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Kirsten Alana • Photographer


Pro Photographer usually found in NYC, Europe or #CaliforniaWild • Home is NYC w/ @dante.vincent • inquiries: kirsten@godandbeauty.com

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I didn’t want to give the #sponsored GS 350 F Sport back to @lexususa but alas it was time. It’s been such a nice week of driving to, and exploring, places like this in New York and Connecticut. I’m so grateful for partners that allow me to be an explorer with relatively little strings since that’s the way I come alive the most. Thank you, Lexus. #drivelexus • One of the ways I used the car, was in the sending of some very big boxes that I could never have carried from our apartment to a mailing center. They are headed to help people affected by natural disasters, filled with clothes and toiletries and other things that were directly requested by those at shelters, displaced because their homes and everything they owned is just gone. I can’t relate to that directly because I have never had it happen to me but I certainly can help give of the bounty I have. That’s why I’m so grateful for my @gnbinfluence family that prioritizes helping others enough to have found a way for us to all to directly give, as well as to create the #influencelove campaign where we are trying to raise money to send to organizations that are helping people in need in ways we can’t do directly. 👉🏼 I’d love to know how you are responding! What organizations are you supporting? What organizations should I give to? 👈🏼 So many people are in need right now, around the world, and it’s easy to forget when our own lives aren’t always as perfect as they look in one Instagram photo! 🙏🏼💛🌎
The search I started more than a week ago continued today as I drove into Connecticut with the Lexus GS 350 F Sport, that @lexususa has loaned me, in search of Fall foliage plus cider & donuts. I found the cider and donuts at @beardsleys.cider.mill which I preceded to enjoy via a spontaneous little picnic. And I saw a little bit of the beginnings of some Autumn color in the trees but there’s even less here than there was in the Hudson area this past weekend. I’m not exactly sure what’s driving me (haha, pun intended 🚙) to continue this search but I think it is pure nostalgia. I grew up in Vermont and later my family moved to Michigan, so these things are just a normal part of life for me at this time of year. Yet living in New York City or traveling almost every Autumn for more than half a decade — I’ve sort of been deprived of both. This year, I didn’t want to go through withdrawal again. 🍁🍂 Tell me, what are some of your traditions and childhood favorites that you’d drive out of the way for, or make special plans for in order to experience? I know some of you are not from the USA but I still want to know, what’s your October usually like where you live? ♥️ #drivelexus #lexusgs350 #sponsored #connecticutgram #beardsleyscidermill #fallroadtrip #autumn🍁 #roadtripusa #discovertheusa
Driving into a new week and not sure where the road will take me. What are your plans? I have four more days with this Lexus GS 350 F Sport that @lexususa has let me borrow, before I have to give it back and I’m open to suggestions on where I should take it next... • This weekend’s adventure in the Hudson, NY area provided the backdrop for this photo. The Olana State Historic Site & home has beautiful winding roads all throughout the property. Some offer stunning views of the surrounding Hudson Valley, other areas provide that “tree tunnel” look that I adore so much, especially during Autumn. It’s not *quite* peak season yet in this part of New York State but I’m sure it will be before the end of the week! #drivelexus #lexusgs350 #sponsored #iloveny #nyexplored #fallinny #nylovesfall #fall🍁 #autumn🍁 #roadtrip
