Hello there! I just wanted to take a second and sort of re-introduce myself over here on this blog. I’m Melissa. Wife to Michael, mama to four, lover of Jesus. I’m an introvert, I prefer to listen more than share but being married to the man I am and having as many kids as I do it forces me into social situations that I will wholly admit I love more and more every day. I love it when walls are broken down and people share their hearts and their lives with me. Photography has been such a gift in that aspect. The Lord has given me a talent for capturing moments, noticing things sometimes missed. The beauty in the ordinary, in the messy moments. We can miss the beauty when we are in the mess but that’s where I come in; that’s where I thrive. It is my passion to help people see their families as unique and beautiful. Even when (especially when) we feel that is far from true.
I handed my camera over to Michael one afternoon when I was feeling confident. I loved my outfit, I loved my hair, and I had done my makeup for the day. I knew I needed some headshot photos to start using this blog again and just get more intentional about my social media platforms. I am so glad that I did. I can 100% say, feeling confident in your skin makes for some great images. I think it’s great practice to be on the other side of the camera and remember how strange it can feel to have a camera in your face wanting to capture your genuine self. I’ll totally admit it – it feels weird! But it’s short lived and then you are on the other side. And you realize it wasn’t so bad… if not even a little fun.
I realized I loved capturing moments on a trip my then boyfriend, now husband, and I took to Zambia, Africa. I couldn’t seem to put my camera down. I captured the flowers, the food, the kids we had a chance to love on, the signs, everything, everywhere. And my heart soared. I will always treasure those images. They are a dream realized for me. My husband and I got engaged after our Africa trip and got married the following summer. Shortly after our wedding we had the surprise of our lives. We were having a baby! We still had wedding money and I had been dreaming of getting a nice camera. I knew I would want great photos of this baby that was on his way so we bought a beginner DSLR. I read that manual cover to cover. It was the first thing I actually loved learning about that was a real challenge. But I didn’t put it down when I was overwhelmed. I kept at it and I am so grateful for that time invested in that camera. And grateful for the timing of it all – if I hadn’t been expecting I don’t think I would’ve felt the pressure or desire to learn like I did.
The baby was born… and over the years we’ve added three more babies to our crew. You’ve heard it before and it’s true. Kids grow up too darn fast. They don’t come with a pause button! And now with four I cherish looking back on my photos of them. The days are long (so long) but the years seem to by flying by in a blur. I can remember so many details with the photos that I could never remember on my own. And I’m passionate about helping other families have the same types of images of their children and families to look back on and remember their own stories. I love lifestyle photography. The genuine, un-staged, sometimes messy, always memorable moments. The candid moments, and the moments just after the staged ones. That is where the magic will always be to me.
My first few years as a photographer I didn’t feel like I was worthy of that title. I had a photographer friend I so admire tell me, “You ARE a photographer.” And every time I call myself a photographer it still puts the biggest grin on my face. It’s a special title to have and it isn’t one that I take lightly. I am so grateful to carry it. Thanks for being here and all of your support in this adventure of mine.