"College Life" Recap + New Things!!! by Alexandria Whitefeather

My daughter was just a little one year old and I was mostly a stay at home mom doing photography part time. My husband, B was the provider. We had a beautiful place to call home, and I really liked it. I was comfortable... 

One day B brought up the idea of going back to school full time. He had always wanted to finish his engineering degree and after having Mila it was a burning desire for him. But going to school full time meant he wouldn't be working, and my first thought was: WHOA. But I knew this was something that meant a lot to him and I wanted him to go after it. 

"what do we have to do?" I asked.... "well campus is an hour away, and I think we'll have to sell the house." 

Whoa.

It took me by surprise. This was our house for 6 years after all, we were settled there and it truly felt like home. But selling it also made total sense.

We took a drive down to the university campus and toured the "family housing home model" (ehh that's a stretch). With B not working and me still wanting to stay with Mila as much as possible. We were going to have to downsize our expenses (so that we weren't stressed!) and I was going to work more. 

Walking throughout the house was rough. I had major anxiety. There was a dark tint on all the windows (umm why), very little natural light, linoleum floors, super low ceilings, and a very vintage kitchen (not the good kind of vintage you guys). - the "model" ladies and gentlemen.

I almost feel embarrassed to admit this... but on the way home I cried. I cried a lot. And also came to a moment of self acceptance for being a total lighting snob. B felt bad and tried figuring out other options, but I knew in my heart that all paths were leading us here. To this place. To get uncomfortable. And to take a risk. 

moving

We soon put our home up for sale and it sold in less then 4 days. There was no time to overthink things and there was no looking back. As hard as it was to say goodbye to the place that we called home, I knew it wasn't meant for us anymore. It wasn't OUR home anymore and I had an overflowing sense of peace even though the future was so uncertain. 

So here we are two years later. B fresh from graduation, and our family about to grow from 3 to 4. Somehow, even with all the sacrifices these last two years have required, they've been some of the happiest and most beautiful of my whole life. Even with the lack of windows. ;)

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With B not working we had TIME. We could do little things like go grocery shopping as a family. We could take a day and go to the art museum. We could road trip last minute. We had TIME. And it was (and is) so precious.

When I would work B was able to spend quality time with his daughter and develop (what is to me) the most beautiful father-daughter relationship I have ever witnessed and I could literally cry thinking about it (actually, nope. I'm definitely crying). Our bonds are even stronger: and our love, completely unbreakable. 

Now our "college life" is coming to a close and we're currently working out the details of our next steps, but to be honest I'm not even going to try and figure out what the future has in store. It has a way of always keeping us on our toes and I'm okay with that. I hope to update you all soon! 


ALSO, This will be the LAST blog post here on my AW site! Check out the journals NEW HOME here! I've been slowly working on something a little different and will share more soon! Be sure to subscribe and stay in the know!

Portland by Alexandria Whitefeather

Oh Portland, how I love thee. 

Portland is one of those places we visit every year. Usually when the Phoenix heat is getting to be a bit extra (like in August/September). But last year we went for a visit in December! (um. brrr.)

Our friends who live there thought it would be good for us to see the more dreary weather of the PNW (because summer is pretty dang great and my husband would totally move there). But... as cold as it was... and gosh it was cold. It was sunny. Every. Single. Day. No rain the whole week we were there! Our friends were kinda amazed that it was literally raining until we got there and then started back up when we left.

It's like the place is luring us in I swear. 

Here are some snaps of our winter time in Portland. 

 

portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
 At least we got ONE family photo;) (Thanks Jess!) And yes, I wore slippers. They're really comfy, and I'M PREGNANT, OKAY!

At least we got ONE family photo;) (Thanks Jess!) And yes, I wore slippers. They're really comfy, and I'M PREGNANT, OKAY!

portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
 that "it's late and it's cold and I'm hungry" melt down.

that "it's late and it's cold and I'm hungry" melt down.

portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather
portland | © Alexandria Whitefeather

The Lantern Festival by Alexandria Whitefeather

Seriously, one of my favorite family dates ever!

