Pool Party in the Desert // Palm Springs photographers

Pool Party in the Desert // Palm Springs photographers

Pool party in the desert


Pool parties in the desert always seemed kind of oxymoronish to me. I’m not sure if you know this, but if playing in the water is your idea of fun, the desert isn’t exactly the place you’d think to go. Or so they say. Maybe they haven’t been to Palm Springs, where a pool party in the desert is very much the legendary thing to do.

And yet, it seems like the desert should get a chance to play too – the actual desert, not the man-made one – so we ditched the hotel pool for just a bit to make sure the desert got its turn. Got all dressed up and literally took the pool party to the desert…and tried to make it look just as fun. (And those pool floats? They magically fit in my carryon…but not so much in the trunk of our little beetle convertible.)

This idea of play, it may just be the most important one. Playing with things that don’t fit together, playing with ideas and objects and feelings that make your heart happy – for me, right now, that’s flamingos and pool parties and sun in the desert.

Because the truth behind this post is that I struggled desperately to find the courage to share this work. I had this idea, and it didn’t turn out exactly like the picture I was holding onto so dearly in my imagination, much thanks to mother nature and a little dust storm that rearranged some of my carefully laid plans, like parking that convertible beetle on the sand in the desert to tell a different version of this story.

But you know what? I don’t love these photos any less, and I think they may even come to mean more. I spent a week worrying about whether they make enough sense to share, whether they are worthy or good enough. And the words the universe kept whispering were to show up. Show them.

The heart of this story + the concept that inspired them has always been about play. Playing in the desert. Playing with two things that seem unrelated. Playing to learn. Playing for fun. Actually having fun. Meeting new friends. Trying something that may be uncomfortable but is still enjoyable to make. And even if my imagination was tied to a single image, it really doesn’t matter if I made that image right now, does it? It can still live on in my brain for another day and I can still share this work, because the sharing is the important thing. The doing, the sharing, the playing, is always the very thing that matters most.

And that is the life lesson I needed most right now. A reminder to have fun and do things that don’t make sense, simply for the joy of just doing them and the joy of making something incredibly lovely.


Pool party in the desertpool party in the desert


Model: Ali Freeman
Hair: Tonia Day

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