Frankie Isabel is a documentary photographer, based in Chicago IL, striving to capture raw, unposed moments. With a focus on building relationships with her clients, Frankie Isabel thinks of herself first and foremost as an artist, whose subject matter is human relationships.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration everywhere. Whether it's in films, music, fashion editorials, or just riding the subway, in the nature scenes around my house, looking at the way light hits water or glass. The way a particular book makes me feel while reading it. I love to look past the obvious and find inspiration in the small things.
Sharing inspiration is a big part of my process of working with couples. I love to know that my couples and I are both feeling really excited by the same things. I’m all about sharing mood boards and customizing our timeline and experience to suit our shared vision.
Where are you based?
I am based in Chicago, IL. But I take on wedding clients all over the world.
What motivates you to do what you do?
I think of myself first and foremost as an artist whose subject matter is human relationships. I am genuinely fascinated by connection, rites of passage, and the mystery of love. I was drawn to the wedding industry because my clients invite me into some of their most intimate moments. There is a sense of deep purpose and responsibility in shooting weddings that drives me to continuously strive towards creating my best work.
What is a favourite service that you offer and why?
I love shooting both couples sessions and weddings. There is something about the possibility for tenderness within a couples session that really inspires me. But weddings are such a gorgeously complex web of relationships, and I am obsessed with the opportunity to tell all of those little stories.
How would you describe your style?
I would say that I have a cinematic, documentary style. I strive to capture raw emotions, the more candid the better. Yet, I am also always focusing on color, composition, and less literal forms of storytelling. I want my work to be full of energy and to capture the more subtle aspects of the day and the couple I’m working with. I incorporate a lot of film photography into my workflow, and I encourage the tiny imperfections that add character and a unique voice to the final gallery.
If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
Curious, creative, and sentimental.
What is your ideal work destination?
I love to work with natural light whenever possible. Whether I am in a city or the countryside, I love to shoot outdoors or in locations with big windows.
What is your favourite travel destination?
I love to travel to Mexico - my ancestral homeland. Mexico City is one of my favorite places in the world. And I love to travel back to Italy, where I studied abroad during university. I’m still fluent in Italian. But travel in general is one of my deepest wells of inspiration. I love working with a new landscape, experiencing different kinds of light, and learn new things. I am always excited to travel to a new destination.
Who is your dream client?
I look for two big things when working with a new client. I love to work with couples who have a strong vision. And I love to work with people who are willing to trust me and my image making process. When those things come together, the results are pure magic.
What is your advice to couples getting married?
Think about how you want to feel on your wedding day, and make your plans around that. Working with a really talented wedding planner is always a good choice too, that way you can focus more on your vision, and less on the logistics of everything.