How Keegan Allen’s Pretty Little Liars Co-Stars Helped Him with His New Book
Ever since Keegan Allen stepped onto the scene as Toby Cavanaugh on Pretty Little Liars, he has stolen the hearts of millions around the world. Not only did he actually make it out of Rosewood alive after seven seasons, but he has also gone on to work on some awesome projects in the process.
In 2015, the 28-year-old actor released his first book, life.love.beauty, which is a photo essay that gave fans an inside look into his life up to that point. It quickly became a best-seller, which encouraged him to continue on the publishing track. Keegan is once again showing what he sees through the camera with his new book, Hollywood: Photos and Stories from Foreverland.
Hollywood is another book that features hundreds of photos taken by the celeb himself, and this time they showcase the town that so many people dream of being a part of. He takes readers on a journey and exposes Los Angeles’ many secrets, which he knows because he has called it home since he was a child.
We got to sit down with the actor-turned-professional photographer to talk about why he is so passionate about his photography, how he thinks social media has changed the way we view Hollywood and how PLL co-stars Lucy Hale and Troian Bellisario made their way onto the pages.
When it came to creating Hollywood: Photos and Stories from Foreverland, Keegan knew exactly how he wanted to approach the project.
“I wanted to protect this city, but also expose it,” he told us. “There’s a fine line between it being too much of an expose and too much of me sheltering the realities of it but the city is what it is and when it’s photographed you can truly see that. The darkness of it is really beautiful and beautiful things can also be a bit dark. That isolation is what helped me formulate how the book was structured.”
Does that sound poetic or what? It was obvious during our conversation how passionate Keegan is about this project as a whole, and the coolest thing is how it has been able to change the way people view the City of Angels.
He explained, “I grew up first and foremost an actor but my biggest hobby as a child was photography. So being able to show this city in a way from a Hollywood native, someone who has not only grown up here but also as an actor working in the industry, I feel like I have a pretty unique perspective on the place and vision.”
As you skim through the book you see beautiful landscapes, harsh realities and even a celebrity or two. It truly feels like you’re actually in Hollywood experiencing it firsthand, and that was totally on purpose. On one page you’re looking at pictures of street artists and on another there’s photos of King Bach and Lele Pons. When we asked the actor how he decided who to feature in the book, he said it was pretty easy.
“I was walking around with my Andrew Bachelor, Christian DelGrosso and Lele and I remember one day being like, ‘I’m m shooting my book Hollywood and I would really love to include you in it,'” he revealed. “It’s a huge part of what Hollywood is today. Vine was huge and it brought them here! Andrew is working with Kevin Hart, Christian is producing incredible content and Lele as well. To not include them would have been a faux pas on my part.”
One of the best things about taking photos is getting to freeze time, essentially. Keegan has the exact same feeling when he talks about what led up to two of his Pretty Little Liars co-stars being featured.
“I remember the photo of Lucy in this book, she was just scrolling through her phone and I was like, ‘Please do not move you look so stunning I need to get this photo.’ It’s quintessential Lucy Hale,” Keegan said. “I took this photo two years ago now, since I’ve taken the photo she’s changed her hairstyle, she’s doing a new show and she’s living in a completely different way. It already feels like it was another time and same with the photo of Troian.”
I’m so proud of you @keeoone so proud to see how your work grows and changes. So proud to see what an artist you are and feel lucky to have had front row seats for part of the journey. Ive always known that we are lucky to call @thisforeverland our hometown, but the way you capture its streets and the dreamers that walk along them make me appreciate it in a whole new way. Thank you for giving me a new lens through which to view something I thought I already knew. There is so much undiscovered beauty in this book. Thank you.
The pic of the 32-year-old is actually one of our all-time favorites, and although it looks like it took some serious work to make happen, KA spilled that it actually came together by chance.
“It was during the finale when she was playing two different characters and you can see it in the photo,” the PLL alum said. “I wanted to capture that image of the multiple personalities. I was walking by her and was like, ‘You’re playing two characters and I need to take a photo of you doing it you look like you’re psycho I need to capture this.'”
“She was so deep into the Alex character that I needed to be on set with her while she preparing for it. I never wanted to interrupt her because sometimes she would just be in this cockney accent and be really intense and sometimes she was out of it. It was really amazing getting to capture that moment of her and kind of share it with the world in a way that touches on what Hollywood is, an actor prepares.”
We love Keegan’s new book SO much and know you will, too! Be sure to pick up your copy of Hollywood: Photos and Stories from Foreverland wherever books are sold.