By RJ Shaughnessy
Stay Cool is a collection of an entire summer's worth of images. The idea behind it was not simply to document subjects or happenings but to document the essence of an experience, to try and capture the feelings of youth and freedom and love and summertime and Los Angeles. I think often times the trap of documentary photography is in the waiting. We wait for our subject matter to provide for us, I know I fell into that trap in much of my shooting over this past decade. With this work I felt like there was an opportunity for me to transcend beyond a level of waiting into a level of stimulation, a level of participation, in creating the experiences or creating the jumping off point for the experiences and then capturing the magic that unfolds. In that respect this book and what it means to me has a lot less to do with photography and a lot more to do with life - initiate unique experiences and pursue the magic that results. That to me is the essence of Stay Cool.