Hello! 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!
Most days you can find me:
at a local coffee shop, or eating a tuna wrap with my husband, Paul and our sweet mutt, Nilla.
People often refer to me as:
‘my overachiever friend, Melissa’ or ‘the artsy one’
I love serving the world by:
sharing inspiration, celebrating life, supporting causes that tug at my heart, and photographing people’s passion
- My relationship with God
- Family and Friendships
- Living Creatively
- Helping others + supporting organizations that help others
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.
Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Core ice cream, Pinterest’ing home decor
The way to my heart is:
Living joyfully, deeply, + soulfully
“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
A Unique Perspective:
Photography for me has been about much more than just creating pretty pictures. It has changed me. It has opened me up to witness the beauty in every person, place, and thing that surrounds me. Witnessing raw beauty is a blessing- free to anyone who is willing to take the time to notice. Seeing light in everyone, and listening to the story that needs to be told- that is what I want to do. My desire is not only to experience these moments, but more importantly to connect with others and share beauty, light, love and joy through photography. I specialize in capturing people and their passions. I didn’t always know that this was my calling though. It has taken me 7 years to get to this point, and still I am evolving and learning something new every day.
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.
The doors that opened since I took that first leap of faith still astound me. In 2016 I was published in a few magazines, and had the opportunity to photograph several of my favorite musicians that I grew up listening to. I connected with people who have faced death, overcome adversity, and found faith. I have been a witness to love, passion, strength, and beauty.
The Second Leap:
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 am 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!
Peace, Love, and a little spunk,