Why lifestyle photography is personal for Lexia Frank

From Lexia Frank, Click Away 2016 presenter:

In between weddings, I shoot a handful of family sessions a year. And this year has been the year of tiny babies.

I just need to be honest. I used to hear the word ‘newborn’ session and I felt all kinds of anxiety and worry – I felt like I had to ‘pose’ them. Because you can’t speak logic to a one week old baby, how was I supposed to maintain any type of control over the situation? I had clients who wanted just portraits of the baby, which meant I had to pose him, and it also meant I was at the mercy of how well he slept. And that also meant that the only thing I was doing was taking portraits.

And then something happened – my dad died. And as my mom and I were going through old photographs, I saw her eyes lighting up and brimming with tears as she pulled out countless snapshot after snapshot.

You see – my dad was an incredible photographer. But the photos that made her ‘feel’ weren’t his beautiful portraits, instead they were the quick point and shoot photos that were of every day life and included ‘background junk’. Over and over again I’d hear her say “Oh! Do you remember that?! Oh my goodness, I remember that tin can he and I found while camping and I used it as the centerpiece to the living room table! Oh I haven’t thought about that in years!’

Messy kitchen tables, a shot of the entire room, bad wallpaper, stuff on the desk – ┬áit all had a connection to our hearts.

“Please remember to take photographs of the entire scene, and not just faces” she made me promise. For she knew that it was not always just the face that brought back memories, but all of the daily items we have relationships with that tied it all together.

Stand-alone portraits have a place. Styling has a place. But don’t forget to pull back and get the whole scene in there too sometimes. When you place a baby in a mother’s arms instead of just by herself, it gives context to how tiny that sweet baby really is. Years down the road that mother will be able to be transported right back in time – she will be able to feel the weight of that baby there, remember what it felt like as those tiny fingers wrapped around her finger, and that arm wrapped around her back. And when you can produce a photograph that makes someone ‘feel’ – then you’ve truly done your job.

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photo of parent holding newborn head in hands by Lexia Frank

film picture of newborn napping by Lexia Frank

natural light photo of mom holding baby by Lexia Frank

pic of brother holding and kissing newborn by Lexia Frank

photo of brothers with a newborn by film photographer Lexia Frank

newborn looking at a camera by Lexia Frank

pic of mom looking at daughter in crib by Lexia Frank

photo of mom breastfeeding newborn by film photographer Lexia Frank

photo of mom and baby in nursery by Lexia Frank

pic of mom dressing baby by Lexia Frank

black and white pic of mom breastfeeding by Lexia Frank

film picture of mom and newborn napping by Lexia Frank

mom and dad holding new baby by Lexia Frank

dad holding baby by film photographer by Lexia Frank

black and white photo of mom holding sleeping baby by Lexia Frank

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