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LOS ANGELES

5.19.2016

4:16 - Ive just gotten onto my flight to LA, and Im anxious to say the least. Not
really nervous; theres definitely more excitement than there is fear, but Im
clueless as to what Ill be doing out there. All I know is that Im taking a cab to
Tyler Shields house, letting myself in, and not drinking all his lemonade (which I
didnt make any promises to). Currently, Tylers out shooting with Marylin
Manson, and Ill get to see/meet/shoot with him when they get back. Also,
whatever transpires on Saturday is said to blow my fucking mind, and God
knows what that means. Heres to the unknown.
5:17 - Grateful for the opportunity to fly out here. Im surprisingly not that
anxious to meet everyone Ill meet this weekend. In the end, were all just humans
who are exceptionally good at telling our stories, and I appreciate Tyler taking
time to help me tell mine. Im not quite sure how to control these crazy thoughts
of mine, but hopefully these next few weeks helps with that. Life is good.

5.20.2016

8:14 (11:14) - Last night was one of the most insane nights of my life. Honestly.
After arriving at LAX, I quickly grabbed a cab, heading immediately to Tylers
house. Traffic is more brutal out here than normal, but thats not saying too much
considering where I live. After an hour drive, I arrive to his house, only to find
that he hasnt finished shooting, and that he forgot to leave a key. I perched
myself on his curb and watched his neighbors walking their dogs, birds dance on
the telephone wires, and light play through the trees. Eventually they arrived,
Tyler wearing a white church robe over his boxers, Marylin Manson and his
girlfriend inebriated and babbling about dicks and vaginas, and his crew, a group
consisting of teenage actors and roommates. Any other person wouldve been
thrown for a loop, but knowing Tyler, you kind of have to expect the unexpected.
We went in, and for the next three or four hours, shot some of the most ridiculous

footage. People were topless, Marylin was throwing back vodka like it was
nobodys business, and the rest of us watched and captured. While it sounds
reckless and crazy, it was one of the most pure and raw experiences Ive
witnessed. These are the stars of LA. Eventually, we got MM and his girlfriend an
Uber, and the rest of us went to In-N-Out. We came back, edited, got a visit from
Lindsay Lohans sister, and went to sleep. Words fail to express how incredible
this first day has been. Its now the morning, and Ive been up for an hour to run
and write. I found an organic grocery store Ill be hitting up tomorrow for food,
but for now Im eating a mixture of cereal Tyler had lying around.
Fun Facts:

Tyler is extremely picky about what he eats, but Ritz Crackers and A1 sauce
are absolute essentials. Dont fuck with his Ritz Crackers and A1 sauce.
There are a pair of Levis in his freezer.
His couch is remarkably comfortable as a bed.
In-N-Out Burger is hands down better at 12 in the morning.

7:24 (10:27) - Today, Tyler and I went to one of his meetings for an upcoming
project. It was real cool hearing about his dream of 10 years finally coming to a
reality, and Im super excited for the guy. We went to Pono Burger before, and I
got the best fucking hamburger Ive ever tasted. This thing had some kind of
meat, arugula, a special sauce, and strings of sweet potato all on a burger.
Heaven. Afterwards, Tyler shipped off to his meeting, and I went to some art
galleries. I saw some incredible artwork, painting, photography, and drawings
alike, and was inspired by it all. Even the color schemes of the streets and ramp
rails were beautiful. Los Angeles really nails it when it comes to colors. I met a
women working a gallery whos mother was from Cincinnati. We talked about
how we ended up in Los Angeles, and showed each other some of our work. It was
super cool to meet someone new that was equally enthusiastic about creating out
on the street. About an hour later, Tyler finished up his meeting, took me to
Jamba Juice, and we went home. Right when we got home, Ivan, Tylers
roommate, and I went to Jons, an international market, to get some groceries.
Ivans from Brazil, and is one of the most laid back people youll meet, so the
whole adventure was really fun. We came home, made some traditional cheese
dough balls from Brazil, as well as omelettes for dinner. And here I am now,
sitting in Marylin Monroes set chair, while writing this out. Most of the day was
driving, but the little things in-between made it worthwhile. Were about to head
out to meet up with a giant group of Tylers friends, including comedian Dane
Cook, to grab dinner and play Mafia. Again, super grateful for this opportunity,
and all Ive learned about the life of a photographer.

