Beautiful Angie.

December 4, 2013

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I dont know if i can really make this post.

 

Angie, the beautiful mother of two, passed away this month.

she deserves more than the words that i can write here, or the pictures that i can show here. And, although i, for a time, thought i just *wouldn’t* make this post- so many people have reached out asking for updates on Angie that I thought it was only fair for me to swallow the lump in my throat and write the words above.

I can only tell you of my experience, from this side, of her.

When i did my previous session for her it was, at that time, what was supposed to have been her last month of life.  Clearly, she was beating the odds. she seemed so.healthy.  so full of life and love and energy and enthusiasm.  there was no way this thing was going to beat her.  two years later and she was still fighting against every odd that was placed in front of her.  she was still teaching in Special Education in Chicago Public schools, still raising her two children on her own, still writing encouraging and positive posts on facebook about her experiences. 

I never wanted these sessions to be about grief, or make this any kind of pity party.  there was no talk of cancer. no talk of death or what might happen,  or even the reasons behind why we were taking these photos in the first place- for memories in case she wasn’t with her children any longer.

and because of that, because i wanted these sessions to be full of fun and life and happiness, i didnt ask the questions i was burning to ask. I never knew, really, how bad things were.

This last session i could see she was tired.  she was sick. she had lost weight. her wonderful mother was helping her more than before. but Angie put on a strong face and she smiled, as beautifully as ever. we rested, we took photos sitting. the kids found baby animals on the farm, they caught frogs, they tickled their mama, they hugged her hard. This time around… Hannah held her mother tighter. i could see in her eyes she knew fully what this session was for.  she wanted to show me through my lens how deeply she loved her mama. how she was going to hold on to her- because she was doing it right then.

i didnt let the lump in my throat rise. i willed my eyes to stay dry.

this was a regular session. i would not let it be anything else.

*****

I knew angie was going to die the day that she did. i sobbed to my husband that this was going to be the day. i thought of her babies, barely old enough to fully understand what was happening. my oldest son, who is an old soul, cuddled into my lap and put his arms around my neck, while i held on to him tighter and tears ran down my cheek two and three at a time.

i knew even before i got the email.

i thought of the unshot rolls of film i had left in my bag.  each one burning a hole in my heart as a moment left un-captured. a moment her children would not have of their mother. a guilt set in and burned me from the inside out.

Never have i been more honored to have someone’s facebook profile picture taken by myself. and it will remain there, unchanging, as she is no longer there to make updates.

At thanksgiving, as we all went around to say what we were thankful for, my oldest son said “i am thankful we are all alive”  and i grieved inside for Angie’s family.

and when my sons were waiting in line to see Santa the next day, a little girl ahead of us sat on Santa’s lap and whispered something to him that made him cry and brush away tears down his cheek.  Perhaps there was another little girl out there hoping santa could bring back her mommy.  I wondered what Hannah and Max’s requests would be this year. i prayed inside it was for things any kid should wish for.  a new game, some sort of electronic this that or the other.

****

Last year, Angie sent me a little gift as a thank you for the sessions.  it was a box, beautifully decorated in bright yellows and oranges- and it was labeled ‘Little Box Of Sunshine’.  inside were yellow and orange nail polishes, a bright sunny yellow scarf, a brightly jeweled box,  hand written notes, and hand made decorations.  it was so beautiful and so thoughtful, and i kept it. because i knew what it was.  we, the people who are not battling cancer every day, have the luxury of pretending like our life is not ending.  we have the luxury of saying ‘i’ll do it later’. we have the luxury of pinning on pinterest all these great ideas of things to do for other people but we do not actually get around to doing them.  This beautiful handmade box of goodies was Angie making sure that she had thoroughly thanked people in her life. had made them feel loved. had made sure everyone knew just exactly how she felt about life and them. because she knew the impermanence of life clearer than most.

i hope she knows that she did more than that for me.  she handled life and death gracefully, and is my role model.

i hope her children know that i wish i could have done more, given more.

i hope her children look back on some of these photos when they are older and can ‘feel’ their mother, remember her scent, remember how it felt to have her arms around them.

i hope, if you are out there reading this, that you will grab any kind of camera, cell phone, video recorder, tape recorder, and take a picture of yourself with your children. right now. today. a simple easy task.  it doesnt have to be good. you dont have to be wearing makeup. just snap a photo. you dont even have to hire someone to do it.

****

Thank you to One Fine Day Productions for the video they made in collaboration with me at Angie’s previous Session.

http://vimeo.com/42093276

For Angie from Amy Johnson, One Fine Day Prod. on Vimeo.

 Thank you to Richard Photo Lab  who generously gave me a discount on film development so that I could afford to gift Angie’s family these sessions.

Thank you to the Johnson Family for allowing us play and make memories with Angie, her mother, and her children on their beautiful farm in Wisconsin

Thank you Angie, for reminding me to not take life for granted, and for showing me what true grace is.

 

 

tampa family photographer, www.lexiafrank.com

We are so excited to announce our Florida Session dates for this year! There has been a lot of interest, and we sold out our wisconsin dates in the first week, so if you’re interested in booking a family session or a one-to-one mentor session, now is the time! Photos are Guaranteed before Christmas…. making your gift wish-list really easy this year. (husbands… dads…. that is you I’m speaking to!)

I’m about to post my experience getting OUR own photos taken… and it was incredible (especially for this mama who feels very awkward on the other side of the camera). It was a mother’s day present from my husband… which was the best mother’s day present I’ve ever received.

Here is what you need to know:

family/portrait sessions are 2 hours, with the high-resolution images included in the price of the session, on location at your home or outside.

mentor sessions are 4 hours, and we tailor the subject matter to your photography business.

sessions outside of the tampa/st pete area will have a small travel fee added on.

share this post on facebook to get a 5% discount on your session

refer a friend to get 10% discount on your session

 

to book, send an email to lexia@lexiafrank.com to get the contract started!

