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  • Writer's pictureEmilene Leone

The Lamberson House, Oskaloosa, Iowa

Facebook's ability to help people with similar interests make connections with each other can definitely be used for nefarious purposes, but also, it really can be used for good.

When I first started my little obsession into all things Frank Lloyd Wright, and wanted to learn more, I did what any self-respecting Gen-Xer would do, and searched facebook for Frank Lloyd Wright groups to join. I found several, but specifically, one called "The Wright Attitude", which is an absolute treasure trove of photos, informational articles, and helpful experts who want to share their knowledge.

I photographed the Walter House at Cedar Rock State Park, and shared those photos there. People were incredibly encouraging in their response to my photos. I felt a huge sense of relief because a) it is incredibly intimidating to present photos of a subject to a group of experts on the subject, and b) I had recently submitted some other interior photos I was very proud of to a group of photographers, who promptly made me feel like shit for not having the greatest editing skills.

But the people in the Frank Lloyd Wright facebook group were incredibly kind and encouraging, and I was grateful for that.

Anyway, how this links to the Lamberson House: I was scrolling through posts in that group and noticed some photos from a man who owned the Lamberson House in Oskaloosa, Iowa. I thought "I'd love to photograph that house." I discovered that Oskaloosa was only about two hours away from me, so I decided to offer it up as a suggestion, that I'd love the chance to photograph it. I thought "What do I have to lose? The worst that happens is he says no."

He didn't say no! He said he liked my photos of the Walter House, and I could come and photograph the Lamberson House whenever our schedules lined up.

It took some arranging, but we made it happen.

The plan was to shoot interior photos, exterior photos, aerial photos, and twilight photos. I arrived and started in the absolutely stunning main living space.

As you can see, it's an absolutely stunning space, both in the beauty of its original design, but also due to the fact that the homeowners are passionate Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts and experts and have gone to great lengths to create a space as true to the original design as possible.

The other areas of the home were just as beautiful.

After shooting the interiors, I took my drone out and got some aerial photos. You can really see how stunning and unusual the house is from the air. I definitely think it must be the coolest house in Iowa

After this, twilight images. Taken right at sunset, with all the lights in the house turned on, twilight photos are always my favorite images to capture, and to look at afterwards. It was a bit of a mad rush to try and get all the shots I wanted in the time I had between sunset and the light completely disappearing, but I think I got some good ones:

It was a great experience. I'm happy I reached out to the homeowner, and I am so grateful that he so graciously allowed me into his private home to photograph its beauty.

Frank Lloyd Wright fans are my kind of people. I'm such a baby in my journey to learn, and I've found that people who are much farther along in their journeys to learn about his work have been incredibly kind and encouraging. It makes me happy to feel like I really do just seem to click well with other Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts. There's a commonality there, among people drawn to learn about his work and life, a shared enthusiasm for the unusual. I've thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of them that I've had the chance to meet so far, and look forward to meeting many more in coming years.

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