quality processing. I knew Samy’s is big in L.A., but I wanted to try something different.. and there is something about that place… Actually, most photo stores are like this. Everyone acts holier than thou.. I will probably get some backlash from this. Sigh.

So Samy’s, I’ll be there for rentals and maybe some processing in the future, but for now… just chill. I found a few other places but I wasn’t feeling the vibe. Then I found a place that spoke to me: Darkroom. I filled out a little online form, and they promptly sent me an envelope with pre-paid postage to send my film canisters. I mailed it in a few days later and got an email saying they received my film.

On the order form, I had an option to get prints and a bunch of other options. I don’t even remember what was on my film, so I’ll just be happy to get my digital files and see what is on there! I will probably do a few prints just to see what their prints look like. Since I am in no hurry to see what the images look like I chose an option that was a bit slower than most. I could have gone to Samy’s or even Walgreens, but I chose something different this time. I’ll post updates once I receive a link to the digital files.

 

Happy processing!

 

I am in no way affiliated with “The Darkroom.” I am writing a review of the service they provide to inform consumers.

Death – As in Death Valley National Park

In mid-February, I took a short trip to Death Valley. My fiance and I camped at Furnace Creek and explored what we could with our non-off-road vehicle. As we descended into the valley on the morning we drove in, I was amazed at how large and vast the National Park appeared and we were impressed. The colors were indescribable and there was water!

Copyright Lauren Lukacek

We went at the perfect time of year… although I’m told the wildflower bloom is the time to go. I thought the weather was great and the park was not very busy. I would go back for the wildflower bloom because I can only imagine with this park looks like with even more color!

I have always loved mountains and trees and just being outside in general, but I think I am a desert girl. I love how barren everything looks on the surface, but there is really so much more going on. Water trickling out of rocks, and salt being pushed up through cracks in the ground. It is definitely a “look a closer” type of place. It’s a very subtle beauty, and that is what I love.

Fun and Simple Shoot

Resolutions are my thing in 2018. I’m working on wasting and consuming less. Waste not, want not. I’ve started selling clothes on Poshmark and I’m looking into Depop along with Etsy and Ebay. While I’ve sold on Ebay and Etsy in the past, I am pretty new to Poshmark and Depop. So far, it’s been pretty fun!

To get more viewers to my items, and heck, I love taking photos… I enlisted my friend Ilana to take some photos for me. She wore the items I’m selling and we got through most of the clothes.. although it started to get pretty hot out so we had to stop.

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It was a fun morning of shooting, but it always is with Ilana. She has a great sense of style and we put together a couple of great looks. I hope you enjoy looking at them!

 

On Poshmark I am: @elleluka

Blogging vs Instagram

Lately, I have been updating my Instagram account and not paying attention to my blog. It takes a lot more effort to upload and type a blog on WordPress. The quality of images on a computer versus on a phone is a big difference though. The details in photos are not seen on a phone unless they are using a tablet or zooming in, which I don’t expect anyone to do since people only look at images for a few seconds and move on to the next.

 

With that in mind, it makes me realize I should spend way more time doing this since the people that will come to my blog are going to spend more time reading words and spending more time on my site in general. While I build up a few of these posts and shoot some more sets I will leave you with a few images I have posted on IG. Thanks for reading and I promise to spend more time giving you quality content!

 

 

Obsessing with this set again. Every time I look at it I see it in a new way. It’s probably a good thing I can edit and reinvent my work over and over again. . . When I see these photos I think of the wild fires burning and days spent sweating in the valley. Thinking of those days makes me think of my work, and how I remember those days… Not being miserable… But at the time were unbearable. I remember this shoot having a dark tone to it, and it still does but in a different way. . . . The photos haven’t changed, only the way I see them. Pretty trippy man. .. . . #photography #beach #summer #🌴 #girl #wickedgame #sand #glitterriptide #model #bikini #monochrome #fire #wildfire #freespirit #whoreadsthisshit

A post shared by L Squared Photography (@l2photo) on

 

