The Kindling of a Flame | A Senior Portrait Session With Shelby

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.

Senior portrait photographers in Rome NY


Shelby just completed her junior year of high school and she, along with her family, invited me out to her family’s property in Cold Brook NY to photograph her for her high school senior portraits.

What an unbelievably cool place for a backdrop for her portraits, rich in history and a story of it’s own. The farm house is the original homestead settled by their family, situated on over 200 acres of woods on the reservoir. The light performed impeccably– illuminating the canopy, the lush ferns and Shelby’s warm smile.

click images to enlarge

click images to enlarge

Inside the original homestead, the family has a collectibles wall. So many cool things adorn the wall, including a letter from King George!

Rome NY Senior Photography 12 [Kelley Elizabeth Photography] Photo

Rome NY Senior Photography 11 [Kelley Elizabeth Photography] Photo

I asked Shelby what her high school years have taught her and what her hopes are for her last year walking those halls as a senior:

“Freshman year is probably one of the toughest for any high school student. You’re thrown in with new people who don’t know anything about you, and people will judge you no matter what you do. I have learned that you need to follow your goals, and stay true to yourself, because if someone is going to judge you after knowing you for such a short amount of time, they’re not going to be a good influence.”

Rome NY Senior Photography 3 Photo

“Sophomore year taught me a lot about how to put myself out there. Try something new that will be good for you, you never know what you’ll discover. It can be life changing.” 

Rome NY Senior Photography 1 Photo

Rome NY Senior Photography 4 Photo

“During my junior year, I learned to remove people from my life that would be toxic to my future, and to surround myself with friends that I could bring the best out of, and that bring out the best in me.”

Rome NY Senior Photography 5 Photo

Rome NY Senior Photography 6 [Kelley Elizabeth Photography] Photo

“In my senior year, I hope to accomplish more than is expected of me. I have multiple learning disabilities, so that makes school work difficult for me. I hope to get the best grades I can get, and stay close with the friends in my life that I love so much.”

Rome NY Senior Photography 10 [Kelley Elizabeth Photography] Photo

And when asked about her future plans,

“I hope to become an educational therapist who can be an advocate and help students who are struggling with learning disabilities. I want to impact a student’s learning path in a positive way.”

Rome NY Senior Photography 8 [Kelley Elizabeth Photography] Photo

Shelby, I have no doubt you will move mountains and impact many people along your way. You have such a warm spirit that naturally puts people at ease and I felt it from the moment you came up and hugged me when I got out of my truck to meet you. You won’t just meet your goals– you will exceed them.

You exude authentic grace and class. You are amazing. And you’re just getting started.

Rome NY Senior Photography 13 [Kelley Elizabeth Photography] Photo

Shelby’s parents included a special note:

“What a privilege it’s been to be your parents, Shelby.  You started as an adorable baby whose smile lit up any room and have blossomed into the lovely, creative young woman that we are extremely proud of.  We know there is nothing that will stand in your way once you set your mind to it!  We are so glad we found Kelley to document your senior photos.  Just a glimpse into who you are.  We love you!  Mom & Dad”

Rome NY Senior Photography 2 Photo
Continue to kindle the flame.

Share this post