Elizabethtown, Ky Senior Sessions

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I’m coming HOME!! Hardin County KY area Class of 2015…..I will be offering a few senior sessions in the Elizabethtown area August 9-12. This is your chance to have beautiful, one of kind senior portraits, with a session just the way you want it……all about you!!!! These KY sessions will be location only. Check out senior info on my website under the seniors tab. Your session must be a Combo Session or above (instead of studio time, you’ll get another location) and for these Kentucky sessions, you must choose from the Essential Package or above. Session fees are required to book your session. There will only be a few sessions available, so book yours now! If demand is high enough, I may add a few sessions…….if you’re not a senior but know one, share this status!! I love shares!!!! Call me or email me for more information….740-314-7976 or selinaphillipsphotography@yahoo.com

Say “Yes” To Our Kids

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At the risk of catching a lot of negative feedback, I’m going to get a little political (which I never do) on here.  But this truly is important, so here goes:

If you are eligible to vote in the Edison Local School District……….PLEASE vote “FOR” issue 2 on May 6th.

Wait…….don’t hang up………..Let me tell you a story.    I have lived in the Edison Local School District for approximately 8 years.  My children do not attend Edison Local Schools, they attend Steubenville Catholic Central, Bishop Mussio Jr. High and Bishop Mussio Elementary.  Consequently, I didn’t know much about the school district, I did hear a lot of negative feedback about a Superintendent.  Then I heard a lot of negative feedback about the next superintendent, and actually had to deal with him, with always negative results.  I voted NO on all the Levies.

I WAS WRONG

During a discussion telling  a friend, who’s children attend the same school, that I voted no on the levies, the response I heard was, “I ALWAYS vote yes on those types of things, it’s for the kids”   I was ashamed.  My friend was right.

That spring, when my son ran Jr. High Track, the first meet we attended at Stanton, I (and many of the parents around me)  were amazed at how much smaller the Edison track team was.  We discussed it, and then I realized…….It’s because they have to pay to play!!!  Because Edison hasn’t been able to get a Levy passed, the kids are suffering.  It was right before my eyes.  I felt horrible, I was one of those people that voted no.

As a photographer with a business in the Edison School District, I’ve shot senior photos, and talked with many Edison parents; I was shocked at how many Edison High School kids are now home-schooled (online) because Edison cannot afford to run buses for the high school.  And being a large rural school district, no-body here is walking to school.  (well, maybe three or four kids, you get my point).  I wasn’t as ashamed at this point, because I did vote yes the last time, yet still, I thought, “the levy failed to pass by 16 votes….yes……16…….what could I have done to help get 16 more votes….?

And then, I met the current Superintendent.  Bill Beattie.  I knew nothing of him, I don’t know if his jokes are funny or if he grills a mean burger on Saturday, but I do know, Every time I call him, if he isn’t  immediately available, he always returns my calls.  ASAP.   You see, I have a child who receives a scholarship for his additional needs, and although the money doesn’t come from Edison, because my son resides in the district, Edison handles all the paperwork, along with the school he does attend.  Mr. Beattie doesn’t gain anything from taking care of my childs needs.  However, he, and other Edison employees have repeatedly told me, “Whatever it takes….he’s one of our kids”

I’m telling you…….I GET what you’re thinking…..a string of superintendents that people haven’t been happy with has made a lot of people say, “I’m not voting for THAT kind of leadership”.

BUT………….Mr. Beattie, and his staff, truly truly care about our Edison kids.   I know, if we just give him the funds, he won’t disappoint you.  Give this administration some money and time to change things.  I feel certain it will happen.

If you live in the Edison School District and you’re voting no because you home-school or your kids attend another school, and you’re thinking “Why should I give more money to a school district I don’t use?”……..stop for a minute and think…….these kids are OUR COMMUNITY’S FUTURE………these are your neighbors, and your friends.  These kids have nothing to do with anyone’s unhappiness with this school district.

And by the way…….NO school system is perfect.  I’ve lived in a lot of different districts, they all have faults.  One thing I believe about this school district is they really do care about these kids.

Please, share this post with all your friends if you’re reading this.  And VOTE FOR issue 2 on Tuesday May 6th.  I’m going to………can I get 16 more “Yes’s?”

And here are a few Edison kids…….they would probably say yes…….

