Photographed & Styled by S. Elle Quintana, Hair by Seto McCoy, Makeup by Damaris Santana, Model Leila Thomas of DT Model Management
Our #dosummerright series is back at it again! This summer we’ll be traveling to a few different cities, linking up, and shooting with fresh talented creatives (photographers, stylists, makeup artists, hairstylists, models, designers) to highlight a cool place in their city we need to know about.
First was Wynwood, Miami and next up, LA. There’s no doubt everyone loves a few good beachy, palm tree shots on the West Coast but photographer, S. Elle Quintana wanted to explore a softer, more subtle side of LA. “I love going to hotels and just spending the night,” says Quintana. “The Line Hotel is super gorgeous. It’s nice to see the city in a different way. It’s fun to pretend to be tourists in your hometown. Going out, dressing up, and pretending to be anonymous. There is something inherently sexy about that and I wanted to play with the idea.”
Keep up with us for our #dosummerright travel series and find out what cities you need to see ASAP!
AB: Where are you from?
SQ: Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley area.
AB: How did you get into photography?
SQ: I’ve been doing photography professionally for 3 years, 2 as an assistant to the amazing Alix Malka and now officially 1 year on my own. But it was my mom who instilled in me the love of photography. She helped me load my first camera with film.
AB: You’ve said that as a female photographer of a multi ethnic descent getting women of color in front of the lens is important to you. Why?
SQ: As a girl I grew up in a world where my skin color was very rarely represented in magazines, television or any place else for that matter. At one point, I was actually asked by a well meaning agent if I could look a little less ethnic. That was something that deeply affected me, that my kind of beauty wasn’t correct or worth looking at. I don’t want to promote a world where anyone feels like their beauty is not acceptable or as good as others. I want to create and promote a fashion industry where there is more then one perfect look, where models of all colors and ethnicities are equally represented. The industry should look like the world it exists in, multi ethnic and rich in diversity. I can’t tell you how many times someone on set has pointed me in the direction of wardrobe only to find out I was the assistant, or the photographer. I want to promote an industry where women of all shades are as represented in front of the lens as well as behind the lens.
AB: What was the styling inspiration for this shoot?
SQ: I wanted the fashion to be very LA, very endless summer. I wanted this understated chic boho vibe, with little sparkly jewels. That’s LA, a mix of high and low.
AB: Tell us a little about The Line Hotel.
SQ: The Line has one of the best views of Los Angeles. I try to stay in a room with a view of the Hollywood Hills. It has views like every line ever written about LA.
AB: What are some of your favorite places to hang in California?
SQ: One beautiful place I have been is Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur. I love the Descanso Gardens Pasadena. In Joshua Tree there is an amazing art installation by the late artist Noah Purifoy. It’s definitely worth the day trip to go see. And on a much more casual everyday note, I often find myself hanging at Intelligentsia Coffee, they have a great Patio on Abbott Kinney and I often have quick little meetings there and my morning mocha.
DM: Walnut, California.