We spent a beautiful evening at the Lantern Fest. Mila was a fan of the smores, and gosh so was I. I mean, let's be real. Thankfully my morning sickness was lighter that day (I was a couple months pregnant at the time) because that ish is no joke and I definitely would not have enjoyed this day as much as I did. 

If you're debating on going to one of these. Don't. Just go. There were lot's of yummy food truck options, activities for kids, and mostly it was just really beautiful to be surrounded by thousands of diverse strangers writing out dreams on lanterns and sharing fire places to roast smores. 

Love doing things like this with my little fam bam. 

p.s. They played the song from Tangled towards the end when the lanterns were all in the air and Mila just about lost her mind. So magical. 

© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
 "gimme dat smore"....

"gimme dat smore"....

 "thanks"

"thanks"

© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival
© Alexandria Whitefeather | Lantern Festival

What are some of your favorite family dates? I really like always having one in the works for us as a family. Gimme some ideas!

Portraits: Melody by Alexandria Whitefeather

This lovey gal (my baby sis) turned 18 last week!

Whaaaaa!!

So, I'm showing off her pretty face. 

Mel needed some senior pictures, and sometimes having a photographer for a sister is a blessing and a curse. She definitely didn't get my "full service experience" (sorry Mel). We took these fairly quick all while I had my little 2 year old in tow. And to be honest, I'm pretty happy with at least getting a hand full of portraits for her. 

© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather

Working From Home | 6 Tips by Alexandria Whitefeather

Working from home... it's the dream, right?
(read: completely over glamorized)

 

Tips for working from home, lifestyle blog by Alexandria Whitefeather

The truth is, while some days I have semi-normal work hours... other days I'm editing like a mad woman into the wee hours of the morning. There are distractions (lots of them). There is chaos (hello toddler!). There are times I want to pull my hair out. 
So what makes the biggest difference? (and please don't hate me) 

A SCHEDULE.

Yup. It's true what they say. And I'll be the first to tell you that I am not (naturally) a very scheduled person. Routines were never my "thing". I could have a completely different "routine" everyday and it wouldn't bother me one bit. I even go weeks without coffee or tea simply because I forgot. Yikes. I know. 

Here are a few things that I (a naturally very unscheduled person) do to keep myself more organized, more productive, and less stressed:

Tips for working from home, lifestyle blog by Alexandria Whitefeather

1) Get up early. 

I know that part of the "lure" to working from home is that you don't have to wake up to an alarm. And trust me, I was more then happy to kiss mine goodbye for several years. But it's back, and I'm actually HAPPY about it. 

My main goal with this was to have time before my daughter wakes up to devote to meditation, exercise, reading, etc.

Now, this little girl is an early riser, generally awake and ready to play and eat breakfast by 6:15am. And this used to be my "alarm clock". But I realized I needed headspace, so I now get up at 5am. everyday. (I'll share more on my sleep/morning routine soon) 

Working from home tips, lifestyle blog by Alexandria Whitefeather

2) Write out my goals for the day

Writing out my top 3 big picture (business) goals helps give me more focus. Keeping my most important one on the top, and having it be the first thing I tackle in my work day.

I also make a master to-do list of ALL the things I need to get done (whether they have a timeline yet or not). I generally do this at the beginning of the week and add to it (and hopefully cross off) as needed.

I personally have one list for business tasks and one list for home life/everything else. It's important to remember that this "master to-do list" is not meant to get all done the week (or even month) I make it, but is more of a release to get the task onto paper so it's not clogging my thoughts and so I can schedule it out when the time comes (with out forgeting what it was;). 

Tips for working from home, business and lifestyle blog by Alexandria Whitefeather

3) Schedule out my time. (time block)

Writing down what I'd like to accomplish for the day is step one. The second (and most important) is to plan when I'll be doing what. Like, say checking my email or editing a job, etc. From what time to what time will I be doing each of those? 

This will vary based on when you're most productive, what your childs schedule is (if you have one), and what errands you may have for the day. **side note: having a calendar with an hour by hour schedule is a huge help!** 

Eventually, you learn what's consistent in your schedule and can plan the time blocks in advance. - *it should also be noted that I do have days that are geared more towards work, and days that are geared more towards home life.*

Tips for working from home, lifestyle blog by Alexandria Whitefeather

4) Have a dedicated workspace.