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Lili

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I seriously have been slacking on updating the blog, I’ve been soo busy!  It’s senior grad card season and I am pretty much sitting in front of a computer all day while I tweak everyone’s cards and get them ordered.  So it was a fun break to do this shoot and edit it.  She is as lovely as she can be, and needed some head-shots for her pageant events (I’m clueless about this sort of thing).  I do want to point out her makeup….she had it professionally done before coming to the studio, I think it’s perfection.  Girls……..it seriously makes a difference!!!  Obviously at her age, Lili doesn’t wear makeup on a daily basis, but for this situation it was needed, and was spot on.

I posted a few of my favorites, a few of her mom’s favorites…..Thanks girls for a fun night!  I adore this first one, it reminds me of a mischievous fairy in the woods….

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I love the look she is giving me in the picture below..

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This last pose was her idea……she had to teach me all about posing for pageant pictures…like I said…I know nothing 😉

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Girl On Fire and Why I Don’t Sell a CD of Images

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I call her that, because she is.  First of all, she is going to college on a softball scholarship.  That much dedication to anything always impresses me.  Add to that her personality, and throw in the fact that she’s gorgeous…..and SO mature, wow.  This was definitely a favorite session of mine..I had a great time.  10

And so, since I had a great time, because I usually do, the session just doesn’t seem like work.  It seems more like fun.  Even when I’m shooting a session in the snow, or rain, or tramping through weeds, it’s all fun and even exciting for me.  So I consider myself lucky, to do a job I love.

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So, I do love most things about my job, but I figured now is as good a time as any to explain a little about the business side of things.  (not so fun)  I’ve heard many times people saying how they can get a 5×7 at Wal- Mart for $1.  I agree..it’s true.  Or they say, “I just want a cd of images”  …..which I don’t sell.   So those of you who wonder about all that….here’s a little bit of info.

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The work I do is fun, but the bottom line is:  It’s Still Work.  And while I would love to do it for free, I haven’t won the lottery so I have to make a living.  When you come to me for portraits, you come to me because you want gorgeous photography, and that is what I intend to give you…every….single…..time.   To give you that gorgeous photography…….here is a little about what is involved……

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I spend approximately 10 hours on each client.  I spend time on the phone with them, planning their session.  We talk about what they should wear, what they can bring.  I plan my outdoor shoots for a certain time of day, and I always follow up with clients a few days before the shoot to narrow that time down or adjust it if necessary.  Then, shooting day involves one to three hours of time.

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But it doesn’t end there, I then spend up to 8 hours editing your proofs.  Yes, and I’m not talking crazy mad photoshopping, I’m talking the basic time it takes to cull photos, open each file, adjust contrast, color, exposure, smooth skin and a few other tweaks.  Going as fast I can, just for basic edits…….minimum five minutes per image.  (and that’s one reason I don’t do weddings….I really, REALLY have no desire to do that to 1,000 images at a time)

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So, for each client, lets say I spend 10 hours, and want to pay myself $20 an hour (which is very small considering then I pay social security and employment taxes out of that, plus no benefits)  That comes to $200.  So now you’re thinking, wow, she’s making $200 per client, she should just give me the CD of images for that.

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But, the paying myself a measly wage is just about 1/4 of the real expenses.  You want the best photography, and to offer the best that I can, I am constantly paying for education in my craft.  My computer is an expensive one, it has to be, my software costs me hundreds of dollars each year.  Cameras get a certain number of clicks before they die, it costs me $20 just to turn my camera on for a shoot.

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Have you priced studio lights lately?  Thousands of dollars…..then there is building rent and utilities.  So…………I could go on and on, but the quick rundown is:  You aren’t just getting a 5×7 piece of paper when you buy a 5×7 from me.  All of the above (and more) goes into making that image you love which just happens to be on a 5×7 (or whatever) piece of paper.

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And so……..This is why I charge what I charge.  I’m not cheating you when I charge you more than Wal Mart does for a piece of paper.  Because you’re not getting a piece of paper.  I charge what I charge so I can stay in business doing what I love, creating images like this.

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And sometimes, the best ones, are the fun ones…….like this…..

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And now you know….when you order pictures from me…….you are paying $27 for the education, backgrounds, props, rent, utilities, cameras, lighting, taxes (etc,)  that goes into the artwork that goes onto a 5×7………but I’ll throw in the paper for free…… 😉


Happy Valentines Day!!!

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Baby, it’s cold outside! I have stayed in as much as I can, but started feeling bad about not getting my kids out much…so I thought it would be fun to do a Valentines day shoot with my girls….just because I can! They were up for it, as long as I promised to let them eat the candy afterward. DEAL!

