aliciainwonderlandphotos aliciainwonderlandphotos

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Alicia Fraser-Stanley  Garden mama 🌲🌸🌵and photographer living la vie boheme in Los Angeles. 📷 Personal IG @aliciafraserstanley

I love creating new fantasy composite options for my newborn sessions, and this one is one of my new favorites!

I’ve reached a breaking point lately with how so many people think racist comments are acceptable. Everyone in this country should watch John Leguizamo’s new Netflix special, "Latin History For Morons".
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When I was growing up, my Mexican grandfather taught me about our family history. He happened to be a doctor but he was an artist at heart, and he came from a long line of proud Mexican artists. He taught me ways to work around my physical limitations, so that I could still create art in my own way. He taught me about how Frida Kahlo worked through chronic pain and health problems, which fueled her artistic passion.
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I specifically planned my studio garden in a design that would allow me to shoot outdoors, even when my physical pain was at its most limiting. I selected plants that would work well with our climate here in California, and that would reflect my own multi-cultural family heritage. Many of my plants are native to either Mexico or California.
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I have filled parts of the garden with Mexican decor because that reminds me of my family's artistic lineage, and I find that incredibly inspiring. Over the years, I have grimaced as people have insisted my name MUST be pronounced ALISHA, not Alicia. I have bit my tongue when clients have insulted the Mexican decor in my greenhouse and patio or questioned why I have so many Mexican plants, with their attitude of "EWW WHY MEXICAN?” Because the garden is an extension of me, that’s why.
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My great-grandfather and his brother were some of the most widely respected artists in Hollywood many years ago. They created the artwork for King Kong and Citizen Cane, plus many more movies, murals, etc. Their artwork was actually an important early inspiration for Frida Kahlo, which leaves me in awe. I am extremely proud that I came from a family of Mexican-American artists. Anyone who cares to make racist or condescending comments in the future can deal with my rage.
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If you would like to learn more about my family's artistic lineage, search online for Juan and Mario Larrinaga. I'm holding my great-uncle Mario's camera here. It's incredibly special to me. ❤️

I haven't been posting much client work lately, but I'm still here, working and editing. I just have been trying to revise things a bit for myself, and taking a bit of a breather from social media has been part of that plan. I am fully booked for the remainder of 2018, but I am currently accepting bookings for 2019 newborns and baby milestone sessions. ❤️

I've been trying to avoid social media a lot lately because our current political situation has not been helpful for me with my current goal of lightening my stress level. I had actually posted this composite previously, and then once I saw the news that day, I was horribly upset and deleted my post. However, since tomorrow is election day, I want to get rid of any shred of voter apathy that I can in my own way, so I am re-posting, this time with an explanation behind the photo.
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Many years ago, I had a dear friend who helped me realize that my Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ, the "activist" personality. I am introverted, intuitive, and "feeling" (which is a good way to describe a lot of sensitive creatives). I have a strong desire to create art that speaks to my own unique personality type.
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In the past, I have felt guilty of going through periods of voter apathy. However given our current political environment, where people in this country seem to have gone backwards in what is now considered socially acceptable behavior, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Violence is never the answer. Hatred is never the answer. There is one simple thing that we can all do that will help show the people in this country that hate will not win. This stopped being about Republican vs. Democrat a long time ago. This is about taking back ownership of the ideals of this country. Equal human rights for everyone. An end to racism, bigotry and discrimination. An opportunity to start to spread a message of love, acceptance and equality for everyone in this country,
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Tomorrow is election day. If you have not voted already, don't miss out. Your vote is your most powerful weapon. It's time to put that power to good use.
#VOTE #rockthevote #Noh8 #votevotevote #votethemout #humanrightscampaign #saveourdemocracy #transrightsarehumanrights #rockthevote2018

