messina cover_posthonored to have co-authored THE SILVER LINING, a heartfelt & inspiring book with my beautiful & talented friend HOLLYE JACOBS – a couple of years ago i began photographing HOLLYE as she was navigating the challenges of her breast cancer diagnosis & subsequent treatment – i wanted to do something for her, but i felt helpless- i offered to photograph her as a gesture of friendship – i hoped that i could somehow capture her memories, honor her experiences, and show her how truly beautiful she was in the most unlikely circumstances – i wanted to somehow ease the intensity of the challenges she faced, from chemotherapy to her double mastectomy, to a cup of tea & a good cry, i was there camera in hand – i approached our shoots with the same tenderness i’d bring to a newborn shoot, and with the same enthusiasm i would at a wedding or editorial shoot – the only images i’d ever seen of a mastectomy were clinical (& to add insult to inury,  with bad light) – i wanted to capture the reality of what her body was going through with an artful eye, beautiful light, film and friendship – all the while HOLLYE wrote on her personal blog to keep friends and family apprised of her experiences along the way – her blog THE SILVER PEN went viral – HOLLYE’s story is also a regular feature on THE HUFFINGTON POST – i shared some of these personal images 2 years ago at my WPPI platform presentation (which left many people in tears) – HOLLYE & i were both surprised by the impact our personal project had on those we did not know  – in addition to HOLLYE’s personal story & our photographs, this book is full of practical & relevant information – HOLLYE is a nurse and an educator with extensive knowledge (she is a Pediatric and Adult Palliative Care Nurse and Social Worker with graduate degrees in Bioethics and Child Development) – THE SILVER LINING is our book, part memoir, part practical information with a melange of beautiful photographs and inspiration – what began as a personal project between friends we are now sharing with the world – THE SILVER LINING is for anyone who has been touched by BREAST CANCER

THE SILVER LINING is available for pre-order now &
will be out in hardback & paper back in march 2014

a little more sweetness...

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the details & planning of a photography workshop takes many moons & minds to plan & come up with the creative concepts that are transformed into a series of (hopefully) breathtaking photo shoots, that are at once an artistic expression of the artists (myself included) who collaborate to create such beauty & also wonderful education oportunities – it was over a year ago that i began working with an incredible group of GEORGIA PEACHES to help me develop that concepts for A LOVELY WORKSHOP in SEA ISLAND, GEORGIA – fashion stylist GINNY BRANCH & floral stylist AMY OSABA & prop stylist BLUE EYED YONDER – working with these creative girls was wonderful –

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GINNY & I spent hours on the phone (girl talk really) about flowers & colors & overall ideas for the photos shoots – one of the first ones we agreed on was something GREEN inspired mixed with the concept of my KISSING TREE – love letters, botanics, leaves, tress, all grounded in a feeling of life & love – BOTANICS – seriously GINNY has the most incredible BOTANICAL PINTEREST BOARD

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i am obsessed with backdrops – when BLUE EYED YONDER said she could make a BOTANICAL BACKDROP that we could place among the moss laden tress i almost fainted – & then with AMY’s real life florals to ice the already bountiful botanic cake – i was indeed smitten – even after our endless talks & mutual excitement there is no way to describe what it feel like to see a vision come to life – it was truly beautiful – a green field full of old growth trees, dripping in spanish moss & there in the middle of it our BEAUTIFUL BOTANIC BACKDROP – a piece of art born out of girl talk  –

elizabeth messina - botanic backdrop 3this beautiful BOTANIC backdrop will be featured in the next issue of FLUTTER MAGAZINE – so keep an eye out – this is such a sweet & beautiful way to have a backdrop literally anywhere – it would be the perfect photo booth at a wedding or ummmm photo shoot – many thanks to the amazing GINNY BRANCH & AMY OSABA & BLUE EYED YONDER for making my dreams come true – xoxo

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elizabeth-messina-cover-9it is always such an indescribable pleasue to photograph
CLAIRE PETTIBONE’s stunning gowns & this spring in SEA ISLAND
was truly magical – i am honored to to be gracing the cover of the newest
issue of UTTERLY ENGAGED – their is also a beautiful 30 page spread inside –

xoxoxoxo – elizabeth

styling by GINNY BRANCH 

florals by AMY OSABA


hair & makeup by

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it is hard to put into words all of the incredible beauty & inspiration that was tucked into a few precious days at the SEA ISLAND RESORT in GEORGIA – from the stunning FLORALS by the insanely talented AMY OSABA to the stunning FASHION & SET styling by the ever gracious GINNY BRANCH to the truck load of treasure from BLUE EYED YONDER – it was literally my DREAMS coming to life before my eyes….

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the attendees were embraced by SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY that embraced us at every turn at SEA ISLAND RESORT – they learned & created side by side with each other & with ME – they finger painted with WAX from incredible artist, encaustics master & book maker LEAH MACDONALD

elizabeth messina_a lovely workshop_instagram0003they sat with MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS photo editor, SHIRA SAVADA & soaked up her insights on publishing & got a bit of her fantastic sense of humor along the way…they enjoyed treasures from BENEFIT COSMETICS, WILEY VANETINE, ARTIFACT UPRISING, VELVET RAPTOR, MONKEYS ALWAYS LOOK, CUPCAKE VINEYARDS, CACAO, FUJI FILM, PRETTY PLUM SUGAR, TIBI, RUCHE, YOU SMELL all tucked into beautiful custom made totes by the one & only WEDDING CHICKS – & our staff wore handmade aprons by ICE MILK APRONS

elizabeth messina_a lovely workshop_instagram0004Tthey photographed stunning fashion by CLAIRE PETTIBONE, TWIGS & HONEY, CHELSEA ROSE BRIDAL, THE SENTIMENTALIST, and IVY & ASTER which hung beautifully from the frames of five stunning models KAREN, SARAH, JESSICA, GINA & ANNA…whose beautiful hair & makeup were carefully tended to by ERIN SKIPLEY & CLAUDIA MEJERLE

elizabeth messina_a lovely workshop_instagram0005then we dined on scrumptious SEA ISLAND RESORT meals while lovely LA TAVOLA linens covered the tables – as a handmade chalkbroard sign by SOUTHERN SPROUT sat beside us & LOVE LETTERS & such were artfully written by incredible calligrapher MAYBELLE -we laughed, we cried – it was everything i LOVE about collaboration – the end result was much bigger than all of the parts –

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i think the thing that truly touched my heart the most was the incredible group of people that came to A LOVELY WORKSHOP to learn from me & my fantastic group of collaborators…all of the attendees brought something special to our group…they are all ARTISTS & it was a pleasure to share time with each & every one of them –

elizabeth messina_a lovely workshop_instagram0007please take a moment & explore the creative work &
websites of the 2013 LOVELY WORKSHOP attendees


a little more sweetness...

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