Monday, May 17, 2010

Capturing Your: Hood

Yes, I am going to be ghetto like that. It’s late, my mind is fried, and I just don’t have the capability to come up with a clever name. So, Hood it is :)

When I was visiting L.A this past April, my brother and I decided to take a walk through Uptown Whittier and do a night shoot. I grew up in Whittier and have seen the many changes (both good and bad) that the city has gone through. Never in a million years did I think that I would be photographing a Cartoonist in an alley, or a Mother and Daughter in a barber shop, or walking the streets until midnight.. practicing and shooting just about anything. But that is exactly what I did…and LOVED it! It was so fun walking by some old shops that have been around for years, restaurants that I use to hang out at after football games, and new stores that have recently opened that I wish were around while I was living there…like Starbucks. I have a bazillion stories that I could share with you about this cute little street, like my first group “date” when I was in 6th grade at Rocky Cola Cafe, the botched haircut I got from Marinello’s Beauty school, the Uptown Whittier Parade held every December that I marched in when I was in band (yes, I was in band, for 4 years baby, so don’t hate), and some other stories that would only be funny to me and my friends who were there at the time…like Erika, Jenn, Jill, TK or Jordan…yes…you ‘member!

To me, this is home, this is where I grew up and have so many fond memories of, where I still love to visit, go to the Wednesday night Farmers Market…get a funnel cake and a nice juicy hot dog, meet my childhood friends at Starbucks, buy my “Doyers” shirt, watch movies when I don’t feel like driving to an AMC, and yes, occasionally eat at Rocky Cola….just so I can reminisce about the good old days. Everyone has a place they call home and this is mine.

IMG_1658 IMG_1894IMG_1659 IMG_1660 IMG_1664 IMG_1672 IMG_1682 IMG_1691The owner was kind enough to let us in to take pictures of his shop, even though they were closed. I will definitely come back and do some wine tasting! If you are a lover of wine, you’ll have to join me! IMG_1724IMG_1710 IMG_1711 IMG_1712IMG_1729 IMG_1742 IMG_1758IMG_1753IMG_1765IMG_1759 IMG_1767 IMG_1776 IMG_1783 IMG_1788 The shirt I wore to Travis’ first baseball game. Go “Doyers!”IMG_1789We always tease my dad that this could be his mother. They have the SAME exact unibrow and features….it could definitely be his mum!IMG_1790 IMG_1791 IMG_1797Why weren’t you around 10 years ago? IMG_1802 IMG_1807 IMG_1811 IMG_1818For those of you who are local Whittier-ites, I am sure that you too have MANY stories to share about the good times at Rocky Cola. Friday night football, first dates, awesome milkshakes, the jukebox…and all the fun drama of being a teenager. Good times. IMG_1813IMG_1821 IMG_1824 This use to be a roach coach complex, but sheesh, they really turned this place around!IMG_1836 IMG_1837 IMG_1838 IMG_1841 IMG_1847Raise your hand if you made out in this Theatre? (My hand is raised) IMG_1849 IMG_1855 IMG_1856 IMG_1862IMG_1873IMG_1883IMG_1880 IMG_1881IMG_1885 IMG_1889IMG_1891 My partner in crime….David. Love you lil bro! Thanks for staying up WAY past your bedtime just to take pictures with me!IMG_1893

And to all my fellow photographers, if you are looking for a cool place to shoot with LOTS of character, check out Uptown Whittier. It’s easily accessible off the 605 freeway near Whittier Blvd or Beverly Blvd. And please, send me an email so that I can view your pictures! Happy Shooting!


  1. OMG, I love these phots!!! And that Dogers, shirt, I have to get it for my neighbor!!! Michelle, girl, you get your butt over here, and I will market the heck out of you and make your busier than ever!! Seriosly, you do amazing work, and would probably run a very successful business!!! I will work with you for free just to learn what you can do!!

  2. Erica, thank you so much! Done, done and DONE! Love ya!

  3. awwww, makes me miss L.A.! Doyers! Ha! Love it!

  4. Sylvia,
    I totally bought that Doyers shirt and wore it to the Dodgers game. I definitely got some looks :)