Christmas Joy by Kristen Phillips

This little bundle of joy was amazing to work with. She had smiles for days despite the cold weather. I could photograph her any time.  A child's innocence is a good reminder to not take things too seriously sometimes.

Only days left till the big day. The last of my gifts came in today. Thank goodness right?! Now have to wrap and make em pretty just to be ripped open. To see the excitement on our receivers face. Is that why we do it? See them start to think of using it, wearing it, or hanging it? Today I pondered if this could be looked at as a selfish act as well? Am I giving the gift to showcase my love. To show just how much I care? What if we can't give everything we want to offer? What if we give too much? That used to be how I showed my love. Wanted to make people sooooo happy on Christmas Day. Thinking that what I got them was just what they wanted! But then I felt some kinda way if it wasn't reciprocated. So, I become more simple and thoughtful with my gifts. I really like giving photos that I have taken for sure.  So this Christmas guess what people are getting? Yep PHOTOS! Now if I can only put some of my own up on the wall. 

Have you read the 5 Love Languages? If not its a must read to understand ones you love, who you work with, your kids, and most importantly YOU! I have learned that without physical touch I notice shifts in my behavior.  They say that its a good place to see what it is that you do the most. Where I love giving gifts, cooking for others or giving praises. Touch is still my main thing. Maybe thats why I so enjoy massage. It just makes sense to me. 

Any who I digress. Back to Christmas joy and finding a way to just be with the ones you love. Maybe its cooking, shopping, watching a movie, driving around looking at lights or just cuddling watching the snow fall. Find a new tradition and try it on for size. I personally want to do something with art this year. Maybe paint, draw or go out and take some pics. Either way love can be shared with more than just things. Share as much love as you can this year! Theres plenty to go around. 

In the meantime isn't this baby ADORABLE? 

Senor Juans Commercial Photo Shoot by Kristen Phillips

It all started with my friend Kyle Shackleton. He is the Mid-Atlantic North Area Manager at La Flor Dominicana. My goal was to get Kyle in a natural setting so he brought me to Senor Juans and introduced me to Nick.  Nick has made the atmosphere comfortable, inviting and sophisticated and a perfect match for my environmental portrait of Kyle. 

The first day I went in was a treat! A man was hand rolling cigars! The second shoot day I spent lighting up his cherry wood humidor and glancing inside scoop to a member.  I took the time to light the glass bottles and the cabinet itself. The challenge came to the reflection I was balancing out on the surface of the cabinet. After I sorted that out it was all about giving some love to the glass bottle of Tall Ship Malaga Islands Barrel Aged Rum.  

Here are my fav shots from both shoots. Check out Senor Juans in Belmar, NJ for a fine smoke with some good stories. 

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Woodstock Inn VT~ Vermont Wedding Photographer by Kristen Phillips

Emily & Aaron ~ August 27, 2016

 

The day was beautiful for starters. It only got better as the day went on. Total no stress day. As a second shooter for Amy Spirito Photography I was able to capture Aaron with his closest buddies from Philly to Boston. From there I looked for the creative pieces this couple choose to share with those closest to them. Emily and Aaron had a balance between them. Was really lovely to be in the presence of them declaring their love to each other. Thank you for having me be a part of your day~

With love ~Kristen

 

Venue: Woodstock Inn 

Main Photographer: Amy Spirito Photography

Finding Space for You by Kristen Phillips

As we go into our hibernation state with cold weather. Remember to let the leaves fall and get replenished into the mother earth. Release what doesn't serve you and all that good stuff. Im sure you have heard it before that holding on to stuff only makes it difficult to make space within yourself. what if holding on to that pain was all you had. Maybe it was what kept you comfortable. That the unknowing of your story looked like without that story. Without the conversation you have with others. The emotional gain you received telling the story over and over. Like I silent approval that we are seeking. And how scary it would look if the story was different? What if we didn't get similar approval ratings?  We carry these bags because we are comfortable with them. We know the weight we know the size, the color, and the smell. 

I remember when I opened up the opportunity to move out of the country. The thought of closing my business', leave my clients, family and friends. Rationalizing this new drastic chapter in my book of adventures.  I did research about the process of visas, work opportunities and how to live. Not all people were on board of course. And I had to look at each opposition with love and consideration. At one point I made the decision. Not sure when, but I was like a prepping ninja. Massaging and photo shoots on overload. Reducing my personal inventory to bare bones.  And strengthening those friendships with love. 

Somedays I would look at why I was leaving all these comforts for something so new. My life was good. Lets just call it comfortable, and uncomfortable. I was missing my Frank.  But I was enjoying life, travel, work, network etc. Something was missing. A piece of me was restless. I urged for connection to my soul. Find the deeper purpose to my book of adventures.  This urge for a deeper connection was foreign to most. They just assumed I would go over and get it out of my system and return to them. Return to my 'normal' life. 

My love well was running dry and the only one to fill it was me. I needed to make sure I was taking care of myself. Life skills are rarely taught in this side of the world. Coping skills. What are those? Like seeing a therapist, burning our pain away, working out, drawing, painting, calling a friend, sleep, medication? YES to all of them. And maybe for you none of them. Coping skills have grown over the years for me. There are a few steadfast 'go-tos' like exercise, mediation, being in nature, long drive, music, wine, and sleep.  Now sometimes it can be outta balance and I can drink and sleep. Or i can choose to go for a long drive to someplace new, have a nice dinner, and explore. Meditation used to just be a good time to nap. I hoped that the information was getting thru to my psyche even tho I was snoozing. Now its part of my daily routine. My day will go much smoother if I start off with a visit to my alter, a good song, and gratitude.  Knowing what to do for YOU to balance out isn't always easy. I must add that talking to my family and friends is a must. Processing with so many different view points helps me see the larger picture. And sometimes I just need to say stuff out loud. 

