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April 9, 2020

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I'm Dustin Steller. As Editor-in-Chief, I strive to give you lots of eye-candy & let you get to know me a bit. Oh! and I love me some comment love, didn't you know?!



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Steller Photography is based in Kansas City and primarily produces artistic photography for weddings & seniors...high school seniors, not old people.

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First Day of School
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FIRST Day of School!! My baby started real school this past week!! Ashlyn Grace Steller is now in kindergarten. Wow. It was tramatizing!! Well…at least it was for mommy and daddy. Daddy feels a lot older and we were both truly overwhelmed by emotions we have never felt before! Ashlyn was just fine and took everything in stride.

We got to the school as a family and waited to take her to her class. I can imagine that walking into the building for the first day was a bit awe-inspiring, with the ordered chaos of throngs of children and parents walking to their respective classes. Ashlyn had her own little Nikon paparazzi snapping away with tears in his eyes and pride in his heart. We got the typical shots of the first day (with sissy, mommy and daddy and teacher, but I snapped of few of her moments of school…the embarrassment walking down the hall with daddy shooting away and all the other kids looking on…a tentative “do I sit down at my desk now?” look of bewilderment…some little details that some folks tend to miss, but the photographer in me kicks into gear.

My favorite photo is this last one and it is a bit heart-wrenching to say the least. As we were walking out of the room, after saying our good-byes, I turned one last time and saw my big girl apprehensively looking at her peers for the very first time, wondering if she should start her coloring now, and wondering if she was following directions, wondering if she was doing the right thing, wondering if she could be brave and make it through her first minutes, first hours, first days of this new journey towards growing up.

Ashlyn, I am so proud of you, baby. God gave me a beautiful, red-haired little angel, with a sweet temperament and a quick, intelligent mind. I already know how smart you are and I just know that you will continue to love school as much as your daddy did. Baby, just know that I am always here for you whenever you need me, for anything, anytime. When you can read this yourself, I want you to test me on this. I am your number one fan. I love you, my big girl.

SIDENOTE: Half a week into it, she already loves school. After her second day, I overly-animatedly (that’s a new word, I think) asked if she had fun and what she had learned that was cool. She calmy stated that “her teacher still hadn’t taught her how to read, yet.” I stifled an uproarous laugh and replied that I was sure they would get to that later this year, then followed up with a question about recess, which she told me was a lot of fun and that they got to have two of them! It’s an all day kindergarten, so they break it up a bit, for everyone’s sanity, I imagine.

Show comments (17 Comments so far. Add your comment!)

  1. Dale Hogan

    Dustin, I love these shots! Wow! You did a great job of capturing some truly precious moments. I love your heart man!

  2. Luke

    You go dad! I am am sure she is doing amazing in her new environment! These images will bring back sweet memories for your and your wife! I also have a hunch that she will be thoroughly embarrassed by them in a few years 😉 Wow time flies!!

  3. Randy

    How cool. Your little girl is adorable. In 2009 LS Schools will be doing all day kindergarten and it scares me to death to think of the chaos Jet will cause. I’ll have to show Jet these pictures so he gets a clue what it is like.

  4. Kate Mefford

    OMG…I got a little *PANG* (that’s the sound it made) in my heart when I saw the last pic. Oh…your baby! However, you must be as proud as you can be. What a doll!

  5. Priscilla Rathbone

    Aw, so cute! Beautiful post. My boy starts first grade in a week, which is big, but kindergarten is the biggest (especially for the parents!).

  6. Brian Stevens

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only paparazzi dad on the first day of school this year! These are some great shots and some great memories!

  7. Natalie Jost

    Wow, such awesome pictures! My daughter started KG last week and we were told we couldn’t even go to their classroom. We could drop them off at the front door of the school and that was it. Something about being too distracting and intimidating for the kids. I cracked up at that comment about reading. She must have been doing some pre-kindergarten schooling at home or in preschool. :)

    It’s amazing how much these kids really can learn if they get a shot.

  8. nazarethman

    keep lovin’ ’em bro. they grow up quick and they (carrie included) will love the captured memories.

  9. Josh Morris

    dude! Choking me up! Your girls are freaking precious. Love you guys!

  10. Sandy Farrar

    Ok – I’m choking up here. Didn’t I just send you off to
    kindergarten the other day? Now my first grandbaby off to
    school! I know she will love it and do well. May the Lord
    bless you and keep you in His care, my little Sweet Pea…
    Love you – Mamaw:)

  11. Cheryl

    Dustin your daughters are darling and all us parents know what it’s like to send them off in the big world for the first time. Enjoy all their “first moments” because before you know it you will be enjoying their wedding pictures just like I am now!! I hope they have a great photographer like we did.

  12. Jan

    Wonderful photos of the fam. She looks like she’s ready to take on the world! Lucas just started pre-school and we’re all crazy. I can’t even imagine the real thing.

  13. Rachel

    Ashlyn is so cute. I loved how you caught the emotions.

  14. Jamon*Abercrombie

    yep. Taylor started his Kindergarten last week, too. kind of scary – we’re the parents of KINDERGARTENERS!!!

    yeah, now i’m old … but at least Jen is still older 😛

  15. Erin

    Wow! That made me want to cry and my daughter’s only 2 1/2!!! I’m already dreading “letting go”. But, it’s encouraging to see others do it and how great the kids are doing and love school!

  16. Aunt Paula

    Is that gorgeous red head my great-niece? She is such a princess. Give her a great big hug from me. She has an adorable little sister, too. Dustin, you had better grab a great big stick to fight off all of the little boys that will be chasing the Steller sisters! Love you all.

  17. Belinda Willmoth

    WOW, Dustin. I stumbled upon this blog b/c I was curious to see some of your recent pics. You probably don’t remember me (from FBCr MOPS) but I’m friends w/ your mom and sis. Anyway. This posting and these pics just captured my heart. Wow. God Bless you and your family!

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