BASKE California Desert Road Trip
I recently collaborated with Bohemi + Chic on a 3-day desert photo shoot in Joshua Tree, Amboy, Landers and Palm Springs. This shoot was for the launch of Baske California, a company that creates boho chic boots and sandals crafted from leather. It was a great opportunity to have fun while on the job, doing a true road trip as Art Directors, Photographers, and at times even subjects ourselves. Nana and Dave, the founders of Baske, had already mapped out and booked locations for us to explore along the way. This post documents our trip and the place we shot photography at, good inspiration for desert locations.
Day one shoot
29 Palms Inn & Pappy & Harriets in Pioneertown
We drove out the desert into the sweltering heat. The first stop was 29 Palms Inn where our quaint desert bungalows awaited. The Inn is the perfect getaway, complete with pool, colorful hammocks, stone fireplaces, and the surrounding cactus garden. We relaxed for a bit in out cabins, then wandered around looking for photo opportunities.
Next up on the schedule was an artists cabin Nana and Dave rented out in Joshua Tree. The small house is teal distressed wood in the middle of the desert landscape. It was the perfect place for wine and a gorgeous sunset. What’s great about the open desert scape is there is no one wandering into the frame. The light was soft and beautiful bathing the cabin and subjects so we achieved some gorgeous shots before sundown. Afterward we opted to check out Pappy & Harriets. It’s a popular music venue and while it’s off the beaten path, it was sold out and we had to use our powers of persuasion to get in for the show.
Ghost town of Amboy, Amboy Crater, Giant Rock
We set off on a road trip looking for certain markers across the desert. The day was sweltering hot at over 100 degrees. The desert in the summer months is brutal. We had limited time to get each shot before we overheated or started to look like a sweaty mess. We made quite a few stops to walk the desert roads and enjoy the vista of the endless sand and mountains on the way to Amboy. Amboy is a ghost town along Route 66. We stopped here to photograph the vintage retro sign at Roy’s Gas Station and stuck around to eat our packed lunches and some root beers inside the cafe.
We got back to 29 Palms Inn with some time to relax by the pool. We had made up a fictitious band that we were in along our travels called "The Whiskey Pickles." During pool time, we met a guy and told him about our band and how we were traveling with our "managers" as if it were true. Ironically he was in a band playing at out hotel that night (insert foot in mouth).
We kept up the sham until we left the pool, then showered and headed to Giant Rock in Landers. This rock is thought to be the world's largest freestanding boulder at about seven stories high and covers 5,800 square feet of ground. So yeah, it's big! We went at in the evening, there were big puffy clouds in the sky as the sun set, painting the sky. We attempted to get some photos with sparklers for added affect after the sun went down but with the gusts of wind blowing it was near impossible. Below is the best shot we got.
We had dinner back at 29 Palms Inn, and to my surprise, it was a packed house. We watched the band play hoping they wouldn't call us to the stage to jam (as previously before mentioned we lied and told them we were in a band, lol). Dinner was outdoors near the pool in the warm desert night. We had steak, lobster and wine and celebrated all we had achieved so far in the last 48 hours.
The following day, we headed out to Palm Springs to stay at Sparrow's Lodge. It ended up being quite a rainy day, so we took some time to relax in our rooms. The rooms here are beautiful, a modern rustic lodge appeal with a small outdoor bar, pool and fire pits. It's a perfect place for a weekend getaway. We met in the lobby to set up product photography, then went tour to dinner in downtown Palm Springs. When we returned we gathered by the fire pits with a few bottles of wine and had a relaxing evening telling stories and getting to know each other.
I hope you enjoyed the photos and blog post! If you have any questions about the desert or any locations mentioned please comment and I'll be sure and get back to you!