@kirstenalana - Kirsten Alana

Photographer • enjoys city breaks & nature escapes, has a ❤️ for telling socially impactful stories • based in LA with @dante.vincent
http://www.kirstenalanaphotography.com/
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This seaside tower in Laguna Beach apparently got its name from a wealthy eccentric who would dress like a pirate and hide coins among its stones, or so says its page on Atlas Obscura. Built in 1926 by William E. Brown, and rumored to have at one time belonged to Bette Midler, the 60-foot tower you see in this photo reaches from the edge of the water up to the top of the cliff to its accompanying private home built in the Norman-style. Inside the tower is a staircase for the owners to use for beach access. Popularly called ‘The Pirate Tower’, which is a moniker it received from the second owner of the estate - retired naval captain Harold Kendrick - it’s accessible from Victoria Beach when the tide is low. @dante.vincent and I were there this weekend for sunset, when I shot this, and we didn’t have the spot to ourselves. It’s popular for engagement and maternity shoots but this time it had also drawn French photographer @timgrenard. (Nice to meet you, Tim!) Like so many  spots made popular online that draw a lot of people - who seem to care very little about the fact that the tower itself is part of private property and there are houses immediately above - making lots of noise and being disruptive, which is rude to the people who call this beach home. I even saw people trying to break into the locked gate or attempting to climb the tower. So as much as I want to continue to share beautiful places like this, I will always do so with the note that if you’re going to visit, please do so with respect for not only other people but also the environment itself and the owners of any place you visit. Don’t leave trash, don’t carve in rock or graffiti any surfaces. Don’t attempt to access private property. Take only pictures and leave only footprints!
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Shot handheld on my @SonyAlpha a7RII with the 35mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 100, f/20 @ 1/6 sec
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#piratetower #lagunabeach #victoriabeach #visitcalifornia #mylagunabeach #orangecounty #sonyalphafemale #sonya7rii #atlasobscura
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This seaside tower in Laguna Beach apparently got its name from a wealthy eccentric who would dress like a pirate and hide coins among its stones, or so says its page on Atlas Obscura. Built in 1926 by William E. Brown, and rumored to have at one tim

Pirate Tower, Victoria Beach
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! ️ I was in Dublin two years ago today celebrating with Guinness, which has been my favorite beer since I could legally drink, and it’s a celebration I still think about to this day. I can’t count how many times I heard, “On March 17th, everyone’s Irish” as we danced and drank and hugged and laughed and told stories in the streets and in the pubs and at the Guinness Storehouse. It seemed more like a celebration of friendship and unity - where truly all were welcome - than any other holiday I’ve celebrated in a foreign country. And if that spirit isn’t what the world needs more of then I don’t know what will heal us. So if you love this holiday but you’ve never celebrated it in Dublin, consider changing that for 2020.
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Are you Irish? Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? 
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I’ll be back in Ireland next month and this time I’ll get to be outside Dublin to see more of the beautiful countryside. I truly can’t wait.
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#stpatricksday #dublinireland #visitdublin #march17th #stpattysday #guinnessbeer #dublinmydarling #thisisdublin
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! ️ I was in Dublin two years ago today celebrating with Guinness, which has been my favorite beer since I could legally drink, and it’s a celebration I still think about to this day. I can’t count how many times I heard, “On M

Dublin, Ireland
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@inbedwith.me Such good vibes

Ok be honest and raise your hand if you totally freaked out while @instagram and Facebook were down yesterday?
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I did for a while because I thought I was personally locked out accounts that are a large part of my business.
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Then immediately when I saw messages from friends on Twitter saying it was down for them as well - I breathed a sigh of relief and found myself wishing I could be outdoors, offline, in a moment like this one that I captured on assignment for @adventure.travel_ & @visitcalifornia. I don’t ever feel time outdoors is wasted. And it’s particularly not when it’s on the coast of California because our coast is hecka gorgeous.
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Alas, I had a lot of work to do yesterday that didn’t rely on any apps working for me. So I stayed indoors and did it.
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And relished the one day that I could let myself off the hook, not feel guilty or weird about feeling as if I don’t have much to say here anymore, or photos just right enough that they’ll be liked by the algorithm..... it was nice.
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I hope your day was too. ️
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#highway1 #californiacoastline #getoutside #instagramdown #visitcalifornia #discovertheusa #roadtripusa #californianas #californiaadventure
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Ok be honest and raise your hand if you totally freaked out while @instagram and Facebook were down yesterday? . I did for a while because I thought I was personally locked out accounts that are a large part of my business. . Then immediately when I

Highway 1 California
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@sezgiolgac Haha, I raise both hands 🤷🏻‍♀️ Gorgeous view, btw!

