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@kirstenalana

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

kirstenalana

Photographer & Passionate Storyteller • Next in: Austria • Home is NYC w/ @dante.vincent • inquiries: kirsten@godandbeauty.com

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So many reasons to visit @loewsregency today. See the video #linkinprofile for my number one reason in partnership with @barclaycardus for their #summerliving series. It would mean so much to me if you all commented and let me know what you think of the video. It's also a Summer Saturday which means that today Park Avenue is closed to vehicle traffic and only open to pedestrians + bicycles. Just because summer is winding down doesn't mean it's actually over...yet! 😉 Thanks for asking me to host @luciaentertainment. #barclaycardarrival #ad
I was just thinking yesterday how bummed I was that summer feels like it's almost over and then I remembered I'm spending nearly all of September in California. ☀️ It's not the land of eternal summer because it actually has so many different climates within its borders but it does have some parts that are very warm year round! 🌴 Here's to hoping that as I explore it from top to bottom, there are more warm days, than cold!! 🌊 Now, who lives in California and can tell me what I should make sure *not* to miss this time around? • • • #visitcalifornia #calilove #californiadreaming #thisisadventure #summerlivin #mcwayfalls #shotoniphone #iphonephotography
Did anyone else wake up on this second Monday of August and feel suddenly like summer is over and yet there weren't nearly enough of these moments in the last few months?! I'm already talking with my agent at @gnbinfluence about October/November/December projects and last week I booked a speaking gig in January. Time is flying too fast!!!! On the other hand, I'm excited about what's coming up. With my new focus and with the clients I already had booked, I think there are some awesome stories that I will get to bring you over the next few months. As well as beautiful travel photos from Austria and California. I'm hoping to include a brand pictured here because @hydroflask believes as I do that we need to get rid of plastics. I bought the bottle I'm using at the beach in this photo and then it was stolen! While I owned that bottle I'd been able to drastically cut down on my use of plastic bottles and had almost entirely stopped using them. The goal is to get back there and do even better this time with new @hydroflask products that will enable me to carry more than just water in a reusable container. What are some other ways I can #reducereuserecycle ? What are some ways you're making this happen in your life? ♻️ Now Hydroflask didn't sponsor *this* post but I'm promoting them because I love their products and personally buy them. Learn more via their hashtag: #liverefreshed Thanks for taking this photo @dante.vincent 🙏🏼
#worldelephantday today was the culmination of several weeks of work for @amarula_official that began with a trip to Kenya where I met @paula_kahumbu and her colleagues from @wildlifedirect which The Amarula Trust supports with their #dontletthemdisappear campaign. It was amazing to reunite with her today in my home city where #amarula sponsored a life-sized ice sculpture of an elephant which melted as the day grew warmer, a symbolic representation of what will happen if we do not protect these gentle giants and stop poaching. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to participate in this campaign and though I have been paid to do it, I find I've never had my heart so moved by any job I've done before now. When the day was almost over and the ice sculpture began to break apart from the melting, I found I was almost as upset as I was when I first began to understand how dire the situation is for the African Elephant. So beginning with this project, I'm marking a new chapter in my career where I will be dedicating as much time as I can to causes such as this one. I'm not interested in being political, I simply want to do as much good as I can with whatever time I have left. I hope you will continue to join me and for those who began to follow me years ago only interested in travel - be assured there is much travel still planned. After all, the world is a big place and there are many people + animals + issues that need attention all over the place. #bethechange #giveback #madefromafrica 🌎🌍🌏 Oh and if you want to get involved - I've placed a link in my profile to 6 ways you can help #savetheelephants 🐘
