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Kirsten Alana

Bio conscious storytelling from a life of and • NYC to LA transplant with @dante.vincent, usually abroad • next: European cruise

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Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "On #worldphotographyday I wanted to re-share a photo I took many years ago in Croatia. It was only taken with my iPhone " at Nationalparken Plitvicesjöarna - 1849492427502789033

On I wanted to re-share a photo I took many years ago in Croatia. It was only taken with my iPhone but for years it was one of the most-liked photos I’d ever shared, proof that as Chase Jarvis said so long ago now, it’s not about expensive equipment (fun as that equipment is) - “the best camera is the one that’s with you.” I still ultimately believe that even though I no longer do any trip without my Sony cameras. . I still remember the first moment I saw this scene. We’d rounded a sort of corner, coming from a car park, having only just begun our exploration of Plitvička Jezera in Autumn. Right below us was the famed scene with the aquamarine water, the snowy white waterfalls and the curving wooden pathways. In front of us was this vista. Like something from the overly active imagination of my childhood, the mind that found more solace in books and travel magazines than anything else. I thought I was seeing Rivendell or some valley from Dinotopia. I was gobsmacked. And I think everyone else in the group was as well. It was a moment where I was reminded of how absolutely incredible nature is, of how precious its resources are and how important it is that we don’t abuse them or mistreat them. . This was in the days before Instagram fame would end up ruining so many natural wonders. In the days I still loved this app and it was still only about the story, not about profitability, fame and gaming an algorithm. . I began my account on this app the month it was founded because I loved the idea of a social network based solely on sharing photos and little else. I stay because even though creativity seems to be less important, it’s still a place I can be inspired if I look in the right places. Just like I was in this moment, when I took this photo.

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Filter + Fox Report Download 76 1.18K

{ad} I could hardly believe it when I stumbled in to a bar this summer, during my short visit to Liverpool, to find they'd partnered with @LilletUS just as I have. The bar features Lillet cocktails, decor and — most importantly on the hot afternoon I found myself taking a seat inside — Lillet frosé. I was in heaven and instead of going back out to explore the city immediately after a refreshing drink, I stayed to get to know the staff just a bit and really soak in the vibe. I even tried both the Lillet Blanc AND the Lillet Rouge frosé. What a glorious afternoon it was, featuring one of my summer essentials. 🍓🥒

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Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "What better way to conclude my partnership with @travelmindset & @travelmanitoba than with a sunset. From the coast roug" at Churchill, Manitoba - 1847986931918888322
Churchill, Manitoba Report Download 56 1.45K

What better way to conclude my partnership with @travelmindset & @travelmanitoba than with a sunset. From the coast roughly 10-12 miles outside of the town of Churchill, that ship in the distance is the wreck of the Ithaca. I’ve spent a week reading posts and stories online and hilariously there are a lot of conflicting reports about this ship from it being Greek to British to having 3 names to having 6 over its lifetime. But one thing everyone seems to agree on, it ran aground during a storm in September of 1960 because of an eighty-mile-an-hour gale which caused the rudder to break. Attempts to drop anchor and wait out the storm failed, then the ship ran aground where it rests to this day in Bird Cove. During high tide, Ithaca appears to still sail as it once did but during low tide you can walk to it and see just how completely it is falling apart, especially in its mid-section which is almost gone by now. Tides can vary greatly in Churchill and, at least in summer when I visited, so much of what you will do is dependent on the tides. So you won’t get an exact itinerary with specified times in advance of your trip. Instead, you’ll arrive knowing what you will do over the course of your stay but you won’t know exactly what tours you’re on and when until closer to the time you depart. At @lazybearexpeditions we usually found out every morning via a whiteboard. I didn’t mind that and liked the fact that every day was a surprise. Just like the town itself. Churchill is a special place that I’ll tell you more about later this month on my blog. Till then...

Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "Raise your hand if you love the log cabin life! 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏼‍♂️ During my partnership with @travelmindset & @travelmanitoba t" at Churchill, Manitoba - 1847300596228889035
Churchill, Manitoba Report Download 61 1.39K

Raise your hand if you love the log cabin life! 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏼‍♂️ During my partnership with @travelmindset & @travelmanitoba to explore Churchill, we stayed at Lazy Bear Lodge on the town’s main street, Kelsey Blvd. Manitoba-born local Wally Daudrich began dreaming of a Lodge in the 1980’s while working as a Polar Bear guide, and realized his dream when he began building the Lodge in 1995. It was completed in 2005. Wally, Dawn and their kids have poured their heart and soul into it, sometimes with only hand tools. The timber was reclaimed from a fire in the boreal forest, the windows were recycled from an 1800’s Hudson’s Bay trading post and the floor is recycled Douglas Fir from a Canadian National Railway warehouse built in the early 1920’s! Two greenhouses are now part of the business ensuring the Lodge’s kitchen doesn’t haven’t to depend only on what can be flown in; and there’s all the tours, guides and boats that come with @lazybearexpeditions, also owned by Wally. He’s a busy man! I enjoyed staying at the Lodge because it felt like grown up summer camp, so similar in vibe to where I went in Michigan’s U.P. every summer as a kid. I loved that camp so much I returned to be a counselor when I was too old to be a camper. And just like me, I met people who return to Lazy Bear every year over and over; always in search of that special magic the Lodge, Churchill’s locals and wildlife have that’s difficult to put into words. And with every season being different, I understand the appeal. I already want to return too! 🐻 . Self shot on my @sonyalpha a7R II with my @vanguardworld VEO2 tripod. Thank you for the camera bag @boundarysupply.

