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Through the Lens: Los Angeles

Our Through the Lens interviews offer a never-before-seen view of our favorite communities. This time we look Through the Lens with Caroline Juen as she captures the eclectic and beautiful landscape of LA.

California native Caroline Juen has called Los Angeles home for nine years, and in 2013 she started her blog, Love & Loathing Los Angeles, to help readers navigate the city.

Caroline recently worked with the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel to photograph its brand-new look and shared some of her insight into L.A. and its community.

View of hotel lobby and bar

What impact did the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel have on you?

Sheratons have always felt modern to me, but this one also feels especially hip. All of the touches felt up-to-date and very chic. Some hotels are more experiential, and this one in particular is heading in that direction.

The design of the lobby fireplace was eye-catching, and there’s tons of seating. There were lots of people in the lobby when I was there, really utilizing the space, which was so cool. I especially loved that there was a hidden seating area with bookcases — it felt like the perfect nook. It’s all modern, but it’s not cold. Even in the bedrooms, the comforters are super cozy and plush.

View of hotel lobby and bar

If we shift our focus to the city and its surrounding community, what inspires you most in Los Angeles?

The people. There’s an unusual amount of creative, intellectual people in L.A. I feel very fortunate to live in a city with such a thriving creative community.

Los Angeles is a city that nurtures, embraces and promotes creativity in every way, and for me it makes for a very welcoming feeling. Every day I meet someone who inspires me, makes me want to try something new or who simply allows me to appreciate their unique abilities. And it never stops — there’s always a new restaurant opening up, a new gallery, a new show. You can find inspiration any time of day here.

What’s something about L.A. that most people don’t know?

As far as community goes, I always say that there’s something in L.A. for everyone. There is a neighborhood and a place for all types of people, and it’s incredibly diverse and inclusive. You just have to open your mind and take the time to look.

Woman standing by pool in hat

What makes San Gabriel, where the hotel is based, stand out from the rest of L.A.’s neighborhoods?

San Gabriel is a community known for its incredible food. When I think of San Gabriel, I always think of legendary L.A. restaurant critic Jonathan Gold and all of the restaurants he adored in the San Gabriel Valley. His reviews always made me want to expand my horizons and visit neighborhoods in this area.

San Gabriel has a rich Chinese culture, and it was really nice to see the Sheraton embrace that in so many ways — from the obvious, like the Chinese restaurant Opal, to the subtle and small things, like the room numbers and accents that mean “luck” in the Chinese culture.

Woman's hand eating with chopsticks

What are your secret spots for getting the best Instagram shots?

Pann’s Diner is a classic: red vinyl seating with a vintage California roadside feel. It’s a perfect place to have a meal and snap a memorable photo. The Bradbury Building isn’t exactly a secret spot, but it’s mandatory for those who, like me, love architecture and lines. It’s an interesting building to shoot, and it’s also a good spot for a portrait because of its beautiful bones.

How has your creative community shaped your experience in L.A.?

I am friendly with every blogger and photographer I meet. There is this feeling between all of us of understanding. It’s incredibly relieving to be able to connect with people who share similar lifestyles and ideals.

In fact, my closest friend is actually another blogger; we met via Instagram about five years ago and have remained close ever since. It’s so nice to have someone to call and work ideas or problems out with and to have friends as sounding boards when it comes to the business of photography.

Meet More of Our Community

Read more about the people who make us who we are.

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