5.21.2016

10:51 (1:51) - Last night was also one Ill never forget. We set out to Dane Cooks
house in the hills of Los Angeles, and arrived at the most luxurious place Ive step
foot in. I mean, a bullet-proof glass door lead to a clean-cut stair case up to a glass
palace, with a fire place and pool over looking the LA skyline. Literally, this place
was a dream. We walk in and meet him and a couple of his friends in the kitchen,
which contained a stocked refrigerator of every beverage you could desire, along
with a counter full of snacks and food. As more people started to arrive, the mood
lightened more and more, becoming more cordial and carefree. I had no idea who
any of these people were, and was undoubtedly intimidated by their high status in
the Los Angeles area, but felt fairly comfortable. We played a couple rounds of
Mafia, in which the entire group bonded really well. The night continued until
well into the morning, when everyone started to leave. Outside, the city glowed
with life, and boy, did I feel small. We drove home, Tyler, Ivan, and I casually yet
energetically talking about our sex lives, and we pretty much fell asleep right
when we got back. We recorded one of the Mafia sessions with a 360 camera, and
watched it back on VR Goggles, which was lit.
Now Im sitting on the couch, which doubles as my bed, waiting for
everyone to wake up. Ive already worked out and eaten breakfast, but still feel
relatively tired. Hopefully that changes, because today is apparently going to
blow my fucking mind.

5.27.2016

12:10 (3:10) - So as you can tell, I havent journaled for a good 5 days, and theres
some reason to that. However, the entry is gonna be hella long, so buckle up.
Saturday, we got up late. Ive been working out every morning, (Tyler
wakes up at around 12) and so its nice to have time to myself. During this time
Ive been reading on the physics of light and trying to get a better idea of the
concepts rather than the actual practice of lighting. However, the day really
started in the afternoon. Ben Stillers manager, whos Tylers good friend, came
over to help us light and film BTS video of the shoot. For a good 6 hours, Tyler,
Dylan, Jake, Ivan and I set up the scene. A lot of it was experimentation, and
Tyler was not afraid to take everything down for the sake of getting the shot as
perfect in camera as possible. We switched out the seamless about 3 times due to
wind crinkling it, and the light switched constantly. After a couple hours of
waiting around for the sun to set, we began shooting. We brought out a Louis
Vuitton trunk (worth a couple tens of thousands of dollars), and set it up. The
crew then worked together to perfect the lighting, and prepare everything for the
moment of truth. I had a Leica Monochrome camera, and was shooting black and

white stills of the entire shoot. We ended up lighting the trunk on fire a good 4 or
5 times, each time getting increasingly more out of control, yet a lot better
visually as well. The mood was great, and everyone had a great time watching this
dream come to life. It was magic. The whole shoot was filmed on one of three
existing VR cameras in the world, and a 360 video will be released soon. Ive seen
it, and its fucking incredible.
Sunday and Monday were all relatively laid back. We didnt shoot, but
instead worked on learning more about light and editing photos. I found a really
good book that thoroughly teaches about about light and how it works, and have
learned a lot from it. Other than that, the days were spent getting food at In-NOut, and thats just about it. Nothing really to share there.
Tuesday was more interesting. I woke up, worked out, and did some
personal work until Tyler woke up mid day. Then for the next 5 hours, I went
through his new book, which is absolutely incredible. Having not yet been
released, its already been a source of major drama, and Tyler and the publisher
have had some serious talks about the layout. The publisher has published other
photography books, but mainly those of photographers who are dead or too old to
create their own layouts for their books. As a result, they automatically assume
they are in charge of figuring out how the book should look, not taking into
account that Tyler is alive and already has an idea of how he wants it to look.
Anyway, the publisher came up with their own layout (it was complete shit), and
decided they were going to sell it as is, which was completely in their legal limits.
However, they failed to tell him this, and also listed the book for pre-sale on
Amazon without Tylers permission. We spent some time compiling a list of
statistics which would then be used to prove why Tyler should have complete and
total control of the layout. I went through all the other photographers social
media, finding follower counts, and totaling them, in order to prove that Tyler
has the most out of all of them combined, and that he is their main source of
business. When making an argument, you win with math and science, not logic
and reason alone. The situation resolved itself, Tyler leaving victorious and the
publisher a little butt hurt. Anyways, I went through every image in his book
(about 500+) and found their titles. This required me going through his blog, his
website, and his Instagram, in hopes of finding what they were called. I corrected
any duplicates, and gave him advice regarding whether certain images worked
together or not. It was a lot like the concentration section of the AP, as we had to
see what images gelled well and what ones didnt. Tyler stands when he works, so
he has no chair at his desk. My legs were jello when all was done. Thats when
Hunter and Joey King came over, both famous actresses, and we walked to get ice
cream. Both are extremely funny people, and though they arent in school, are
extremely confident and intelligent for their age. We talked about their family
and love lives, which are both extremely complicated and somewhat fucked up,
but it gave you a good insight as to what life was like in Hollywood (its very
different). After that, Ivan and I went shopping, got some supplies and came
home. We watched Game of Thrones and went to bed.
Wednesday was another slow day, and nothing much happened in the
beginning of the day. However, towards the end of the day, Tyler gave me his
Leica M 240, a limited edition $20,000 camera, and told me to walk around and
test it out. I set out, walking the streets of his neighborhood, taking pictures of
things that interested me. The camera is incredible. Its in the style of a film
camera; everything is manual, including the shutter speed, which is located on a
dial, the aperture, which is on the lens, and the ISO, which is on a wheel on the