Although not a make or break, I find this to be very helpful. Up till recently I was just working at our dinning table, but then we got a simple long desk for our library/guest space that both my husband and I can sit at.

We love having a space dedicated to work, and that we can still sit together (like we used to at our dining table). The space that you use does not have to be large in anyway, but simply having a spot in your home that's dedicated to work is so helpful to get "in the zone" right when you sit down. 

Working from home tips, lifestyle blog by Alexandria Whitefeather

5) Set a timer.

Part of having time blocks is sticking to them. I set a timer both to get business work done or to get house work done. I've got to say this probably makes the biggest difference for me when it comes to getting. it. done. Especially in a short amount of time. 

When I was a kid my mom would set a timer and say "lets clean as much as we can in 10 minutes"... I hated it. But now? I love it. You'd be amazed at how much you can get done in 10 (or 15 or 30) minutes. *thanks, mom!* 

Tips for working from home, lifestyle blog by Alexandria Whitefeather

6) Get out of the house.

Wait. Isn't this a "working from home" post? 
It is. BUT I've learned that to be my most productive I need to set aside work time away. On shoot or consult days I'm definitely out of the house, but besides that most of my work is done on my phone and laptop. And although that means I could technically work from my bed, it's really important for me to get out of the house.

I aim to work outside of the home 2+ times a week. I used to go to a local coffee shop, but I recently started renting from a co-working space called Thrive. I was introduced to Thrive through Dala (the designer of the amazing space) who hired me to photograph the interior and I love it! It's so nice to have somewhere quiet to go and get work done, and bonus: you're surrounded by inspiring business women. Win win.

p.s. If you're in the east valley and looking for a work space, I highly recommend them! Find more info: HERE. 


So those are a few ways I make working from home work for me.

Do you work from home? I'd love to hear your tips! 

Project: Free Time | Kelsey White by Alexandria Whitefeather

Woah. Woah. Woah.

So, it's been a hot second (ok, like 6 months) since I've shared a Project: Free Time. I mean, this lovely lady has both moved and gone brunette since I shot this!

Anyway, Meet Kelsey...

Vegan, runner, and plant mama (and fur mama to her cute doggy, Leila). Kelsey has a heart as sweet as her face, and is one of those people who doesn't need an once of make up but is pretty much a queen when it comes to doing it (find out more here). A true gem this one.

Subject: Kelsey White | Free Time: watering, caring for, and rearranging her plant babies.

© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather
© Alexandria Whitefeather

For more Project: Free Time, check out Jess, Eli, and Jade.

My word for 2017... an update | + my 2018 goals by Alexandria Whitefeather

Last January I shared with you my word for 2017... Fearless. This was my first year ever doing this and I said I'd give an update, so here it is! 

© Alexandria Whitefeather

Now this word definitely affected my year, but not in the way I ever thought. It of course reminded me to try things even if they seemed scary, but it also inspired me to work on a side project that I had been thinking about for a while but NEVER thought I'd actually do. A project that has NOTHING to do with photography *gasp*. I know that's pretty vague, but that's all I'll be getting into on that, for now. 

Overall, I felt having a word for 2017 to be a fun and simple way to give the year focus. Although I'm not sure it to be necessary to actually achieve your goals. I personally like to reevaluate goals quarterly (if not monthly) to stay on track. 

This year I've set a few intentions, but am honestly keeping goals simple. We're expecting a baby in June, so that will be a big focus for us as we adjust to life as a family of four! Whaaaa?!

A few goals for 2018:

+ Simplify - stuff, food, organization, everything.

+ Practice Gratitude - this is something I already do, but I'd like to take it to the next level by journaling daily. 

+ Read More - I was never much of a reader, or so I convinced myself. But after finishing a book the first week of this year (a speed record for me for sure!), I'm inspired to keep going. 

+ Outsource - Besides having assistants on jobs, I'm pretty much a one woman show. I'd like to learn to let go of some tasks that I know can be done really well by someone else. (aka: stop being such a control freak;) And with baby #2 on the way it's a good time to start letting go. 

