If you live in Los Angeles, you’re in a relationship with the city. And like any relationship, there are ineffable highs and dreadful lows, and it can be all too easy to blame the troubles and traumas of the day on your inanimate significant other. Sometimes it’s necessary to remember how great we have it here, to honor and thank our little slice of paradise. Because when it’s good, it’s reeaallly good.
That’s where Kim Genevieve comes into the picture. The L.A.-based photographer has a gloriously colorful and light-hearted Instagram feed that always captures the city at its best and brightest. Hers is the perfect account to scroll through when you find yourself slipping into malaise, to remind you to stop and smell the bougainvillea, admire that sunset for just a second longer, or hit the road for a quick day trip to Palm Springs. The cynic in you might say, “Nobody can live this charmed of a life.” And while that may be true, you then realize she’s capturing the same, seemingly mundane things you drive by every day: the facade of a building, a line of palm trees, a painted wall. She’ll make you stop to admire the small things and appreciate our city in a big way. We asked her some questions about creating images that are little love letters to L.A.
Best/worst thing about L.A.?
The best thing about Los Angeles is the constant sunshine, palm trees, and pink sunsets. Everywhere you look there’s something to photograph. The worst thing is (obviously) the horrible traffic! It seems like there’s never a good time to head into town, but I’ve learned my shortcuts and I try to take a Lyft when I can.
What’s your ideal L.A. Day?
The ideal work day in L.A. is one spent outside, preferably at the beach. Getting paid to shoot outside on a beautiful SoCal day with a creative team is the best thing ever!
When I’m not working, I like to get up early and workout at the Equinox and then grab a smoothie at EarthBar or Kreation. Sometimes I’ll take my laptop with me and find a new spot to work from because I love people watching. Every day is different, but I usually end a hard workweek with Mexican food and tequila at one of my favorites—El Compadre, Gracias Madre, or Guisados.
Which photographers do you look to for inspiration?
There are so many kickass female photographers I admire, like Kate Powers, Coliena Rentmeester, Jamie Nelson, and many more. I’m constantly inspired by beauty photographers who incorporate bright palettes into their work.
When you’re in a creative slump, what do you do to re-energize?
Traveling always re-energizes my creative brain, so my hubby and I will take our dog-daughter (Dolly Parton) on a road trip as often as we can. I love getting out with the two of them, even if it’s down the road to Palm Springs (hands down my favorite staycation).
Your photos always make me want to eat something sweet—what’s your favorite place for dessert in the city?
I’m obsessed with Sprinkles. I love their salted cornflake cookie and their classic sundae, which is a single scoop of ice cream sandwiched between a cupcake—so good! My other favorites include a Scandinavian candy shop called Sockerbit and Salt & Straw (be sure to try the Black Olive Brittle + Goat Cheese ice cream, a weird but amazing combo). The list goes on and on…
If you could go back and re-live any decade, which would you choose and why?
I like to think if I could go back to the ’50s I’d photograph Jackie O, Marilyn Monroe, and, of course, Elvis! It would be so wild.
If you could photograph dinosaurs or aliens what would you choose?
Dinosaurs! Every time I road trip to Palm Springs, I always stop at Cabazon Dinosaurs to take some photos. Oh, and Jurassic Park is one of the best films ever made. I’ll photograph the dinosaurs, but only at a safe distance.
There are so many influential women I would love to photograph but right now I would have to say my dream shoot is with Oprah! I grew up watching Oprah and it’s so exciting to see her pursue a role as an actor and activist (and how great was her Golden Globes speech?). I’m just hoping she can squeeze me in for a shoot before she runs for president.
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