Raise your hand if you like shopping for antiques and vintage treasures! 🙋🏼 I have to raise all my limbs 😝 I’ve been partaking in this pastime since I was a very young girl with my mom and during the years I was nomadic, it was torturous to see all kinds of amazing treasures all over Europe that I had no reason to buy because I had nowhere to put them. So beyond having the ability to explore at will this weekend, while test driving the @lexususa GS 350 F Sport, I was REALLY excited that I’d finally have a way to shop for antiques in Hudson, New York. I think it is one of the best places on the East Coast for antiques. @dante.vincent and I visit frequently but because we always take the train, there’s just no way to transport anything larger than a plate or a vase. This time, however, the Lexus allowed me to score a marble-topped table! (It did not afford me enough room to buy that Bar Cart made from old car parts 😭 but that’s probably for the best. We do have a small NYC apartment after all.) I was so giddy about the table I did get that it’s just silly. It’s because I believe in reclaiming old things as much as possible, instead of buying new. I believe it’s better for our society and our planet if we can reduce and reuse whenever possible, not simply buy new just because it’s convenient. P.S. If you like antiques and vintage treasures as well, you should be following @jesselauzon. Not only does he have amazing taste, he also has some of the best captions you will ever read on Instagram. ♥️ #iloveny #drivelexus #hudsonny #hudsonnewyork #antiques #vintagetreasures #antiqueshop #exploreny
Happy weekend! What are your plans? • I’m still doing a Takeover on @theouterbanksnc with @borderfreetravels. Would mean so much to me if you check it out 🙏🏼 • Physically though, I’m driving around the Hudson Valley this weekend in a @lexususa GS 350 F SPORT with @dante.vincent searching for good Fall foliage spots. Since Autumn just really hasn’t arrived in the city yet, I’m trying to get my fill up here. It’s definitely something I recommend to any tourist visiting the USA who is able to rent a car and take a road trip. From New York City to Boston to Portland, Maine - the East Coast and New England in particular, further inland, is the best place in this country to enjoy Fall/Autumn. There is no shortage of scenes that look like this and better. I captured this photo not far from the towns of Catskill and Hudson at Kaaterskill Falls. It’s a little over two hours north of the City straight up the Hudson River. 🌊🍁🍂 #shotoniphone #fallfoliage #iloveny #drivelexus #visittheusa #discovertheusa #ispyny #nyexplored #fallinny #nylovesfall
Virtually packing my bags to return to The Outer Banks this weekend. @borderfreetravels and I are taking over @theouterbanksnc account to show you previously unpublished photos from our girlfriend getaway to the islands. If you’re making travel plans for 2018, this is the perfect chance to learn more about this underrated area of the USA in North Carolina. Soaring lighthouses, quaint small towns and some of the longest beaches in this country are waiting for you... • Thank you @raden for the gift of this smart suitcase. Do you use a smart suitcase with charging or other features? Kristen and I each had a Raden for our trip and I really enjoyed being able to charge on the go as we moved from one area of the islands to another. #raden #rollwithraden #theouterbanksnc #obx #obxnow #obxtravels #outerbanks #northcarolina #visittheusa
Feeling this today: “I guess it goes to show you that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.” - Amy Thomas, aka: @amythomas.nyc • • #thefrancophiles #parisjetaime #thisisparis #meetparis #parismysweet #perelachaise #autumninparis #shotoniphone #paris🇫🇷 #quotesfrombooks
After my last post lamenting the lack of availability of cider & donuts in NYC, where many of you expressed you are, like me, craving this less obsessed-over combo; I decided to brave the rain yesterday to see if we didn’t have more options than I knew about. I started with a TimeOut article that I’ve linked to in my Stories. I went to Chelsea Market to see if @doughnuttery’s Fall flavors would fit the bill (sadly, no!) and I purchased from a few different vendors at @unsqgreenmarket. The latter were too cold, stale and old. Not fresh from the oven like the ones in every Autumn memory from my childhood. The 🍎 cider was terrific though. So good I bought three to take home. 😍 I now think the best option is going to be the @carpedonutnyc truck that @paaaaaaaaaaaige was kind enough to tell me about....but they don’t open for the week till tomorrow! So, the search continues. Stay tuned! And tell me, are you: • Team Cider & Donuts • Team Pumpkin Everything #unionsquaregreenmarket #autumn🍁 #fall🍁🍂 #louisvuitton #autumninnewyork #kanyguide #🍎
