About Kirsten Alana

About

My name is Kirsten. I’ve worn a lot of hats in my career, but I am first and foremost always a photographer. I’ve never been to a country I didn’t find a reason to enjoy. I’ve never read about a period in history I wasn’t interested in.

I’m a lover of culture and adventure, I’m always seeking to know more. I’m a romantic and an optimist at heart.

My earliest memories are of stories about my mother’s family, who emigrated to the United States from Sweden and Finland to settle the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They built civilization into a wild land with no possessions but the clothes on their backs. My grandfather helped build one of the first highways to Alaska. My mother always wore a bracelet carved from bleached whale bone, with black figures and pictures carved in it, carved by Eskimos.

About Kirsten Alana

It was that earliest history that eventually propelled me to turn my camera toward travel photography full time in my late twenties after nearly a decade as a wedding photographer. Since that time I’ve worked for brands on every continent but Antarctica ranging from Four Seasons and AirFrance to Ted Baker and Stoli Elit.

Most projects have some element of photography inherent but I have also consulted and advised brands; I’ve spoken at conferences on six continents; I have been in front of the camera hosting for CNN, Travel+Leisure, and Expedia; and I was the first photographer to travel around the world aboard Four Seasons new private jet in the Spring of 2015.

Kirsten Alana - About

Kirsten Alana - About

Kirsten Alana - About

Our home was filled with black and white photos of Europe. My uncle was a pilot who flew as a contractor for the US military during the Gulf Wars and returned home with gold jewelry from the Emirates and stories about sand dunes so big they could swallow our whole town. My cousin had a shelf with jars containing pebbles, shells and sand from every beach she visited. The shelf was full to overflowing and I remember thinking, “Wow the world must be a very big place to have that many beaches.”

About Kirsten Alana

I knew, even at a young age, that I would follow in the family footsteps and brave new worlds, travel to exotic places, and have my own shelf filled with sand.
I just didn’t know when or how. Yet!
About Kirsten Alana

Travel, to me, has always symbolized the magic and freedom of not only finding oneself, but also discovering the heritage you descend from and actively being invested in your own life’s journey.

When I decided to quit my wedding photography job to travel for a few years and launch my new career, I did the opposite of what I would recommend. I took “just go!” quotes literally, read inspirational gobbledygook about how we only live once – and told myself that if I took even an hour to think things through, I’d never end up travelling at all.

I was in my late twenties, fresh from a brutal divorce that had left me empty and confused. The longer I was nomadic, the more cultures I experienced. The more years I put between myself and my divorce, the more I healed.

My problems didn’t go away, of course – problems only become our baggage, carried with us as we roam – but I began to see how I’d created my own problems, and saw how I could avoid them in the future. I was no longer a victim of life, or at the whim of some uncontrollable fate.

About Kirsten Alana

I was accountable for my own story, and the honesty and magic and exploration therein. That was an amazing revelation. That was freedom. That was the freedom that my ancestors must have felt as they carved out a new life for themselves in the cold snowdrifts of Northern Michigan.

That was my heritage. That was my reward.
About Kirsten Alana

When I’m not roaming the world I live in NYC where I share my life, and love of photography, with a wonderful man named Danté. We’re passionate about living an inspired life and sharing that with others.

I believe in my heart of hearts that we all have a responsibility to the earth and to our fellow man but I don’t always have the answers for what specifically we should do. I’m looking for the answers everyday.

Kirsten Alana - About

Kirsten Alana - About

Kirsten Alana - About

What I can tell you is that until you’re true to yourself, until you’re honest about who you are, where you’ve come from, and where you want to go, you’ll always be searching for inspiration and for peace.

But it’s all there inside you. The adventure. The magic. The travel. You just have to be honest enough to delve in and find it.

This is how I approach working with brands. This is what’s behind this site and all of the places I share my life. Whether you found your way here as a brand or an individual, I hope you’ll enjoy the chance to join me on this journey!

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