See You in the Desert: Transforming an oasis

One of my favorite parts of creative directing is having the ability to transform a space into anything you want it to be. The main goal Jenna and I had when brainstorming our See You in the Desert photoshoot in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree this last spring was to achieve a funky editorial vibe in the desert. To achieve this, we wanted to collaborate on turning the beautiful and barren appearance of Joshua Tree into a stylized space --- something out of the ordinary that one would not typically see when in the middle of the desert. 

In order to transform our oasis, we used props like a lamp, Moroccan rugs, cow hide, chairs and floor poufs all thanks to Circa Vintage Rentals and our amazing florals courtesy of our florist Violette's Flowers. Having a breathtaking landscape as our backdrop also helped achieve our overall aesthetic of the shoot. 

When it came to styling, it was all about selecting outfits that followed suit to the desert, had good flow with a breeze and interesting detailing but not too much pattern or color in the actual clothing. We really wanted to play up accessories like metallic statement jewelry, leather chokers, floppy hats, bold sunnies and custom floral headpieces. 

Joshua Tree is extremely vast, so you have to settle on a spot for shooting especially before it gets too dark. We started shooting during the golden hour before sunset so we achieved some amazing golden light in our shots. We loved shooting in an area that featured giant boulders, the Joshua trees and a variety of desert shrubs and thorn bushes. We were able to experiment with various outfits, poses and lighting in these different locations and despite all of them being so visually unique, they all had a cohesive look and feel. 

I'm also thrilled to announce this creative project was published in The Venue Report featuring more details of our shoot and unseen photos. Be sure to check it out!  

Creative Direction and Styling: Me

Photography: Jenna Bechtholt

Models: Ashlynn, Mel

Videography: James Pett Vision

Props: Circa Vintage Rentals

Florals: Violette's Flowers

Hair & Makeup: Rooted Hair Studio, Nancy Z Beauty

*Click the images to enlarge. Please do not repost any of these images without the permission of Allison Wagner (West Coast Aesthetic) or Jenna Bechtholt. Please email: for more information. 

Here are some of my favorite highlights from our Joshua Tree shoot: