Kirsten Alana • Photographer

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana

Sharing Moments at Home & Abroad • Co-creator of #ThoseCubaStreets w/ @dante.vincent • business inquiries: kirsten@godandbeauty.com
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Hello from Almaty, Kazakhstan! 👋🏼 When my visa for Turkmenistan was denied, I came here from Kyrgyzstan to get some work done before the rest of my @tcsworldtravel group joins me tonight. They've had some amazing adventures I'm sure, if everything I've heard about Turkmenistan is true -- but I've had to "roll with the punches" that a life of travel can bring by making the best of things at the @ritzcarlton. It hasn't been bad at all actually! 😉😜 The view of the city below me and the mountains off in the distance have been a nice distraction from the slew of things I've had to check off my To Do list in preparation for a talk I'll give in Oman, our next stop, and the presentation I'll do at the very end when we're back in Portugal. Actually I have not stopped working since I arrived!! All I've done is alternate between the desk and this cozy spot where I can more easily look out over the city. Which is so green!! I can't wait to get down into it and explore with the group tomorrow, stay tuned for my Stories and if you have any questions about this month-long assignment, please ask away in the comments ❤️

1 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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I originally heard about Kyrgyzstan from my friends @uncornered_market. Like many other countries, it was once a part of the Soviet Union. During this visit with @tcsworldtravel what I've found, not unlike in Lithuania, is a country burst forth from the confines of the past to embrace all the possibilities of the future. However in deference to the lessons that the past has to teach us, and different from how other former-SU countries operate, you'll find all the evidence of the past still on display. [At least] in Bishkek, where we concentrated our time during our two nights in country. Statues of Lenin are found close to statues honoring current leaders. Surrounded by tulip beds and crowned with sunshine there's a surrealistic air that begged questioning. In answer, our guide explained that this is because they believe erasing the past, however terrible it was, will not help them be the type of people who welcome & embrace all human beings. And, he proceeded to explain, this is how they want to be. Like a big house open to everyone. This seems a tall order given, as he went on to explain, there are 40 distinct tribes of people here and 80 different ethnic groups. If there's a secret to living in harmony no matter our differences, it seems like the people I've met along this journey so far have certainly discovered what it is. Perhaps it doesn't hurt that while in the city, the snow-capped mountains are always visible and seem to impart a sense of wonder. Maybe it is the patterns which cover clothing and buildings alike, all taken from elements of nature or relating to the relationship between man and nature. This country may not be perfect, no one country is, but it is a place that struck me as being free of malice and full of hope. A rare combination these days. TCSmoments

3 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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It was rainy and cold for the first few hours of our only full day in Vilnius, Lithuania. However, I was determined to make the best of it and in the hours between when it stopped raining and the sun finally came out to stay for good, I found the upside I was looking for in the giant puddles that accumulated all over the Old Town's cobblestone streets. There were suddenly reflective surfaces everywhere and every time I saw one there was something beautiful waiting in the still water because the historic section of Vilnius that somehow managed to escape too much damage during Soviet rule is gorgeous. Lots of details make the buildings so charming and since they are protected with UNESCO status, they will stay that way forever. It felt a bit metaphorical in a way as well since the Baltic states went through some dark times in the past but Lithuania appears to have emerged into the light of a new era with hope and vigor. Everyone we met from the hotel staff at @kempinskivilnius to the guides to the locals who opened their studios and businesses -- were so kind, quick to make jokes and to smile. They were so proud of what their country has become and perhaps still has yet to become. Finding such optimism in a time where the news usually suggests such global darkness was the most beautiful gift we as visitors could have received I think. I'm so glad this country, and it's capital city, were on our itinerary with @tcsworldtravel 🇱🇹 TCSmoments

5 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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First stop: Lisbon!! For the next month I'm the onboard photographer for @tcsworldtravel's "Kingdoms and Cultures of Eurasia" itinerary. We all met in Portugal from around the world at @fslisbon and I was so excited at first I could hardly contain my joy. It's a country I've wanted to visit forever so though we only had 2 nights there, it was long enough for me to confirm that the country is every bit as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be. We'll end our tour back in Porto but next up is Lithuania which I've already begun to share in my Stories if you're interested. This is a country with an immensely fascinating history and lots to talk about. But back to my photo: the little tuck tuck is a common site in the city and most of them are all white. This one caught my eye because it's essentially covered in the Azulejo tile that is found on the exterior walls of many of the buildings in the city of Lisboa. These tiles are not only beautiful, they're very functional. They reflect the light and keep the interiors cool. I happen to love them because they're so beautiful! TCSmoments

6 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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"Staring down the barrel" of a long month away from this guy which officially began yesterday. I'm so grateful for the few vacation days we had in California together before I had to go, which ended with this sunset shoot outside of Palm Springs. @dante.vincent is always up for a photo op and I was so happy when he went along with my idea for this one. He's the best adventure partner a lady could ask for. Tag your favorite person to explore with! I'd love to know them too! ❤️

8 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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When I found out Doug Aitken had contributed to @_desertx, I had to go see his piece while in Palm Springs for Coachella. MIRAGE did not disappoint. Though I wish I'd been more diligent, arriving early, as the crowds who had the same desire to experience MIRAGE as I did, were a little overwhelming. It's been commonly called the mirror house for good reason. Aitken has created, at the juncture where the San Jacinto mountain range gives way to the Coachella Valley, a literal house made of mirrors. It both frames and distorts the scenery around it. There is no correct interpretation and no one fixed perspective. Without doors or windows, devoid of people who call it home and the possessions that would come with that, there's a fluid relationship between the "home" and it's surroundings. The mirrors become life-size kaleidoscopes, the outside is inside and though the structure exactly depicts a typical suburban Ranch Style house it is anything but typical. I've seen other art installations involving mirrored surfaces but I've never experienced anything exactly like MIRAGE. Visit before it goes away October 31 and I recommend going at sunrise or early in the day. For more 👉🏼 desertxmirage

9 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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As inspiring as Coachella was, it wasn't really the source of the zen or rest I was looking for. So I was grateful to see a different side of the Palm Springs area when @gnbinfluence got @dante.vincent and I in to the topshopescape topmanescape party. There were ample places to sit in the shade, vines overflowing with colorful blooms spilling over stone walls, carved wood surfaces that took me back to Morocco and Spain, a beautiful pool, a yummy salad bar, a cooler full of fresh pressed juices and a cocktail bar as well as treats from @sugarfina and even free massages! To say I didn't want to leave is an understatement. Frankly, after visiting and later perusing their feed, I'd like to return to @korakia for a proper vacation or maybe a yoga retreat. I think I could indeed breathe deep and find serenity in a setting like that!

10 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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I survived my first ever @Coachella! Did you know that it is officially the Valley Music And Arts Festival? If not you do now! 😉 The grounds of the festival feature [from their site:] "a variety of large-scale art exhibits to provide immersive and tangible experiences between the bands' sets. This year's art includes a 360 degree sensory experience, massive and colorful stucco sculptures, and art examining the role of self-reflection. Chiaozza Gardens is a group of massive, colorful stucco sculptures built by Brooklyn-based artists @chiaozza with help from their friends." 🎨 The Gardens were my favorite art at the festival and no matter whether day or night, they were inspiring to behold, always changing in the varying light. If you know me well it's perhaps not a shocker that the art is what I focused on!! 😝 However the food was pretty dynamite as well (special props to those vendors in the VIP area and @cupcakevineyards for that) and it was monumental for me to finally hear Radiohead, Bon Iver, The XX plus Francis & the Lights live. I'd pay the price of admission all over again just for those 4 performances. Actually @dante.vincent paid the price of admission as a surprise, making him the best partner a lady could ask for. See his feed for photos 5x better than anything I captured all weekend. After all, I was on vacation and mostly had my camera off. But Danté was shooting constantly & what he captured blew me away! ✨✌🏼 coachella2017

11 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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I teamed up with @getolympus to test the OM-D E-M1 Mark II in stunning Whistler. As we were flying over the mountains in a helicopter, I was shooting with the 12-100mm, which worked so well for that situation, and thinking of one of my favorite photographers. The black and white landscape photos that Ansel Adams captured were an early influence in my desire to one day become a photographer and it's rare that I'm in the kind of jaw dropping nature that characterizes British Columbia, without thinking of his work. His work was also influential in making me feel protective of the planet and in prompting me to find ways as an adult to be an active participant in conservation. More on that in a later post but I wanted to say thank you to Olympus for bringing me to such a beautiful place to shoot, with such great equipment and an amazing crew, so for a few days I could remember those early influences. CapturingWhistler sp

13 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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TBT to this time just a week and a few hours ago where I was in France with @bargeladycruises capturing my favorite season in my favorite country. I fell in love with a new style of travel and a new region in said favorite country but I've been on an innumerable amount of flights since then and multiple continents and I'm exhausted. I'm putting down the cameras for a few days in California with @dante.vincent but I'll post occasionally here and on Stories. But rest. For now what I need is a bit of rest. That's restoring the life to my soul. 🌸 What's making you come alive on this beautiful Thursday?

15 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Early in our visit to Whistler with @getolympus, who I've teamed up with to test the new OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera, we drove to Squamish to test the camera's Pro Capture setting while shooting birds. I didn't feel I was successful so I wanted another chance and a visit to the Trainwreck in the woods provided just that when @mikaikarl consented to jump from car to car for me as I fired away with the M.ZUIKO 12-100mm f/4.0 PRO lens. I typically don't use lenses which aren't f/2.8 or under so I was impressed by how well it performed when I needed it to, easily catching Mikai mid-jump between the cars. There's an alternate shot in Stories still visible if you want to see the great light we had!🎨 As for the wreck itself, which you can also see more of in Stories, it's the site of seven twisted train cars from an accident that occurred in 1956 in a rock cut not too far from the present resting site, caused by a crew speeding too fast through an area of tracks which were under repair. PGE Railway wasn't able to budge the fourth engine which had turned a rail or the subsequent wrecked boxcars, so a local family came in with their logging equipment, cleared the tracks and moved the wrecked boxcars to their present location right on the Cheakamus River, spread out over a kilometer under soaring evergreen trees. To visit, hike in from a trailhead close to the former Olympic Village. The city has deemed the site an Authorized Graffiti Area, encouraging artists to leave their mark on the metal surfaces as they naturally decay. It makes for a fascinating juxtaposition between the man-made & the natural.🌲 CapturingWhistler sp

17 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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It's been a wicked few days in Whistler teaming up with @getolympus & a mega talented crew of photographers where we've had every kind of weather and a lot of different situations to experiment with. This image was taken during a @blackcomb_helicopters tour set up by Olympus where I used the new Micro 4/3 OM-D E-M1 II with 12-100mm lens to shoot skiers below us as we made our way to a landing at Beverly Lake, passing by Black Tusk on the way. It was the exact kind of situation a zoom lens is perfect for. Can you see the tiny dots that are people on the slopes and the lifts going up and down? We had a really fun time with our pilot Adam and a terrific group in the heli that included @rachelroams, @gregorywoodman and @scott_kranz. I wish every week of my work life could include experiences this incredible with people that are this talented. 😜 CapturingWhistler sp

18 Days ago
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Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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From springlike-Burgundy I traveled all the way back to Canada where I'm CapturingWhistler with @getolympus during the @wssf. When I woke up it was softly snowing and the scene out my window during breakfast looked so romantic in a cold weather-way. I had the desire to curl up by a fire with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book. Instead we went to the Scandinave Spa where complete silence and a series of hot and cold treatments that are both indoors and outdoors allows you to connect on a deeper level with the beautiful nature that is all around you and the peace within yourself. You're not actually allowed any devices at all once in the baths so I snapped this photo as we were leaving from an overlook. Can you see the mountain ranges under the fog in the distance? British Columbia is such a stunning part of Canada and I'm so grateful to Olympus for bringing me back during Canada150 so I can keep sharing this spectacular country with you during their celebratory year!

20 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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I've always wanted to travel France by barge so getting a sneak peek into the world of luxury barge cruising this week while shooting marketing photos for @bargeladycruises was such a treat! The first thing you should know is that it's a small community. The people who work on the boats and who own the boats all spend time together when they're not working. They're essentially an extended family. As a guest, you come into that family and you're spending time in their home even though they live in a part of the barge you'll never see. You should also know that the interiors are deceivingly large. Many of the kitchens and bathrooms were twice the size of mine at home in NYC and the bed I slept on in Rendez-Vous was so comfortable that it rivaled five star hotels. The last thing to note is that food is very important to barge life in France. You're not eating to eat, you're eating to ENJOY it. As such it's not uncommon to find a Chef in a barge kitchen who could be at a Michelin-starred restaurant in a major city. I also enjoyed all of our tours and the people who led them. Speaking of people, if you find yourself on a barge vacation in France and happen to meet Rejane, Spencer, Candy, Earl, Nicolas, Magali, Edward or Cindy -- tell them I said hello. They're wonderful people who own splendid barges and I'm going to miss them all. 💙🇫🇷❤️

21 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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Exploring the canals, chateaus, castles, wineries and picturesque towns of Burgundy for @bargeladycruises was such a treat these past few days and I can't wait for their new website to premiere with the photos I shot for them! This was a reminder too of how no matter where else I travel, France still retains the top spot on my favorite countries list. Did you catch any of my Stories? What did you think? It was hard to keep up with since I was working so hard but there certainly was no shortage of amazing content. TBT 🇫🇷 Vive la France ❤️ Vive la liberté 💙

22 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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If you follow me on Stories, you know I'm already in France and sadly my trip to the Yukon did have to end [even though I didn't want it to]. Before I share my next assignment with you, I wanted to take a minute to talk about sponsorship. I feel like it's such a dirty word on social media these days, that a lot of people immediately question everything when they see the hashtag sponsored or sp -- is anything that person publishes real, can I trust anything they say in that post or any other anymore?! 🤔 I get it! I've had the same thoughts. It's why in the past I've even unfollowed people who I thought were one thing before they got a lot of followers and then ended up being something entirely different after. I'd even understand if you questioned me sometime. So I want to tell you that this post, like any other I ever do here on my feed, is all me. My words, my photo (in this case with the assist of the lovely @lesleyannemurphy to actually snap the shutter) and my opinions. In almost every case, I only accept onsored jobs for products or brands I already support with my own money and for which I already have a positive experience with having invested my own time and money before being approached. In the case of this post, it's a little different because @vanguardworld first approached me to test their products when I was unfamiliar with them. I tested their products, liked them and I keep working with them now because I still like their bags and tripods. This is a new bag and they have some new travel tripods coming out soon, so I'm helping market their products because I believe in them. And rather than share some short, shiny, salesy caption I'm filling you in on it all so you understand where I'm coming from when I do promote anyone or anything. I could not do what I do without occasional partnerships and your support as a community. So, thank you! ❤️

24 Days ago
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Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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Another bucket list item ✔️ Sled dogs, huskies and malamutes are my favorite dogs!! It was a dream come true to follow up having met champion musher Lance Mackey this past Fall in Alaska, with a dog sledding experience in the Yukon. Led by Marcelle Fressineau who knows Lance and has raced in both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, I felt like I was on cloud 9 sitting in the sled racing through the forest. If you've ever spent any time around these dogs you can see their enthusiasm for the experience in every move they make and the way they bark and strain at the lines if you pause, ready to get back to running! They love running!! And I loved my time with Alayuk, the name of Marcelle's outfit which is located between Carcross and Whitehorse in a stunning area of Yukon Territory. I also loved speaking with her after our ride to learn more about mushing. It's a way of life for many in the world, not just here in the Yukon, and in fact she's been working with sled dogs since she was young in Switzerland and used to guide week long expeditions in Quebec. Elsewhere in this part of the globe, mail was one delivered solely by sled dog! I though that was fascinating. 🇨🇦 @travelyukon @curio_trips ExploreYukon Canada150 ifollowmycuriosity

25 Days ago
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Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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I had the worst time trying to pick which Northern Lights photo to share with you. After my early attempts didn't turn out well during this trip to @travelyukon organized by @curio_trips, I had much better luck the night we spent at Southern Lakes Resort! It's a stunner of a location right on a lake, as the name suggests, and ringed by mountains so that by day or by night there is some kind of vista that will leave you speechless. This was captured near dawn when the sunrise was just starting to become visible on the horizon and though the clock was ticking down and I was feeling cold, I had no desire for the night to end. During the darkest time of the year in places like the Yukon, I've heard winter called "endless night" and I understand how that would become difficult after a while. I need the sun!! However, as I was shooting these photos on this night, the thought occurred to me that perhaps one season of that sometime in my life would actually be quite nice. I think I could be very happy shooting the aurora borealis every evening for a few months...What about you? 💫 ExploreYukon Canada150 ifollowmycuriosity 🇨🇦

26 Days ago
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Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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In case the Northern Lights aren't enough enticement to visit, I also discovered via a stop @yukonwildlifepreserve that Yukon Territory has THIS ADORABLE ANIMAL THAT I FELL IN LOVE WITH AT FIRST SIGHT!! 😍 She is an Arctic Fox who played coy at first when we spotted her in the snow but then proceeded to become so playful and was, in the end, a complete tease as she acted out a little game of hide and seek, running around faster than a pinball in a machine, rarely stopping for long enough to let us take a photo of her. Except that I was able to in this moment, thanks to the High Speed AF/EVF on my @getolympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Our ranger explained the rehabilitation programs at the Preserve and the vital role they play in ensuring animals like this are around for future generations to learn about. As he spoke I couldn't help feeling I need to do more personally to help with initiatives like that and while I'm not sure what I can do, I figured sharing this image is a good start. After all I didn't know the Arctic Fox even existed until this week and only because my job provides the opportunity for me to learn hands on, on the ground in countries like Canada. If we don't even know, how can we care, right?! To learn even more: check out @travelyukon ExploreYukon ifollowmycuriosity 🇨🇦

28 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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My first attempt at shooting the Northern Lights as I @travelyukon with @curio_trips did not pan out quite as well as I wanted it to but I'm sharing this first attempt to help sort of "debug" a myth about the Lights. I expected they'd be as brilliantly colored in person as they are in all the photos I've seen for decades. Well, they can be. But most often, they're not! Instead, the camera sees what our eyes cannot. During our first night out I thought we weren't seeing anything of any kind. But I started taking photos anyway and because I was taking long exposures, I still wasn't seeing what I had expected to see. I saw this: a mass of colors in what was just a bit of a jumble. To make a long story short: the sweet spot for shooting this natural phenomenon is actually to shoot 4 to 10 second exposures. That's when the camera is able to record the Lights as you're familiar with seeing in popular travel photos. A 30 second exposure on the other hand, gives you this. Too much blur. A dreamscape. And no it isn't what I planned on but I still thought it was rather beautiful, just like the Yukon itself. There's very little WiFi out here and not a whole lot of cell service (unless you're @lesleyannemurphy & have T-Mobile) but what this part of Canada lacks in connectivity it MORE than makes up for in natural beauty and it's really making me want to stay longer than I'm able!! 🇨🇦 ExploreYukon Canada150 ⭐️

28 Days ago
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Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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Switching gears completely from San Francisco, and getting to travel again with my friends @lesleyannemurphy &a Hannah of @curio_trips, I am now exploring Canada's @travelyukon territory this week. We spent our first full day snowmobiling with @upnorthadventures at Fish Lake which I fully documented in Stories and I loved the combination of feeling completely off the grid without WiFi, yet finding little spots like this on their property that made me think who needs WiFi when you have a fire pit, friends and some local brews. Lots more to come from the Yukon and in a few weeks, Whistler. Including my first ever experience shooting the Northern Lights. I'm so psyched to be bringing you content from Canada this year in particular when they're celebrating a big birthday in 2017. 🇨🇦 ExploreYukon Canada150 ifollowmycuriosity

29 Days ago
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Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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I came to San Francisco to find some FairmontMoments and I found quite a few. I hope you enjoyed seeing those in my Stories! And yes this was a job, I have been sponsored to do this by @travelmindset. But like so many things, this weekend took on a life of its own, becoming something more personal than just a job. So it's this view from my perch in the Tony Bennett Suite, after watching the sun set and the lights of the city begin to sparkle like so many diamonds, that will stick with me as my personal favorite moment from this weekend. You see after the difficult catalyst that first launched me into travel photography as a career, I spent some time regrouping, living with family in San Francisco and though that period was brief, it was very transformative. The city came to feel like home. And though I've had many homes, this one burrowed so deep into my heart that it's right up there with where I was born. Every time I visit, I know it won't be the last time and I'm not worried about what I didn't get to do or see. I know I'll be back. No one at @FairmontSanFrancisco knew this when they put me in this Suite where Bennett's paintings hang in my field of vision and many stories above where a statue of him graces the lawn, but it's incredible that it happened this way. You see the Suite's namesake once sang, downstairs in the Venetian Room underneath where I type this, "I left my heart in San Francisco..." then later he said: "That song helped make me a world citizen. It allowed me to live, work and sing in any city on the globe. It changed my whole life." San Francisco is that song for me & since I first heard its notes, I've traveled all over the world. Always, to come back.....

33 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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Fairmont took me on a special tour of the expanded @sfmoma that reopened in May 2016 yesterday during which we visited the Matisse/Diebenkorn & Diane Arbus exhibits. I couldn't have come up with a better way to spend a rainy day in San Francisco if I'd tried, my inspiration seemed to quadruple with every new floor we visited! Especially after I found out that SFMOMA was one of the first museums to recognize photography as a fine art! I felt compelled by all I saw, to try to create my own "art" and this video was born out of that compulsion. It depicts the soaring central entrance way you find when you come from Third Street with the 'Untitled' piece created by Alexander Calder in 1963 that slowly moves beneath the oculus under a pedestrian bridge. As wonderfully thrilling as the exhibits were for someone like me for whom art has been a lifelong interest -- especially the Matisse/Diebenkorn rooms & the Cloud Cities room by @studiotomassaraceno -- it was the architecture of the building itself that left the most lasting impression, making me want to return. Closed for three years to expand the original Maria Botta-designed building with renowned architecture firm @snohetta, upon reopening SFMOMA became one of the largest museums in the USA and one of the largest in the world for modern & contemporary art. It's also now on track for LEED Gold Certification and features the largest application of composites technology to architecture in the USA. There's a connection to @fairmontsanfrancisco too. During the 1940's meetings that led to the signing of the United Nations Charter, SFMOMA was forced to temporarily move from its original Van Ness location to make way for the UN Conference on International Organization but many of the closed door meetings took place back at the Fairmont where b&w photos of those meetings now line the halls! ⚪️🔲⚫️ FairmontMoments with @travelmindset sponsored

34 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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Woke up in San Francisco where I'm seeking out FairmontMoments for a project with @travelmindset. I could hardly believe it yesterday, when @fairmontsanfrancisco showed me to my "room" which happens to be THE Tony Bennett Suite. It features original paintings he has done of some of the views out the suite's windows which defy words they're so good on a clear day like it was when I checked in. I can see an almost 360 degree view of the Bay Area but since it's raining today, frankly I wouldn't mind having all my moments right by the window! Then again, there's so much to see! So after I finish breakfast, I'll be heading to SFMOMA for a special visit. Watch it all unfold in my Stories... 🌉 sponsored

35 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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The first day of Spring occurred after I left Dublin but it felt as if it had started early when I walked into this space with @dublinmydarling on a day warm enough that I'd been able to shed my coat and walk around in short sleeves. It brought to mind a few lines of a poem I'd read the night before, in a book of verses all written following the Easter Rising of 1916: "Go winter now unto your abode, Your time is done, and Spring is conqueror! Lift up with all your gear and take your road! For she is here, and brings the sun with her! Now we are born again, and now are we, -- Wintered so long beneath an icy hand! -- New-risen into life and liberty, Because the Spring is come into our land!" excerpt 'Spring - 1916' by James Stephens

37 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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While in Dublin, I found time to tour the city with the team behind one of my favorite @instagram accounts: Ramona & David of @dublinmydarling. Before meeting David, Ramona showed me the interior of this shopping centre near Stephen's Green which was built on the site of The Dandelion Market, once famous for the concerts from such bands as U2. Then we went to a spot in the centre with a wonderful view of the city of Dublin. I'd never have found either spot on my own because I generally avoid all malls if I can help it and seeing the city from above wasn't a huge priority of mine. Until we were there and I realized how much I would have missed! I'm an advocate for meeting locals, getting to know the people who live where you travel and generally digging in as deep as time allows whenever and wherever one travels. As you know I LOVED the Guinness Storehouse but my short time with @beluck.ie & @david.maguire as well as the interactions with other locals that I had while in Ireland -- these are the memories I will cherish most and to be honest, they are why I want to return and explore more of Ireland one day. People, make the place. And Ireland's people are particularly wonderful. 💚

38 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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Step inside the @homeofguinness with me, where I spent two days during my trip to Dublin. It wasn't nearly enough! The Storehouse is a historically-protected building dating back to the early 1900's and the details related to its age were so fascinating to discover from the beautifully tiled walls to the picture windows looking out over Dublin. I loved the private tasting we did in the Connoisseurs Bar, that any guest can add on to their tour (you just have to search the website to find out more), and every meal we had at 1837 Bar & Brasserie was better than the last. I was so pleasantly surprised to find food worthy of the loftiest awards inside what is essentially a tourist attraction. But that's what makes the @guinness Storehouse so different, it is an attraction for tourists but it's also so much more than that. During @stpatricksfestival that included live music on every floor and my favorite was the set by @thelunaboys which took place in Arthur's Bar, aptly named for the founder himself who I think would be blown away by what his brewery has become today! ☘️🍴🍺🇮🇪 StorehouseStory ThisIsIrishFood sp

39 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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I arrived in Dublin with few expectations and only two items on my absolute must do list in addition to enjoying St. Patrick's Day: visiting the @homeofguinness, and this space. It is Trinity College Library's Long Room. Because I'm a bibliophile who loves architecture, the Long Room has called me like a beacon since I first saw a photo of it as a teenager. It is significant to @guinness because in addition to holding books, the room also protects the oldest surviving Irish Harp known as the Brian Boru, upon which the original Guinness logo is based as well as the insignia of Ireland. Guinness wisely trademarked the symbol in 1876 so when the Irish Free State wanted to use it in 1922, they had to use a mirror version facing in the opposite direction. The harp is a stunner with intricate carving and a glow to its well-worn wood that seems to magnify the light already present in this vast space. As for the room itself, built between 1712 and 1732, it is 65 metres in length and filled with 200,000 books. Originally it had a flat plaster ceiling and a lower level only. After an 1801 ruling, the library began to receive a free copy of every book published in Britain and Ireland though and so in 1860 the roof was raised and the present barrel-vaulted ceiling and upper gallery were added giving it the impressive stature that helps it live up to hype for today's visitors which included me this week. It brought me as close as possible to the phrase, "takes my breath away." StorehouseStory sp

40 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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I'm not usually one for anything that draws big crowds & I don't usually love huge tourist attractions but similar to the way I somehow still love attending Hogmanay in Scotland, I LOVED experiencing StPatricksDay in the middle of Dublin, the @homeofguinness yesterday. I've no Irish blood that I know of but it just didn't matter since as the locals I hung out with love to say, "on March 17 everyone's Irish." That's just how it felt! It felt like the streets were one big family reunion. So we stood and we danced and we smiled and we laughed - in the shadow of a monument to Charles Parnell, so influential in the Home Rule movement for Ireland - and for a moment, life was an absolutely beautiful thing. No cares and no worries, just a complete sense of celebration. ☘️

41 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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One of my biggest travel dreams is finally coming true this week since I am spending St. Patrick's Day in the @homeofguinness: Dublin, Ireland, WITH @guinness, learning their StorehouseStory. Everything I've learned so far just reinforces why they have been my favorite beer for as long as I've been able to drink! From the philosophy of Arthur Guinness himself to the philanthropy his descendants still carry on today to how much every Guinness employee loves their job... As per usual I'm documenting it all in Stories and even though this trip is sponsored, all the opinions and the gushing about the beer or the company itself -- that's entirely me and my really nerdy self. sp 💚🇮🇪☘️

43 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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I told you I would share the story of the Welsh flag and when I saw this street in Cardiff lined with the flag on both sides and leading to the Castle, I knew this was the way to accompany the tale. According to legend (and borrowed from a page on the @visitsnowdonia site), it was at Dinas Emrys that the symbol of the red dragon first emerged. In the 5th century, the ruler Vortigern was making a stand against Anglo-Saxon invaders and he sought to build a stronghold on a very strategic hill. He set his builders to work but each morning they woke to find piles of rubble lying where the newly built walls had stood the day before. His advisors suggested sacrificing "a fatherless boy" and sprinkling his blood on the site. But the appropriate boy who was found, convinced Vortigern that his problems lay underground where there was a lake with two dragons – one red, one white. When found, they fought each other and the red dragon was victorious while the white dragon fled never to be seen again! Vortigern named the castle that he finally built Dinas Emrys - after the boy who had advised him: Myrddin Emrys, or Merlin. The very same magician who we would eventually connect to the story of King Arthur! It might all sound too fantastical to be real but in 1945 the site was excavated by archaeologists who discovered a lake and the ruins of a fortress dating to Vortigern’s time. The walls all showed signs of having been rebuilt several times… 🏰❤️ @visitwales FindYourEpic YearOfLegends

44 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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If there's only one place we went in @visitwales that simply can't be summed up in merely one photo it is: @portmeirionvillage. Setting for the 1960's TV show "The Prisoner", part fantasy village, part time capsule and the work of eccentric self-taught architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, it is impossible to encompass entirely in the span of one Instagram caption. Italianate in design and entirely whimsical in detail it defies explanation but you can try to understand it when you stay here, either in the hotel or in the self catering cottages. You'll be welcomed by their own homemade port and staff members full of intriguing stories about past guests such as Frank Lloyd Wright, George Harrison and the Beatles manager, Brian Epstein. The food is as exceptional as the setting and the legendary entertainment is soon to include The Flaming Lips, one of my favorite bands. Perhaps the craziest story of Portmeirion is about Sir Clough himself: whose ashes were shot up in a rocket over the village during a NYE fireworks show after he died in 1978! 💥 FindYourEpic

45 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

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Speaking of places to stay, I was most impressed during this trip with @palehallhotel. A new member of @smallluxuryhotels, it was a 19th century Jacobian-style mansion built in 1871 by railway magnate Henry Robertson. Complete with the type of board which was used to call the servants that you've seen in shows like Downton Abbey, it is in every way a step back in time yet it lacks none of the modern creature comforts you want when you stay at a luxury property even, and of special importance to me, soaking tubs like this one which made me exclaim out loud when I walked into the room! Just the thing to sort you out after a long day of walking in the countryside or exploring small towns. As a manor home it hosted Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill, this week it hosted comedian Chelsea Handler! The food is worth a visit on its own since Palé Hall has as its F&B consultant none other than the @macaines and head chef is the talented @garethstevenson88. We enjoyed a spectacular meal in what was the manor home's kitchen yet still features a stove that made all my Downton Abbey dreams feel like they were coming true. If only! 🏰 FindYourEpic

46 Days ago