Girl Power……we believe!!!!

So…..many of you know that I bought a little house to turn into a studio.  I still do mostly on location outdoor photography……but I did need a place to shoot babies, and  little sessions….and I guess I forgot how much I used to enjoy studio shooting, because it’s been fun.  Anyway……I prepped a room to shoot in….and a little reception area…but I needed a dressing room…and a spot for clients to fix hair…makeup….or just look at themselves in a mirror.  The tiny bathroom just wasn’t going to cut it.  And I have literally almost no budget for this type of thing….so I went to Lowes to wander around and come up with ideas.   So I thought…….I’ll buy a vanity light fixture and wire it with a lamp wiring kit so I can plug it into the wall since I have no wiring in my walls….and that is something I haven’t yet attempted.   So…….I did it………..I bought a light fixture…..and a wiring kit… copyweb

And trust me……I definitely used the instructions on this one…..

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okay so the light kit wired to my plug wire……… studio-4 copyweb

And then after everything reassembled…….I plugged it in.  It works!!! studio-6 copyweb

Then off to the studio………I hung a mirror I already had, and bought a shelf and some brackets……paired with a $10 stool from Goodwill…… for about $55……..a makeup area for my clients….yay!studio-14 copyweb

And while we are at the studio you might as well see where the magic happens……. studio-17 copyweb

and this is the reception area…….remember that chandelier that I bought and refurbished?  There it hangs….front and center….I love copyweb

And that wall……….with the pictures…….I did the drywall…..yes I’m bragging…… studio-20 copyweb

On your way out……..this is your view…….

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I wanted my girls to help me…….because I want them to know that……………

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With the right bling…………studio-8 copyweb

A girl can do anything!   Girl Power……………..this is for you Brooklyn…..we Believe!

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For My Brother

Dear Daniel,

Thanksgiving Day I was anxiously checking Facebook because I knew everyone was at Mom’s except me and my family, I wanted to be there.  Late in the day FINALLY someone posted some pictures, and I laughed when I saw the giant table snaking through the family room

I scrolled through some more pictures and saw one of Brooklyn in her tee shirt that said:  Only Child expires 2013……..I laughed some more.  Dang I wish I had been there for that announcement.

The next day I got a text from mom saying Brooklyn had a tumor on her kidney.  And then the bottom fell out of everything.  More and more bad news, more and more texts saying worse and worse things.  Mom trying to talk to me on the phone, but who can talk when they are crying?

We are Disselkamps!  We love each other so fiercely!  We are special… how can this happen????

Daniel, you are my baby brother, I rocked you for hours when you had colic as a baby, I helped shoo you to bed on Christmas Eve so Santa could come, I tied your shoes, I worried about you when you were sick.  I still can scarcely believe you are married with a baby, so how is it that now your baby has cancer?  How are you going to make it?

Every parent’s nightmare is getting the news you got.  And your nightmare got worse after every test was done… have always had the biggest heart of all of us……and the biggest hearts break the hardest.

When I saw you at the hospital…..and we sobbed in each other’s arms….and I told you I would take it all away if I could……I meant it.  My heart is breaking for you.  It’s agony to see someone you love in so much pain.  It’s agony not to be able to take it away.

But….there are 13 of us, and Disselkamps are strong.  And we love each other.  Remember when you said to mom, “Momma, I need you to work one of your miracles”?…….it’s because you know it can happen, and we’re going to help.

Sitting in the family room at the hospital, we talked about the help you and Erin are going to need.  You’re going to have to be off work.  You have bills to pay.  Mom said, “As soon as every test is in, and the doctors make the game plan, and we know exactly what we are facing, and what the treatment is going to be, we are going to sit down with Dan and Erin and and her parents and we’re going to determine what needs to be done.  We are going to make sure they don’t hurt for money, they are NOT going to lose their house if they can’t work.”  So Daniel, rest easier and concentrate on your sweet sunshine, and let us do the rest.