+ Self Care - develop a simple self care routine for mind, body, and soul.

p.s. Sorry I've been MIA! Pregnancy is kicking my butt this time around. But the morning sickness is finally lightning up. FINALLY!! 
I have lots of work to share from last year, and will do so here in a bit!

Wishing you a beautiful 2018! 

© Alexandria Whitefeather

What are your methods for tracking and achieving goals?
I'd love to hear!

Frida Kahlo Babe by Alexandria Whitefeather

This year I wasn't so sure on a costume for Mila. She's plenty old enough to pick something herself but any time I'd ask, she didn't seem to care.

A few months ago we went to the Frida Kahlo exhibit at The Heard Museum, so I asked if she'd like to be "Frida the artist" and showed her a picture of when we were at the museum, and she said "yes! I a artist!!"... so, we went with it. We already had the dress (from our trip to Mexico), the flower crown (from her 6 month photos... yup I kept them), and the scarf. So only thing we had to get was the jewelry (found on amazon). Then we added a quick brow, and the lipstick she picked out and was so SO excited for, and bam. Done. 

So here are a few snaps of the (blue-eyed) Frida Kahlo Babe.

(see last years costume HERE)

frida-kahlo-costume

Also, this is what I got when I asked her to give me her "serious face" ^^^^

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frida-kahlo-costume
frida-kahlo-costume
frida-kahlo-costume
frida-kahlo-costume
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frida-kahlo-costume
frida-kahlo-costume
frida-kahlo-costume
frida-kahlo-costume
frida-kahlo-costume

What Makes An Image "Frame Worthy"? by Alexandria Whitefeather

When it comes to photographs (or anything really) it's not about perfection. 

This image is blurry and grainy and you can't see their faces. It was snapped as my daughter was running and laughing with her Aunt on a sunset walk back to the car. We had just finished up a family dinner by the ocean on our first night in Marco. The mood was happy and relaxed, and it was a moment I wanted to remember. 

I often get asked by clients on what makes an image "frame worthy".... and to be honest the first few times I wasn't so sure on my answer. Is it when everyone is looking at the camera? Nope. Is it when the lighting is oh-so-perfect? Not necessarily.

So what makes an image "frame worthy"? Emotion. 
How you feel when you look at it.

And when selecting a photograph for a room, think of how you want the room to feel. Do you want it to feel happy, calm, romantic, or moody? I believe what we surround ourselves with, affects us. Whether that's for the good or bad. People, objects, art, these all contribute to how we will feel in a space. 

This photo sparks a sense of happiness and mystery. And I love that.

Might be blowing this one up soon. 

© Alexandria Whitefeather

Marco Island | Hurricane Irma by Alexandria Whitefeather

This last week was a crazy one. Especially for my Florida family.

With hurricane Irma shifting projections everyday, although a pretty normal thing to happen, I was a bit stressed about the safety of my family and friends. I was calling everyday, multiple times. Probably being so annoying, repeating things they were all most likely hearing from newscasters non-stop. But I didn't care. I wanted them to be prepared for the worst. 

Thankfully in the end, the storm shifted just enough to not hit the Tampa Bay area (where my family lives) as badly as predicted. However, the Naples/Marco Island area (where some of my husbands family live) took a pretty direct hit. So crazy to think that just last month we were at the J W Marriott in Marco Island. 

Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
JW Marriott Marco Island | © Alexandria Whitefeather
JW Marriott Marco Island | © Alexandria Whitefeather
JW Marriott Marco Island | © Alexandria Whitefeather
JW Marriott Marco Island | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather
Marco Island | Phoenix Photographer - © Alexandria Whitefeather

If you'd like to donate to those impacted by Irma, here are just a few places to do so:

American Red Cross
Global Giving
Go Fund Me

Other ways to help:

- if you have supplies, food, or water you didn't need/use, donate it those who could use it. 

- if you're in the areas affected, help your neighbors with clean up, it's definitely appreciated.

-  love on those who've experienced loss

- love on those who haven't.