Where is The Best Place To Take Birthday Photos In California? Algodones Dunes. Yes, Let’s get into the most instagrammable desert in California (the only desert in California)
I wanted to do something different to commemorate another year in my life. A year putting me 1st, and relocating to San Diego without a past friend or family member in sight. A year of Adventure, Dating, and living Solo on my terms, so I researched until I found a desert in Socal ( Slang for southern california) and decided to plan my bday shoot around it.
How Much Does it Cost To Go To Glamis Dunes And How Long Does It Take?
A little background for everyone first. Algodones Dunes is also referred to as Imperial Dunes and Glamis Dunes. I live in San Diego (moved here August 11, 2018 from NYC) and it took me 2 hours and 10 minutes to drive to Algodones Dunes. If you do not want to pay a parking fee ($20-$50), DO NOT park at Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Center. Instead park at Osbourne Lookout (2 hour parking limit) for free as I did. Now back on to my adventure.
How Do You Do A Photoshoot In The Desert During A Sandstorm?
Everyone knows how adventurous I am, and I always take the path less traveled, so when my friend, Sofia, told me that the winds would be 12mph (miles per hour) at Algodones Dunes on July 17, 2019, I was not deterred and said we were going to make the trip anyway (don’t be like me, please go on a day without winds). Let me face palm myself right now because it was the adventure of a lifetime but we were caught in a sand storm. If you follow my instagram stories, you know how crazy it got, but let’s back up, how did I plan this photoshoot you might ask? Well continue reading
Preparation For Desert Photoshoot
I bought balloons from Party City the night before, and had to have a special gel put in the latex balloons so they could last 8-12 hours (3 popped from the wind as soon as we got out of the car at the desert). Next, I planned 3 looks (2 of which were used). It is important to pick outfits that will look good on your skin tone as well as with the desert as a backdrop as well as hair that will blow freely in the wind, for me it was 2 wigs that I changed for each look.
Reality vs. Photos
As a dark skinned black woman it is best that I shoot at sunset or sunrise because the sun is behind me and the flash of the camera will make my skin pop. However, I got there at almost 9am and the sun was in full effect and the wind was all over. Yes, I had sand under my wig (and it was a full lace wig at that, so how did that possibly happen with none of my real hair visible?), I had sand on my booty, my vaginal area, in my contacts although I had on glasses, on my face, and where the sun doesn’t shine. So how did I fake it for the photoshoot?
Listen, I will do ALMOST anything short of jeopardizing my life, to get the right shot. I fell in the sand at Algodones Dunes 1 time, almost fell several times, couldn’t see half of the time, but I was walking against the sand storm and taking both videos and pictures. I was there 2hrs and a half, but I have beautiful pics/videos in remembrance, and I had the adventure of a lifetime because I can honestly say that I’ve seen a Desert in my Lifetime and right here in california. Algodones dunes is 40 miles of beautiful sands, and the best part was driving home in my bikini as my friend did the same because all of our clothes had sand. We truly were a modern day Thelma and Louise except we remained alive.