Now that I’m home and know I’ll be in New York City for most of the month, I cannot. wait. for. the. leaves. to. turn. 🍁🍂 so the whole city is colorful and crisp. I love Autumn. I think it’s my favorite season in the City. My only complaint is that no one has a food truck selling cider and apple orchard donuts. (Business opportunity alert‼️) Because I crave them both at this time of year after growing up with them and it’s not that easy to just pop upstate to a cider mill when you don’t own a car. Which is funny, in that when I first moved to this city, I had grand plans of road trips every weekend and lots of sightseeing along the Eastern seaboard as well as New England. I dreamed of always being back up in Vermont, my home state, at this time of year. But those schemes and dreams died a quick death when I realized it’s actually easier and cheaper to just fly to Paris if you can’t own a car. I remember one summer when @dante.vincent and I rented a car with some friends to go on a weekend adventure and even splitting it four ways still ended up being more expensive than a plane ticket..... Well that was a tangent but if there’s a lesson to be learned I think it’s that life doesn’t always go the way you think it will; what’s important is to love the life you do have! 💛 #newyorkcity #autumninnewyork #centralparknyc #newyorkornowhere #autumncolors #latergramsfordays #iloveny
After a month of work adventures on the West Coast, it was nice to say, “Bonjour, New York!” Even better to be able to catch up with so many favorites, so soon after returning home, at the new outpost of one of my favorite brands: @sezane. It was an evening of discussion about #thenewparis and the new New York with @lostncheeseland et @obviousstate hosted by cutie pie @brightbazaar. The store did not disappoint, the company was out of this world lovely (humbled by how crazy talented my friends are!) and it was such a treat to simply be social for an evening without having to capture every detail. But I still did take this photo because immediately it occurred to me how nice of a moment this would be to announce on the feed that I was back home. 😝 Now, I hope this hot spell ends and the Fall leaves appear soon so I can share lots of colorful Autumn photos with you before it’s off to Scotland with @dante.vincent at the end of the month. 🍁 #fromwhereistand #newyorkbynewyorkers #bonjournewyork #sezanenyc #thefrancophiles
First blog post is now live #linkinthebio from 19 days and more than 3,600 miles of road tripping through the state of #visitcalifornia 😳🤣 The 5 individuals in this carousel of photos became like family. Right down to the fact that you don’t always like family but you do always love them. We endured some pretty crazy things together and leaving each other on the last day was a lot harder than I ever imagined it could be. 💕 There’s @borderfreetravels who I was already close to and have worked with before. Kristen’s films are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in travel media and I can’t wait for you to see the ones she is creating for #californiawild. 💙 There is @adamballard1978 & @kellyenglish78 of @explorecaliforniatravel who were our sainted docents/drivers/field managers/saviors. I want to move to California now so I can see them all the time. Or I’m just going to book one of their trips so I can travel with them again! 💚 Then there is Sherry of @ottsworld who I’ve known the longest but don’t get to see that often. I recently read a blog post by a travel blogger about how ridiculous travel bloggers are and immediately I thought of Sherry *because* she breaks all those molds that this other blogger was railing against. And she always has. I admire her so much and if I ever grow up, I want to be more like her. ❤️ And Kim of @stuffedsuitcase who I met for the first time the day we began in Sacramento. Kim’s blog is full of dynamic information about family travel and if you have kids I can’t recommend you check it out highly enough. Knowing how seriously she takes her job, I know her readers are in good hands. She and I often had to work the most closely together and I can’t wait to see all the photos she took! 💛 Who are your road trip besties? Who are the people you love to travel with? Tag them in a  comment!