While trying to write about my trip to Kenya this week, I hit a wall. I was playing the comparison game, feeling like my words could never be as good as others. I was worried my photos weren't as powerful as the trip itself was. I was letting self consciousness block me completely and shut down my ability to just create. I was also feeling very trapped inside the apartment. So I dragged the blanket I was given by @amarula_official that was made in Africa, a bottle of #amarula and another cup of coffee -- through the window out onto our fire escape, and I just sat there for a bit. In what can only be described as a miracle, the nearby construction noise quieted, a breeze kicked up and if I closed my eyes while I was drinking that spiked coffee like we would in Kenya when we paused during drives, I could almost feel like I was back in Amboseli. It was enough to kick start my creativity so in a burst of inspiration I pulled my laptop through the window too and started writing. I hope to have the blog post finished today. Just in time for #worldelephantday tomorrow. [Hilariously, I also had doubt again about sharing this photo. It didn't "fit in my grid" and I guess it still doesn't. But I think we all worry way too much about how things look here on IG. In general even. So I'm posting this anyway!] 🐘 #dontletthemdisappear #arandablankets
I'm borrowing words from @mariselerm to share with you what we learned about the #maasai while in Africa with @amarula_official because the way she summarized it is better than anything I've been able to write and I've been trying, so from her: "The Maasai of Kenya carry a heavy responsibility as part of their culture and heritage. They believe they are the custodians of wildlife and nature, living to protect our natural heritage. Elephants are their forefathers- beings to aspire to and to respect. The Maasai believe we should strive to be more like elephants - peaceful, strong and wise with strong family connections." As #worldelephantday approaches on August 12, and in the news the world seems to be spinning rapidly out of control, I'm thinking of that last sentence in particular. I wish we as human beings would be more peaceful and would be more driven to choose wisdom over emotion. I wish we would stop getting in our own way placing profit and fear over all other concerns. 🐘 I'll be in NYC on World Elephant Day showing my support for @paula_kahumbu & @wildlifedirect as they continue the fight to end illegal poaching and if you're interested in joining in, keep an eye on the #amarula feed for information about their public events. 🐘 #dontletthemdisappear #madefromafrica
4/4 #sponsored • One of my favorite things about our stay at @thesavoylondon was its proximity to The Thames. It afforded us that lovely view from our Suite, of the river and the city, all the way from St. Paul's to Westminster and Big Ben. Because The Savoy is also located between two bridges that can take you right across the river by foot, it gave us lots of opportunities to explore that amazing view from the ground easily and quickly, not just just from our Suite. I'd never stayed in any hotel so close to The Thames while in London before so I think I clocked more time on each bank than I ever have before. No matter which you choose, there's something to love. On the North side where The Savoy is located, lovely landscaped parks provide an escape from crowds and welcome serenity. It made me wish we'd had time to do a picnic. On the bustling South Bank where @dante.vincent captured this photo of me, there is no shortage of live entertainment, street art and food options. There are even book sellers not unlike the ones in my other favorite European city [Paris]! I'm spoiled for life!! What more could a girl ask for?! 😝😍 #fairmontmoments • • • #visitlondon #thisislondon #fairmonthotels #travelmindset #iexplore #lovegreatbritain #southbankdreams
3/4 #sponsored • Whereas our Suite at @thesavoylondon was serene and calm with its pastel palette and watercolor views of London, my hours in The American Bar and Beaufort Bar downstairs were a riot of bright colors and bold flavors. A [completely welcome and fun] assault on the senses of taste and sight. I wanted to test the experience at these bars because I’d heard tell of their menus being more like Stories than a run down of ingredients. Both live up to the hype, and then some, with actual illustrated books laying out the multitude of options you have from which to order. Both books are works of art not unlike the cocktails they list for consumption. The American Bar focuses on England’s history and regions while Beaufort Bar comprises a more hollywood-ized version of larger cocktail culture. Stories in their book recall the lives of Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire. I took this photo in The American Bar as Dominic served up the second of three total cocktails that I tried in a theatrical manner working with the elements of the vessel itself, the smells as well as the taste of the cocktail, to depict the Industrial Age. My first cocktail was an Art Deco masterpiece paying homage to the iconic fountain at the entrance of The Savoy, once fitted to be a serving vessel for a green cocktail during one of the many fabulous parties the property has hosted during its illustrious centuries of existence since it opened as the first true luxury hotel in Britain. The American Bar was chosen as the # 2 best cocktail bar in the world in 2016 by the world’s 50 Best Bars list and I can assure you it deserves that spot and then some. Say hello to Dominic for me if you find yourself there any time soon! #fairmontmoments • • • #50bestbars #theamericanbar #travelmindset #fairmonthotels #thesavoy #thisislondon #lovegreatbritain #cocktails🍹 #iexplore #thesavoylondon
