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Meet Alicia Fraser-Stanley of Alicia in Wonderland Photography in South Bay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alicia Fraser-Stanley.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alicia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My journey as a photographer began back in high school as a photographer for a community service club. I particularly fell in love with photographing mothers and their babies at a local women’s shelter. Having been told since the age of 12 that I would never be able to become a mother myself, I fell in love with photographing babies and being able to document life’s most amazing miracle. While most teenagers are busy sneaking out of the house to go on dates and go to parties, I was busy sneaking my dad’s professional film camera out of the house. I even won several awards in print competitions for my photography in those first few years. I was inspired by Anne Geddes, but advised at the time by school guidance counselors that a career as a baby photographer wasn’t an advisable career path!

My professional background involves going to fashion school (I majored in fashion merchandising) and I worked in the fashion industry for several years. As a result, I love to provide wardrobe styling and wardrobe planning assistance for my clients. Every session includes fine-detailed, artistic post-processing on all of the final images.

After several years of working in the fashion industry, I realized I really wanted to go back to what had made me fall in love with photographer originally…working with babies. At the time, my husband and I didn’t think we were going to be able to have any children of our own, and I really enjoyed the idea of being able to work with other people’s babies. Luckily, we were able to find a doctor who had experience with my unique combination of infertility problems, and after a challenging journey, we were able to have our own two beautiful baby boys!

I love gardening and my garden is my biggest inspiration when it comes to newborn photos. My husband and I searched for a property that would have a separate studio space for me, next to our house, as well as a large property with room for a large garden.

I custom designed and planted my garden with lots of options for maternity and newborn sessions. I love capturing babies in all of the different areas of my garden, especially as things change through the seasons. Thankfully it’s warm enough here most of the year for outdoor newborn photos, but when it is cooler/rainy, I also have my beautiful greenhouse that I use for garden photos too. I’m very thankful that my husband is very handy and enjoys building things because I come up with lots of ideas of things I want built!

One of my favorite specialties are my newborn fantasy composite photos. My background includes extensive education and knowledge of professional retouching and photo manipulation/compositing. I have gone through extensive education about newborn photography and safety, including in-person classes and online classes. I regularly takes additional online classes to stay current on industry trends and newborn safety.

Has it been a smooth road?
Starting my business has definitely not been easy at all! I had so many challenges when we were trying to have our own babies, and my health issues affected my business at the time. I had to take hormone supplements at times that made me feel really sick, barely able to function at times. I also had long periods of strict bed rest, which was disappointing since I couldn’t work during those periods. I had several miscarriages, and one still born tiny baby, and struggled with depression through that journey. Then I had crazy, rare complications with my deliveries when our boys were born, like my pelvis literally dislocating in labor with the first boy! It has been such an emotional and physical roller coaster, and I feel like I really went through the ringer to be able to have our boys.

However, now that we are past all of that, and I am doing better health-wise (almost completely back to “normal” after all of the trauma my body went through!), things are getting much easier! I no longer feel like I am so limited with what I can or cannot do physically anymore, which helps a lot with how I run my business. I feel like I have found my own personal voice as an artist more now that I am no longer struggling with such deep, heavy personal issues. Also, my boys are such a joy in my life and bring me so much creative inspiration on a daily basis. Sometimes I look at them and am just amazed that they even exist. 🙂 I think a bit of that wonder and awe spills over into my newborn work as well.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I specialize in maternity and newborn photography. I offer a unique combination of photos in both my studio and my studio garden for my sessions. I am most proud of the unique environment my husband and I have created for my photo sessions. My years of experience in editing and retouching create a unique fine art finished look for my photos.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I feel like Los Angeles is challenging for this type of business since L.A. is so spread out! In an ideal world, we would have a better system of fast, efficient public transportation. I have clients inquire who are from the opposite end of the city, and the idea of making a long commute in traffic with a new baby can be a bit daunting at times for new parents. It’s even more challenging for moms who have had a C-section, and for families when the father is unable to take much/any family time off work, leaving the mom to be responsible to drive herself to a newborn photo session. It makes me incredibly frustrated that our city/state/country doesn’t provide better parental leave options for new parents. Both parents should be able to take enough time off work to allow the family to adjust to having a new baby!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Alicia Fraser-Stanley

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