Portraits of America: Inspiring American Women in Breathtaking U.S. Landscapes [Vaishnavi + Maya – Simi Valley, California]
Inspired by my home country and current summer road trip around it — and just in time for Independence Day — Stylish Travel Girl has teamed up with The Photon Collective to create a collection of America-themed photography featuring unique and inspiring American women in breathtakingly beautiful locations across the U.S.
These are the results from our first shoot.
About The Shoot
The U.S. is a beautiful country largely due to its diversity. Save for siblings, no two people have exactly the same family background. A variety of cultures, religions, and family traditions all come into play. And the women we photographed for our first America photoshoot are no exception. (Read more about them in the model bios at the bottom.)
Aside from the women we photographed, the other central feature in this shoot is the American flag, an iconic symbol of the country we are fortunate to call home.
Shooting for the Portraits of America collection began in California and continued across the U.S. to include desert, mountain, and prairie landscapes, many U.S. National Parks, and several gorgeous sunsets. Not all shooting locations are included in our curated collection here. Only photos from our first location, Simi Valley, California, are featured here.
I hope you enjoy viewing our Portraits of America photography collection.
The Portraits of America Photography Collection by Ian Norman & Diana Southern
“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step on to the road… and there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
From Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit), Maya’s family’s favorite quote.
“Bali […] was the first international trip my husband and I took together. […] This trip showed me how traveling to new destinations can help a relationship grow in unique ways.”
Vaish, recalling one of her favorite travel memories
“To me the true beauty of traveling is to experience something outside yourself, to discover the world from a different point of view and remember there are infinite possibilities and ways of life. Traveling gives me the chance to reflect on how I interact with the world as I learn about how others interact with it. The most important aspect of traveling is not to check a place off a list, but to try to learn more about life and the world we all live in.”
Maya Lindemann, on why she travels
Our American Models
In this shoot we feature two amazing and unique American women — both well-traveled friends of mine with unique family roots and fascinating stories to tell.
I think you’ll find them interesting, too. Let me introduce you.
Born in Baroda, India with a move to the U.S. after three years in Bangalore, Vaishnavi Subramaniam (‘Vaish’) was already a more widely-traveled individual at three years old than many adult Americans you meet today. Boston, Minnesota, Baltimore, and Los Angeles were added to her list of homes over the next two decades — with many travel destinations woven in between.
Currently a genetic counselor in L.A., Vaish continues to travel whenever her busy life allows. (In fact, she was in New York City when I interviewed her for this post!) Her favorite place she’s ever visited? “Bali. It was the first international trip my husband and I took together. I was anxious to see how we would travel together and what the experience would be like. Luckily, I worried for nothing, the trip was spectacular and we are perfect travel partners. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary (one week early) on the beautiful beaches of Nusa Lembongen. This trip showed me how traveling to new destinations can help a relationship grow in unique ways.”
With New Zealand already checked off her travel list and South America coming up this summer, even a full-time traveler like me is jealous of this lady’s travels!
I’ve known Maya Lindemann for over three years now, and I still can’t keep straight where she was born and where she lived growing up. But now I have it in writing!
From Jakarta to Ann Arbor to Germany to Los Angeles, exploring the globe has been engrained in Maya’s being since childhood. Now a Head Start Nurse in Santa Monica, Maya has summers and school breaks to get in her travel time as an adult.
As a German-American, Maya speaks fluent German in addition to English. Her travels have taken her near and far and include the British Virgin Islands, France, Amsterdam, Ghana, India, Bali, Bonair and Palau, as well as extensive adventures throughout the U.S., where she has recently begun exploring the exciting realm of solo camping. On Maya’s travel horizon is a return trip to Palau and possibly some time to explore Ireland or Scotland!
Want to know more about Maya? Follow her on Instagram.
Meet Diana, STG Editor
If you’re a regular reader, you already know at least a little about me, but I’ve not yet divulged a few details. Here’s a little more about me.
I was born and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and didn’t leave the country until I was 17, on my high school class trip to Spain. Irish, English, and a little German make up most of my family’s ethnic background, but I honestly identify little with each culture — despite, perhaps, my enjoyment of beer.
In March 2014, I quit my job to become an entrepreneur and now travel the world with my partner in crime — and love of my life — Ian Norman. Since then, I’ve explored SO MANY exciting new places, including Norway, Berlin, northern Italy, a huge portion of the U.S. (working on that now), Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. It’s currently my mission to make it to all fifty states in the U.S. by the end of this year!
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Photographs were directed by STG Editor Diana Southern and captured by Ian Norman, founder of photography websites The Photon Collective and Lonely Speck and — coincidentally — also the love of my life. For licensing information, please get in touch via our contact form.
Want to know how we captured these images? Check out the Simple Sunset Portraits tutorial on The Photon Collective.
Stylish Travelers Wanted
Are you a stylish traveler interested in taking part in an upcoming stylish travel shoot? Give me a shout, and I’ll let you know when we’re prepping for one in your area! Depending on reader response, we may be looking to expand this collection, too.
Connect with our stylish travel community: Join our #stylishtravelgirl fun on Instagram.
Diana is an outspoken, DIY-ing, star-chasing, hockey-loving, dog-owning, veggie-eating professional wanderer. And that’s not the half of it. Not long ago she jumped ship from a comfy, predictable American life, sold all her stuff, and set out to explore the unknown. Now a full-time traveler, Diana believes that spontaneity, a smile, and an organized suitcase are the three key elements to a happy nomadic existence. Follow her personal travels on North To South.