@sezgiolgac Haha, I raise both hands 🤷🏻‍♀️ Gorgeous view, btw!

For my overnight in Santa Barbara with Focus Features this week, hosted but unpaid, we stayed at @rcbacarasantabarbara. Bacara was honored as one of the Top Resorts in Southern California in @cntraveler’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. Rain poured down on us for almost our entire time on property and we weren’t actually there much, except to sleep. But I had to capture a photo or two of the beautiful Spanish Mission-inspired architecture similar to that which has thrilled me since my first ever visit to Southern California. I’m longing to return for a proper stay. If that happens, I’d attend their complimentary happy hour on the patio with its fireplace and twinkle lights under soaring palm trees, to sample California wines. Or indulge in the spa and outdoor pools, the larger of which is designed so perfectly that the edge of the pool merges with the horizon of the sea just beyond. While I was disappointed by how much plastic the resort uses, which could easily [but perhaps not cheaply] be replaced with more eco-friendly alternatives, I was thrilled to see Ritz-Carlton partnered with local Chumash artisans and herbalists to create the Chumash Nature Trail. It’s a self-guided trail that hugs the coastline for a while and features descriptive signs explaining the use of specific plants in the indigenous group’s culture. Inside the hotel just off the lobby, there’s also a wonderfully-curated exhibit with artifacts, stories and even video that explains more about the Chumash people whose ancestral land Santa Barbara occupies. The resort also offers Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment programming for children and adults.
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#RCMemories #RCBacara #rcbacarasantabarbara #SantaBarbara #RitzCarlton #SeeSB
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For my overnight in Santa Barbara with Focus Features this week, hosted but unpaid, we stayed at @rcbacarasantabarbara. Bacara was honored as one of the Top Resorts in Southern California in @cntraveler ’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. Rain poured down

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
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@brightbazaar I love that resort!

Yesterday, Chris Burkard shared a post where he said, “It feels like the more we talk the less the words mean. I, for one, look forward to the silence the outdoors can bring...” I‘m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about Highway 1 when he wrote that caption but I instantly thought of it. It’s the driving equivalent of a hike into back country. There’s so little development along large portions of the famed drive, save the road itself, that you can forget the stress of life in a city and feel so much closer to nature without needing the kind of outdoor experience that I think prohibits a lot of people from being out in nature more. Or even just caring about the planet period. The noise of the car itself fades away on a drive like this and you hear instead the sound of waves, of birds, of the wind that you can’t see but you sure can feel. Even the sunshine feels like it has a quiet melody. It’s drives like this that helped me think about the planet as a place I wanted to save, not just experience. I’ll never forget the first time I saw this scene before there was Instagram and before I began working in travel.
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#visitcalifornia #highway1 #bigsurcoast #californiacoastline #epicroadtrip #shotoniphone #exploretocreate
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Yesterday, Chris Burkard shared a post where he said, “It feels like the more we talk the less the words mean. I, for one, look forward to the silence the outdoors can bring...” I‘m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about Highway 1 when he wrote that cap

Pacific Coast Highway
My Francophile heart was so happy to be in French-speaking Québec last week, being hosted by Volkswagen, to test 4Motion on the Golf, Atlas and Tiguan vehicles. Bonfires, ice cocktails, snow banks taller than me and maple syrup on a stick contributed to the feeling that I was experiencing winter as a child all over again. It was so much like February growing up in Vermont when my mum drove a VW bug. That burnt orange convertible wouldn’t hold a candle to the tech in the vehicles we drove on frozen lakes and snow roads now but it sure was a sweet little car. As we drove these new VWs, I was amazed at how far safety has evolved in automobiles in my few decades on this planet. Even for those of us experienced in purposely putting a car through its paces and hitting that very edge of control (thank you @verenamei for that training!), there was never even a hint of our safety being in question because of today’s @VW engineering. It was both so much fun and also hilariously frustrating in a good way. And I’m choosing to share the experience because I believe in the future of VW. They have some seriously lofty goals to ramp up production and distribution of electric cars and I’m so on board for that. As someone who loves to drive, but also loves the planet, I’ll be first in line to own a car that’s as fun as these were to drive but also environmentally responsible.
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Thanks for reuniting me with @hejdoll plus allowing me to meet @jeanatravels, @waleedsokkar, @sidneyhoffmann & more, VW. And thanks for the mega comfy ride to/from Montreal in the yet to go on sale Arteon - it’s a mega fancy whip that had me wishing I was in the market to buy the day it’s released.
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Video footage courtesy of and copyright @volkswagen / VWusa
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#vwlove #vw4motion #volkswagen #testdriver #vwdaily #agirlsguidetocars #quebecoriginal #hotelsacacomie
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My Francophile heart was so happy to be in French-speaking Québec last week, being hosted by Volkswagen, to test 4Motion on the Golf, Atlas and Tiguan vehicles. Bonfires, ice cocktails, snow banks taller than me and maple syrup on a stick contributed