 

 

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

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best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

 best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, Carmel CA wedding photographer, Holly Farm Wedding

sneak peek of a GORGEOUS destination wedding in Carmel, California at the Holly Farm! 

stay tuned to check this one out… you wont want to miss it!

best destination wedding photographer, www.lexiafrank.com, carmel california wedding, carmel california wedding photographer, holly farm carmel ca wedding

I am a sucker for dresses with sleeves. and slits. and goddess-like qualities… and this bride totally rocked it. stay tuned for the full wedding…

http://www.lexiafrank.com, custom handmade wedding albums, cypress album, multiple volume wedding

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CUSTOM HANDMADE WEDDING ALBUMS

After my clients view their gallery of images, I hear the same thing every time “HOW am i going to narrow down these photographs for my wedding album?”  To be honest- i’m glad i’m not in their shoes, because I wouldn’t be able to do it either. It’s not like they cant really narrow down their favorites, it’s that the wedding album inherently just cant quite contain every meaningful aspect of their wedding.

One client, with an especially large gallery of images, was having a particularly difficult time narrowing  down her selection  when we started playing around with the idea of doing multiple volumes. Quality albums keep their pages to a maximum of 25 pages because if you go larger, the binding begins to break down due to the sheer weight and depth of it all. So, with an idea in mind, I called up Cypress, my album company.  They are incredible- all  handmade with artisan and archival materials – nothing but the absolute top of the line, best-of-the-best. Because they are such an exclusive and custom book bindery, they were able to hatch a plan to create this completely bespoke design.

http://www.lexiafrank.com, custom handmade wedding albums, cypress album, multiple volume wedding

We knew that we wanted three volumes; getting ready, ceremony, and the reception. With that in mind, we also wanted to create some sort of ‘housing’ for them, to keep it all together and protect the albums in a beautifully aesthetic way.

http://www.lexiafrank.com , custom handmade wedding albums, cypress albums, multiple volume wedding albums

Of course, the design on the interior, is stunning and modern as well. Full panoramic spreads are a feature of this particular album- showcasing every inch of the page.

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Swiss Ribbon pull tabs allow easy removal of the albums from the showcase box in a gorgeous way

http://www.lexiafrank.com , custom handmade wedding albums, cypress albums, multiple volume wedding albums

But the three-volume album and showcase archival box was not enough. We also wanted to find a way to house the mini harddrive of high-resolution images, and DVD of their wedding film, so that their entire wedding photography and videography would be in one, beautifully presented, piece. We came up with a folio with a custom crystal mini harddrive that discretely slips into the folio. On the opposite side of the folio an envelope will house their wedding film DVD.

lfmine_2013_DSC_0414_0253

http://www.lexiafrank.com , custom handmade wedding albums, cypress albums, multiple volume wedding albums

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The crystal and silver mini harddrive is a beautiful piece on it’s own.

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The handmade binding is beyond incredible. Solid, Layflat, and archival (of course!)

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lfmine_2013_DSC_0414_025

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So lets think outside of the box for your wedding album. There is no need to go the traditional route. If you have an idea, lets talk about all the possibilities to make this an heirloom piece and everything that you dream it would be.  With a bespoke mentality, we want to create custom and unique products for each of our clients.

Handmade Wedding Albums

October 14, 2013

http://www.lexiafrank.com, handmade wedding albums, multiple volume wedding album, cypress album

One of my favorite things about the profession that I am in, is delivering custom hamdmade wedding albums to my clients. And while our wedding albums are always beautiful and handmade.. this one really pulls out all the stops.  stay tuned to see how this bride went above and beyond and created the album collection of her dreams…

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www.lexiafrank.com /  film photographer /  lifestyle photography, portland oregon and worldwide

www.lexiafrank.com / film photographer / lifestyle photography, portland oregon and worldwide

loving this little family session (just a mini session!) that i did up in wisconsin.  i’ve been terrible about blogging lately, mostly because so many weddings and shoots are waiting for publication from blogs and magazines.  but this little session was too cute not to share, and i hope you all get ready for the explosion of work that is about to hit the blog!

also, can you even stand the cuteness of that little girl and her frilly boots?  adorbs!

 

 

 

madison wisconsin family photographer

yes my dear Wisconsinites! i am coming to a town near you! and it couldn’t be any better timing since it is the start of the beautiful fall weather in Wisconsin, and you know you’ve procrastinated in years past getting your family photos done before… oh… thanksgiving.  now is your chance to get on top of it this year! no more procrastination! you will prevail!

here is the thing… book quickly because I have very limited space available! and yes, i will of course travel to Milwaukee or surrounding areas of madison for a small travel fee :)

want to save some $$?  share this on your facebook page to get 25.00 off your session. Refer a friend and get an additional 50.00 off for you, and 25.00 off for them. (that cash can go straight to printing your christmas cards! WIN!)

and, since i cant help it, here are my own little ones from last year’s fall in Wisconsin.

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

 

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

madison family photographer www.lexiafrank.com

 

 

napa valley wedding photographer

napa valley wedding photographer

napa valley wedding photographer

napa valley wedding photographer

napa valley wedding photographer

napa valley wedding photographer

napa valley wedding photographer www.lexiafrank.com

napa valley wedding photographer www.lexiafrank.com

napa valley wedding photographer www.lexiafrank.com

napa valley wedding photographer www.lexiafrank.com

napa valley wedding photographer www.lexiafrank.com

last month i quickly flew down to napa valley to do a little engagement shoot with this beautiful couple and capture their love on film.  i LOVE napa and sonoma, and love shooting there even more. Definitely looking forward to my next trip to Cali this fall!

 

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