2/4 #sponsored • Our 6th floor Suite at @thesavoylondon has a spectacular view of The Thames which @dante.vincent & I both have taken to just staring at during all hours of the day and night. (See his feed for a gorgeous version from this vantage point, at sunset.) It's so good it almost makes us not want to leave the hotel! This is just one small portion of it, the part that looks at The Eye, Westminster and Big Ben. Right now, runners participating in today's IAAF World Championship Marathon are passing underneath our window and people are kayaking in the Thames. Double decker buses are passing every few seconds on Waterloo Bridge. Across the river, South Bank is already crowded with people listening to live music, eating from food carts and shopping at the pop up book fair. Even though it's Sunday, a "day of rest", London is alive and well and full of life. We can see it all happen from our window! But we should probably leave eventually and do some living ourselves... 😉 #fairmontmoments • • • #travelmindset #iexplore #thesavoy #thesavoylondon #fairmonthotels #thisislondon #lovegreatbritain
1/4 #sponsored • Woke up in London on a plane in a cramped economy seat with a screaming child only a few feet away, one of the worst situations for a migraine sufferer like me...so this pretty, caffeinated welcome to our suite @thesavoylondon, a @fairmonthotels property, is very welcome. Our Butler has already started our trip off on the right note. I'm here with @dante.vincent for just two nights but any time at all in a property this luxe is enough for me when I can share it with my love. It's such a treat to be able to get away just the two of us since I'm so often traveling for work all alone or with a large group and I've been away so much this year already. I've also always wanted Danté to get to know London so he can love it the same way I do. Hoping this stay at The Savoy will do the trick. Wait till you see our view of The Thames.... #fairmontmoments
There are just 10 days left till #worldelephantday on August 12! Before my trip to Kenya with @amarula_official, I didn't understand how bad the plight of the African Elephant is. But it's bad. An elephant is slaughtered illegally for the ivory in its tusks on average every 15 minutes somewhere on the continent of Africa. This means we lose more than 90 elephants a day and there are less than 400,000 left for us to enjoy seeing when we go on Safari or just visit any country in Africa for any other reason. Some countries now have no elephants left at all!! Can you imagine a trip to Africa without elephants? What kind of trip would that be?! If we don't do something, in our lifetime they will be gone. In Kenya where @wildlifedirect has been so instrumental because of the work @paula_kahumbu and her team are doing, the problem is not as severe as it is elsewhere. They've been able to affect real, lasting and measurable change that has helped make it possible for the elephant population to flourish in Amboseli. Yet there is so much more work to be done. For instance in neighboring Tanzania and down in South Africa where #amarula is from, the situation is dire and the support from locals to keep elephants safe is just not there. Paula and her team need our support in order to continue their work helping other countries make the choices Kenya has made. I hope my photos and Stories have caused you to want to help if you didn't already and I hope you'll join me in giving these gentle giants your support on August 12 and every day. 🐘 #dontletthemdisappear #madefromafrica 🐘
It's August already?! Time sure has flown by since I returned from my #sponsored trip to Kenya with @amarula_official for the #dontletthemdisappear campaign. When we were in Amboseli time seemed to take on a more relaxed quality, to bend and stretch as if operating on a different plane than time does back home. Sometimes we'd park for hours just to observe elephants. Or we'd stop moving for long enough to really watch the setting sun color the sky in every shade of ochre, not just look up at the sky and marvel at the colors for a fleeting moment before shoving on into rush hour crowds like I do in NYC. Just such a prolonged pause is what @truthslinger captured here during Sundowners on top of a hill in Amboseli. The flat expanse of the park is laid bare before me and to our left is Mt. Kilimanjaro. Mutua had graciously given of his time to take one photo for me, and then one turned into ten and we kept moving, trying all the different vantage points and all the different light. After more than half a dozen trips to Africa I can tell you this is what happens, you come to a place where you live inside #madefromafrica moments that you never want to end.🙏🏼 (And you never want your glass of #amarula to empty! 😝) If only such a stretching of time was possible! 🐘 Since it's not, that means there are less than 2 weeks left till #worldelephantday and I hope you'll join me in finding every way possible to be part of the fight to save these gentle giants. 🐘 Once my giveaway concludes tomorrow, I'll replace that #linkinprofile with a link to some resources that will help you if, like me, you want to join @paula_kahumbu and @wildlifedirect in saving African Elephants.
