photographed the most amazing family session ever. this is just one sweet moment i captured in digital… film is being sent to the lab tomorrow! lets just say it included this adorable little 1 year old, her boho-chic mommy and daddy, the vintage camper they are refurbishing (omg… i am so very jealous right now) and an abandoned playground in the middle of rural wisconsin fields. cant wait to tell their day in the life story with you! just this for now…
Archive for May, 2012
ladies and gentlemen… i am SO excited to present to you the new face of SugarLeaf Photography……..
Lexia Frank Photography!! head over here RIGHT NOW! (and then come back to read this blog post, cause it’s kind of important…)
i seriously can not contain my excitement right now. it has been months and months and months in the making, designing, and concept. it has been a little secret to some (but not all) of you, and is the major reason why it’s been so quiet around these blog parts… because i have been hard hard at work.
why you ask? why change a good thing? especially when we have such a large and loyal following and have already created a name for ourselves? well… there is a couple of reasons. First of all, for practicality’s sake, i found myself ‘double naming’ my business often. Lexia Frank with SugarLeaf Photography. copyright lexia frank, SugarLeaf Photography. people tried to remember not just MY name but my COMPANY’s name as well, which is kind of a lot of information to take in. For search engine searches, if people remembered my name and typed that in, they had to take a round about way to figure out my website. if people remembered my website, they had to take a round about way to make sure they got the right SugarLeaf Photography (there is a SugarLeaf Films out there too…). we knew if we were going to make the change (and we wanted to) it needed to be sooner rather than later. and since we were already planning a website re-design… well… we just decided to take the plunge.
Secondly, we saw the opportunity to change to Lexia Frank Photography as a gateway into a ‘new’ business model, one that is geared toward the type of client who appreciates prints over pixels, true film images, and time spent in consultation sessions to make sure we are on the exact same page about what the shoot/wedding will entail. Here are some of the major changes you’ll be seeing here:
1) print ordering consultations. I want to be serving my clients to the best of my ability. and although throwing images in an online gallery is the easiest option for me, it is NOT in the clients best interest. come on now… be honest. how many of you ACTUALLY print out albums and photos for your home? print them out for grandparents and aunts and uncles? do they get printed immediately, or do you wait 6 or 7 months until you think ‘OH MAN! christmas is coming up! better get those images printed ASAP’, and then go run down to (gasp!) walgreens or CVS to have them printed? it’s ok… we’ve all done it before. but you end up with crappy prints that fade to magenta 6 months after the fact. and i bet you’ve got some empty frames sitting around your house and empty walls that you ‘intend’ to fill, but just havent gotten around to it.
no longer will i let that responsibility ride on my clients shoulders, because, how will they know about which photos would look best in canvas or giclee print? how will they know how to make a perfect collage of prints on their wall, or going up the stairs, or above their bed? how, unless guided, will they be able to see a preview of what that collage looks like in a home environment? i promise to help walk my clients through the design process, without pressure, without hidden fees, without the ‘sales’. My clients are able to order prints ala carte, or in packages with discounts that fit their needs and their budgets.
the fact of the matter is in person print sales consultations meet my clients needs best.
here are some of the questions i’ll ask and listening to the response my clients give me: Did you hire me to create a specific product for your home? tell me about it. Picture yourself one year from this session- what do you have in your home and how are you using it? Do you tend to prefer albums or wall prints when you see them in other people’s homes? do you like big prints or smaller prints and why?
2) the switch from the majority of digital to the majority of film. film is where i started, film is where my heart is. Film photos have a tonality to them that digital photos do not, and people spend hours in photoshop trying to replicate it to no avail. film is timeless, and beautiful, and forces me to slow down and really focus in on the beauty of the moment. it is all manual focus, and because every time i click the shutter release it costs a significant amount of money (you have no idea…) it makes me truly consider and value the shot that i am taking. no more ‘rapid fire’ or ‘spray and pray’- every photograph i take is meaningful, full of thought and decision, a real moment in time. you cant go back to your LCD screen and preview it… that moment is locked up tight in that film roll not to be seen again until developed. it’s literally like going back in time. if that doesnt bring new meaning to your work, i dont know what will. Never mind the fact that your skin tones look like freaking BUTTER, reds are so rich you could eat them, and the light so incredible it seems like it’s straight out of a fairytale. i believe that my clients know good work when they see it. whether or not you, as a consumer, can tell the difference between a digital image and a film image does not matter to me. i know that my clients will know GREAT images when they see them, and that film is the best way for me to achieve AMAZING images. and that, in itself, is what my clients hire me for- to deliver the highest possible product whether or not they know or understand the logistics of how it happened to be created.
