Venice Beach

Ten days in the always inspiring Venice and Santa Monica here in Southern California are almost at end. Somewhere embedded in my dirty laundry and camera gear, lies a drive with more than one hundred gigabytes of photos and film. I’ve shot fitness models, acrobats, surfers, joggers and probably/inadvertently quite a few homeless people – not exactly a scarcity here in Venice.

So, it’s time to fly home to my girls, the studio and to what already seems to be a fairly full schedule of exciting work and new projects. I’m going to miss the ocean, the surfing and the fabulous weather I’ve had here. I’ll be back – hopefully sooner than later.

surf boards in Venice Beach

North or south of the pier. That is the question. This shot shows the south side and the lineup there tends to be larger. I prefer the north side where the swell is a little bit smaller but often times more consistent and varying with both left and right waves.


From yesterday’s shoot for www.santamonicaimages.com with David, Freddie and exquisitely energetic and multidisciplinary model, Meghan. Shooting started on Malibu’s El Matador Beach and finished on the pier at Paradise Cove. Weather could of been better, but not the team.

rent-a-surfboard

Lugna Venice Beach

Fullspäckade dagar, tidiga kvällar och morgnar som börjar i vågorna.  Talade igår morse med en 75-årig surfare medan vi väntade på att nästa våg skulle rulla in. Havet välkomnar alla. I vågorna har jag träffat på flera killar och tjejer som jobbar i “Silicon Beach” – ett område som sträcker sig från Main Street i Santa Monica Beach till Venice Beach där bl a Google, Microsoft och andra bolag inom tech industrin har lokala kontor. Tänk att få börja arbetsdagen med en timme i Stilla Havet.

Köpt häromdagen en begagnad bräda – min första shortboard – i legendariska surfbutiken
“Ocean Echo Surf Shop” på Washington Boulevard. Ägaren, som sålt surfbräder där sedan 1989, stänger butiken och går i pension från och med nu på söndag. Frågade vad han skulle göra och han tittade på mig med ett spjuveraktigt leende och svarade, surfa. Han fyller 60 i år.

Venice Beach förknippas ofta med det brokiga gatulivet i och runt “The Boardwalk” där konstnärer, musiker, turister och hemlösa flanerar. Men, längre söderut, bara några meter efter livräddartornet (där delar av teveserien Baywatch spelades in) blir Venice Beach betydligt lugnare. Där bor jag just nu. Två minuter till vattnet och fem till Cow’s End där jag äter frukost. Idag blir det plåtning i söderhavsvackra, El Matador i Malibu.

shopping-in-santa-monica

From my first shoot on Tuesday. Our talent, Evelyn, make up artist Melisse at 3 Hair Makeup as well as my assistant David and I, enjoyed an amazing collaboration under a beautiful California sun.


Still a bit jet-lagged. So, after only a few hours of solid sleep, I got up at 6:40, slipped on my wetsuit, boots, gloves, the GoPro armband case, waxed my board and then walked a few hundred feet into the Pacific to catch a few waves as the sun rose. The ocean was surprisingly warm – but I’m still happy I brought the gloves, hat and boots. It’s not that warm. The shot of me from this morning was taken by Fredrik Jönsson (using my old camera, though!).

My buddy and local assistant David has been hard at work booking models and makeup artists for the week’s shoots and film projects. We’ve been scouting for a few new locations today and settled for a stretch of the beach just north of the Santa Monica Pier and right off of PCH. Good spot for parking, prepping and production.

After scheduling and scouting, I walked back to Venice and shot about an hour’s worth of landscape footage and a handful of still images.

surfing in venice beach

Back in L.A. and Venice Beach

Just before my shower a few hours ago, I heard a woman moan in an unmistakable way. At first, I thought somebody was watching a movie with a saucy love scene. But moaning continued for more than just a few minutes and sounded so near, that I just assumed it was the real deal. Couldn’t determine from which neighbor the sound was coming from, though. Might have been from the yellow, two story house outside my bathroom window. Or, maybe from the unit next to me. The walls here are paper thin.

I arrived last night at Los Angeles International Airport after an incredulously smooth flight. Boeing’s new Dreamliner really does live up to the hype – and after flying with Norwegian to both the US and Asia, I have only good things to say about the airline’s service and reasonable fares. The Mediterranean Plate they offer onboard – which you conveniently order on the touch screen in front of you – isn’t half bad.

It feels amazing to be back in my hometown again. We left under such unfairly dramatic circumstances last year. So much was left undone. So, I’m really looking forward to ten days under the California sun. Ten days packed with model shoots, landscape photography and some documentary filming.

Via Airbnb, I’ve rented a clean, appropriately sized studio apartment sandwiched somewhere between Venice Canals – of Californication fame – and the famous or infamous Venice Beach Boardwalk – where almost anything goes. It’s an interesting location that pretty much sums up what I like best about L.A. – the city’s inspiring diversity. Part of my childhood was spent along the coast. And I just can’t get enough of it.

From my location, it shouldn’t take more than about five minutes to carry my surfboard into the waves of the Pacific Ocean. If I stop typing, I can hear them rolling onto the beach right now.

Tomorrow, there’s going to be moaning again. And probably some serious groaning, as I attempt to put on my thick, winter wetsuit with the black gloves, black boots and very peculiar looking hat. Despite the consistent sunshine and comfortable temperatures on land, the water here is bone chilling cold. And too avoid a suffer fest, you need pretty thick neoprene to keep you warm while you wait for the waves.

I’ve surfed in many places around the world; including Phuket, Maui, Bali and most recently, Sri Lanka. I’ve spent many, many hours by Tower 10 just north of Santa Monica Pier learning how to take advantage of the break’s lefties and righties. And even though I’ve taken some of my best surf shots just a few minutes from where I am writing this, I’ve actually never stood on a board in Venice Beach.

I’m told the waves here have been decent recently. Not too tall, not too aggressive. Perfect for this middle aged kid.

Photo credit: Fredrik Jönsson

kött-ryggbiff

Kött, Kött och mera kött!

Den här veckan har gått i köttets tecken. Ibland har det blivit kött både till lunch och middag. Känns som om det är dags att låta vegetarianen i mig återuppstå. Fast nu åker jag ju snart till ett av världens mest köttälskande länder. Visserligen till en delstat som i stort sett uppfunnit den matiga salladen. Men ändå. Ett besök på Baby Blues BBQ i Venice är givet. Och ett par Nathan’s hotdogs med French’s Mustard lär slinka ner innan jag återkommer till Sverige och Samers goda mat på gröna krogen mittemot. Fler av mina mat och dryckbilder finns här.

joakim lloyd raboffs nya studio i turning torso gallery

Nya FotoStudion i Turning Torso Gallery

Bilden är från tidigare idag när jag blev ombedd att ta ett självporträtt i nya studion. Känns lite stolligt att hålla i kameran som jag gör. Men, vad fan skall man gör a med armarna/händerna. Ner i fickorna? Armarna kors? Hängande vid sidorna? Studion har haft hygglig beläggning sedan jag drog igång den för ett par veckor sedan. Matbilderna dominerar i tät följd av barnfamiljer. Kommer att arrangera någon slags invigningsfest när våren börjar närma sig.


Då är det bokat. Det blir en mycket framemotsedd konsert med R&B-ikonen D’Angelo som återvänder till Danmark för en konsert på Falconer Salen den 25 februari! Han tar med sig sitt nya, hyllade album, Black Messiah som är hans första på 14 år och bandet The Vanguard. Can’t wait! Tipstack till Susanne på Homelab.