When @LensCrafters asked how I #seegooddaily, I agreed to this #sponsored post because their message is right on for me. Really this is exactly why I do what I do! I share places that aren’t always on the big “TOP 10 LISTS” and I share the destinations I do visit in ways I hope aren’t completely typical... Because I want you to see the world differently through my feed. I want you to see good where you might not, until I pointed it out. I want you to expand your view of the world we live in to include people and places that might be outside your comfort zone but not in the mega obvious ways. I leave the extreme travel and the eating of bugs or the participation in high adrenaline extreme sports to others because I am not trying to make you afraid. Rather, I am trying to inspire you to see there isn’t anything to be afraid of. That’s why my captions are long, why I tell stories, why I don’t follow every single trend in this app but instead try to blaze my own trail as much as possible! So will you tell me: how do you see good daily?
During my recent trip to Curaçao, I packed Birdie by @olikalife, a perfect match for all my other accessories. #ad I’ve recapped my experience with the product plus my stay at @sbrcuracao on the blog. It’s the post just before the giveaway which is currently the #linkinprofile From OLIKA: “Named “The World’s Most Beautiful Hand Sanitizer,” by Fast Company, Birdie contains the cleaning power of a hand sanitizing spray, which includes 20mL of soothing essential oils and nourishing aloe vera leaf juice, while housing ten textured dry wipes to capture dirt and grime in his base. Complemented by the intrinsic beauty of minimalist Scandinavian design, the first-of-its-kind hand sanitizer spray from OLIKA boasts a simple signature fragrance with a sophisticated blend of aromatic notes inspired by nature, including aloe vera leaf juice and the essential oils of bergamot, lemon and spearmint.” It just so happens Aloe is one of Curaçao’s main exports! #olikalife #birdiebyolika • • • #birdie #handsani #birdieboys #birdsofafeather #keepitclean
Christmas in July concludes with this travel-themed #giveaway! 🌲✈️🌴 I'm excited to partner with @smallluxuryhotels to give away a 2-night stay at any one of their 500 properties in 80 countries. This is @palehallhotel which is part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) in Wales. You could use your winnings to stay here, at a property in Kenya where I just was or even Seychelles where I dream of visiting! • You will also receive a $100 gift card to @Delta (my fav airline), a personalized bag from @leatherology that is perfect for traveling, a travel wallet from @poppybarley, a travel journal, a travel-sized toiletries kit & one of my favorite adapter sets. • To enter: you'll have to follow the #linkinprofile or my daily Stories to sign up for my newsletter. Of course a like + comment here would show future sponsors that you all love (and want more) giveaways 😉 but the only requirement is signing up for my newsletter. As an added incentive, I will donate $1 to @wildlifedirect for every entry so you will get to help save African Elephants! • This promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. Kirsten Alana is the host and official sponsor alongside SLH. No purchase is necessary to enter. By entering, you confirm you are 18+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use. Open to anyone with a valid mailing address + email in the USA and Canada! Giveaway period begins as of the time this post is live. Winner will be chosen, from those who have followed the rules, by 5 PM EST on August 2 and notified that day by email. By entering, you agree to release & hold harmless Kirsten Alana + @smallluxuryhotels from all liability & litigation that could result from your acceptance & use of these products, you waive your right to any damages. Kirsten Alana reserves the right to cancel this giveaway at any time, for any reason. The odds of winning depend on the number of
The invitation to #partner with @amarula_official for this trip to Kenya was one I immediately wanted to accept! #amarula has been part of nearly every trip I've ever taken to Africa and has been part of every safari I've been on. The brand is as interwoven into my experience of Africa as they are into the very fabric of the continent since they are #madefromafrica. From South Africa where it is made to where we have been in Kenya and beyond - this is not just a beverage, it is a product that captures the spirit of this continent. I think!! Our #dontletthemdisappear group enjoyed a traditional Sundowner experience on the top of a hill in Amboseli this week and I took this moment to reflect on how grateful I am to have been chosen by a brand I already love to help spread a message that is so dear to my heart. The message that animals, and elephants in particular, are not here for our exploitation. Ivory belongs on elephants. It is not ours to take from elephants. I hope you will continue to stay with me as I bring you more information leading up to World Elephant Day on August 12. Yes, I am being paid to do this work but I accepted the assignment because this is my passion, to bring awareness to issues like this. I hope to devote more of my life to these pursuits not less. My soul is WOKE from this experience and it is not sitting down like I am in this photo. It is restless with all that needs to be done. Join me, via the link in my profile, and let's #namethemsavethem together!! 📸 Thank you for this snap @mariselerm 🙏🏼🐘