Interview with Vanessa from The Roaring Nineties

I’ve been working on a few collaborations lately and I’m so excited how this turned out! I have become familiar with the Los Angeles area of HelMel (Heliotrope and Melrose for those of you unfamiliar with the nickname) as I’ve been visiting Shampoolio for years getting my hair done. It’s a great little area known for vintage and thrift stores. So, when Vanessa announced she basically has a closet on Melrose, I was excited to head back and snap some shots. Vanessa has been my boyfriend’s friend since high school and she has cut my hair since I moved to LA. She is truly a magical personality and fun to be around. She started a vintage clothing store on Etsy and has been very successful. Her style icon is Priscilla Presley, and she was the major inspiration for this shoot. We also wanted to showcase Vanessa’s unique style and her office. Her studio has the perfect light and so many fantastic colors. I’m so happy we collaborated on this shoot and we will be working together more in the future. Please enjoy the images and the interview!

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Lauren: How did you first get involved with fashion and specifically your company the Roaring 90s?
Vanessa: My first foray into fashion was managing a luxe showroom in downtown LA at age 18. I was extremely under qualified but very lucky to have connections. I learned all about fabric, quality, pricing, marketing and sizing. Corey Lynn Calter was a new designer downstairs from us and used me as her fit model. She was so sweet – she’d let me pick out a dress every time. I learned so much.

 

Lauren: What do you find most challenging about selling vintage clothing?
Vanessa: Keeping my partner Julio from wearing all of our pieces as part of his daily wardrobe. That’s about it…it’s really fun.

 

L: Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while running your business?
V: We also have a hair salon on Melrose whereThe Roaring Nineties displays & racks are. Most of our first clothing customers were the rock stars whose hair were being cut by members of the Shampoolio team, who needed fresh clothing to wear on tour. They started coming in more frequently for clothes than hair and we realized we were onto something.

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LHow would someone describe your fashion sense/style?

V: Sometimes vintagey girly. Sometimes I wear G Star. Sometimes glam. Sometimes like I rolled in the gutter. Sometimes like Scilla. Always a sprinkle of dog hair and a spritz of hairspray. Every look fits into the category of LA street style and that’s why we live here. You walk out of the house thinking you look fly as fuck until you realize the dude sleeping next to your car smoking crack out of an apple has on a way doper jacket. Seriously, the homeless of HelMel slay. They’ve also been spotted wearing many a Roaring Nineties hoodies.

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L: What do you do when you aren’t working on the Roaring 90s?

V: Now that my partner Julio and I are able to work on this business more full time, I have taken so much more joy in creating beauty through art & collaborative projects just like this one. I love to cultivate every detail of a photo from the hair to the makeup to the clothes and even sometimes the setting. That’s why this shoot was so much fun, it was very personal to me in my work space and in my grandmother’s vintage dress. I also volunteer with the Echo Park dog rescue The REAL bark.

 

LWhat networking do you do that you feel helps your business?

V#Hastags & Instagram! We have an Etsy store – I am able to track the analytics. It’s pretty amazing how social media gets your product found by potential buyers. Sometimes I feel stupid writing “#ClassicRockHoodie” under a piece that I feel is so much more, but guess what? It sells. And it gets into the hands of someone who truly appreciates it.

 

L: How would you explain your brand “The Roaring Nineties?” The Roaring Nineties is a concept. The 90’s was a time when fashion was killing it and luxury was in. Music was amazing and people were extravagant. Recession? Um… Beverly Hills 90210 anyone?

V: The Roaring Nineties is a concept. The 90’s was a time when fashion was killing it and luxury was in. Music was amazing and people were extravagant. Recession? Um… Beverly Hills 90210 anyone?

 

L: But you do sell more than 90’s clothes? Is 90’s considered vintage? We sell the best items from every decade as well as handmade. The concept travels through decades with us. I’m passionate about vintage Priscilla Presley attire & TLC’s fashion. Julio is the king of metal & denim. We have most bases covered. And yes, anything over twenty years is considered vintage. Can you believe our old Spice World tees are vintage now?

V: We sell the best items from every decade as well as handmade. The concept travels through decades with us. I’m passionate about vintage Priscilla Presley attire & TLC’s fashion. Julio is the king of metal & denim. We have most bases covered. And yes, anything over twenty years is considered vintage. Can you believe our old Spice World tees are vintage now?

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L: Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?  

