LOQUACIOUS MEMOIRS FOR THE DISCERNING CLIENT
They never told me in High School that "taking pictures" could be a passion, a career... an avenue worth pursuing. Nonetheless I moved on to working for Lifetouch Portrait Studios, JC Penny Portraits, and Olan Mills. For 10 years I photographed and trained other photographers on not the technical side of photography (I was a novice then), but how to capture a moment. I told my employees and trainees, "We've been invited into people's homes, their life, and their memories. You're not just taking another baby picture... you're taking that family's first picture of the child they tried to conceive for 10 years. You are taking this family's last Family Portrait with their Great Grandmother who is edging on 100 years of life and stories. Imagine if you will that every photo you took was posted on a highway billboard for all to see... Would you be proud? Would it evoke a feeling of joy?"
I have been blessed to take a first... and sadly a last picture of someone.
Then it hit me... I want more. I want more than the confines of corporate pictures with 10 mins to "sell" someone their memories. So I bought my own camera... but had NO IDEA HOW TO USE IT!
I set it to Auto (taboo in the pro-photog world) and *GASP* people still loved my work, because they didn't see that my white balance was off, or that there was a fire hydrant in the background... They saw that they were holding hands with the love of their life, they were holding their baby for the first time, they saw the memory right there, memorialized in print, on their wall, for years to come.
Hello! I'm Mellisa, your photographer, dress fixer, makeup artist, reigning karaoke Queen, and ADHD as all get out... but it works for me! If you read our first page you can see I was practically born with a camera in my hand. There are two things I love outside of my family and friends; Tattoos and Pictures. Both are everlasting images that mark a special moment in life.
In 2005 I survived Hurricane Katrina. It was devastating and eye-opening. You see I always knew pictures were special to me, but when people were interviewed and asked about all they lost, you know what they mentioned most? Their family pictures. While we have our memories, one picture can bring back so many emotions. Have you ever heard the Jamey Johnson song "In Color"?
"A picture's worth a thousand words
But you can't see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should've seen it in color"
Think about seeing a scene from you favorite movie. For me it could be that moment when Captain America caught Thor's Hammer... You know that feeling of joy, the thrill, and everything behind it?
That's what I feel when I'm taking pictures. I know that one day, later rather than sooner, someone is going to look at that picture and smile, cry, or maybe both and say "remember when..?"
There IS more to me than pictures though. I work at motivating people, and bringing awareness to depression and suicide prevention. I myself am a two time survivor. Yep, this spastic happy lady had her own demons to fight when I lost my passion for life. So it is my dearest desire to help others like me and remind them that God has a purpose for you!
I am a Mississippi girl at heart, with a little bit of city and a touch of Southern Debutant. If you read any of my blogs or listen to my podcasts, you'll have insight to my happy little brain and how it's like an 8 year old excited to learn new things and share them all at around 100 miles per hour.
I also love getting on stage and belting everything from Patsy Cline, to Adele, and Lady Gaga. Add a little theatrical background and musical theater in there and BOOM! Let the Good time Roll!
Don't get scared yet, because I have a calm and focused side too. When there's pandemonium going on around me, even in the chaos of some weddings, there's a peace that comes over me to see all the tiny memories unfolding. My distractions fall away and I capture those moments that might otherwise have been lost in the madness. Still, when I'm in the zone with a camera you might hear me belt out directions and orders to my sweet hubby like a drill sergeant. Let's just call that focus, though.
But, I will be your best friend when you need me. I'll calm your Maid of Honor down, pull your Groomsman out of the water fountain, anything to make sure I get the perfect shot of you smiling. (Or laughing because the groomsman fell in said fountain while dancing with your great aunt without spilling his third Fireball shot).
I love capturing these moments for you and with you, because your special day lives in my memories forever too. Often seeing that pure joy in your eyes is enough to bring a tear to mine.
Hi guys, I'm Keith. I'm usually lighting clients on shoots, but here I'll be spotlighting myself. In several ways I compliment Mellisa as a photographer, and you as our clients, and ultimately it compliments and fulfills me as well.
I have a couple decades of art and graphic design background, which has given me a lot of insight with the expression and impression of images. Lighting is a big part of that, so it's only natural that I'm running around with a soft-box on a pole during shoots, or strategically placing light stands for ceremonies. Afterwards, I do most of our editing, which is a meticulous and creative process all its own... Not because you need touching up (trust me, you're beautiful), but because post-processing is where the finer traits of subject and photographer are artistically brought forward. I'm talking about the splendor of that sky, the light feathering over your shoulder, the fabric's texture, the in-person feel of that ambiance transformed into visual drama that conveys more than a thousand words of recounted memory. And yes we can make that blemish disappear too, we've all been there and you're still a cover model in my eyes.
As far as The Big Day, or your toddler's close-ups are concerned, I'm happy to be a supportive bro or cool uncle as the situation may require. I'll safeguard your Ray-Bans, straighten your tie, and make that ridiculous joke or calming affirmation for your camera-shy little tyke. Likewise, boudoir shoots receive my utmost chivalry, so if you and/or your significant other prefer I leave the shooting and editing to Mellisa exclusively, all you need do is ask. What I'm saying in a nutshell is that you sincerely matter to me, and I value your happiness and respect your relationships. In support of that, I myself am a doting father, a proud husband, a military veteran with honorable service and medical background, a user of turn signals while driving, and quintessential bro whenever a bro is needed.
If after all that you're still curious, I'll let you know a few of my interests... Heaven forbid I retain any air of mystery. So yeah, I love being out in austere wilderness, like our beautiful deserts and the ocean, I want to eat all the sushi and pet all the dogs, noir movies and the original Twilight Zone series captivate me, Art Deco calls to my soul, siracha mayo goes on everything, the movie Ad Astra was underrated, Jameson Black Barrel is overpriced, and motorcycles are cooler than tattoos, fight me.