In the past, I have used my greenhouse for family photo sessions when we start to hit the colder months. My greenhouse was originally supposed to be my own personal retreat and hideaway from the noise and chaos of life with kids and pets. However since it’s so pretty in there, it soon became one of my default options for family photo sessions. I realized that in the process of allowing so many clients into my own personal space, I started putting away all of the decorations that made the space feel like an extension of me. I’ve pulled it all out of the storage shed again now and things are going to be a bit different going forward!
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The main garden area will remain the default space for family photo sessions going forward (I am fully booked for the remainder of this year though). The greenhouse will be available by request for women and babies only. It’s way too stressful to shoot a whole family in such a small space! The rest of the garden is going to start to turn into my own personal art space, whatever that may mean.
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For years, I’ve been unhappy that I didn’t end up where I envisioned I would be living by now. I wanted to move somewhere with more of a strong sense of community for artists, and that doesn’t seem to exist in this area much. So instead of living with regrets, I’m creating my own quirky artists space right here in my garden. Things may change periodically and I’m excited to play around with lots of new ideas. I haven’t been posting much work examples lately since I’m full for new bookings at the moment, but I will start posting more photos of the projects I’m working on over the next few months.
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Now that I am feeling better from my surgery this summer, my husband and I have been trying to figure out a new routine and plan for me that will be less stressful and less strain on our whole family. Previously, I have spent so many weekends working, locked up in my office editing all weekend that I haven't had time or energy for anything else. I have tried to flex my schedule and work when the kids are sleeping or with my husband, or at drop in daycare. I have burnt the candle at both ends until there was nothing left of me for my family, friends, or even myself. I now have a set schedule where Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are my set work days.
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I had previously put a hold temporarily on booking baby milestone sessions while I was in surgery recovery mode because I was having a difficult time regaining my energy. My newborn sessions are a lot more relaxed but I need to get into cheerleader mode again for baby milestone sessions and it took me a bit to get ready for that again. Thankfully, I am feeling back to normal again, and I am reopening bookings for baby milestone sessions! They now will be available on Monday afternoons.
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I have added in a couple more openings for newborn, maternity, or family sessions too for the remainder of this year! Weekends are fully booked for 2018, and cake smash sessions are unavailable until January. Email me for more info!

It's that time of year when everyone starts asking about family photo sessions...I have one opening for a mini session THIS SATURDAY! That opening somehow slipped past me and I just realized it's still open. Oops!
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I have added in two more openings for full length family sessions, studio garden only, availability limited to designated Monday evenings only. Other than that, my remaining availability for the year is limited to studio sessions only, taking place on weekdays during standard business hours only. I know pretty much everyone usually wants evening/weekend appointments for family sessions, so if you are interested in securing one of the spots I mentioned above, please send me an email. You can reach me through my website, link in profile.
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Side note...I will not be adding in any bookings for late November or in December. I have spent way too long letting the holiday photo time of year stress me out, and my family deserves time with me too...especially since I was laid up all summer!

I have been debating over the past few months if I will continue to offer newborn bookings in 2019. This year felt like the year of nonstop stress. I was struggling with feeling miserable for most of the year, and just completely burnt out on a lot of the stress that goes along with taking newborn clients. I had considered taking milestone clients only and no more maternity or newborn clients (kind of like the photography equivalent of doctors who choose to specialize in gyn only and not ob-gyn). However, I have realized over the past month or so that I actually still really enjoy newborn sessions, there just needs to be a lot of changes going forward. Much love to my recent clients who helped me remember how much I love this!
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If you are the type of client who thinks it is okay to throw fits and scream and become verbally abusive to your photographer, then expect to be forgiven for your awful behavior just because you are pregnant, I am absolutely not the photographer for you. If you want to continue to price shop after I have sent a contract to confirm your booking, you will be put on my banned list. If you are in a huge impatient rush to send out birth announcements, I am not the photographer for you. If you have a long list of photos you found on Pinterest that you want to replicate, I am not the photographer for you. If you want lots and lots of props, I am not the photographer for you. If you like to complain online about everyone who makes you the slightest bit annoyed, I am not the photographer for you. If you are unable/unwilling to reschedule in the event I come down with a fever, I am not the photographer for you.
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Over the past couple of months, I have started a more detailed pre-booking interview process and it has been helping me tremendously. A lot of people seemed to forget that while we as photographers are business owners, we are often a one-person-business. If I’m down, everything comes to a stop. Now that my recent childcare problem has been sorted out, I have added in a few more openings for the year. Email me for more info!

I feel like I've been mad at the world lately and incredibly frustrated with so many things in life. It’s not just about all of the health issues I've been tackling lately. It's more about the state of our society, and how challenging it feels to be a woman right now. Every time I read a news article, I am triggered with anger and anxiety about the fact that #metoo or #enough don’t even come close to describing the problems women face in our society. For so many women like myself, every time we glance at a news feed or article, we are reminded how the men who assaulted us in the past walk free while we are often tormented daily from lingering trauma. For me, every time my chronic pain problems flare up, I am reminded of trauma and abuse from men in the past. I try to imagine a world where a generation of women and girls don't have to live in constant fear and anxiety and it seems like an impossible goal. Bringing down the oppressive patriarchy seems unreachable. Bringing about massive change may never happen in my lifetime because as long as the current generations of misogynists roam free, women will still be oppressed.
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Raising young kids is exhaustingly difficult and mind numbingly overwhelming. I'm practically in tears many nights from the stress of raising these two boys. My two year old in particular has been especially stressful lately and it has left me feeling particularly overwhelmed, questioning if I am cut out to be a mother of two boys. My only hope is that I can raise two grown men who will treat women with respect, kindness, sensitivity and empathy. I can introduce them to women who I know are doing great things in the world, and teach them how important women are in our society. I can teach them the importance of generosity and show them how to be thoughtful and generous young men. I can hope that perhaps they go out in the world and spread love and respect for women. Who knows, maybe it will catch on one day.
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I hope other women know that if you are feeling extremely stressed out lately with everything in the news, you are not alone. Hopefully men will soon start to realize that they WILL be held accountable for their actions.