Remember when I told you before I left the hospital, “Don’t be disappointed if your prayers don’t end in an instant miracle.  Sometimes those prayers are answered in little ways, like the fact that Brooklyn’s team of doctors is now headed up by the Chief of Oncology at Kosair Children’t Hospital.”……..that’s a prayer answered Daniel, you couldn’t ask for better care than that.

You have 12 brothers and sisters, and we have your back.  We won’t give up this fight.  We are Disselkamps…….we are Brooklyn Believers!  We love you three……you are our hearts.

Your big sister……Selina

And for anyone who would like to help my baby brother and his little family, please donate to them, even the smallest amount will help.  This is going to be a long, hard fight.  Please help them.


Before and After

So, I’ve never done this on here…but I thought I’d let you in on a peek of some before and after  photos.  Most people don’t know that with digital cameras, the photo’s aren’t meant to come out of the camera ready to print.  Even if the color and exposure is completely accurate in camera, adjustments in contrast and sharpening need to be made.  That being said, I usually have to color correct my pictures, and I usually tweak the exposure, then comes the contrast and sharpening.  Often I crop….and all that just to start a picture.   After that…..if there are blemishes….stray hairs……those have to be fixed.

For me photoshop isn’t about making someone look different than reality, it’s about bringing out the best in the photo.  So for your viewing pleasure, some before’s and afters…………



This is before… was shady and so the lighting was cool……..

And here is the after, increased contrast and warmed up…….

Another before…….a little bit of a pullback, you can see my giant reflector……

And after….the giant reflector cropped out and everything else tweaked….









Posts, seniors

September Senior Special

Okay, I jumped the gun a little on announcing this, just to give everyone a chance before the dates fill up.  Yep, you’re reading it right, no session fee for studio sessions for seniors in September.  Here are the details:

Your session must be in the studio, and in September.

You WILL have to pay a $50 retainer to hold your spot…..this is to make sure everyone has a chance for a session.  It’s not fair to anyone if my book fills up and I have to turn people away, and then someone doesn’t show up for their session.

When you order your photos, your $50 is credited to the amount.  If you don’t like any of your pictures and don’t want to order any….you get your $50 back. (But THAT’S not gonna happen cause I know you’re gonna love em   😉 )

Simple!  So call or email me soon…once my dates fill up….that’s it!   740-314-7976  or email :


Happy Birthday Sydney

My earliest memory is from before I was two.  I was in my mother’s arms and she was carrying me outside to our car parked in front of our house.  the street was lined with trees so the sun cast dapples of light on everything.  I took everything in, the trees, cars, houses and my mothers hair tickling my cheek.  Across the street I saw a woman come out of her house to get into her car.  She opened the auto door and looked up at us.  My mother waved and smiled at her but without acknowledging we were there, she got into her car and drove away.    I immediately felt a tightness in my belly and a wave of protectiveness overtook me; I thought of my mother.  What was she thinking?  Were her feelings hurt?  Did that woman dislike us?  Why would she ignore us?  I scrutinized her face looking for some sort of indication, but it revealed nothing.  She caught me looking at her, kissed me, and put me in the car.  That was the end of the moment for her, but it was a beginning of something for me.  It was the first time I remember wanting to be a warrior for my mother.

Fast forward a few years and I am outside in the yard on a sunny day, playing with my brothers, sister and father.  As is often the case, we are squealing for him to throw us into the air.  “My turn, my turn, my turn” is all he hears.   We  lie on the grass on our backs and our father grabs us by the ankles and pick us up, swinging us upside down.  He swings us back through his legs, then forward, back and forth building up momentum until finally with the last swing up he lets go, and up into the air we fly, with butterflies in our stomachs as the ground moves away.  When it is my turn, I can never get high enough, and although the moment lasts just a second, it seems much longer.  A moment of fearlessness, of knowing I can do anything, and of complete trust in my father’s ability to catch me.  Never once do I worry I will fall.

