Breckenridge photographer offers Santa’s Workshop interactive experience | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge photographer offers Santa’s Workshop interactive experience

Throughout much of her life after college, Alisa Messeroff had a dream that isn't all that uncommon. Visions of shedding herself of all the responsibilities that tie us down — careers, mortgages, family obligations — were floating through her mind as she sat, day after day, in front of a computer in a Manhattan office. It's a thought that crosses many minds during everyday toils, but one usually regarded as unattainable, unrealistic.

But after years of working in high-stress corporate jobs in the bustling city, Messeroff and her husband, Mike, decided to make that dream a reality. In 2011, they left it all behind for the unknown — the job, the beautiful apartment, their picture-perfect life — much to the dismay of their friends and disapproval of their parents.

After three years abroad, Alisa is now a photographer based in Summit County doing exactly what makes her happy. Specializing in maternity, newborns, children and families, it took leaving it all behind to start a new life worth living.

TRAVELING THE WORLD

Alisa was working at Time Inc. in New York City and Mike was with JetBlue when they decided to embark on a new adventure. Alisa had been working closely with photographers during her time in the publishing industry, and was always fascinated with the work, so she decided to invest in a camera right before hopping on a plane. Their first stop was Saint John in the Virgin Islands to work for a year on a catamaran, and while there, she dabbled in landscape photography.

After a year in the Caribbean, the couple took a quick trip home to New York, and then it was off to Hawaii for a few weeks before a month in Fiji. They bounced south to Australia for a year and New Zealand for five months, supporting themselves with jobs in the hospitality industry, all the while Alisa kept working on her photography. After a quick month in Indonesia, it was back to New York for three months before heading to Colorado.

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She remembers the time when her boss asked her what her goals were for life, and she told him she wanted to travel.

"He said, 'Well that's a good dream goal, but what's your real goal?'" she said. "Quitting my corporate job was one of the most satisfying things in the world."

A NEW CAREER

The vagabond lifestyle agreed with them, but after three years running around the world, the pair found themselves in Summit County in October 2014.

"(Mike's) whole dream when we first started traveling was that he wanted to do a ski season," she said.

Mike's sister was attending university in Colorado, so eventually landing somewhere near her was always part of that goal. After debating between other resort towns such as Aspen and Vail, they decided Breckenridge fit their personalities. Now that they've spent two years in the county, they call it home, but that doesn't mean the itch isn't still there. They talk about spending the off-seasons back in Saint John, and continue to plan the next countries on their trip list.

The couple quickly picked up restaurant gigs to support them for their first season. To help her with her goals now that she was in a more permanent home, Alisa made a list of all the things she loved. She found her top two passions — babies and photography — and decided to put all of her energy into making that a career. She threw herself into every photography class and online tutorial she could, while working in the service industry on the side. Soon after, she created Alisa Messeroff Photography, and decided to test the waters by offering locals free newborn shoots.

"You have to start somewhere," she said. "It just took off. I loved it and people loved my photos."

She started with newborns and children, eventually branching out to families and high school senior portraits. She offers her clients a smartphone album app so they can access the photos anytime. With business steadily picking up, Alisa was able to quit her side job this past September.

"I love the candid photos, just capturing the love," she said. "I think it can be hard for people to loosen up, but I'm super goofy and outgoing."

This month, Alisa is offering photo shoots in Santa's workshop, an idea she put together last holiday season.

"Growing up I loved Santa, and this is an event for the locals," she said. "I'm doing this because growing up, I thought seeing Santa was the best thing ever."

Transforming her studio into a Santa's workshop, Alisa said the shoot is all about the experience for the children. Although she is in the background taking photos, Santa is interacting with the kids, reading them stories or helping them build a toy. It creates a lasting impression on the children, and leaves her with candid Christmas shots for the adults, she said.

"The amazement on their faces is all I need, it far surpasses anything else," she said.

SANTA’S WORKSHOP

Dates: Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20

Location: Alisa Messeroff Photography Studio, 245 S. Ridge St., Suite 3B, Breckenridge

Cost: $199; $50 retainer is required to book and remaining balance is due one week before the shoot

More information: summitsantaworkshop.com

Alisa Messeroff Photography: alisamesseroffphotography.com

Email: alisa@alisamesseroffphotography.com

Facebook: facebook.com/alisamesseroffphotography

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