Portland

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

Working From Home | 6 Tips

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

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.

What Makes An Image "Frame Worthy"?

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

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.

Indian Rocks Beach

We spent a few chill days on Indian Rocks Beach.

Paddle boarding, bike riding, relaxing, and exploring. Oh and taking refreshing (make-shift) outdoor showers. It was a nice little trip to hang with some of our Florida friends, and embrace the beach life.

I love the beach life. Forever and ever amen. 

Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida phoenix-photographer scottsdale-photographer

Baby Wells

I have to be honest, I rarely photograph newborns anymore. But when your best friends little sis (so, like basically your little sis;) has a baby, you make an exception.

Welcome to the world Wells Peter! You are so loved, and so so cute.

Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather
Phoenix Lifestyle Photographer | © Alexandria Whitefeather

Project Free Time | Jade Bavishi

Meet Jade...

Jade is a gentle soul with a love for people and veggies. She is a full time medical student and the founder of Project Somalia. Her happy spirit is contagious, and I loved photographing her in her beautiful, modern bungalow that she shares with her husband in the heart of phoenix. 

Subject: Jade Bavishi | Free time: reading (studying) on her hammock + tea time

phoenix-lifestyle-photographer
phoenix-photographer ©Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer
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phoenix-lifestyle-photographer
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phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather
phoenix-lifestyle-photographer © Alexandria Whitefeather

(see more project: free time here and here)

Prioritize With Intention | 6 Questions To Ask

 

I've taken a few weeks away from the blog, and honestly it wasn't on purpose. My schedule had been full, making time for my family is a must, so something had to give. There are certain things in life we need to keep at a high level of priority and my family is definitely one of those. Now, keeping up with laundry? That's a whole other story.

I've been pondering more and more on what my top level priorities really are. Is it work? Is it family? Is it keeping up with friendships? Is it keeping my house clean? They say we make time for the things that really matter to us, and when we are "too busy" or "don't have the time" for something it's really because we're not that into it. I don't think this is ALWAYS the case, but as I sat and thought on my own priorities, I definitely saw truth to it. 

Setting priorities with intention | 6 questions to ask

 

Here are some questions I've been asking myself as I write out my to-dos and plan for my days/weeks/months ahead:
 

Does this bring me happiness?
Please understand that this doesn't mean each and every action needs to bring you happiness. Maybe a priority for you is keeping a clean kitchen but washing dishes doesn't "bring you happiness"... this would be the time to just roll up your sleeves and clean that ish. Because guess how happy you'll feel when you're chilling on your couch with a cup of tea, watching Netflix tonight with a CLEAN kitchen? Pretty darn happy. When asking the question "does this bring me happiness?" think about the goal that your action is working towards, not every single step it takes to get there. 
 

Is this important to me?
Spending time with my family = important. Spending time scrolling my phone = not important. It's good to remember that just because something is a habit does not mean it's important. "But Al, I have to check this because if I don't..." What? the world will stop spinning? You won't be completely up to date with news that will be there tomorrow? or won't be there because it's THAT irrelevant? No. You don't have to. You want to, because it's a habit. (totally talking to myself here, but if it felt like I was yelling at you there may be a reason for that;)
 

Does this provide value to others?
Now, it doesn't always have to provide value for others if it's just a "you" thing. Like say, using a foo foo exotic coconut flower mask on your face every week... because hey, if glowing like a Tahitian princess is your thing, you should do it whether it adds value to others or not.
But, if it does involve others why not add value?
 

Does this provide value to me? 
Whether it's taking the time for a dinner party with friends, keeping a clean kitchen, or using that exotic face mask and sticking cucumbers on your eyes... Get your Tahitian Princess glow on, baby.
 

Is this "big picture"?
Will what I'm doing/working on now matter in 5 years? For example: Re-editing the same photo 11 times (just to come back to how it was at first edit) is not my big picture, but hanging with Mila and B, even if we're just on the couch watching a movie, is my big picture.
It's building relationships now that will matter to me in 5 years. 
 

Is this helping me or hindering me from where I want to go?
This is a biggie. Are the actions you're doing today (like, right now) helping or hindering you? It's easy to say "it's ok if I don't work on *blank* today, it's just one day. I'll start on *blank* tomorrow...". But once you realize just how much you CAN do in one day, it'll be harder to let the days pass you by. 

 

What questions do you ask yourself while setting priorities and goals? I'd love to hear! 

Have a beautiful weekend!!