🙏🏼 Thank you to @bose for gifting me this #soundlink Micro that made our recent picnic at The Old Sugar Mill so much better. A long day of shooting meant it was nice to be able to take our time eating and the portability of the #soundlink Micro made it easier to relax with some music we streamed to the speaker via its quick and simple Bluetooth connection. #ad
With #californiawild officially behind me, or at least the physical travel part of it done and dusted, there’s a bittersweet feeling that’s settled; a reason I’ve dragged out the sharing of my last pieces of content. A suspicion that when I’m really done some kind of bubble will burst. Does this ever happen to you after a trip or job you’re really passionate about? • There were times I didn’t think I’d make it through the 19 grueling days of filming, of sharing one vehicle with 4 other people carrying a month’s worth of clothes and equipment, of no days off and no free time and the stress of re-packing to change hotels every night. The pace began to feel like a bitter pill to swallow and the lack of alone time chafed at my introverted spirit. • But oh there were such sweet moments too, in this past month of exploring the state of California and its 8 rural regions! There were moments I never wanted to see end. There were new friendships made and old friendships cemented. There were days I could have sworn I’d change my plans without thinking twice, to stay in California, forever. Moments to be so grateful for. And I truly am. • As the cliché goes, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times, rolled into one. My biggest takeaway is that the people I shared the journey with, were what ultimately made it worth while. More about them in my next post. • First, I wanted to give thanks to some companies that provided goods or equipment I could not have completed the project without: @fujifilmx_us for the X-T2, @gopro for the HERO5 Black, @hydroflask for the water bottle & tumblers, @bose for the noise-canceling headphones, @telecomsquare for the WiFi hotspot, @lifeproof for the waterproof case for my iPhone, @vanguardworld for my bag & the travel tripod I used at Trona Pinnacles, @nantucketlooms for the threads and @clifbar for the road trip sustenance. Those bars are addicting!! Thank you all 🙏🏼 #visitcalifornia
16/16 #californiawild #sponsored post • By ending our exploration of California in the #centralvalley, we were actually returning to a region we’d briefly touched on earlier this month. It was so fun to experience a farm-to-table picnic on our last day of this trip, following our Facebook Live at @theoldsugarmill. (Did you manage to watch that?) Inside the restored brick structure, that as the name suggests was once a sugar mill, 13 wineries local to the Central Valley are open to the public for tastings and events. It’s only 20 minutes from downtown Sacramento but it feels a world away. And it felt so different from the other regions we visited, so it was a delightful contrast. I noticed a familiar name too as I was wandering the halls. One that we came upon when we first scratched the surface of the Central Valley, up in the Northern portion at @sekahills (second two photos). There we learned of how The Yocha Dehe tribe of the Wintun Nation are cultivating olives, wine grapes, garbanzo beans, asparagus, walnuts, almonds and other crops along with bees for honey on lands that have always belonged to their tribe. We tasted a full spread of all their products that included jerky from their own cattle. I found myself thinking on both those days that I couldn’t remember the last time any one region of a US state felt like it had everything one might need to survive. But that might be because wine, honey, olives, hummus and jerky are some of my favorite foods 😝😂 Either way, it was a pleasant way to wrap up the trip and it’s a region I highly recommend visiting. • I can’t believe this is the last of my official posts from this project with @visitcalifornia & @adventure.travel_. Do you want to still see more from California? I sure have a lot more stories I could share!! • #visitcalifornia #thisisadventure #oldsugarmill #sekahills #shotoniphone
15/16 #californiawild #sponsored post • To conclude our exploration of California’s 8 rural regions, we visited the #centralvalley. In the Delta, we headed out just before sunset at #dowwetlandspreserve in Antioch on the San Joaquin River, with Kathy of @deltakayakadventures Some in our group chose a SUP, I gravitated toward the double sea kayak and was so grateful when @adamballard1978 jumped in with me. The following hours on the water blew me away. From how calm the water was to how gorgeous the light was to how quiet it was when everyone stopped talking, there was a peace to those moments that I completely hadn’t expected. From Kathy and some of her friends who accompanied us, we learned that the Preserve is some 470 acres of refuge and a habitat to more than 120 species of animals. It’s also facing a crisis as two types of invasive water plants have found their way into the Preserve, choking its waterways and harming native plants. I was shocked that a gorgeous purple flower I spotted floating in green leaves was part of one of them, a non-native Water Hyacinth that can grow up to 16 feet a day! 😳😭 It reminded me that where there is beauty, there is so often pain too, not just for humans but in the natural world as well. I was glad to hear that multiple organizations are working on how to solve the problem without damaging the native ecosystem. I also learned that the Delta is the largest estuary in the Western Hemisphere! #visitcalifornia #deltakayakadventures #thisisadventure • Thanks to @gopro for the #hero5 Black that I captured this photo with. #goprohero5black #gopro #exploretocreate #influencelove