back. You couldnt see the images as you were taking them (no screen), but the
camera was still a digital camera. This requires you to slow down, focus on the
scene, and make conscious decisions regarding settings instead of aimlessly firing
away. I walked all the way to Gelsons bought the rest of their Haribo Twin
Cherries and High Brew Coffee, as well as a salad, and walked home. The sun was
setting, and everything was right. No places to be, nothing to do, nothing to worry
about. It was truly a wonderful moment. The rest of the night was spent editing
and talking in the living room. Even the dull moments of the trip are so full.
Thursday was fucking incredible. We woke up late, and immediately
started packing for our shoot. As per usual, I had no idea as to where we were
going and who we were shooting, and even after we arrived at the West
Hollywood condo, I still didnt know who it was we were shooting. We walked
into the large, two story condo, with wide open spaces and indie art everywhere.
Record players, incense sticks, papers with doodles, fur rugs, and every other
element of a boho lifestyle were scattered around the house. It was a place of
freedom. We started into the shoot; Talulah Willis was lying on the couch with
nothing but a fur jacket on, smoking a cigarette, with the view of a Paris-like
building outside. By looking at it, you wouldnt be able to tell if you were in Paris
or Los Angles. As time went on, her sister Scout, came and joined. The two had
this incredible bond, and were nothing but themselves in front of the camera.
Both sisters had this open and lively aura to them, and they were not afraid to
share their minds, nor were they self-conscious in anyway. We brought out a
bowl of fries, and I can clearly remember Talulah slouched on the couch in the
most I-honestly-could-not-give-a-fuck-about-what-you-think-of-me kind of
pose. It was amazing. The shoot went on, and it became more and more of a
spiritual experience. Everyone connected to each other, and poses and ideas
flowed endlessly. We eventually went upstairs to Talulahs room, which was
covered in the most incredible light. She had taped red cloth over her windows,
making the harsh light a diffused red that filled the entire room. Again,
decorations such as regal metal ashtrays and her nickname Buuski made out of
balloons, filled the room. It was her space, and you could tell who she was by
what she placed in her space. It was magic. After a long day of shooting, we went
down to grab food (we hadnt eaten anything except for the fries all day), only to
find Tylers car had been towed. We got into Scouts car and drove to get it back,
talking about movies and actors as we went. Ive noticed that everyone is so well
educated on films and people in them, and it was great to talk about something
other than sports for once, even though I couldnt really contribute too much. We
got his car, loaded up his stuff, and drove to the Chateau Marmont. We visited
there on our last trip, and the food lived up to the hype. We didnt have a
reservation (you need one to get in), but Scout innocently told the waiter her last
name was Pitt (you know how to spell it), and invited herself and the rest of us
in. There we talked about nothing other than sex. It was fucking awesome. Ive
never heard such a detailed yet educated conversation about it, and it was
entertaining beyond belief. We ordered (chocolate chip cookies first, a $40 plate
of spaghetti bolognese second), and I ate what has to be the best meal of my life.
And its weird; what seemed like a fancy, once of a life time experience to me was
another day out in the town to them. They knew half the people that walked in,
and had countless stories of parties theyd been to there, and seeing and being
included in that wealth was a weird but cool experience. After we finished the
paid ($220 fucking dollars), we met Ana outside, who had just gotten back from
her Dads surprise birthday party in London. She was tired, and immediately