I tell this story to go along with my daughter’s birthday pictures, as a reminder of some of the childhood moments that shaped me.  The moments of worry and fearlessness, because at some time when I wasn’t paying close attention, my worries overtook my fearlessness, and it stayed hidden for many years.  Fearlessness has found me again and I am happy to have her back.

So my birthday wish for my little girl is this:  “Sydney, may your fearlessness always keep your worries at bay, and you can fly.”

Happy 10th birthday, I love you




Working on the studio……

So , many of you know that although I’ve been primarily an on location photographer, I’ve been talking about opening a studio.  I still hope to do most of my shoots outside, because I love the creative possibilities and the endless amount of backdrops, the lighting challenges, but I have wanted to have a place where I can meet with clients, so they can see large prints hanging on a wall, touch albums and other products.  This will also give me a space to shoot newborns and babies…..I’m very excited.   So, here is what my kids and I have been doing………

Here are my girls, painting my sign…..

I think the blue fingernail polish helps with the creativity……..

And….the finished sign…..soon to be hanging in front of the studio……….

This is the front room where I will meet with clients and they can place orders….the wall was covered in pine paneling and the doorway had been enclosed years ago….

I enlisted the help of my kids….two of my sons hauling the pine paneling out to the truck……

My girls cleaning up a little……

Back home with a truck full of wood, my crew……….

And, I thought the whole work-day was going to cost me just a bag of twizzlers for my kids……however, now I am out a truck window…….sheesh…..and it was the last piece of wood, little man got a little too excited and threw it into the truck.  Ah well……..we had a good day.


Family Photo…….

So, this isn’t your typical family photo, but bear with me while I tell you the story behind it.    As a child, I had a few loves…..horses, drawing horses, and reading about horses.  I have a collection of  Breyer horses that I saved, and my girls have been asking me to get my collection out and show them.  Tonight, I did, and I talked about them all, and told them their names….etc. and all the ways I played with them, stringing yarn all over the house to make pastures ……begging my mother to let me leave it all up cause “I’m gonna play with it tomorrow….”          I know…..I know…..I’m getting to the family photo story.   So anyway, after I was done telling my girls all my horse stories, I told them I had one more thing to show them.    And I brought out this box, full of these dolls.   Now here’s the story……

It was Christmastime, I think I was twelve…….and my parents had no money.  None.  And being a parent myself I know how heartbreaking it would be to try and give your children a nice Christmas but  thinking it isn’t possible to do.     Unless………you are my parents.   This particular year, my mother sewed my sister and I each a set of dolls, stitched all the furniture, and the wooden pieces were made by my father.   Every night after we were in bed, she sewed and sewed, from scraps of  fabric she had saved.   Embroidered those doll faces on……..wrapped embroidery floss around toothpicks to make wringlets on the girls………stitched a wardrobe of dresses for the Grandma, Mom and girl doll, and pants outfits for the men in the family.  I personally think my daddy doll is good looking….reminds me a little of Rhett Butler!   There were four bedrooms sets, a living room set, dining room set, grandfather clock and piano…..and each room set was wrapped in it’s own box, and the dolls and clothes were wrapped separately.  Imagine how many presents there were for my sister and I to open.   We were in awe.

Next to us, my brothers opened jeeps, and tanks and machine guns, all made from wood by my father…..which he did every night while my mother was sewing.  My youngest brothers had train sets…..all made by my father.      And for my mother that year, my father made a rolling pin, made on a lathe out of  big piece of black walnut.

So tonight, my girls said to me, “I would give up all my barbies to have a set of dolls like this”.    And I laughed and said, “You know, after Gabrielle and I got these, we rarely played with barbies again”.

But my daughter is right…… of the material things that are precious to me…..these are my number one.  Because every time I see them I remember how much my parents love me.     And if you ask any of my siblings, I am pretty sure they will tell  you same thing…..that was one of the most amazing Christmases ……. ever.