14/16 #californiawild #sponsored post • I was so thrilled when I learned our visit to the #inlandempire would take us through the town of Riverside where one of my favorite hotels can be found. So much more than just a hotel, the Mission Inn is a piece of living history containing artifacts and mementos from centuries of history tied to the land that is now known as California and the USA; some artifacts that pre-date our country, such as the believed to be oldest church bell in Christendom. It’s a National Historic Landmark and a state of California Historic Landmark but also a AAA Four Diamond property. And after the combination of hard + soft adventures that we have had this month, I sure was wishing I could have spent a few hours at the Spa here treating my aching bones 😂 This trip has taught me I’m the kind of adventurer who still needs to sleep in a good hotel at night. It was wonderful just to soak up the surroundings once more in a little sunset adventure through the property with @borderfreetravels. Though we didn’t have the longest time in @ieshineon overall, between the hot air ballooning, the stop here and the experience at @eatmarketplace - this region was a real treat for me & one I’d like to return to again one day. (Though I do think I could say that about every region we have been to in @visitcalifornia!) Shown here is one of the guest suites and it happens to be the suite @dante.vincent booked for me as a surprise years ago! 😍 #visitcalifornia #thisisadventure #missioninnhotel #iegoodtimes #shotoniphone #riversideca
13/16 #californiawild #sponsored post • I can’t think of a better way to be introduced to the #inlandempire than via hot air balloon, soaring over the vineyards of the Temecula Valley, staring at the diverse landscape from an altitude of 3,000 feet. From that height it’s clear how important agriculture is to the region and it is easy to see how much there is to do in this region that’s not far from Los Angeles or San Diego, yet that often gets overlooked by visitors to both. Riding in a hot air balloon happens to be one of my very favorite things to do, perhaps my actual favorite. It’s one of the few ways that I can come close to the feeling of what it must be like to be a bird, drifting on the winds, soaring above the earth below and all its heartache. As I looked down, I felt such sadness for all the people who are hurting right now, so much bittersweetness as I felt grateful for my experience yet despaired of how few might get to have the same, who are desperate for just their basic needs to be met right now. This month has “flown by” in a whirlwind of objectives, schedules and planned adventures - meanwhile there are real problems in the world. From the ground it’s easy to see only my own situation but from above, I couldn’t help but feel deeply the need to be part of a solution. So it was ironic that after hot air ballooning, we met Chef Leah di Bernardi at @eatmarketplace who is doing amazing things in Temecula. She teaches, she mentors, she helps, she changes how people think of food and she cooks real food that’s REALLY good for you but also tastes GREAT. She embodies the idea of #influencelove. She’s my new hero. And she’s just one terrific person you will meet when you #visitcalifornia. #thisisadventure #iegoodtimes #visittemecula #agrapeescape #gopro #hero5
12/16 #californiawild #sponsored post • We ended our time in what I’m calling the packed-with-things-to-offer #ca_centralcoast by kayaking around Ventura Harbor. After spending some time in the visitors center for nearby @channelislandsnps learning about the history and the ecology of the islands, I think we all wanted to see the wildlife we’d been hearing about, so it was great that we got a glimpse via a kayaking adventure. There was a group of sea lions hanging out near the fishing and leisure boats, that were mostly napping but ended up making a lot of noise for us once we got closer, as if they were showing off on purpose! Did you know that they have different names as a group depending on the circumstance? On land they are a colony, in the water a raft, during breeding season a rookery and a group of females in a male’s territory is called a harem! • Thanks to @gopro for the HERO5 Black that I captured the second photo with. I could not do half this trip without that camera since we are constantly on the water or in the water or doing an adventure activity that’s just made for #gopro #thisisadventure #visitcalifornia #visitventura #venturaharbor #shotoniphone
