Inner Child

Essay 462 • Aug 31st 2020

Some things don’t always go as planned. That’s okay.

As the photographer-in-residence this year, I’ve been entrusted with creating one photo essay every month. Back in January I made a list of goals for the year—my mind was full of possibilities and new concepts to try out. Ultimately, my works-in-progress were put on hold, or scrapped altogether. There was something much bigger at hand. We’ve all had to push forward in new ways, accepting the circumstances and uncovering solutions.

My initial plans for this particular essay evolved over time. One idea was to employ aerial photography across multiple landscapes. Another was to utilize a clothing brand in an interesting way. Eventually these ideas fused together and picked up another spirit as well: discovery.

The result is multiple photo shoots at the beach, desert, and forests of Southern California, using bright primary colors from a clothing brand that originated as a children’s line, embracing the elements and exploring the space—both from the ground and the sky. This essay embraces childlike curiosities. 

There were so many unexpected elements, and Sara welcomed them all. Bruises and scrapes, sand and wind, sunshine and rocks. I’m thankful we were able to use the outdoors as our backdrop. Not to mention that nature is so helpful for one’s mental health. 

Given all the unforeseen circumstances lately, embrace the world and do the best you can. Don't hold on too tightly. And if you can make the time, relax on the sand, drink a cold beverage, talk to a bird, climb a tree, or dance on a mountain.


Jason Travis is a photographer, designer, illustrator, and musician based in Los Angeles. His work has been featured by CNN, USA Today, Gizmodo, BuzzFeed, BOOOOOOOM, and many more. He’s allergic to cats, carrots, and will forever love the 90s. He is currently TPJ’s Photographer-in-Residence.
Website | Instagram

Model: Sara Young Chandler

Wardrobe provided by ARQ

Check out Jason’s other TPJ photo essays:
Suburban Youth
Mind Glow
Vanished Spirits
Ellissa & Harry
Alley Cat
Flowers or Fruit
Isolation Station
Allergy Academy
Niza Jay