Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thank You

I have so much to be thankful for.

As I type this from my iPhone, I am thankful that I am in a warm place and have all the things I need.

In addition to my basic needs, I wanted to take a moment to list some things I am thankful for. This is just a list from the top of my head right now and I know I am failing to list so many things. This is what I'm thankful for today.

I am thankful for:

- My Mother and family for understanding my traveling lifestyle and is supportive no matter what.

- My friends who reach out to me and make an effort even though I am out of sight.

- the amazing community I have met through photography.

- my partner in crime, Max. He keeps me smiling even during times when everything seems to fall apart.

- my ability to roam the country and do what I want on a moments notice.

- to all of the amazing women who have opened up and allowed me to photograph them for my series this year. Thank you Cat, Traci, Jamie, Cal, Carrie, Jo, Iowana, Shanta, Ariana, Carrie, Teri, Kari, Tyler, Kiki, Sam, Kathy, Brandy, Angie, Dian, Dani, Dani, Lara, Morgan, Natasha, Robin, Vicky, Laura, Susan, Sahar, Trish, Carolyn, Val, Cat, Kristin, K.J., Rebecca, Mimi, Karen and Jiela, thus far. You are all an inspiration to me.

- to the photographers, jurors, publishers and all the people who have wanted to feature my art in their publication, show, blog, in in their home.

- the airstream, camper, van, tent and travel community. Love your support and following your adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

- for art. Without you, life would be dull and meaningless.

- my sobriety. Life is so much more beautiful when I feel it all.

- to all of the strangers I've met on the road by chance. Thank you for allowing me to take your photograph.

- to the stranger I am going to meet today who invited me over for a Thanksgiving meal with her family.

- to the people who take the time to write me about their life or how a post or photograph of mine made them feel.

- Instagram. For the people I follow and who follow me. We're a strange bunch and I like it!

- to the amazing photographers who inspire me.

- for life lessons and experiences. The good, the bad, the hurt, the pleasure...feeling everything. An engagement with living.

- for the forgiveness of the people I forgot to mention on this blog.

- to you, reading this. Thank you. Thank you to all who have donated, offered your home or have pointed me in another direction, whether you know it or not.


-Aline Smithson for the continued support of my work and for the friendship.
-Heidi Lender - for being a virtual shoulder to cry on. It's nice to know another soul that wanders as I do.
- Christa Blackwood - for opening up your home to max and I, without even knowing us.
- Dan LeHouillier - for being my best friend for over 20 years. You always keep me laughing, even through texts when I'm away.
- Amy Carlton and Eugeine Frerichs for the opportunity
- Kristiana Spaulding - for the friendship and inspiration
- Rose Red - for always being there, no matter what
- Katy Chung - thank you for your friendship your generosity, and for always taking me in.
- Cat Carrel - for your friendship, through a lot of ups and downs.
- Rebecca Rebman - For calling me out, visiting me on the road, and pushing me in the right direction.
- Cal Phoenix - for being there and being open for all of my crazy ideas
- Traci & Jamie - thank you for your friendship, the laughs, being open to my shoots and for sticking with me through my crazies.
- Stu Schmal - for being you and for putting up with me all of these years.
- Brandy Trigueros - for your laugh and always putting a smile on my face
- Carrie Vandenberg - for reaching out
- Tanya Dubnicoff - for being the straw 4 1/2 years ago
- Ronnie White - for your words, art, hope and picking out max
- Beth Faherty - for your words of wisdom and a virtual ear when I need it most.
- max - if you could read, you would know how much I love you and how much complete strangers love you too.
- mom - I love you. Thank you for putting up with me for 42 years.

Happy Thanksgiving to you reading this! I am sure I forgot someone or something so my apologies in advance.

Here are some images from the last month that I am thankful for:

Love, Alison and Max

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You Are Living My Dream

When people find out about my current or past travels of living on the road, a lot of the time their response is, "you're living my dream!"  I am always flattered that someone would want to choose the lifestyle of traveling like I do.  Lately, I have been responding with, "you can do it too and live your OWN dream."  Most often, that is followed by, "I would if only..."

If only.

Those, "if only's" are choices. Choices we made in our life that we want to, or need to keep.  Maybe you bought a home that you feel you can't leave, or kids, or a marriage, or your job, or your pet... Those are all great reasons to stay put and not do anything different in your life (not that there is anything wrong with that life) except be envious by posts of other people living a life that is YOUR dream.  The question is, "do you really want to live your dream?"  If you do, what is preventing you from making the choices needed to pursue that dream?

The truth is, you don't have to buy that house, you don't have to have children or get married, you don't have to have a traditional 9-5 job in an office.  American culture wants you to spend your money on things to fill up the home you bought and throw away things that you are bored with.  All the while, you hope this will make you happy in your heart and fulfilled in your life.  It might give you a momentary sense of happiness but it fades and crashes fast and then has the opposite effect.  Over time it makes you feel overwhelmed and trapped.  The more space we have, the more we want to fill it with stuff.  

I know of several families with children who live on the road.  If you don't want to travel alone, you can do it with a partner.  I can't imagine traveling without my dog Max, but that is a choice and it limits what I can do.  I am ok with that.  