Churchill, Manitoba Report Download 62 1.27K

During my partnership with @travelmindset & @travelmanitoba, I didn’t get a lot of great photos of the polar bears and beluga whales that make visiting the town of Churchill so special in summer. (Though just seeing them was *amazing*.) But we did have other animal encounters! My favorite was getting to spend time with the sled dogs that Gerald and Jenafor have up at Blue Sky Mush. We met Gerald at Lazy 🐻 Lodge / @lazybearexpeditions. He’s originally from a Métis community called Cormorant and now lives amongst the lakes outside the town of Churchill with Jenafor where they also have a B&B. She makes a Bannock with wild blueberries that I woke up dreaming about this morning and they’re so generous with their stories of Manitoba and their lives in this wild part of Canada. Visiting their home and meeting dogs such as Sony (as in the camera I use!), Isobel & Thunder was such a treat for me!! Sled dogs are my favorite type of dog and while we’re not in a place to have one in our home now, @dante.vincent and I talk about it on the regular for that time in our lives that it will make sense. They’re animals that take a lot of care and need the right environment in order to thrive. When you adopt one, I feel it should be about what the dog needs not what you want as an owner. I get so sad when I see people adopt them into 500 sq ft apartments with no space for the dogs to run. They LOVE to run and they’ll make a lot of noise when they know they’re going to get the opportunity to do just that! Their enthusiasm is contagious. You can’t be upset when you’re around these dogs! Gerald & Jenafor have a no cull policy and are always looking for the right homes for their adoptable dogs. Is that you? If not you can still visit and love on these dogs like we did! 🐺🐕

Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "Do you believe art can change hearts and minds? • I was so glad to find so much public art during my partnership with @t" at Churchill, Manitoba - 1844388592253999860
Churchill, Manitoba Report Download 108 1.59K

Do you believe art can change hearts and minds? • I was so glad to find so much public art during my partnership with @travelmanitoba & @travelmindset in Churchill. And I found out quickly that it’s not random but rather, most of it, was part of an activation organized by @seawalls_ @pangeaseed & local artist @kalbarteski. This particular mural on the ground floor walls of the former radar station, installed to detect attacks during the Cold War, references Camp 10 or what became known as “Dene Village” and the Sayisi Dene who lived in harmony with, and were dependent on, Caribou. Please look up the story because it’s so relevant to what is happening still in North America today. . This stunning mural by artist @robotkin features a quote from Elder Betsy Anderson, “There was a time when all the people and all the animals understood each other and spoke the same language.” . It’s a powerful installation but it’s only one of many. I’ll be doing a series in my Stories showing more today and I will also include them in my blog post about Churchill. 🎨 // shot on @sonyalpha

Lazy Bear Expeditions Report Download 138 1.97K

So much to catch up on sharing from my partnership with @travelmanitoba & @travelmindset exploring first Winnipeg and now Churchill. The latter has been wildly better than I expected but more challenging than I imagined. I thought I knew what to prepare for since I’ve photographed animals in the wild before and I’ve seen so many photographs of polar bears in Churchill, the Polar Bear Capital of the World. Yet in the gloriously long days of summer — when so many wildflowers blanket the ground and berries of all colors and sizes fill the leafy bushes that lay low to the earth — the bears are lazy and prone to napping far from people. 400mm and up lenses are what I’d recommend if you’re coming up at this time of year for photography. Or you can simply enjoy wildlife viewing and not stress out over wildlife photography. It’s similar with the Beluga Whales that come to visit Hudson Bay and the Churchill River. A dSLR & underwater housing are what you should pack to get the best photos of the whales. If you have neither, you should still visit! It’s such a special season, summer, with all the colors and the long hours of daylight. The staff of @lazybearexpeditions have come up with so many ways to explore that ensure your safety and the safety of the animals, while still providing incredible opportunities to appreciate the diversity of this part of Northern Manitoba. It’s a place where you’ll be reminded that nothing man can create is as wondrous as what nature has given us.

Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "I’m thrilled to be back in Canada, in partnership with @travelmanitoba & @travelmindset, to explore Winnipeg and Churchi" at Canadian Museum for Human Rights - 1839230275814694888

I’m thrilled to be back in Canada, in partnership with @travelmanitoba & @travelmindset, to explore Winnipeg and Churchill. Summer is in full swing here and the city of Winnipeg is full of parkland where live music can be heard echoing in the trees, the sound of children laughing is a balm to my spirit and the @cmhr_mcdp is always visible from where we have been staying at The Forks. I’ve wanted to visit this museum since I got the press release about its opening and it didn’t disappoint. It’s that structure visible through the trees just over the shoulder of the statue of Gandhi which was gifted to the museum in 2004 by the Government of India. Just as it was said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world;” so too is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights asking all who visit it to acknowledge that while mistakes have certainly been made in the past - now we have a chance to change things. If we each take personal responsibility for the protection and advancement of human rights here in Canada and around the world... . Maybe we will see the better world we all hope for. It starts within us and we each hold a portion of the power that is needed to make a difference. . Really enjoyed the museum and feel only one regret in visiting - that I didn’t have one entire day to spend inside. I think that’s the minimum that is required in order to truly take in, and be changed by, all you can learn within the walls of the museum.

{ad} As a Francophile, there are certain French products I try to make sure I never run out of. One of those things is @LilletUS Blanc and Rouge. I discovered the brand while visiting France early in my career and it was pretty much love at first sip - which is why I’m glad to now be working with them. Whether I’m with family, traveling or at home in Los Angeles - I make sure I always have a few bottles of Lillet. It’s a great starter for easy summer cocktails. I’ll take it to the beach like I did here, bring it to the pool in our building, or take it as a hostess gift. After all, some of my favorite people love all things French as much as I do. To see where else I’ve enjoyed Lillet this summer, always responsibly, check out my blog post and the video linked in my profile. . Have you had Lillet? What’s your favorite recipe? . I love simply combining Lillet Blanc or Rouge with Elderflower-infused Tonic Water and some fresh fruit or cucumber. 🍓🥒

Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "Do you like modern architecture? • I can never really get enough of The Getty Center. It’s like the MET was in New York " at Getty Center - 1837100270704102347
Getty Center Report Download 43 950

Do you like modern architecture? • I can never really get enough of The Getty Center. It’s like the MET was in New York for me, an endlessly fascinating source of inspiration that I look at a bit differently every time I visit. LEED-certified and designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Richard Meier - it is like a beacon on a hill at the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains. Just one of the many legacies left behind by eccentric J. Paul Getty, the millionaire oil tycoon and philanthropist. From the road it looks almost small at times, with half of most of the buildings that make up the site hidden underground, in order to comply with height restrictions; but when you start to read about how it was constructed or you see aerial photos - it’s clear how big it is. 16,000 tons of travertine stone from Italy cover some of my favorite parts of the complex. The panels are fascinating because, having been split along the natural grain, they reveal fossilized leaves, feathers and branches. It’s all so modern and yet so grounded once you take the time to look closely. Certain vignettes from Getty Center are cliché and have been shared millions of times. I’ve included a few of them in a blog post that will publish this weekend if you’re curious to learn more. But I liked the organic-meets-modern vibe of this trellis near the cafes. It appeals to my love of leading lines and the play of light and shadow. It is, as my friend from back east @jaybwilsonphotonyc says... 😊

Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "Raise your hand if you like giraffes 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️ I basically have to raise both arms and somehow my legs because I’v" at Malibu Wine Safaris - 1836409210096853208
Malibu Wine Safaris Report Download 102 2.51K

Raise your hand if you like giraffes 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️ I basically have to raise both arms and somehow my legs because I’ve still never gotten over the wonder of the first time I ever saw a giraffe and I love them still!! But fun fact - you don’t have to go all the way to Africa to see them.... . When I got back to California, Danté planned the sweetest date up in Malibu to a property that’s part rescue farm and part winery. That’s where we met this guy, Stanley. He’s a rescue from the entertainment industry where he was in movies such as The Hangover. Now he lives on the most beautiful piece of land with rolling hills, ancient trees and even petroglyphs from Indigenous people that pre-date this country as a country. Stanley is SO CUTE but I also enjoyed just being up there in that part of Malibu, inland from the water, learning about this state that’s my new home and tasting wine with my love. The concrete jungle has its pros but I don’t miss any of the cons. I am so grateful to live in a big city that’s less than an hour’s drive from places which feel an entire world away from city life. . Thank you for taking this photo @dante.vincent & treating me to a meet cute with @a_giraffe_named_stanley 🙏🏼😘

Instagram Image by Kirsten Alana (@kirstenalana) with caption : "It’s been a while since I’ve really gotten to know you so share with me, please, where are you from? How did you come to" at Hollywood Hills - 1835702034479067589
Hollywood Hills Report Download 86 1.72K

It’s been a while since I’ve really gotten to know you so share with me, please, where are you from? How did you come to be following me? Tell me something about yourself! . I used to live in New York City, before that I was nomadic and now I live in Los Angeles! I love California so much that I’m truly grateful to be calling the state home. As much as I love traveling, and I LOVE traveling, it’s wonderful to live somewhere that I actually want to be and actually look forward to exploring. So it’s been nice to be home for a while since the project in England. Next up, I’ll be heading to Manitoba to better understand what’s happening with their polar bear and beluga whale population! . This photo — can you spot the Hollywood Sign? — is by my partner @dante.vincent Check out his feed for more incredible photos from Los Angeles.