Today we’d like to introduce you to Selina LeMoon.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up, I would set up little photoshoots in my backyard. I’d use one of those little point-and-shoot cameras on a timer and myself as a model in the fanciest gowns I could get my hands on for a thirteen-year-old.
I think I’ve always been drawn to creativity. When I was five and adults asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said that I wanted to be an artist. Later, I gave more practice answers, like veterinarian, but it eventually came full circle back to the arts.
I wound up getting into art school at SCAD on academic and artistic honors scholarships, the latter mostly for paintings from my high school days. I was originally a writing major and a photography minor. A couple years in, though, I began trying for internships. I would get journalism gigs for festivals like TomorrowWorld, and I’d ask if I should also bring my camera or if I’d just be writing. And they’d tell me they hired me for my photography portfolio. For a while, I was doing both in tandem like that.
At some point, after having my son, I realized I was close to graduating in photography than writing. Now, that’s all I do, wholeheartedly. I’m a mom and a photographer and that’s about it.
I feel kind of like photography picked me. Now I’m collaborating with designers and small businesses around the city of Atlanta, and I love it. I’ll be graduating from SCAD in November with a BFA in Photography, Commercial concentration, and a minor in Fashion Photography.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh, no. It definitely wasn’t a straight and narrow path. It’s been long and winding. I’m lucky and privileged in a lot of ways, but there were definitely obstacles.
I started out college thinking I’d be in and out in four years and that’s not my reality.
I found out I was pregnant in my junior year at SCAD literally the day after getting home from a music festival press internship. I thought I was going to start traveling and doing those kinds of jobs all the time. I’d also just moved from a one bedroom apartment in Midtown to a house in Reynoldstown where I lived my partner and a band. And, I just kept going to school.
I dropped my course load to 10 hours instead of 15 and kept on. I learned studio lighting and in my second trimester. I was putting up lights and backdrops and tripods and stuff while my son was growing. He’d kick at the flash firing sometimes.
I switched to online classes for my third trimester and then he was born June 2016. We all moved north of the perimeter, and I wound up taking a whole year off from school to be a stay at home mom. I tried online classes, but it was too much for me with a newborn and no childcare.
I didn’t know if I’d ever been back at SCAD. I throw myself into it so much more now. Taking a step back and raising my son for that year made me appreciate all of the opportunities that I mostly took for granted before. Now I try not to waste a day. If I’m with my kid, he gets all that I’ve got. If I’m working in the studio, same thing. It’s a beautiful balance that makes me be better in both areas I think.
My advice to young women and women, in general, is what I’ve experienced. Having a child doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams, your career, or your education, no matter your age.
More generally, just because your pace and accomplishments aren’t the same as your peers, that’s okay. As long as you have the courage to keep trying, the timeline is flexible.
Please tell us about Selina LeMoon Photography.
I’m a commercial photographer. I specialize in fashion, beauty, and product photography for advertising and editorial. I’m mostly known for high fashion editorial work. My aesthetic for my personal work is luxurious and also a little mythical and edgy.
I do product photography for local small businesses and online sellers, and I help to brand companies with my imagery.
Most of my work is done in the studio, whether it’s people or products.
I also do ceremonies, weddings, and baby photography. But, I’m most proud of my studio work.
Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Photography is super male-dominated. It’s ridiculous actually. Something like 80-90% of working commercial photographers is men. Meanwhile, more women are actually going to school for it. Yet, we often wind up retouching and editing instead.
I think this is a societal issue, too, and not just one for aspiring photographers. Commercial photography is a massive share of the imagery we consume. If 8 out of 10 images in a major fashion magazine were taken by a man, that shifts all of society’s perspective on what is beautiful or acceptable or attractive.
Photography is the world from my perspective. Obviously, that’s a female perspective and it’s been shaped by my experiences as a woman.
And this goes beyond gender, probably. A photographer’s perspective includes race, religion, social standing, all of that. Diversity is seriously lacking in the field right now. That affects all of us, of every age and every background.
- Website: selinalemoon.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @selinalemoon
- Facebook: /selinalemoonphotography