3) focusing on the truth i will no longer be offering typical newborn or family sessions. This came about as a sort of revelation for me (quick story…) when my mother downsized and sold the home we grew up in and gave us all (my brothers and sisters) a gallon sized bag of prints of our childhood. sure, there were a few posed photos in there. but no one really cared about them (oddly, those were the ones our parents had spent lots of money investing in…). what we cared about were the snapshots of everyday life; my mom had even noted on the back of some of the photographs: ‘see that teddy bear in the background? you carried that thing around for 2 years! note the pacifier on the table… do you remember it? we had such a hard time breaking you of that habit!” they were just pictures of life, but they were real. they were memories of REAL memories, real things that had happened. they weren’t memories of a ‘photoshoot’… how many times have you ever reminisced about ‘hey, remember that time we had that photoshoot… how great was that!!!” but surely you have said ‘remember when the kids were little? when he used to carry around that blankie all day?”. What is more meaningful? the memory of the shoot or the memory of real life? So, instead of doing posed newborn sessions (although cute as they are with their little ruffled tutus and hats in their sleepy poses), I will solely be focusing on REAL life moments in sessions we call ‘Day In The Life Sessions. you can see them here:http://lexiafrank.com/#/family–day-in-the-life-photo-sessions/ I start at your home in the early morning, and photograph life as it truly happens. bed, breakfast, getting ready, and out for a fun adventure that fits the style of your family. We’ll create a beautiful yearly album so you can have a tangible piece to look at, riffle through, and reminisce about. If photographs are tangible visual memories, I want to be able to record the relationships, the love you share, and the nuances of what life is really like at any given stage of your journey as a family. i look to create artful photographs around truthful moments.
4) client education sometimes, in the past, i would shoot a client’s session or wedding and i would walk away feeling GREAT. i’d say to myself “well… this client really GOT it. she understood the importance of _______. i wish ALL my clients just ‘GOT’ it” and then i realized that it was ME that was failing my clients. all of them. The responsibility was mine to make sure i got drop dead gorgeous images every time i shot anything for a client, and if i didnt get those images, it was due to my own failure to communicate the necessary information. but how to do that? was i going to make each and every client sit through a two hour long presentation on photography and the importance of lighting and details and emotion and truth and all the other existential stuff? that would be a bit impractical, especially for clients, who, like me, are busy with their own lives and businesses, and agendas. So, i set out on a month long project of designing an incredible magazine for my clients detailing WHY some shoots work, WHAT those aspects are, and HOW you can achieve them too. it gives tips for brides on how to stay on time on the wedding day, secret things photographers know about getting weddings published in major magazines, top things every photographer wishes every client knew, etc. and, on top of that, we made engagement sessions mandatory (it’s how i get to know you, find out what style you have, and get you comfortable in front of my camera), as well as a consultation prior to booking and a detailed meeting completely devoted to the wedding day timeline. it’s a BIG time commitment for me, a service that is solely complimentary, but one i feel is completely necessary to getting the best images possible.
I am SO beyond excited to be starting on this new venture, one focused so much more on the best experience and products possible that i can deliver to my clients instead of just the ‘easy’ way out. I’m excited to become more of a mentor, guider, and consultant to my clients rather than just a ‘photographer’. Someone who will help walk you through the entire process start to finish, and make sure you have something tangible in your hands rather than a CD full of jpg pixels, surely to get lost or scratched. YOUR life WILL NOT be part of the ‘lost generation’- the generation of people who’s lives and memories are missing from the real world because their images are stored as digital files. You will have prints, and the highest quality archival ones at that, for your children and grandchildren to look back on for generations and display proudly in your home.
welcome to the new Lexia Frank Photography.
to Patti and Isaac’s beautiful elopement at the Don Cesar in st. pete beach. can not WAIT to share more with you all!
what better email to receive upon getting back into the states from a 2 week long trek through europe than one from my film lab with a download of images ready? I’ve only just this moment started the download but couldnt wait another moment to share one with you- this is the lovely deb schwedhelm and her youngest daughter from a Day In The Life session i did for them last month. the wait for images has been absolutely killing me, and am so excited to flip through them once the download is finished. i’ll post the entire session very soon!
and of course… i took loads of photos while traveling through europe. those, however, will not be getting posted any time soon as i’m going to have to save up to get them developed. film is so expensive, but it is just oh-so-worth it. look at that film grain above, it’s so thick you might be able to count each grain. i love it.
shot with contax 645, 80mm lens, ilford 3200 bw
Au Revoir tous le monde! I’ll be out of the office for an entire two weeks in europe- The Netherlands, Brussels, Switzerland and Paris. So, if you dont get an email response from me… well… that’s why :) but, rest assured prints are being printed and at the lab, film is being developed, and albums being created all while i’m away.
I’m going to be using this time to do a little soul searching, to take a little break from the chaos that is owning your own (thriving) business, slow down and shoot for myself – a luxury i rarely have. the last time i was in europe was when i was 19, traveling alone for 2 months, and carrying nothing on me but one pair of pants, one skirt, and 3 shirts. the rest of my bag was full of film, my dad’s old nikon film camera, and a sketchbook. this time i’m bringing slightly more clothes (thank GOD), and my Contax 645 with lots of film and old polaroid land camera. nothing digital, so you wont see any pictures for a while, but rest assured, when you do, it will be worth it (well….. at least that’s what we always hope, right?).
You know those little Captcha things that make you type in a garbled word before you can comment on a blog? well, today mine read: Photo Earnestly
i think the universe is trying to tell me something.
i hope to come back revived, excited, and inspired to photograph this life and other’s earnestly, truthfully, and wholly.