California culture

Street photographer Nema Etebar is somewhat of a nomad. Traveling the world, he makes friends wherever he goes, often collaborating creatively with like-minded, free-spirited people.

Last month, Etebar found himself in the City of Angels.

"@JoelJoel (right) and I connected on Instagram and spoke about creating together while I was in L.A., documenting 'California Culture.' He expressed his appreciation of my portraits, and I was intrigued by his tattoo selections, ink history, freedom of expression.

We decided to walk the streets looking for random pockets of light. Once we met downtown, Joel mentioned having a friend "Richie the Barber," a tattooed clown who cuts hair at Bolt Barbers nearby. Joel made a call to Richie, and the three of us connected for a short introduction and easy conversation. We laughed and snapped shots on random sidewalks for a quick 10 minutes.

Joel, an extremely respectful veteran paired with Richie's high energy and positivity led to great shots showing their unique and warm personalities. 

It's always a pleasure meeting characters from around the world, sharing and shooting from the heart, breaking down stereotypes. I'm drawn to diversity, style and tradition; seeking to highlight humanity by documenting the streets, characters and cultures deep within our communities.

I truly enjoyed walking L.A. and documenting the energy of its sunlit alleys and soulful people."

The image was taken with a Nikon D300s and 24-70 lens.

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Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California and California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our Flickr page or tag your photos with #socalmoments or #californiamoments on Instagram and Twitter. Follow us on Twitter or visit for more on this photo series.