New Perspectives: Capturing Santa Monica

Walking the streets of Santa Monica took on new light Monday, July 2, for photographer Ray Cook. The world traveler, international school teacher and artist captured angles that many residents miss as they go about their daily lives.

“There’s something about Santa Monica that keeps bringing me back,” Cook told The Mirror, making visiting the city an annual event. “It’s always so vibrant and alive, and there is always something new to see.”

Cook, who grew up in San Diego, has lived the last 23 years in Asia and spends at least three months a year traveling the world.

“I love exploring new cities and landscapes,” Cook said, adding that he gets captivated by light and goes from there.

Last year Santa Monica Pier was the most Instagrammed attraction in Los Angeles, with L.A. the sixth-most Instagrammed place in the world.

For Cook, he likes to venture beyond the popular, avoiding “selfie-walls” and set-up locations.

“It’s all about the small details that just fall into place in the most ordinary, yet exceptional, way,” he said, explaining that most of his work happens when he least expects it to.