started talking about her awkward Uber experience (her friend needed a ride,
didnt have cash, and Ana was forced to pay for her ride), and we went home.
Tyler and her are adorable and madly in love. I third-wheeled like a
motherfucker. We got home, Ana went to sleep, and Ivan, Tyler and I watched
HBO while editing pictures. We also bashed Canon for their shitty lenses, as well
as made fun of movie directors, and Ive never laughed so hard. It was a good
night.

5.28.2016
11:26 (2:26) - I forgot once again (god DAMNIT), but will be journaling
yesterday, today. As always, I woke up early, Tyler woke up late. We started the
day off by going through the list of all the people hes thanking in his book (Astrid
and I are in there), and making sure everything was spelled right. Theres over
200 people, and I quickly found out that the order in which the names are in
really piss people off. If someone is lower on the list, and they think they should
be higher on the list, it doesnt matter if it was an accident or not. Theyre mad.
We concluded on alphabetical order for names, and went to Baja Fresh for lunch.
After coming back, Johnny was waiting for us at the door. We watched some
videos of Die Antwoord (the weirdest yet most oddly satisfying shit youll see)
before the Lynd sisters came over to shoot. The next couple hours was just a
throwback to the 50s. The lighting and costumes were spot on, and it hardly
seemed like what happened couldve been spontaneously created, though thats
what it was. We jumped off the roof onto a large padding, did backflips in the
backyard, drank water out of martini glasses, and ate Vegan chocolate chip
cookies until it was time to go. Immediately after, we went to Dane Cooks house
again for another round of Mafia. Again, his house is HUGE, and the skyline view
was incredible. We ate pizza, peanut butter M&Ms, Macha Kit Kats, Mega Stuff
Oreos, and cookies, and drank everything we wanted from his two endless yet
fully packed refrigerators. I knew everyone there at this point, and the games
have never been more intense. While other people might take this game lightly
and walk away laughing at the end of the night, playing with this group of people
could end friendships. It. Is. So. Intense. We left at 2, went to In-N-Out at 2:30,
looked at Tylers old houses, and dropped Johnny off before going home. Life is
so good.

11:40 (2:40) - Today is my last day here, and that makes me infinitely sad. I dont
know how Ill readjust to my life back at home after experiencing all of this, but I
know that Im forever grateful for this opportunity. However, a lot can happen in
a day here, so its not over just yet. Ive already woken up and worked out, and the
day has just begun.
1:20 (4:20) - Todays activities escalated so quickly. I was helping Tyler clean
some stuff in the kitchen, when I heard a knock on the door. Expecting it to be
Tylers friend stopping by and not the person wed be shooting that day, I kept
washing the dishes. Eventually I came out, only to be introduced to Colton
Haynes. Ill be honest, this was the first time I felt a little star stuck. When it

