Palm Springs to Seeking Salvation

March 31, 2016 by Bess

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Salvation Moutain

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Salvation Moutain

Salvation Moutain

On my bucket list of sites to see is Salvation Mountain, so for Valentine’s weekend in Palm Springs Val and I made the drive to seek salvation.

This inland gem adds a punch of positivity to the otherwise decrepit desert. The creator, Leonard Night, built Salvation Mountain out of adobe clay, stray and paint, as a testament to his faith. While Leonard recently passed away, his legacy lives on.

Salvation Mountain sits at the entrance to Slab City, off the grid 190 miles south east of Los Angeles. Val and I ventured into Slab City, and witnessed a mashup pf Burning Man meets Breaking Bad. Dubbed “the last free place in America,” Slab City takes its name after concrete slabs left behind from the abandoned World War II Marine barracks of Camp Dunlap. Today it’s a hot spot for snowbirds, squatters and those looking to get off the grid. Slab City, definitely a site to be seen.

If you’re exploring the Indio Vally, make sure to swing through Salvation Mountain. Slab City too, but I wouldn’t go there alone. Happy hunting and good vibes in your search for Salvation!

♥ BB

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Loving Myself for Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2016 by Bess

salvation mountain

This Valentine’s Day marks ten months, one week and four days since I last had sex. I know what you’re thinking. How the Hell is a woman in her sexual prime abstinent longer than gestation? Easy. I spent time loving myself instead of looking for love through sexual gratification.

My relocation to Seattle wasn’t easy and it certainly wasn’t the transition I expected. Something felt missing and it wasn’t just the D. My emotionally unavailable Tinder swipes didn’t cut it, because who wants to date an indecisive mope? Instead of looking for seven inches of satisfaction (fingers crossed anyway) I focused on bettering myself. I joined a yoga studio, perfected cannabis photography, overhauled my interior decor and made peace with the Pacific Northwest. I focused on the relationship with myself and I loved it.

So why don’t more women do this?

If I read one more *feminist* blog where women unabashedly rip apart their one night stands, I’m going to punch my monitor. Female-focused media (I’m looking at you Cosmopolitan and SATC) perpetuate the notion women have to get laid, even if it means disrespecting themselves in the process.

Here’s a feeble notion for my sexually active generation — stop sleeping with people who don’t or won’t respect you. Share your energy with partners who appreciate it, not those who feel entitled to it. I’m by no means perfect, nor holding out for marriage, but I am dang picky, as women should be. Give your goddess energy to a man who’s worth it. It makes the whole experience more fulfilling, both physically and emotionally. Plus no worries about him bouncing before you climax.

Just to clarify, I’m not bashing hookups or one-night stands. In fact, I have three close friends who married theirs, but that’s the exception to the rule. I mean really ladies, can you expect a guy who invested an hour of drunken conversation over a $12 cocktail to care about your orgasm?

For most of the dating pool, we drown in hormones and confusion after fucking on the first date, and understandably so. Our bodies are hardwired to bond with sexual partners and one study has suggested women retain the DNA of their past lovers. Much of this uncertainty is preventable if you get to know someone before getting down. It’s not rocket science, friends, it’s hormones.

I’ll wrap my annual Valentine’s Day post with a note of positivity. 2016 is on track to be a better year than the last. I’ve lived fearlessly and for myself. I gained introspection while planting seeds of self-love. I’m in a place where I can love on my own terms, which gives me better radar to find the man of my dreams, wherever he may be.

(confidently swipes right)

♥ BB

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Winter Days at Denny Creek

January 25, 2016 by Bess

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A couple weekends back Andrea and I adventured out to Denny Creek for some winter wonderland photos. We definitely underestimated the drive, hike and snow, but these pictures made wading through knee-high pow worth it.

I met Andrea through my friend/her boyfriend Bobby, when she modeled in Western Cultured’s Vance Creek shoot. She is just as beautiful inside and out, and smart too (microbiologist). We’ve got a couple concepts in the works for 2016 and I’m very excited for the photo adventures in store.

If you want to go on photo adventures (especially cannabis photo adventures) click here to shoot me a message.

♥ BB

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To Bend and Back

January 5, 2016 by Bess

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My mom and George invited me to Bend, Oregon for their annual New Years Eve ski trip. With a season like ours, how could I not? I hadn’t been to Bend since College. Plus George and Mom are two of my favorite people to ride with. Invite accepted.

One of my favorite things about Bend and back is the drive. The Pacific Northwest is speckled with rundown old farm towns towns and dilapidated buildings. They’re so remote, it’s an eerie quiet when you step out to take pictures. The church especially gave me chills, as I didn’t dare venture into the abandoned hospital (or whatever it was) behind it.

Mom, George and I had so much fun skiing, eating and drinks with friends, we didn’t take many photos in Bend (beside iPhone pics). Our first day the mountain closed early due to extreme winds and crazy frigid temperatures. The next day Mom and I walked around town while George went skiing. Luckily our last day we had clear skies and semi-soft snow conditions (I’ve ridden worse).

A quick note about the shirts George and I are wearing… Whenever I’m on a board I #ShredForBrad, one of my friends who suffered a serious wakeboard accident in 2014. The proceeds from shirt sales go to helping Brad’s recovery and spinal injury research. Whether it’s the top of Bachelor or buttery Lake Ronix, if I shred, I shred for Brad!

On my drive home I stopped in Shaniko, a ghost town in Oregon. Erected as a railroad town in 1900, Shaniko now holds a population of 30. Something about the snow and scenery made it impossible to pass up pictures. Who’s down for a road trip back this spring?

Shortly after taking these pictures, I accidentally drove 30 minutes east, spun out into a ditch, overflowed my gas pump by a lot then spent four hours trying to cross Snoqualmie Pass. But it’s a new year, so we don’t need to discuss those things.

♥ BB

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DOPE Magazine’s Photographer of the Year

December 20, 2015 by Bess

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I woke up this morning feeling especially blessed. Last night I attended the 2015 DOPE Industry Awards where peers voted me the Photographer of the Year.

Unfortunately I missed my acceptance speech. I didn’t hear the show started, and stood in the back talking excise tax reform with fellow producers. Alas, here it is:

Congratulations to the three other talented nominees. Thank you Western Cultured for giving me so much creative freedom (and the best plants to photograph). Thank you Dad​ for buying me my first camera, telling me cannabis leads to latent psychosis, then encouraging me to take this job. Most of all, this award is for everyone in the industry who’s had their social media accounts deleted but refused to give up. We’ve laid down our roots and this whole nation is going to watch us grow!

Western Cultured’s grow also won Best Producer. Congratulations to our team for an exciting first year. I can’t wait to see what 2016 will yield!

♥ BB

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