Hotel Sacacomie
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@inbedwith.me This is a dream. And this light 👌🏽

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As I departed LAX to fly to Québec this week, there was a moment where I had the most profound sense of gratefulness for the fact that I can live in California. A state that is home to this spot off Highway 1, one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the United States. One of my favorite drives anywhere in the world in fact, even though I’ve been to more than 50 countries. The longer @dante.vincent & I live in California, the more grateful I find myself becoming.
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But speaking of drives I’m excited to be back in Canada, which is a country I have really come to love, driving around with @vw this week. This is my first time being in Quebec as an adult outside of Montréal and I can’t wait to share with you what I’m experiencing deep in a winter wonderland two and a half hours outside of the city. The snowdrifts are as tall as houses and the cold will actually take your breath away, but now that I know I get to return home to sunny California when this is over — winter has taken on a whole new fun meaning for me!
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#CaliforniaWild #highway1california #highway1 #roadtripcalifornia #mcwayfalls #californiahighway1 #visittheusa #discovertheusa #usaroadtrip #shotoniphone
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As I departed LAX to fly to Québec this week, there was a moment where I had the most profound sense of gratefulness for the fact that I can live in California. A state that is home to this spot off Highway 1, one of the most beautiful scenic drives

McWay Falls
Happy Valentine’s Day! Just a little pop of red from the city of love for you.
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And when I say “city of love”, I don’t just mean romantic. It was the site of the biggest trip I ever took for self love, it’s been a place for family love and of course romantic love. @dante.vincent and I had our 4th date in Paris, family members have gotten engaged in Paris and it’s undeniably associated with this time of year seemingly around the world.
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Where are you celebrating today? Any kind of love, even if it’s just the love you make sure to give yourself! That’s some of the most important kind of love because we can’t love others if we don’t love ourselves. 
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No matter what, I hope it’s a great day for you wherever you are. ️
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Happy Valentine’s Day! Just a little pop of red from the city of love for you. . And when I say “city of love”, I don’t just mean romantic. It was the site of the biggest trip I ever took for self love, it’s been a place for family love and of course

Paris, France
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@inbedwith.me ❤️❤️

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Back home in Los Angeles after one of the most physically and mentally exhausting jobs I’ve ever shot as a photographer, with more work still to come and months before I can share what I was working on. It’s been cold in Southern California, cold for California I should say. And yet every time I shudder from the chill, I force myself to look around and I end up smiling. It’s so green here from the larger than normal amount of rain we have had and the chill I’ve felt is so easy to remedy whereas the feeling of cold that always seeped into my bones out East seemed to become a permanent resident in my body all winter long. Plus there’s talk that all this rain and these colder than normal days will actually lead us to have one of the most beautiful Super Blooms ever to grace the hills and meadows of California. And that, for a photographer like me, is very much something to be grateful for.
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What are you grateful for on this Monday morning?
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#cityofangels #goldenhourvibes #losangelessunset #discoverla #sonyalpha #gratefulmindset #gratefulheart #sonyimages #sonya7rii #mondaymotivations
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Back home in Los Angeles after one of the most physically and mentally exhausting jobs I’ve ever shot as a photographer, with more work still to come and months before I can share what I was working on. It’s been cold in Southern California, cold for

Mulholland Drive
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@inbedwith.me Nothing like home after a big job 🙏🏽

@theplanetd Glad you are home! It’s tough when you have an exhausting job. Enjoy the downtime and the beauty of California. Looks like you have settled in nicely