comes to the other people Ive met, I dont know who they are until after the fact,
so Im not usually intimidated. But Colton I knew of, and it was the biggest shock
to see him just hanging out in the house. Anyway we got to shooting (which was
unplanned but worked phenomenally). Hes a great guy whos super open about
who he is. He recently came out, and they way he acts is a testament to the
freedom he must feel. After the shoot was over, Tyler had an interview for a
photography website, and I ate Chinese while watching Hunter Kings new movie.
Its cool to see movies in which your friends are the main characters. Later, I was
told to get dressed, and that wed be heading out. We drove for a while, only to
end up at Lydia Hearsts house. This house, costing $11,000,000 and featuring
the most incredible view of downtown LA, was phenomenal, and had mango
trees, and outdoor pool, hot tub, and kitchen, and looked like it was straight out
of Italy. Lydia and her fianc Hardwell, were the nicest people youd ever meet.
They were beyond inviting and completely selfless, buying everyone personalized
birthday presents. Ana received several custom Chanel products, which shed
found out she wanted by listen closely to conversations, and Tyler got handmade
masks and the brightest flashlight in the world, both mentioned previously when
talking about shoots. While their wealth was beyond belief, you wouldnt have
been able to tell it if you hadnt known it before. I loved them. Next, we went to a
birthday party for Lindsey, Tylers friend, which was held at Nicks house. Nick is
the main character of the TV show, Castle, and since he doesnt have any
children, spends his money on toys instead. He had a virtual reality gaming set,
multiple electric scooters, and the newest Tesla Model X, which features butterfly
doors and auto-pilot features. Again, he was the kindest person, and his family
was extremely inviting. We talked about art and Tylers latest projects (he writes
movies now; I had no idea), and ate some delicious homemade chicken. I felt like
a family member. Tyler tried out the VR game and ended up clocking some kid in
the face while trying to kill a zombie. It was great.
Now were home and editing pictures of Colton. I dont want to leave.
Everyone Tyler surrounds himself with is so friendly and inviting, and the
opportunities are endless. Im going to miss waking up early to work out, getting
In-N-Out early in the morning, and meeting the nicest people ever. Im going to
miss Mafia Nights at Danes house, getting ice cream with the King sisters, and
watching weird videos with Johnny. Im going to miss grocery shopping with
Ivan, and adventuring with Tyler. It was such a great experience, and I couldnt
be more grateful for everything that Ive done.

An (Incomplete) List of Things I Have Learned

Uber is a super cheap way to get to and from the airport, however you must
depart and/or be going to the departures gate to order. Uber isnt allowed
into departures.
Celebrities are just extremely dedicated and talented humans, like ourselves.
There is no need to be star struck after learning this, and most of these people
prefer that you arent. They like to talk to real people too (crazy right), and
they love it when people see them as such, not a movie star or an icon.
You only need one light to create a beautiful photograph.
The build of a lens is extremely important when it comes to image quality. A
shitty camera paired with a great quality lens will automatically ensure better
results. Long story short, glass beats plastic every time.
If you order a burger protein-style at In-N-Out, you get it between two crisp
pieces of lettuce.
Bolognese at the Chateau Marmont is worth the $40 (and cookies as an
appetizer is always a great idea).
A beautiful personality will trump a beautiful appearance every single time.
When in a photoshoot, if the subject suggests a wild idea, fucking roll with it.
Regardless of it makes sense or not. Hesitating will lead them to assume
youre judging them, and this will only complicate the rest of the shoot. This is
known as the No Flinch Rule.
Shit happens. Roll with it and keep going.
If someone is artificial or gives you a bad vibe, do NOT continue your
relationship. Most of the time, your gut is right, and associating yourself with
them might not only cause yourself trouble down the road, but other people
will associate you and that artificial person, regardless of thats who you really
are or not.

Actors and actresses love being in character. Not only is it passion that fuels
this, but also the fact that, if they are judged or disliked by another, it is their
character that is judged and not their real self.
Likewise, it is very hard to act like yourself if you dont know yourself. It is
even harder to act like yourself if you are sensitive to judgement.
Fear limits opportunity. In my case, being afraid to try something because of
the possibility of failure is the definition of failure in its essence. You will
never know what will come to fruition unless you try, and you can learn from
the experience if things go wrong.
Mega Stuff Oreos with a Reeces cup in the middle could end wars.
Lying is more than the act of deceiving others. The best liars not only know
how to convince others of something, but themselves as well.
Mafia is a wonderful game to play if youre actively looking to lose a couple
friends.
Open-mindedness is a quality of successful individuals.
A1 sauce can be bought by the gallon.
If youre trying to learn how to light, do not do so by starting a self-portrait
series. Youve gotta observe the light on the subject and cant do that if youre
also behind the lens, ya dumbass. (However, I only learned this by failing at
lighting self-portraits)
Happiness is contagious. Surround yourself with happy people, and be a
happy person. Do it for yourself, do it for others.
Going to a shady spa at two in the morning is never a bad decision. Never.
(Im being 100% sincere with this one)
Call your friends, especially if you havent talked to them in a while. Find out
what theyre up to. A good conversation with a good person can make your
day.
Passion will lead you to do the most unexpected tasks. Im currently reading a
book about the physics of light, and I hate physics. (Its not you, Mr. Miller. I
promise.)
Live in the moment. Notice who youre with, where you are, what youre
doing, and how it makes you feel. If youre good at it, include specific details.
Its the details that will really bring back some potent emotions, and this gives
you a great opportunity to reflect and be grateful.
Being independent is a beautiful feeling. Flying alone, shopping alone, living
alone, all of it can be a wonderful thing. Become your own best friend.
Dont push yourself too hard, and dont get yourself down when you get worn
out. Youre only human. You can only do so much at a time.
Let others know that you appreciate them.
Dont be afraid to ask questions.
Haribo Gummies are the answer to life. This is scientifically proven and
backed by my 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Shortcuts are appreciated more after you take the long road. If used properly,
they are not a way to be lazy, but a way to be more efficient.
Stay humble. For Gods sake, please stay humble. Humility is the
embodiment of gratitude.
Stay curious. Even as you grow older, age will remain to be nothing but a
number if your imagination is young.
Dont adopt others negativity. The world is a beautiful place, and favored are
those who can see the good in everything.