V: Sometimes the things that pay off are the simplest most intuitive ideas you have. Julio & I were both busting our buns working full time when we decided we wanted to just make a little extra cash. We listed about fifty items to start and the response was incredible. We built racks in the hair salon and collected our inventory on the rare days we didn’t take clients. We did our listings in the back of the salon, between color applications for the first few months.

 

L: How long were you running the business before you started into it full time? How did you live through those first few months/years?

V: Julio has been collecting clothes for years as have I. We didn’t technically start selling until last summer. We both did it in our spare time when we could. In addition to hairdressing full time I supported myself bartending. I’m so happy to be working for myself I cannot begin to tell you.

 

L: What does being a Lady Boss mean to you?

V: Julio was my mentor in the hair world. On this side, I’m in charge – which is nice. It took a lot of hard work to get there. Sometimes things work themselves out exactly as they should.  It’s a nice day when everyone stops calling you bossy and starts calling you the boss.

 

L: If a kid walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?

V: Say yes. Be the person on the team that is indispensable. Show up. Do your best. You already have a better chance than most out there, regardless of talent, if you just say yes and don’t bitch out.

You can check out the Roaring Nineties on Instagram and snag some of the highly coveted vintage t’s they have in stock!


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Eastern Sierra

My boyfriend, Ryan, and I recently drove up to Convict Lake and camped. It’s a 5-hour drive from our home in LA, and it was a nice short break for us to get some peace and quiet. I slept in the car on the drive up, and Ryan drove and was forced to listen to my book on tape of which he didn’t approve.

www.laurensquared.com, Eastern Sierra, portrait, mountains, snow, peaks, grass, plains, high desert

Most of the photos I took were while Ryan fished a creek near our campground. The campground was pretty neat. It had cabins and a restaurant that apparently was really amazing. We opted for pizza, since hiking all day will make you HUNGRY!  🙂

 

While looking through my pictures, I realized I didn’t have any actual photos of Convict Lake, which is funny because it was beautiful, but I just enjoyed the scenery instead of photographing. Sometimes we need to take a step back and just enjoy nature and not feel an urgency to capture it. I did get a couple great self-portraits with the mountains in the background – I needed a new headshot and thought this was perfect! It was a short trip so there aren’t many images, but I hope you enjoy the few I do have!

 

orvis, www.laurensquared.com, Eastern Sierra, portrait, mountains, snow, peaks, grass, plains, high desert, hot creek, river, water, salt, salt water, lake, mono lake, mono county

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While I was scouting for my next shot I ran across this little guy. It was actually pretty scary to find him because he blended in so well, and all I saw were his talons at first! I’m not sure what kind of bird that is- Ryan think it’s a vulture. I have no clue.

Convict_Lake_May_2016-18We also stopped at Hot Creek. It’s an active hot spring, and smells and looks similar to Yellowstone, but a much smaller area and not all condensed into one large field like Yellowstone. Going into the water was off-limits, but it did look very warm and inviting.

www.laurensquared.com, Eastern Sierra, portrait, mountains, snow, peaks, grass, plains, high desert, hot creek, river, water

Mono Lake has been on my list for a long time, and I finally got to see it! I think I have a fascination with salt lakes. It’s 2 times saltier than the ocean and has sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in the water, so it makes it inhospitable for fish. It’s still very important to migrating birds, and there are brine shrimp that live in the lake.

 

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The good.

The best part about recreating my own page was building it from scratch. Every decision was made by me. There might be a few changes here and there on the site since it’s still brand new and I might not be totally happy with it, but that’s all so great since I can easily change any detail.

Since I’ve been working on building up the site again it has been so fun looking through all my old images and selecting a few that still reflect my current style. There were so many great shots it was kind of tough to choose just a few for each section (hence why my people section is so large)! Portraits are my favorite to shoot so I decided to make that the largest collection of images.

Deciding what to include in the initial launch was a little tricky, too. There were a few design and art pieces I wanted to include, but I couldn’t decide how I wanted to present them, so I will include a page down the road when I have a better idea of what should go in there and what should stay out.

Overall, it’s pretty so exciting creating a new site so everyone can see my new images in once place, and not just in my blog.

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