Lexia Frank | Featured Photographer
Lexia’s work is riveting and the scope and audience that her work has reached is inspiring. Ron Howard, world famous director, chose one of Lexia’s images to inspire his next Hollywood film titled “When You Find Me”. We hope you enjoy Lexia’s photography as much as we do.
Name: Lexia Frank
Location: Madison, WI
I am a mother of 2 beautiful boys, ages 4 and 2, and married to an awesome man who supports me in what I do, a very necessary thing in our line of work! Of course photography is my passion, and I carry my camera with me wherever I go, but I have an equal love of the birthing process – mainly natural birthing – and it just made perfect sense to marry the two together. When I was pregnant with our second child we decided to document the entire process of pregnancy with a maternity series that took off and went viral: http://www.lexiafrank.com/#/maternity-series–tampa-portrait-and-wedding-photographer/ and then of course invited our good friend and fellow photographer Esther to take pictures of the birth of our baby boy.
How long have you been in business?
Canon or Nikon?
Nikon when I shoot digital, but I mostly shoot film on a Contax 645.
What is your most used lens while photographing a birth?
A 50mm f1.4 when I’m shooting digital, but mainly my Zeiss glass 80mm 2.0. You cant beat the Zeiss glass!
Did you / Will you / Would you have one of your own births photographed?
Yes! We did! I actually gave my family members strict rules NOT to photograph the birth of my first baby. I thought I would never want to look back on photos of myself while I looked like that and that there were too many opportunities for inappropriate pictures to happen. But, (luckily for me) my best friend (who was there with me the whole time) disobeyed my wishes and took a ton of photos, photos that I absolutely cherish now. She only had a point and shoot camera, so I vowed that with our next baby we’d hire a professional photographer. Those images are my most treasured photographs that I own. It was the most incredible day of my life.
What drew you to photograph births?
I love delivering babies. I know… I know… that sounds insane. I could actually do without the pregnancy part but the labor and delivery part I just LOVE. We had our boys naturally and I loved being an active participant in the process and feeling the labor, feeling what was happening with my body, and being able to be part of the process that binds all women in history and cultures together. So naturally, I wanted to be part of it more, even if i wasn’t the one in labor. Photographing births was a natural progression for me. Clients would ask me to photograph their maternity sessions, and their newborn sessions, and I would just ask if they would like the birth photographed as well, and show them my portfolio.
Tell us about a favorite moment you experienced while photographing a birth.
Well, I think it goes without saying that the birth of Baby Rowan turned out to be a pretty spectacular event and life changing for myself as well as my business. The birth itself was beautiful, but normal, but what happened afterwards was amazing. I photographed Ali and her husband, Dusty, throughout the entire labor process, and knew what I was taking were going to be amazing photographs because of the lighting in the room (you really never know what you’re going to get when it comes to births) and because of the connection and emotion between them. After the birth I decided to enter a photo contest – Canon’s Project Imagin8ion – with one of the photos I had taken during the birth. 100,000 photographs were entered from all over the United States, and out of that pile Ron Howard (director of A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 among others) picked my photograph to be the grand prize winner and to also inspire his next Hollywood film titled “When You Find Me”. They flew us out to NY to the world premiere, we got to hang out with all the celebrities, they organized lots of press and interviews for us, published our work in national magazines, and the film has gone on to win numerous awards. It was surely a whirlwind of an adventure for us, and it was all because of photographing births. Here is a little summary I wrote on my blog about the whole experience: http://www.kissingtree.org/2012/02/11/tampa-premiere-of-the-canon-imagin8ion-film-when-you-find-me-a-ron-howard-production/
Lexia, thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us!