After spending almost a year trying to coordinate April’s busy schedule with my shoots in LA, I decided that I’d have to fly out West specifically to photograph her for the series.Because her design work is often associated with extremely imaginative and complex digital imagery I was leaning toward some sort of surrealistic background treatment for her portrait. In the end, I decided to photograph her at her design consultancy, Made in Space.
April and architect Michael Rotondi own a beautiful, quirky spa called Miracle Manor Retreat located just outside Joshua Tree National Park, a couple of hours east of LA. The spa, of course, had to be thoroughly scouted as a possible location and I spent a very enjoyable day there and at Joshua Tree.
Above are Miracle Manor’s two thermal pools, one at body temperature, the other, enclosed, hot mineral water at 105 degrees F.
Typical retreat room at the Manor w/custom designed furniture, Indian and organic cotton textiles, Latvian stool and some other kinky chatchkis. April’s aesthetic and obsessive attention to detail permeates every inch of the manor.
The Buddha fountain out by the mineral water swimming pool
Scouting Photos at Made in Space
Greiman’s collection of masks, children’s chairs, virgin statuettes, and memorabilia and then some.
Above, the Virgins referred to earlier
A selection of the masks collection
Dayglo surfboard table designed by April, which, btw, is for sale.
April generously captioned this: THE FOTOGRAPHER BEING VAIN AT MADE IN SPACE STUDIO. I just wanted her to tell me what she was going to do with that fun-house mirror. She still has time for a proper reply.
April’s own vanity, creatively (and shockingly) exploited. Her revolutionary nude, digitized self-portrait, first seen in Design Quarterly 133.
Scouting shots from Joshua Tree and the LA skyline from the Griffith Observatory - all of which I initially considered for April’s portrait background.