By Denise Ortuno Neil

Lani Garfield has always had an affinity for photography. She has taken her love for the art and turned it into a successful career spanning over a decade in the Coachella Valley.

Garfield was born in Hawaii and grew up in Northern California. The Coachella Valley had always been a place of beauty for her when visiting with her family in her youth. Years later, she along with her husband and son, decided to make the Coachella Valley their home.

It is here in the desert where Garfield’s talents flourished as a photographer and coupled with the development of digital technology; put the world of photography in clear focus for her.


In the past decade, Garfield has taken the lead in freelance photography in the desert, getting assignments from popular publications including Palm Springs Life, the Desert Sun and Desert Magazine among others. She covers an array of events around the valley, from fundraising galas to concerts.

She enjoys and is in constant awe of the generosity that she witnesses at the fundraising events that she covers and she photographs a wide range of them, from Desert Aids Project to the American Cancer Society. In photographing these events, she gets to see firsthand the benevolence of desert philanthropy.

Besides Garfield’s work with fundraisers, she also photographs for such monster concerts as Golden Voice’s Coachella Fest and Stage Coach, as well as musical events for the McCallum and other venues throughout the desert. She also photographs weddings, private parties and events, family portraits, headshots and corporate/executive portraits. With all of the events that she photographs, she offers a convenient service to those photographed at the events. Event goers can go on her website, look up the event that they attended and order a print through her website.

When asked what her favorite subjects to photograph are, Garfield emphatically says people, “No question about it,” she said. She enjoys capturing people around the desert just having fun; in spontaneous candid shots bringing out their best qualities and making them feel good about themselves. The gravitational pull to photograph people celebrating led her to create the Orange Martini Project. The project focused on life in today’s Palm Springs with a mid-century modern era flare, depicting a fun and carefree Palm Springs lifestyle.

The unique aspect of the collection was that each photo taken actually had an Orange Martini in it. Garfield’s models for the project included friends and clothing was donated by local boutiques, making it a true community effort with over 100 people involved. The photos incorporated motion as they were done in lenticular prints. The Orange Martini Project debuted at the Palm Springs Hilton Lobby and uptown stores during Modernism Week in February of 2013 and benefitted the Palm Springs High School Art Institute. The collection is still offered at local Palm Springs stores in limited edition.

Garfield’s busy schedule still allows for some downtime where she enjoys hiking (and photographing) on the many trails in the Coachella Valley including the rigorous Tram in the summer months.

Garfield is always in motion and has many projects in the works, as well as her constant photography assignments. Her next project that she has developing is a fundraiser slated for spring 2014 with an Alice in Wonderland theme. The event will have Garfield’s and other participating artists showcasing there work all Wonderland inspired. Stay tuned for more details.

It is clear that Garfield loves what she does and has a clear zeal for her future. She looks forward to more collaborative community projects, as she says….. “photos showcasing the beauty of the desert and the people who live here.”

For more information on Lani Garfield photography visit

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