20 Questions with Ty Allen AKA @thatgrlty

Meet photographer and #mikachica, Ty Allen. You can check out her gorgeous travel photography on her instagram account, along with her incredible drone shots!


1) Where are you originally from?

I was born in Oakland, California. It’s an bustling metropolitan city about 30 minutes east of San Francisco.

2) Where do you currently live?

I currently live in the East Bay but I’ve lived in both South Africa and Japan during my college years.

3) How long have you been doing photography?

Hmm, I’d say about 8 years on and off. I got my start in traditional Black & White photography and transitioned into digital photography a couple years later. Film photography will have a place in my heart forever though!

4) How did you get into working with drones?

Once I figured out how my favorite travel bloggers were getting such amazing aerial photos, I dropped everything and called my dad! He was so excited that I wanted to know more about drones, as he’s an avid pilot. One brisk Sunday morning, we stopped for a couple of lattes, drove to the nearest park and after about 30 minutes of flight lessons, I was flying his dji Phantom 4 drone like a total natural! The rest is history!

5) What inspires you?

I think about this question often. I’m inspired most when I’m in nature. The hustle & bustle of the city life can be draining, so I find that nature centers me and inspiration flows effortlessly.

6) Favorite food?

If you ask any of my closest friends, they would unanimously shout, “Waffles” and they’d be correct!

7) What is a typical day like for you?

When I’m not traveling, a day usually starts with a 5AM work-out with my trainer, followed by a day of healthcare administrative work in a small private practice. In the evenings I come home to a rambunctious bunny named Charly and then I will head down to my local Pole Fitness studio for the rest of the evening!

8) Any special projects you are working on or fantasize about?

Yes!! I developed an affinity for social media marketing ever since taking an elective course on this subject in Grad School! Since then, I’ve been working hard to re-vamp my own Instagram page. There’s so much room to grow and I envision traveling the world while working creatively with brands I truly love while inspiring my audience to be fearless in their pursuit self-discovery through travel and fitness.


9) Favorite place to chill out?

If I’m not chilling in a local cafe, I’m usually home in my room enjoying the peace and quiet! Total Zen.

10) How would you describe your style?

I would say it’s very classic and timeless. I usually stick to a neutral color pallet: white, black, gray, camel.

11) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I would love to live in Bali, Indonesia. It’s  truly a magical place...I get the warm and fuzzies just thinking about it. Imagine waking up everyday to the sounds of the trees swaying in the wind, birds chirping, with the sounds of waterfalls in the distance.

12) What is your greatest dream?

I’m living it! I remember as a child, I was unable to travel internationally like my friends. I was raised by a single Mother who worked tirelessly to fund my private education. I decided early on that one day I would travel the world. Once I applied for my passport in 2013, I made a promise to myself that I would travel to to 10 countries before my passport expired. I’ve traveled to twice as many in half the time and I feel so grateful. I would love to pass down this way of life to my future children some day.

13) Favorite show to binge watch?

I can watch “The Walking Dead” on repeat for hours! I love a good Sci-Fi series! I wouldn’t be surprised if i were part alien!

14) One word you would use to describe yourself?



15) What’s on your go-to playlist?

I’d say I have an eclectic taste in music. Some of my playlists feature artists like Lauryn Hill, Kings of Leon, Odesza, Leon Bridges, and Myleene Klass, to name a few.

16) Favorite place you have traveled?

Akita, Japan - hands down! It was also the place I spent the longest time. There’s this quietness about Akita that is hard to describe unless you’re there to witness it. I love being able to hear my own thoughts while walking down the street! That definitely does not happen in San Francisco.

17) Favorite way to de-stress?


I love to wander! Travel has a way of allowing me to connect with myself and live in the present moment. When I’m not traveling, I de-stress by journaling, pole dancing, and creating content.

18) Chasing your dreams and believing that you can do anything...what does it take?

It takes time, unrelenting perseverance and it also takes a higher power - whatever that may mean to you. I love Oprah’s take on the topic belief. She said, “ You cannot survive in this world by yourself just believing in yourself. You’re not big enough to do it. I’m not big enough to do it. Nobody’s big enough to do it alone. You have to understand that your very presence as a human being on earth came from something greater than yourself.” Once I began noticing this happening repeatedly in my own life, I knew I’d figured out the secret.

19) What is one thing you wish every woman would take to heart as far as body image?

I wish we would regard ourselves with more kindness and less scrutiny.

20) Happiness means…

To me, happiness means spreading light onto oneself and onto others, realizing that we possess all the tools to live a happy life and that all we need to do is try each day.