El Matador State Beach Malibu Inspiration Photo Session

Since arriving in LA I’ve felt a certain fondness for Malibu – it feels like a world away from the hectic chaos of the big city. Before moving overseas I was never interested in spending my summers at the wild beaches that line this stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, yet as an adult – and as a photographer – I feel drawn to the soft colours and rugged features of places such as El Matador State Beach. It takes a bit of time to get here, but it’s definitely worth the drive.

I was inspired to create a photo session that captures the feeling of serenity in isolation; when you are alone but not lonely, when solitary communion with nature brings calm and joy to your soul.

Model Stephanie Reed evokes a modern-day viking princess with her striking hair set in waterfall braids, created by the talented makeup artist and hair designer Julie Hirji. The location produced a range of pastel colours and exquisite lighting that I rarely encounter anywhere else, as if it were from a Monet in springtime in Paris. The surrounding rocks and greenery provide a stunning background which doesn’t detract from the subject, but adds to the ethereal feel of the photo session.


Model: Stephanie Reed

Hair & Makeup: Julie Hirji

Photography: Yolanda Villagran Photography

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