I live in the city of Santa Monica, and the Santa Monica Pier is its most important and iconic symbol. While the Pier has gone through many changes throughout the years, it remains as originally intended: a place for people to enjoy the ocean, to revel in the views, and to have fun. Adding to the beauty of its natural setting, there are street performers, concerts, rides, games, an historic carousel, and, in contrast, an important reminder of the human cost of the Iraq war every Sunday when the nearby beach is turned into Arlington West–a memorial with crosses in the sand.
I was the photographer for Santa Monica Pier — A Century On The Last Great Pleasure Pier — the book published in 2009 in conjunction with the Pier’s 100th anniversary. I photographed the Pier from many unique vantage points, including from a Cessna airplane, a Harbor Patrol boat, the Ferris wheel, and even from the roller coaster.
The Santa Monica Pier is part of my backyard, and I continue to photograph there. As its builders envisioned, surrounded by sunshine and the sea, I always leave the Pier feeling better than when I arrived.