Currently shooting an assignment that I won’t be able to talk about for a while so instead of an Instagram, here’s a latergram from Paris. Because Paris is, in the words of Sabrina, always a good idea.
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Shot this looking through a window at le Louvre during one of the many times I’ve visited the museum and practically ran through some of the galleries before they closed to capture that late afternoon light that baths the facade in such a warm glow. I never mind the rushing though. For I’ve taken my time before. I’ll take my time again one day.
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A bartender asked me yesterday what my very favorite place I’ve visited is. The most popular question to ask someone who works in travel. And the hardest to answer. I can’t pick just one place. I have to share a list. And France is always on the list for me. It always will be.
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What’s a place like that for you? That you’ll always want to go back to...
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#louvremuseum #lelouvre #parisjetaime #parismylove #myparis #parisismyhometown #wellalwayshaveparis #museumarchitecture #🇫🇷paris #paris🇫🇷️
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Currently shooting an assignment that I won’t be able to talk about for a while so instead of an Instagram, here’s a latergram from Paris. Because Paris is, in the words of Sabrina, always a good idea. . Shot this looking through a window at le Louvr

Musée du Louvre
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@inbedwith.me Oooh exciting. Can’t wait to hear more 😘😘

This guy treated me to a road trip for my birthday weekend and while we didn’t get to do the astro photography I wanted to do back out at Trona Pinnacles which I first discovered in the Fall of 2017, we did have an utterly magical 20 minutes during sunrise at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes where the same heavy cloud cover that made it impossible to do night photography, made for a dramatic sunrise with the type of light that was more than worth driving an extra two hours out of the way for.
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Like with any time I visit a national park or outdoor area, we left only footprints and we took only photographs. I’m still so saddened at the mess made during the shutdown in some of our parks here in the USA and I’m committed to never being a part of that problem no matter what’s going on with factors I can’t directly control. I can always control my own actions.
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But I digress, the morning was so gorgeous, I couldn’t pick just one photo to share. I truly loved all three of these images so much, I had to share them all. Do you have a favorite?
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Honestly it looked like to me that the couple who feature in the second and third images were getting engaged the morning we were there and if they were that just makes it a morning filled to overflowing with love.
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#discovertheusa #visittheusa #deathvalleynationalpark #mesquiteflatsanddunes #sonyalpha #bealpha #sonya7rii #visitcalifornia #californiawild #sanddunesadventure #sunrisers #sunrisekingdom
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This guy treated me to a road trip for my birthday weekend and while we didn’t get to do the astro photography I wanted to do back out at Trona Pinnacles which I first discovered in the Fall of 2017, we did have an utterly magical 20 minutes during s

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley
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@rachelroams Whoa. That’s some perfect light. I think #2 seems extra magical for some reason!

@inbedwith.me I love the last pic!! And hope the birthday weekend was magical ❤️😘

I’m not a downhill skier by I can après ski with the best of em. At least I think so  am I doing it right here ?!
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I was grateful @stellaartois provided us with a suite that included a hot tub during our time in Park City for #Sundance last weekend. @dante.vincent and I will actually drive out of our way for a good hot tub, so the perk was very much taken advantage of.
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But the real reason we were in Utah, was to attend the panels Stella hosted at their Film Lounge on Main Street in partnership with @womeninfilmla, @reframe_project and @deadline which all focused heavily on movies brought to the screen by women, led by a mostly-female cast or produced and/or directed by women. They were films that addressed themes of inequality, systematic racism, indigenous rights and more. With grant money and with these panels, Stella is showing a commitment to social consciousness that I applaud. And they also give money to @water with every 12 pack purchase you make.
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Now they didn’t pay me to attend Sundance and they’re not paying me to talk about them now. It’s my decision to do so. They did host Danté and I with most expenses paid. I’m choosing to get in front of the camera and share a photo of me with their product — because I believe in supporting brands who are doing some good in a world where there’s so much that needs to be done. #StellaMoments
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What brands do you admire and support who are doing good in the world right now? Anything from environment to equality and more...
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#reframeproject #womeninfilm #parkcityutah #visitutah #sundance2019 #dogood #thathotellife #selfiesforacause
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I’m not a downhill skier by I can après ski with the best of em. At least I think so am I doing it right here ?! . I was grateful @stellaartois provided us with a suite that included a hot tub during our time in Park City for #sundance last weekend.

Park City, Utah
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@twheat Treat yo self

@rachelroams Sounds like an awesome experience! I’d love to have attended those panels.