[2 of 2] Continuing the story of my partnership with @amarula_official: Amarula cares deeply about saving the #africanelephant, so with #dontletthemdisappear through their Amarula Trust - they have partnered with Dr. @Paula_Kahumbu, to amplify her message and to aid in the incredible work she is doing with her foundation @wildlifedirect. WD was the driving force behind the tough anti-poaching legislation which Kenya recently enacted and Dr. Kahumbu has dedicated her life to ensuring the African Elephant will not just survive, but will thrive. She is my newest hero, a woman who is endlessly inspiring. At the same time, Amarula has also launched #namethemsavethem which is a dynamic website + a limited edition series of 400,000 bottles of uniquely labeled #amarula. The number comes from the estimate of how many African elephants are left. Though some estimates say we're now down to 350,000. Using special technology, every single bottle features a differently designed Elephant and a name for that Elephant. No two are the same. Just like humans & elephants! The website allows anyone the chance to design and name an elephant! For every elephant named and shared, Amarula will donate $1 to @wildlifedirect. The link is in my profile to make it easy for you to get involved! 🐘 #madefromafrica #handsoffourelephants
[1 of 2] I was chosen as the only delegate from the USA to #partner with @amarula_official in order to bring you the story of #dontletthemdisappear 🐘 I've had several followers message publicly or privately asking, "I thought #amarula was a South African product so why are you in Kenya?" We are here because the African Elephant is the symbol of the brand but they are in danger of disappearing within our lifetime due to illegal poaching driven by demand for ivory worldwide but particularly in Asian countries such as China & Vietnam. Yet in Kenya there is more being done to reverse that threat, and to save the #africanelephant, than anywhere else. In Amboseli National Park, that work takes many forms. I think the most touching of which is that every single Elephant has a name like @Oprah, Pissarro, Paris or Tim. The belief is that we care more deeply about that which is named than that which is not. (A belief I agree with!) Legislation has also been passed in Kenya, the toughest in Africa, that makes it far less appealing for poachers to continue trafficking. All these efforts work together to ensure that future generations will always be able observe elephants here in Amboseli but more needs to be done throughout Africa & the world - that's where Amarula, which is #madefromafrica, comes in! 📸 of me by @truthslinger 🙏🏼 all others by me
So grateful to partner with @amarula_official here in Kenya, allowing me the opportunity to get so close to elephants. The joy is indescribable. "Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing." - John Donne 🐘 #dontletthemdisappear #amarula #madefromafrica #kenya #namethemsavethem • • • Shot on my @getolympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with 40-150 f/2.8 lens
The opportunity to partner with @amarula_official for this trip to Kenya has already been a dream come true and we only just arrived last night. During our coffee stop in the middle of this morning's expedition, @richardhaubrich of @instagram_sa took this photo of me sipping Amarula & coffee. We had pulled over to the side of the road after spending an hour observing elephants who all have names. Given to them by locals and researchers, including Dr. Paula Kahumbu - our guide, the names are only one aspect that helps me want to protect these gentle giants. When you observe them, you can see how family-oriented they are, how human-like they even are at times. It quite seriously breaks my heart to think that where I see such a beautiful animal who deserves to be protected, others see only a commodity, or an opportunity. More on the elephants themselves in my next post. There's so much more to tell! #amarula #dontletthemdisappear #madefromafrica 🐘 #onsafari #kenyasafari #safaristyle
I'm so excited to partner with @amarula_official who have invited me back to Africa to be part of their anti-ivory poaching campaign #dontletthemdisappear. I left on Friday and will finally arrive this evening in Kenya where I will spend the next three days learning about the initiative to save Africa's elephants. I'm particularly looking forward to meeting Dr. Paula Kahumbu of Wildlife Direct who is working with The Amarula Trust for this endeavor. I captured this photo during my last Safari and while I'm looking forward to being on Safari again, what I'm most looking forward to is learning how I can be an active participant in the fight to save the 400,000 elephants still left. For me it's also personal, because Kenya is a country I've been interested in since I was a very young girl. Can't wait to share my experience with you! Follow along in Stories, on my feed and with the hashtags #madefromafrica #amarula #kenya #elephants

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