Venice Beach is one of those places that are so intrinsically Californian, and every time I go back to Los Angeles I end up here at some point. But this time, it was different. It was still dark out when I boarded my Uber to the Venice Beach Boardwalk where I would meet Deborah, my Travelshoot photographer.
When the company reached out to ask me if I was interested in taking a photoshoot and review their services, how could I ever say no? A professional photographer, the beach, and the sunrise? Sign me up!
Travelshoot is a service that connects travelers with professional photographers around the world. There are a few different packages you can choose from depending on your needs, but whatever package you choose, you end up going home with unforgettable memories (and if you use my code everysteph50, you’ll get a $50 discount!).
Deborah put me at ease right away, which is really important because professional photoshoots can be a little awkward at times, and we headed to the ocean to start shooting. The sun rose, the fog partly covering the sky, and the magic began.
JACKET: Express (similar here),
TOP: Romwe (similar here),
SKIRT: Ethnic (similar here)
HAT: Bershka (similar here)
ACCESSORIES: Ethnic (similar ring and similar bangles)
SANDALS: Not-branded, found at a market in Cannes, France (similar here)
… and of course I needed to stop for a minute and take some Instagram stories of the beach (story of my life!). By the way, are you following me on Instagram?
To me, California has alway been the beach, the palms, and the lifeguard stations, so I was happy like a child when I got to play on them.
I’ve always wanted a Volkswagen hippie van, and when we found one right by the beach carrying tons of surfing boards, we couldn’t NOT stop. I mean, what’s more Southern California than this?
WHAT TO DO AT OCEAN FRONT WALK, VENICE BEACH
During the day, the Venice Boardwalk heaves with people selling souvernirs and gadget, marijuana prescriptions, and street performers dancing, singing, and jumping around. In the early morning, though, the Boardwalk is empty and quiet. These are a few of my recommended places to stop on the boardwalk:
Muscle Beach Gym
Located steps from the sand, this is the place to work out in Venice Beach under the sun. You can buy a day pass for $10 and join the action, or simply stop there and look at all those big guys sweating it out.
1800 Ocean Front Walk
Venice Skate Park
A great place to sit in the sun, relax and watch talented young people skating. Right by the beach.
1800 Ocean Front Walk
Venice Beach Poetry Walls
Walls covered with thoughtful words of singers, actors, and oublic people. The Poetry walls are located on the Venice Recreation and Parks Office.
1800 Ocean Front Walk
VENICE BEACH BOARDWALK SHOPS
Maui and Sons’ Surf and Skate Shop
For, the name says it, all kinds of boards. A truly Southern Californian shop.
1415 Ocean Front Walk
The Arbor Collective
Another shop selling skateboards and active lifestyle clothing and accessories, but what makes it special is the fact that the brand was born with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness.
305 Ocean Front Walk
Black Rose Tattoo
Thinking of getting some ink? The guys here are famous for being the best in the area.
1701 Ocean Front Walk
Folklore and Art Shops
Walking towards 17th avenue on the Boardwalk, there area a few shops that sell handmade products, paintings and beautiful art pieces in vibrant colors, that will remind you of the Mexican folklore. A great stop for souvenirs.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK ON VENICE BEACH BOARDWALK
You like bread pudding? Then you are in luck, because this hole-in-the-wall store only sells bread pudding. But they say it’s one of the best!
1827 Ocean Front Walk
Figtree’s Cafe and Grill
Voted Best Restaurant on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, this cafè offers a health-minded menu with organic ingredients for a healthy, and yummy, choice.
429 Ocean Front Walk
High Rooftop Lounge
If you’re feeling fancy, there’s no better place for a colorful cocktail with the view of Venice Beach. The rooftop lounge is part of the Hotel Erwin.
1697 Pacific Ave
Muscle Beach Juice Bar
Right across from the gym, this juice bar offers fresh juice, wheatgrass and ginger shots, protein shakes, and smoothies.
1809 Ocean Front Walk
STREET ART IN VENICE BEACH
The area of Venice boasts some really interesting and thoughtful street art, and some of the graffiti can be seen when strolling down the boardwalk. Check out this list of street art graffitis in Venice.
THE VENICE SIGN
Time for an outfit change and we headed to the iconic Venice sign (the Venice beach sign address is Pacific Ave & Windward Ave). You need to take your own photo here. It’ll take a couple of tries to coordinate with your photographer and the traffic light, just make sure you don’t get hit by a car just to take that photo!
ABBOT KINNEY BLVD
Abbot Kinney is one of my favourite streets in Los Angeles, lined with boutique shops and those cute cafès that you’ve probably seen multiple times on your Instagram feed, and so it deserves its own guide (coming soon).
Our last stop of the morning was The Butcher’s Daughter [1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd], a cafè, juice bar, and plant-based restaurant that you can’t but step in when you walk past it.
After the photoshoot, I couldn’t wait to see the results, and surely enough I didn’t have to wait long. I woke up the next morning and my edited photos were already in the Travelshoot portal! Overall, this was a great experience. It was a lot of fun to take the photos, and I was more than satisfied with the results.
I recommend to give it a shot next time you are traveling alone and are tired of asking strangers to take your (mediocre) photo, or if you are with friends or partner and want some beautiful photos that will always remind you of your holiday.
Don’t forget to use my code everysteph50 for a $50 discount on your next booking!
Disclaimer: Travelshoot gifted me a complimentary photoshoot but all opinions are my own, as always. I couldn’t have been happier with the results!