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“This is the part when I say I don’t want ya
I'm stronger than I've been before
This is the part when I break free
'Cause I can't resist it no more"
-Break Free by Ariana Grande
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The past few months have made me reevaluate every part of my life. I've realized that I absolutely have been unhappy with the direction my business has taken. I originally started this business with the intent of lowering my stress level and hopefully avoiding a hysterectomy. Since I ended up needing one anyway, I was struggling with feeling like I have failed my biggest goal for myself. I have recently come to the conclusion that it wasn't a failure, but instead it has been an opportunity to finally give myself the chance to be me, and not the version of me that was dictated by my former health problems.
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Previously, I felt like every inch of my body was shouting BABIES all day long because I knew that my reproductive system was a ticking bomb. Now that I am past that, it has changed my interest in focusing so much on newborns and babies. I have a strong desire to express myself more creatively.
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I haven't been posting many photos lately because I'm not 100% sure which direction I want to steer this business. So for a bit, I'm just going to give myself a reprieve from making any decisions, and just post some self portraits and personal projects. This should help my own creative voice come across a bit more too.
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I am still taking limited bookings, but I am getting A LOT pickier about which clients I book for newborn and family sessions. Until I fully regain all of my energy again, I have a hold on booking baby milestone sessions. I can't switch into peppy cheerleader mode just yet, which I need for those sessions. I'm taking maternity session inquiries on a case by case basis.
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Every time I do a self-portrait, there is usually a story behind it....I am a contradiction of all sorts. I love gardening but get freaked out by non-pollinating bugs. I hate eating meat but I don't care what anyone else eats and I could never give up my leather jacket, handbags or boots. I have crazy mixed race, mixed texture hair that I am finally starting to love.
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Thank you for reading 💕

There’s a saying that the cure for anything is saltwater - sweat, tears or the sea. 🌊 One of the three usually helps me, and the clouds and rays of sunlight were especially gorgeous tonight. I just wish I had my big camera with me!
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Every year, I really struggle in the fall. My husband’s long work hours and travel schedule always tend to increase in the fall, and it’s usually the busiest time of year for photographers. To top it off, I just found out last week that my primary childcare option for my two year old is no longer a viable option. I’m trying to take some time and figure out a new plan for when I’m working. The work-from-home-mom juggling game is extremely challenging without your spouse around in the evenings and every weekend. I’m going to intentionally book extra light this fall since I’m still in recovery mode anyway. If you’re waiting for an email from me, please don’t hesitate to resend if needed. Apparently I’ve missed some lately which I normally don’t do when I have regular work hours set lol.
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I have ONE opening remaining for the year, in November. Otherwise, I’m not adding on any additional bookings this year. I will start taking bookings soon for 2019 though. ❤️ I anticipate some big changes for 2019 though, so keep an eye out for updates! 😉

I have a multi step morning routine before every newborn session that includes: stretching out my spine, calming my body and my brain, but also a bit of coffee because I start prepping for my shoot while it’s still dark out.
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I love to wear oil diffusing jewelry since it allows me to get a bit of calming lavender oil scent going but if I notice a baby seems stimulated by the scent instead of relaxed, I can immediately remove the jewelry (most people find lavender relaxing but some people actually react to lavender like it’s a stimulant!). You can’t remove a scent if it’s on your skin, which is why I love this jewelry so much! I’ve had the lava rock triangle diffuser necklace for a few years now, but recently my dear sweet friend @autumnh sent me this bracelet (while I was recovering from surgery), and the bracelet is SO much better than the necklace! It holds way more scent. Lava rocks seem to be the trend but those little scent pads hold way more oil scent.
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I always try to urge my clients to stay as calm as possible before a photo shoot. Babies and kids pick up on our stress so staying as calm as possible means a better photo shoot with more images and better expressions on baby!
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I haven’t had a chance to send Autumn a proper thank you note for her sweet gift (and gifts to entertain my boys! ❤️), but @autumnh I wanted to tell you how much your thoughtfulness has been helping me this week! 😘

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