As part of our upcoming Adventure Project series this summer, we will be working with several select Collaborators to take This is Ground on the road with them as they travel the world.
Real estater by day, Jeff Mindell is a Los Angeles-based photographer whose colorful look at that SoCal life always has us inspired. He and his partner in crime, fiance Kelly Lanza of Studio DIY use Los Angeles as their personal playground for their adventurous life. We took a moment to ask him a few questions about the City of Angels, travel, and tacos.
Hey Jeff, how do you start your day?
My typical morning is me waking up, heading into the office, and grabbing the first caffeinated beverage I can find. After that, emails.
We love the graphic use of color in your photos. What people/places/things inspire your photography?
Color is something that oftentimes reflects a mood I’m in or a place I’m visiting. Desert and beach environments are always thought-provoking for me and great examples of this. Some people that are super inspiring right now are guys like Gray Malin and Max Wanger.
ph: Max Wanger
ph: Grey Malin
How does living and working in Los Angeles influence your work?
Living and working here in LA is insanely rewarding. Busting at the seams with creatives, I’m constantly on sensory overload out here and try to surround myself with others who are pushing themselves and me along the way. That, and there really is no shortage of beautiful backdrops and vignettes in this city to capture. Every time I go out, I’m looking to explore and find something new. Most times, I’m pleasantly surprised.
What do you shoot with?
When it comes to Instagram, I’d say I’m 95% iPhone. I’ve gotten pretty good at editing on the go and people seem to really respond well to the images I put out there. My favorite apps are Camera+ and VSCOcam. As far as legit DSLR camera, I shoot with a Canon Rebel T2i. My goal is to upgrade to the 5D Mark III before my wedding in November as I’ve had the Rebel since college.
Favorite travel destination?
I’d love to say somewhere far off and exotic to answer this question, but I always end up coming back to what’s comfortable for me, which is the California desert. I’ve lived all over this great country of ours and Europe in the past, but when I can jump in the car from LA and quite possibly be in the most tranquil environment in a matter of hours, there’s a reason I go so often.
Favorite travel method?
I love a good road trip. When we made the move to the west coast three years ago from NJ, we drove cross-country. (I’ve done it twice now!) I love having the option to stop. To open my window. To stretch my legs. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be able to see the world without plane travel and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!
What can’t you travel without?
My camera. Also, my leather weekender bag. I got the thing about 7 years ago from Italy and it’s probably my favorite material item I own. It’s this great (now beat-up) dark brown-colored leather and has been with me on every trip and vacation I’ve taken ever since. When I first discovered This Is Ground, your line of ‘Whiskey’ products almost perfectly matched my bag’s leather. It was a match made in organizational heaven.
Lastly, what’s your favorite taco joint in Los Angeles?
Hands down, fav taco joint in Los Angeles is Cactus Taqueria on Vine. Conveniently located around the corner from me, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I’m there about 3 times/week. It’s a problem, really. They are cash-only, which basically means I’m consistently screwed when I need to leave a tip or pay for valet at some point during the week. (After I finish typing this, you can probably take a wild guess as to where I’m walking for dinner.)
Follow @jeffmindell on his #thisisgroundsummer adventures on Instagram.