Alana Gardner is the girl you wish was your best friend in high school. Not only is she incredibly woke, selfless and effortlessly cool, but she documents the lives of her friends and family through her camera lens. She's the friend all of us dream about, taking effortless snpashots of moments we never want to end and immortalizing them. 

She doesn't let the unsaid, but totally evident, rule of posting more than twice a day on Instagram stop her. Too often we get caught up in the trivial parts of life but Alana's photos remind us of why we're really here: to live freely and happily. Her visuals are hauntingly beautiful, and capture the carefree spirit and beautiful nature of adolescence. 

Jazmine: I've had the pleasure to meet Alana and we clicked instantly. It didn't even feel like we just met for the first time that day. She would definitely be an excellent tour guide for Philly, I 10/10 recommend her. Well, maybe 9.5 since she tried to sneak us into a rooftop and the door was locked. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
When I shoot with friends, I typically don't plan out what we're gonna do; the day just spans out as it should. I use my surroundings and my models' "look" to determine the shots, the angles I shoot from, the background, the idea and all. They always turn out differently, so I have a wide variety of portrait photos.

When and how did you first start doing photography?
I wouldn't say I started photography at this time, but when I was in-between sixth and seventh grade, my dad got me an iPad mini, my first kind of device with a decent "camera" on it, and I didn't start out trying to take photos, really, it had never been an interest of mine before. When I went to China for 6 weeks with my mother, it really meant a lot for me to get into my Chinese ancestry. It was during this trip that I took amazing pictures that are still some of my favorites today. I started focusing more on portraits less than a year ago, I suppose. All of my photos are taken with an iPhone 5c.

Would you rather see in stripes or cheetah print for the rest of your life?
I think I'd rather see in stripes, don't know why.

Describe the color red to someone who's blind
The color red is warm, oh geez, this is really hard. Fire is red.

What do you want to say to young artists out there who are still trying to find themselves?
I'm a young artist, and honestly, I think I'm still finding myself. As a fellow teenage artist, I would suggest that you just keep doing you. I know that sounds stupid, but it isn't. Keep doing what you love, whatever it is, because your talents will develop over years and years! I've been involved in music since the age of 6 in classes, choirs, and in school. As a 14 year old, I'm still developing my own musical style and writing my own songs, but I have to cover a lot and write a lot to get better! In terms of photography, I've noticed my photos have gotten better and better, but this really goes for anything. The more time you put into what you love and the more you practice, the better you'll become, and the more it'll pay off in the long run! There's always more to learn and room to grow. Keep being awesome and putting yourself out there, you rock!

Here are some of Alana's works that truly make our hearts beat faster than they should due to the overflow of beauty in each of the photos (and the individuals in them) :

Marquita Young, 14

Sarah Berg, 14

And some things simply just don't need a caption... 

Follow Alana on Instagram for more of her genius: @hellalana, @laniichen