(Photo by Photography Anthology)

Meet Melissa

Hi there! Thank you for visiting my website and taking the time to get to know a little bit more about me. I can’t wait to get to know YOU!

I am a Charleston, SC based portrait photographer, who services couples and families through documenting love and joy. I will forever be inspired by nature, light, and love. My favorite weddings to photograph are elopements and intimate celebrations with a few friends and family. My favorite family sessions are wild and rowdy, with lots of kids! When I am not behind the camera, I enjoy hanging with my hubs, Paul and our sweet (yet so feisty) chihuahua, Mabel, geeking out with a stack of library books, or sipping a caffeinated concoction from a local coffee shop. A few quirky things about me: I eat vegan but only on weekdays, I have been the ‘face behind the mask’ for two different mascots in Charleston, and I am kind of obsessed with dream analysis.

I love serving the world by: 

Sharing inspiration, celebrating life, and photographing joyful moments of people’s lives

I am a firm believer in:

Meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective) This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.

Guilty Pleasures:

Any kind of icecream or froyo, Pinterest’ing home decor

Favorite Quote:

“Forget your sofa units and string green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say lets… lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may.” -Tyler Durden

The Business Journey

The Journey Began:

I began my journey with photography when I was in high school. I loved everything creative so naturally, art was my favorite class. My art teacher guided me to apply at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, only 2 hours from the little farm town where I grew up in Ohio. Upon graduating I was awarded “Best in Show” with a 2 year degree in Photography. I had learned technical skills of equipment and lighting as well as an extensive understanding on film photography, darkroom printing, parallel parking and bus schedules. City-life had taken it’s toll on my serenity. I was ready to start my career, but wanted to settle down somewhere with a small-town feel.

Honing My Skills:

I moved to Charleston, SC and began working full-time at a local, family-owned photography studio. While working at the studio I gained experience in photographing weddings, corporate events, families, babies, and children. I gained experience in sales, marketing, HR, production, editing, computer software setup, and customer service. I was promoted to sales manager, then studio manager and then to director of operations. The most valuable skills I learned though were in working with others, managing responsibilities, and finding my truth. After almost 6 years, I decided that it was time to pivot direction in order to stay in line with my personal goals. It was a bitter sweet shift and it lead me to start my own photography business.

The First Leap:

In November of 2015 I accepted a flexible part-time job as a dog mascot so that I could focus my energy on my freelance photography. In some ways at first it felt like I was starting all over again. Truly though, that silly dog costume was an answer to so many prayers. I began selling my landscape photography prints, and branched out to explore a wider range of event photography, product, food, and magazine photography as well as some video projects. This exploration journey was what helped me define what it was that I felt passionate about. I enjoy people. Connecting with others is what fuels me, and it’s where I know I can be of maximum service to help others. I don’t want to just go through life trying to achieve just for the sake of achieving. I want to help and inspire people. If each day I am able to help one person through photography, through dressing up as a dog, or any other way, then the day was a success. If I can help others on their journey of self-discovery, or encourage them, or bring them joy or light or love- then I know I am on the path that was designed for me.

Going Full-time:

The doors that opened since I took that first leap of faith still astound me. I was published in a few magazines, and even had the opportunity to photograph several of my favorite musicians that I grew up listening to and actors on tv shows that I’ve binge watched. I was not-so-secretly geeking out!  But most importantly, I connected with people who have faced death, overcome adversity, and found faith. I have been a witness to love, passion, strength, and beauty. I’ve connected with people from all over the world and have traveled across the country to accept the honor of documenting some of the most special moments of people’s lives. In May of 2017 I left my mascot job and went full-time as a photographer. My schedule was booked up and I was being guided to take the next step. Despite the uncertainties of owning your own business, I chose to lean into faith. Today, I continue leaning…and embracing the uncertainty. So far, it has been a wonderful ride and a great and continuous unfolding. I can not wait to see what new adventures God has planned for me!

So what’s so great about photography anyways?

To read more about why I love photography, and some of my crazy adventures, Click HERE…… or just follow my blog.

See you behind the lens!

xo Melissa

Melissa Miley Photography is a full-service photography business  from  Charleston, SC servicing families, individuals, and couples with photography services throughout the local area, including Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, West Ashley, James Island, Folly Beach, North Charleston, Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island. Melissa Miley is a professional photographer that has been part of the photography industry since 2010 and specializes in wedding and family photography. Other services provided (but not limited to) include: engagement photography, bridal portrait photography, boudoir photography, bachelorette party photography, maternity photography, newborn photography, family photography, children’s photography, event photography, business portraits, teaching photography workshops, and selling landscape and nature photography artwork.