11/16 #californiawild #sponsored post • Yesterday in the @ca_centralcoast was such a blast from sunrise to long past sundown. It started in our base of @shareslo before we drove down to Pismo Beach for an adrenaline-fueled buggy ride on the sand dunes. The views were incredible and the thrill could easily replace my morning cup of ☕️ which I desperately needed later in the afternoon as we followed the dunes up with a tour of @libertinebrew and a looonnngggg boozy lunch trying as many of their sour beers as possible. We adored the time we spent with Founder and Director of Brewing: Tyler Clark, all of us finding something to love about him from his rockin' mustache to his taste in music (which infuses the brewery design with fun and just the right amount of irreverence) to the philosophy with which he brews his beers. I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a brewery so much. Yet it was time to keep drinking and switch to wine on the insanely historic Santa Margarita Ranch where the cover photo was taken of the vintage truck. This property holds evidence of early man, has an original Mission, old trains and trucks, a zip line and an old stone structure that pre-dates our country.  On overload already we finished back in San Luis Obipso for their Thursday Night Farmers Market adding our DNA to their Bubblegum Alley and getting our tongues burnt on Mexican Street Corn before finding sunflowers we wished we could fit in the space shuttle we're driving around for these 19 days. Alas, there's no room with all the sweet gifts we've been given by the kind folks of California. 😍 #ca_centralcoast #shareslo #visitcalifornia #thisisadventure
10/16 #CaliforniaWild #sponsored post • Last night one of the moments I was most looking forward to in our trip, occurred in the #cadeserts between the towns of Trona and Ridgecrest. We visited the Trona Pinnacles starting at sunset and stayed until after the milky way appeared so that we could experiment with long exposure night photography. Local residents came out with telescopes and star apps so they could help us find the very best spot to situate our cameras. There were stories about the night sky and about the history of the area, a talk from the Bureau of Land Management which takes care of Trona Pinnacles and I don't think I have ever had more fun as a photographer. The skill of night photography is something I very much am still learning but it was fun to further hone those skills during this adventure. The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological feature and the site consists of more than 500 tufa spires rising from the bed of the Searles Dry Lake Basin. The pinnacles vary in size and shape and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate. Formed underwater between 10,000 and 100,000 years ago, some of the spires are more than 140 feet high. The Trona Pinnacles were made a National Natural Landmark in 1968 by the Department of the Interior and might be recognizable to you as a filming location for more than a dozen hit movies, including Planet of the Apes and Star Trek. #thisisadventure #visitcalifornia #tronapinnacles #nightskyphotography #milkywaypics #sonyrx1rii #blmcalifornia
9/16 #californiawild #sponsored post • Have you ever wanted to visit a legitimate Wild West Ghost Town? 👻 I have and last night I finally got to, with a catch. I learned a new phrase when we visited Randsburg: population 50. It's called a "living ghost town." When we first pulled into town, we didn't see a single soul, not human or animal. The sun was starting to set and the colorful, crumbling facades of the wooden buildings set aglow in the light seemed perfectly poised in a long gone time. We'd expected it to be quiet since we were told in advance the town businesses that are left are only open on some days of the week and Monday isn't included. So we walked around and began to take a few photos of each other, many photos of the details -- and after a while a wonderful thing began to happen, people started to appear. We met an artist/woodworker who was quietly busy in a darkened studio with the door open to let fresh air (or intrepid explorers?) in. We were visited by a German Shepherd who was curious yet aloof. And we met the three town firefighters who work in 48 hour shifts and drive from as much as 100 miles away to call the town home during their times on call. We learned, from former gallery owner @cherylmcdonaldc, that the 2010 census recorded Randsburg as having 69 residents. We saw a ridiculously charming fixer upper for sale for such an affordable price I could have bought it. In between the initial stillness and the welcome we ended up receiving, I found a town whose worth can't be measured in the size of its population but in the length which its residents go to create a community that works for them yet which can be inclusive for the truly curious, willing to take their time... #cadeserts #randsburg #randsburgca #visitcalifornia #thisisadventure #fujifilmx_us #fujifilmxt2