Keli Francis
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Studio Updates

Posts tagged family photographer
A Morning with the Axness Family

"We met through social media" is so much the norm of the current situations of most connections these days for me but this didn't feel like much of an introduction, this felt like a case of me hanging out with friends I've known for a while now while placing the pieces of how we each found one through the social media trenches. When I had my last and final baby, I wanted to discover all the things that I hadn't experienced before like making organic baby food, cloth diapering, baby wearing, and surpassing my past goals with breastfeeding. This was my introduction to Christian Axness who owned a local baby boutique I found on Instagram. She in return had found me because at that time I was representing a major brand Freshly Picked, baby moccasin creator and she was looking to be a wholesale distributor for Freshly Picked. Her Facebook and Instagram is filled with all sorts of hilarious videos and the success she's made for herself through Young Living.

 She is now a health and wellness educator, breastfeeding consultant, and runs a full-time business with Young Living. Nate and Christian have been together for 15 years and married for 10 and are currently selling their home to travel the country with a camper, their two toddlers and their bunny. This is the home they've made for the past 5 years. It holds many memories, strengthens playtime, stores conversations, and shelters their beds so capturing pieces of them enjoying their home before their big adventure just made it that much more special. 

This lifestyle session is just a small glance that shows just how important family is to them and also the many personalities that made this family session so enjoyable for me. They're playroom is the place they say they spend the most amount of time in their home. Nate and Christian love their comfy couch for cuddling with a cup of coffee or watching movies on the iPad while the children play.

San Francisco, Alcatraz

I know I said before that even in July you need a sweater, umm, go ahead and add ear muffs and gloves...and perhaps a snow suit. IT'S COLD and the wind is worse on the boat and walking around the outskirts of the island.

Once we got on the island, in his best Sean Connery accent, "Welcome to the rock." said our tour guide as they took us all by force and led us into the escape hatches and tunnels underground till we emerged in a jail cell.....Okay, so none of that happened, but I sure wish it did because the actual tour guide was quite annoying and made us all stay in one spot to listen to her new single, The Rules of Alcatraz singing to the tune of Adele's Rolling In the Deep. This is where the ear muffs come in real handy. 

Moving on!

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The audio tour. You get a set of headphones and a prerecorded tour taking you from room to room with narrations from the guards and prisoners who stayed at Alcatraz before it closed. The in-depth descriptions of what took place like the infamous escape from Alcatraz that inspired the movie, Escape From Alcatraz, makes you feel like you were there. Spoons, man. Spoons!

You can hear the cell doors closing, walk into solitary confinement, sit where family and friends sat to speak with prisoners, and walk through the open spaces that were once active. They also take you through a room of portraits of Wardens of the past and speak individually of each one. The guards talk about what its like working there. Many of them would leave to go party on the main land once their shift was over but were stationed with bedrooms in their own building on the island. The Wardens quarters have now crumbed and only a few partial walls remain.

The gift shop at the end of the tour is definitely worth checking out as well. We got some goodies for the kids and I got a book. Turns out the day we were there, Inmate William G. Baker was doing a book signing of his book, Alcatraz #1259

William G. Baker, former inmate at Alcatraz

William G. Baker, former inmate at Alcatraz

If you have the chance to check out Alcatraz, I highly recommend it. Just make sure you plan in advance. Comment below if you have any stories of Alcatraz that you'd like to share. If you enjoyed this blog post, click on the social icons below to share with friends.

San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf - Redwoods

The family adventure continues.

We took to the fisherman's wharf on our second day. Things you don't realize about San Francisco is that you will need a jacket even in July and especially by the water. Refreshing differences but coming from Florida heat of what feels like an oven, we stopped in a novelty shop and bought a few sweaters to keep our thin blood from freezing over. We enjoyed some Italian food, and continued exploring till Reese found a "pirate ship". 

Next Stop..Redwoods.

Know what's not fun? Taking a three year old through a forest of redwoods and he wants to be carried the whole way up. That's right!... UP! This national park allows you to hike up into the trees tops hundreds of feet to get the full effect of just how large these trees are. Packed full of people coming and going and a crazy parking lot congested, backed up and hard to maneuver, we got lucky on a parking spot right at the entrance- Thanks random guy giving us your spot. Another check off the bucket list!

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If you have a place you love to visit in San Francisco area, restaurant you enjoy, or an experience you'd like to share with me, leave me a comment below and I'll try to add it to my future visits!

To San Francisco...and beyond!

Every year we plan a new destination for family adventures. Last year we took our youngest to San Francisco and with no real set itinerary, we played it by ear and let the adventure begin. As you can imagine, the excitement was pretty profound in all of us experiencing it all together for the first time. Our cousins living in Berkeley graciously allowed us to stay with them in their beautiful home that we heard overlooks San Francisco. Once we landed, we were quick to get the best rental car they had. 2016 blue mustang convertible? Yes, please! This would later be forever known as the "blueberry car"

The drive meant going through tunnels and over new bridges until we reached Berkeley and had some catching up to do with family. Cousins, Erin and Tony greeted us at the door and made the best hosts. The modern elegance of this home had two levels of floor to ceiling windows, heated concrete flooring, fine art covering each wall...but that view. Oh, that view.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Just stunning....

This WAS last year, so some of my memory on date and times may have faded a bit but I can 100 percent recall my first experience seeing a hummingbird for the first time and it was perfect timing. Outside, here on the balcony, soaking in the scenery...and boom. I'm in a mecca of hummingbird territory. I may have got a teensy bit hysterical and dramatic about it, but my inner National Geographic expedition took over, grabbed my camera, posted up in a chair and patiently waited...and waited...and waited. Then finally, like a bullet, this little guy appeared and swooped in a photo debut showing me all his good sides.  

We slowly settled into our new surroundings and made it a night in for dinner with our family. Erin ordered us takeout from their favorite vegetarian Burmese restaurant...I can still taste the coconut rice and hear Reese asking for more. We watched over the city through the telescope and finished the night with a glass of wine and long conversations on the couch. First day was a huge success.