The Rosslyn Hotel - First Location for "I shoot LA" Campaign

June 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment


I was invited by Cap Equity Locations to participate in their “I Shoot L.A.” campaign that kicked off at the Rosslyn Hotel on May 10, 2012.  The event, formed to connect with, and raise awareness of their properties to Professional Photographers, included over 50 industry professionals from Photographers, Models, Hair Stylist, Makeup Artists and other production staff.


I started off the shoot a block down from the Rosslyn at Salon on Main where the models were having their hair and makeup done to prepare for the shoot. I took advantage of this time to introduce myself to the models and get some behind the scene images of the ladies.  The staff at Salon on Main was very friendly, talented and worked fast at getting the ladies prepared for the photo shoot.  After the ladies finished up, we headed back up the street to begin the photo shoot at the Rosslyn.


Prior to this photo shoot event, I knew next to nothing about the Rosslyn Hotel, located in the Heart of Downtown Los Angeles.  During the course of the shoot, I became increasingly intrigued with the building and it’s history, especially with the basement (that I will get to later in this blog).  Not for a lack of trying, it was hard to find much history on this building, but I just knew there had to be some interesting facts about this place, especially since it was an epitome of class and frequented by film stars, socialites and businessmen in it’s prime.  To my knowledge the information that I found and was given to me is correct. 


The building was originally one structure (located opposite of where I shot) built in 1913, and expanded to two buildings in 1923.  The Rosslyn was designed by John Parkinson, who also designed Union Station, City Hall, and the LA Coliseum. During the time that the Rosslyn was built, the financial and commercial center of California was in Downtown LA.  Exchange LA, once a stock exchange, was right down the street from the Rosslyn, and at that time it was called the Rosslyn Annex and was connect through underground tunnels. 


As I mentioned above, the basement of the Rosslyn was especially interesting to me.  Virtually un-touched by time, the basement of the Rosslyn was a Speakeasy during the roaring 20’s.  When I came off the elevator and walked past the boiler room, a hallway (that was once a underground tunnel, now blocked off), and into a large empty room, I quickly realized that it had been a bar.  I thought to myself, “how strange, a bar next to a boiler room” then I quickly realized that it must have been used in the prohibition period where serving alcohol was illegal.  Being a HUGE fan of the roaring 20’s, I was very excited to be standing in what was once a speakeasy and my imagination was running wild with the things that could possibly have gone on down there with the speakeasy and the underground tunnel (trafficking illegal alcohol perhaps?).  I felt like I went back in time! The bar, although rickety and aged, was still in tacked.  The glass walls separating the bar from the tunnel and boiler room were still painted with dancing women in dresses.  I could just feel the history around me and I soaked it up as I photographed the models that had joined me.


During the 1970’s, the two Rosslyn buildings were acquired by separate owners.  Today, the Rosslyn Hotel has an amazing rooftop view, with views of Downtown LA skyline from all 4 sides of the building.  The rooftop has been used and featured in films, commercials and music videos such as David Guetta’s “Where them Girls at” featuring Niki Manaj and Flo Rida and the Wanted “Chasing the Sun”. 


I had a wonderful experience at the Rosslyn Hotel photo shoot and enjoyed working with the wonderful people involved.




First off, I want to thank the wonderful people at Cap Equity Locations for organizing this exciting shoot!



The rooftop view of from the Rosslyn was amazing.  However, I was so concentrated on capturing the models that I did not take any pictures of the building and the view itself.  Thank you Kyla Kay for sharing the following images on my blog!  Kyla is another photographer in the Southern California area. She also participated in the Rosslyn Hotel shoot.  She is a wonderful person and it was a pleasure bumping into her during the shoot. 


The next 5 images were taken by Kyla Kay




For me, and most of the models, the evening started in the salon for hair and makeup.  Salon on Main to be exact, where friendly and talented artists prepared the models for the shoot.  Here are a few behind the scenes from the salon, starting with my favorite one of model Beverly, watching the hustle and bustle of main street while relaxing and getting ready for the shoot.




I started my photographic journey at the Rosslyn on top of the roof. It was a beautiful day and the sun was low in the sky.  The view of LA and it's skyline was breathtaking.  I spent some time on the rooftop capturing images of Beverly, Summer and Karen before I headed down to the basement. 


This beautiful red head model is Beverly Eberhardt. You may recognize her from some of my other work.  She is a wonderful person and an up and coming model who is progressing greatly. She is Miss Latina San Pedro and is training for Miss Latina California all while working, participating in the community, modeling and going to school.  She is truly an incredible and dedicated woman.


I met Summer for the first time at the Rosslyn shoot.  I was immediately drawn to her beautiful eyes.  It was such a pleasure photographing her.  Originally from New York, she is pursuing a career in acting an modeling and is represented commercially for print/tv by Brick Entertainment.  Fun fact about Summer is she plays piano for private parties and events in LA. 

She can be contacted directly at


Karen, located in Hollywood, is an aspiring dancer, actress and model. She is a hard working woman who is fun to be around and is an dynamic dancer with beautiful long hair.

She can be contacted directly at



After photographing Beverly and Summer on the rooftop before sunset, we headed down to the basement to see what was in store.  As I mentioned above, I was very excited about what we found.  Although the creepiness of the basement was really cool, it was a bit challenging to photograph in.  It was very, very dim with little light source but I made the best of it with the equipment I had on hand. 


This image was captured at the bar in the basement, which use to be a speakeasy back in prohibition.  From my knowledge, this is the original bar.



These images of Summer were also taken at the bar using one strobe light at a distance.  



The remaining images in the basement were taken in the boiler room.  It may have proved to be the spookiest place that I came in contact with in the building. 


This image of Karen was under very dim and cool light.



These next images of Beverly were taken just inside the boiler room directly under a single light that was on the wall.  



Although it was a lot of fun exploring and shooting in the basement, we headed back up to the roof to capture some evening skyline images decorated with the city lights.  By this time the Los Angeles art walk on main was in full swing and and we wrapped up our shoot with the chaotic sound of the crowd below. 


Another great image of Summer with her captivating eyes. 



Introducing Jana!  Let me just say that she was the most humorous model I shot that evening. With an energy that explodes, she brings a fun and crazy (in a good way) element to a photo shoot.  




Photographing at the Rosslyn was a great experience and an exciting way to meet and work with phenomenal  and talented people in the industry. 










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