We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh McNair and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Josh, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have always been interested in creative mediums, be that music, painting, photography, and videography. I think there is something beautiful about creating something that connects with people and potentially inspires them or creates an emotional response. With my travel site, I have always focused on showing an experience and encouraging others to have it for themselves. I never wanted my site to be a “look at me” type thing, as I wanted the pieces I created to inspire people to live their lives to the fullest and explore the places that are beautiful all around them. The medium of photography is great for that. It can capture a place in a way that other avenues cannot, and it is something I still love to this day, even 10 years after starting my business.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When I was starting my website, I thought a lot about how I would set myself apart. I was just dabbling in photography, so I was not great at that, but I had a passion for travel. While many people were starting world travel sites and trying to visit exotic places far away, I just decided to focus on exploring as much of my state as I could since I could do that on the weekends while working full time. This focus helped me find a great niche for myself and helped me to see how much beauty there is all around us that we often take for granted. As I explored more, the passion I had for traveling and documenting/sharing California with others continued to develop. It has been tough over the years to continue to find new and amazing things without having to travel a good distance to get to them. Still, luckily California is pretty amazing when it comes to the sheer amount of beauty it has to offer.

Along the way, I learned that having a passion for what you are creating is incredibly important. If I were not passionate about travel, photography, and storytelling, I would never be where I am today. For the first 4 years that I ran the site, I had a full-time job and could only work on my lunch hour, after work, or on the weekends. If I didn’t love what I was doing, this would have been a lot harder and I would not have been successful. If someone is looking to create their own business, focus on something you really like doing so that it is not hard to put the long hours in that are needed to make it successful.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The city of LA has so much to explore that it would be hard just to pick one place. However, I think one of the most iconic things to do is a hike to the Hollywood Sign. I would probably start the day with a hike to the Hollywood Sign via the Wisdom Tree Trail; then, I would get ramen at Daikokuya in Little Tokyo. From there, I would walk around Downtown LA, maybe visit the Broad or the Arts District before heading up to Griffith Observatory to watch the sunset (assuming I could find parking, haha). Maybe end the day with a visit to Scoops or Salt & Straw for ice cream. Sounds like a pretty good day?

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to shout out both my dad and my wife. They have both been instrumental in encouraging me to pursue my passions and have supported me as I worked to develop my business. My wife was the one who encouraged me to take my business full time and I appreciate the faith she had in me. My dad helped to develop my creative passions and has become a collaborator on many of my YouTube videos.

Website: https://californiathroughmylens.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/californiathroughmylens/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cathroughmylens

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaThroughMyLens/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZFRs1R9ECKDwnLy5IQzwkg

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.