Watch the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening. With the right
attitude, you can start and end the day with magic.
Things always manage to work themselves out, youve just got to trust they
will.
Dont fuck people over. No one likes people that fuck other people over.
In the marketing industry, you win arguments with a combination of math,
science, and logic. Common sense is a stranger to some.

Hour Cumulation Chart


To clarify, this list is not accurate in the sense that the whole entire trip was a learning
experience. This list serves only to document that noticeable times I was helping Tyler in
some way or another, in order to provide proof of work.
Date

Hour Count

Activity

5/19/2016

6:00 - 12:00

Setting up lights, holding


lights, charging batteries,
switching lenses, managing
cameras, keeping track of a
drunk Marylin Manson.

5/20/2016

12:00-3:00

Attending art galleries,


meeting artists, gathering
inspiration

5/21/2016

9:00 - 12:00

Reading about the physics


of light. Light, Science, and
Magic: An Introduction to
Photographic Lighting by Fil
Hunter and Paul Filqua

Date

Hour Count

Activity

5/21/2016

4:00 - 10:00

Setting up the set. Moving


lights, chords, tripods,
cameras, backdrops, and
more. Taking BTS footage
and helping with an
interview. Also ordered
pizza. Helped with clean up
afterwards.

5/22/2016

9:00 - 12:00

Reading on light, other


photographic articles on
FStoppers,
DIYPhotography, PetaPixel,
etc.

5/23/2016

9:00 - 12:00

Reading on light, other


photographic articles on
FStoppers,
DIYPhotography, PetaPixel,
etc.

5/23/2016

1:30-5:30

Shooting self-portraits.
Trying to learn the basics of
light while being
photographed isnt an easy
task. Focusing was also a
challenge.

5/24/2016

12:00-5:00

Edited Tylers new book.


Went through his website,
blog, Instagram, and other
forms of social media to
find the names of
photographs. Inserted
labels, found duplicate
photos, and critiqued layout
with Tyler.

5/25/2016

3:30 - 7:30

Walking around, taking test


shots with a Lecia M 240,
Tylers newest toy. Wanted
to know how it performed
while he edited photos.

Date

Hour Count

Activity

5/26/2016

1:00-7:25

Shooting in West Hollywood


with Talulah and Scout, the
daughters of Bruce Willis
and Demi Moore. Held
lights, set up lights, filmed
in 360 for BTS, shot BTS
stills on the Leica
Monochrome, made french
fries, carried supplies to
and from car, modeled in
photoshoot.

5/27/2016

11:00 - 12:30

Compiled a list of everyone


in Tylers new book,
including those pictured,
those who helped on
shoots, and everyone else
who contributed to the book
in some way, shape or
form. Check spelling of
each name and cut out
duplicates.

5/28/2016

2:30 - 6:30

Shooting with Johnny and


the Lynd Sisters. Set up
lights, held lights, switched
lenses, helped with
costume change, and
jumped off the roof a couple
times.

5/29/2016

11:45-1:30

Shot with Colton Haynes.


Same story with regard to
lighting and camera
management.

5/29/2016

2:30-3:00

Set up lights for Tylers


interview.

5/19/2016 - 5/30/2016

> 51 hours