I own a home and rent it out when I live in the van.  There are several online companies that will help you find someone that will pay you to live in your home with all of your furnishings in place.  I come back a few months out of the year and each time I do, I get rid of things.  I sell or donate the ten years of stuff that I have collected in my garage.  A collection of emotional items (Grandparents furniture, photographs, art) to things I thought I needed.  It's a bigger rush to me to get rid of things now, as opposed to buying something new.  I put out a stack of plastic chairs that I had for parties (which I don't have anymore) out on the curb with a free sign on it.  I was so excited when someone picked it up.  It was giving them a new home instead of a landfill.  If I decide to have a party, B.Y.O.C (bring your own chair) will now be included on the invitation. I digress. 

Here's the thing.  YOU CAN live your dream...whatever that is.  It's all a matter of choices and planning.  Do the work.  Be persistent with your goals and do something to move closer to them every day.  I will leave you with a short clip of artist, Chuck Close on what he would tell his younger self.  

What I took away from this is:
1.) You can do anything
2.) Inspiration is for amateurs.  Professionals show up and do the work.
3.) Continue to do the work, even if you don't feel like it.  Eventually it will get you somewhere.

Time to live YOUR dream.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

15 Seconds of my year in Photographs

As you might imagine, I've taken a lot of photographs the past five years while living on the road.  Here are just a few iPhone images of my life on the road the past year with Max.  

Here's a 15 second glimpse of what we did...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Latest News and Exhibitions

I hope you are enjoying your summer!  So many things are happening around here that I haven't had the chance to let you know what has been going on.  I have been so fortunate to be selected for the following exhibitions and publications!  I am thankful for you for your continued support and I hope to see you at one of these events.

Upcoming Shows:

August 2nd - September 15th - Photo Center NW "Musings: 18th Annual Photo Competition" 

August 2nd - 31st Black Box Gallery "Color Photography Now"

August 2nd - August 31st Seities Gallery, Alberta Canada - Featured Artist

October 4th - 26th - The Center For Fine Art Photography "Center Forward"
October 12th - November 17th - The Art of Photography Show - San Diego, CA

Recent Publications and Events:

"Reflected Identities" featured in Square Magazine

Featured in MuseƩ Magazine

Slideshow Selected for Slideluck Potshow in Ireland

Seities Magazine - Featured Member 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

July Issue of Sunset Magazine

I love Sunset Magazine.

It's one of the magazines that I keep around to refer back to for design or trip ideas.  After I tagged "sunset camps" to one of my instagram photos I took of myself in Death Valley, they contacted me to license the image to place next to the editor's note in the July edition of the magazine.  If you're on instagram, you can see this photo along with others at @alisontravels

Thank you Sunset Magazine!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Alumapalooza 2013

This marks my 4th year of photographing Alumapalooza for Airstream.  Each time, I meet someone new and instantly connect with them.  It's not hard to bond with other people who have the same love of travel, and these campers do it in style!
I love photographing candid moments and portraits of the people who attend the event each year.  Photographing Sandy and Ed with their wedding photograph to celebrate their 30th year together, was inspiring. Also, I enjoyed listening to stories of each person who stepped foot in front of my lens.  All of you are amazing and inspiring to me.

I have to say that the best part of the trip for me was what Kirk said to me.  He's pictured below holding a copy of a photograph I took of him at Alumapalooza two years ago.  Last year at Alumapalooza, he decided to quit drinking. He knew that I didn't drink and said to me, "if you can do it, I can do it!"  He did just that.  June 1st was his year anniversary of not drinking!  He told me that I was his inspiration to quit.  What an honor it is to be an inspiration to someone just by trying to live the best life that I can.  I share my story here (good and bad) so that other people can relate and understand that they are not alone in whatever it is that they are going through.  Congratulations Kirk!

Needless to say, this year was a memorable one.  Thank you to Airstream, Inc. for having me back another year to capture the faces of the people who love Airstream. If you have an airstream, be sure to tell your story on the newly launched website!  I'm excited to be a part of it...even though I don't own an Airstream, I know a thing or two about living on the road.  In fact, we are back in the van for another go around.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Popular Photography Backstory

What a thrill it was to be contacted by Popular Photography Magazine to feature "Brothers" in the June edition of the magazine.  The story around taking the photograph is on the last page, in their "Backstory" feature.  I took this image of the magazine on a news stand in the airport as I was traveling home from South Carolina.  It's always a thrill to see your image in print.  Thank you, Popular Photography!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Honor Flight of South Carolina

I was asked to document 100 WW2 and Korea War Veterans flying from South Carolina to Washington DC to tour all of the war memorials.  It didn't take long for me to say yes to this amazing opportunity.  What an honor it was to be able to join in on the experience of these men and one woman from South Carolina who served our country.  I knew it would be an intense experience full of emotion and it certainly didn't disappoint. 

I haven't been to Washington DC since I was an 8th grader.  I was fortunate to have been able to make that trip as I was this week to experience this one.  We all met early in the morning to depart from the Columbia airport.  Old friends and new ones spent the morning chatting and catching up while walking through the airport while people cheered and clapped for them.  

As we arrived at the Washington DC airport, they were greeted with more cheers and hand shakes from strangers.  It was hard to not get emotional at the welcome they received.  Looking at their eyes, you know these men were touched by what they were seeing.  The emotions ran strong all day long as they were again greeted with a parade of people in line to thank them for their service.  

The day of touring, remembrance, and celebration ended with the grand finale of greeters back at the Columbia airport cheering, complete with a band, banners and what seemed to be the entire town of Columbia waiting to greet their arrival home.  For some of them, it was the homecoming they never had.  For me, it will be an experience I will never forget.

This memorial day, take the time to thank the men and women who have served this country so we are able to live a life of our choosing. 

Here are some moments of the day.


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