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Some dollar tree glasses…..and a little personality……can you tell my kids are used to the camera?Valentines Day-62 copyfb

This lollipop is like a giant marshmallow peep…….they both ate one……yikes….Valentines Day-103 copyfb

Valentine manicure……

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Crush is good…….I haven’t had one in years…….

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Perfectly pink lips…..$1.99 lipgloss

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Paker just HAD to wear the tights……and the pettiskirt…….

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And They brought a friend along too……….  Happy Valentines Day!!

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Life’s perfect moments………….

I have neglected updating my blog….I think my excuse is that I’ve been super busy……but I just couldn’t pass up posting this picture. So here’s a quick story. I promise it’s quick… 😉

If you know me well, you know I am the second oldest in a family of 13 children, and you would know that I am the only one who moved far away from home. You know that my two year old niece Brooklyn is battling cancer and I hate that I cant be there more to help more…..you might know that every day I miss my family, and wish I could be there all the time….but I can’t. So on September 1st, when I became an Aunt for the 19th time, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it down to Kentucky to take pictures of my new nephew. School just started, senior photo season is in full swing, I’m behind on editing……But then………my mother emailed me the sweetest picture of Evan. And that feeling one gets, that lump in the throat that’s actually in the chest….yep it happened to me.

And so I went to Kentucky to take pictures and meet him. And he is perfect. Watching my little brother and sister in law take care of him…that was perfect. And while I was taking his pictures, none other than Brooklyn herself (okay maybe her mom helped) face timed Eric (my brother) but I got to talk to her and see her hair growing back in, and she got to see Evan, and it was one of lifes perfect little moments.

So….Im back home, and still behind on editing, but still thinking about my family’s blessings. So meet Evan William Disselkamp. One of life’s perfect moments.

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Lets teach our girls that they are beautiful………..

I was editing this gorgeous girl’s gallery, and came upon some pictures that won’t make into her proofs, but………they made it into this post.  My girls came with me for the downtown part of Lexi’s shoot.  Their words were, “Oh you’re shooting Lexi?  Can we come?  We love Lexi!”  so the fact that my girls make it hard to say no, paired with the dilemma that I didn’t really have anywhere to leave them that day…..I brought them along….sort of our own little take your children to work day.  I love this picture…my girls looking up to Lexi, it makes me think.  I think of how beautiful she is, you can see how beautiful my girls think she is…..and I hope Lexi knows how special she is.

lexifacebookShe’s not just gorgeous on the outside, she’s also kind, and funny, and smart, and witty….and in a small way I hope my pictures help her to see those things about herself.  And then I thought (cause I never stop thinking…I have one of THOSE brains) I thought about my girls, and how to instill in them an innate sense of their self worth.

lexifacebook2I tell them every day they are smart, and beautiful, and strong, and that I love them…….but they are girls…..and some day they will stop believing me………..so I’ll never stop saying those things, but I must give them tools, so they’ll believe in themselves…………….so what do I do?

lexifacebook3How do I give them the tools they need?  Let them try, let them fail, show them I still love them and that it’s okay, make them work hard so they will feel a sense of accomplishment when they do, never compare them to anyone…….never tell them their feelings are wrong, let them be themselves……….and what else?……..

lexifacebook4What else do I do to help them grow up strong and happy?  Girls who believe their hearts, not the unkind of words of others around them…..I know there are parents who are exceptional at this, but for me, this doesn’t come easy.  I struggle with knowing the right thing to do, the right way to teach, to help them grow……I worry that I might do the wrong thing……..

lexifacebook5But I didn’t worry this day.  This day, I did the right thing.  I brought my girls with me…..they felt included…..they watched me work and do what I love…….they were happy to look up to a beautiful girl, a girl who on a day where a photoshoot was supposed to be all about her, treated my girls like they were important and beautiful.  They felt important.  They were thrilled.  Thank you Lexi……you’re a beautiful girl!  This day I did the right thing……now for tomorrow….    😉

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Lexi

If you know me at all…you know I love shooting seniors.  They’re usually so ready to have a good time and they are up for trying new things………………so when you’re Lexi…..who’s fun, smart, up for that chilly shot…..AND gorgeous….well it just makes my job so easy!!!  I wouldn’t have the lovely pictures I do, without my gorgeous and handsome seniors…..truly.  There’s beauty in every face, and I want all my seniors to see their beauty.  Lexi…..I hope you see yours!  Enjoy!!

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