So what happens when you enter into the black hole. You are in your routine and don't even realize you are in a stagnant cycle? Here are a few things that can be clues: Negative self talk, excessive sleeping, and weight gain just to name a few. The first thing I try to do when I notice these is go for a walk in nature. This can be so awakening! Try to pull off of social media and your phone in general. Try to even put on airplane mode to see if you can just be with yourself for long. Without those distractions. Be in your own head for awhile. 

We must water our own wells, and recycle that which doesn't serve us anymore.  No one else knows that better then ourselves. Don't let your well get too low. Be aware, be in-touch, and listen. Our body is the best barometer. 

These images are from a recharge walk I needed. Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in Lewiston Maine will always be one of my main recharge stations. Something about this sanctuary just does it for me. Find one for yourself! 

Branding Your Business by Kristen Phillips

Online marketing hasn't been this important till now. With the instant gratification to know what things look like is at its PEAK. First impressions are the most important. If your site is looking drab or has really old photos. Better yet phone pics!! :// (Insert emoji) 

Fear no more. I have the solution. Environmental portraits, product shots and clean beautiful location pics. Don't worry this won't take up much of your time. I will work like a stealth ninja in your space. You won't even know I was there. The most time it will take will be for your portraits. Environmental portrait preferably.

This will be your 'face' to the public. It will show where you work. That your real, approachable and someone they want to do business with. 

This isn't limited to a specific business type. I have done work for fish farms, bars, dance studios and mortgage offices.

Next to questions I'm sure you have is WHY...or the bigger question HOW MUCH will this cost me?

Ill go with the investment first. Ask yourself a few questions: 

  • How many people do you want to draw into your space?
  • Are you content with your current clientele?  
  • When did you take a vacation?
  • Have you ever had professional photos done?
  • Have you updated your website?
  • Do you have a proper website?
  • Is your business growing or stale?
  • Have you hired new staff in the past few years?
  • Have you googled your company yet?

If these few questions has peaked your interest call now. Lets start a plan to bring your business to the next level!

Road Trip by Kristen Phillips

Recently after completing the Hallmark Institute of Photography my soul needed a fresh breath of air. You know that itch you get when its winter and you have barely gone outside unless you had to. Or if its 100% out with 110% humidity like today. I get that itch. I prob give myself the opportunity to scratch it more than others. But life is way too short. 

So with some pennies and a tent my dear friend Liz and I set out on a journey. Started with this dream of exploring the upper states. We chatted about it and forgot about it. Until our friend Danielle rang with an offer of a beer fest in Burlington VT. Free ticket~~~ And thats all we needed. Free beer. LOL. So we packed. Well, better yet I packed. I am like a Mom. I have to be ready for anything. Camping, warm, cold, wet, dry, swimming, hell I could have done massages and photo shoots. Let's just say the car was packed and we were off! 

What started in VT led us to Montreal, NH White Mountains and ending our days in Maine. Liz is from El Paso Texas and had not explored our dear northern mountains. It was a blast watching her gaze at the fresh springs, waterfalls, Mt Washington and attempting to put up a tent. 

What I didn't know that I would see was pieces of me. She was a mirror for that week. To see the good and the good intentions. Some say I can be a bit abrasive. Liz accepts me for me, strong willed, opinionated, OCD, and lovable. It was the first time I had actually felt accepted and not afraid to be me. Afraid to be judged by my thoughts. She allowed me to say what was on my mind and offered it with so much love. Was nice to let down my brick walls...as it seemed like eternity since I was able to do that. 

With this new awareness I took some time to accept me for me. Forgive myself. Love myself. And just be. 

I thank you Liz...and of course I love you, Jesus. :)

I hope that everyone has someone like that in your life.  

Top of the world with Liz

Claire Rosen by Kristen Phillips

What an experience! Claire took out all the stops. Here I was thinking that my spiritual and healing background would be a challenge to blend together. But alas someone who has shined a light down that path. A path that I didn't think I had 'time' for.  A path I thought had to live in different boxes.  Claire was grounded, strong, articulate and well balanced.  To see someone else feed their creative self with similar practices of meditation, intuitive senses, and spiritual practices brought a fresh vibe into my work. 

Phase 4 has started and I hope to build my mood boards and fully set up all 24 images with passion, determination, plans, and casting all on point.  Not to mention with mediation and patience as my grounding. This is the final run and I am confident that I will have an amazing portfolio.  

Breaking out into the world by Kristen Phillips

As some whom know me best would understand when I put my heart into something I just don't stop. Going to school at the Hallmark Institute was one of those things. 

When I had a moment in time where I had to decide on my next chapter of life and the sign was loud and bright. I jumped. All in. Head first. I stumbled, prayed, begged, and worked really hard to get here. 

And now its almost done. Only a few months away from going back into the world to continue this book of life with a whole new chapter. A chapter where I am confident with my camera gear! And still learning how to grow in my craft. Training my eye to see...to master this thing we love of light. To sculpt it and form it. So others can be a part of what I see. 

One of the biggest struggles hasn't been to take a picture but to be confident that I am worth the investment one makes when choosing a photographer. To teach my family, clients and friends just how much value is in taking the picture. Cause its more than that. Some think that the camera does all the good work, even tho it does some pretty bad work too.  

 

I hope to grow as an artist that you value and will proudly put my work on your wall.