Friday, February 26, 2010

A Moment with Melissa

One of the opening lines of the movie "Goodfellas" is "As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster". Replace gangster with photographer and you have me! As far back as I can remember I've always loved taking pictures.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to show you some old photos that in a way shaped who I am today. They are all old and scanned into the computer so please excuse the quality.

The first camera I got was a Kodak Disc Film Camera. I saved up my money to get it in 1983. I started taking still life of my toys. Here is one of my 1000 piece E.T. puzzle and one of my Garfield, Annie and unicorn stuffed animal...

A photographer is born!

After that I know you're all thinking "I need to hire Melissa to do my wedding!" BUT WAIT! There's more...

I started getting creative with the kids in the neighborhood. I was trying to take wacky photos and play tricks on the eyes. Like this one for example! Who is upside down and who is right side up? I was a thinking man's photographer...

This one really makes me laugh! I mean these girls must have thought I was nuts! I told them to tilt their heads but then I tilted the camera so in the actual picture the heads are straight! Brilliant, right!? This will have to be "my move" next wedding season... Just kidding!

Around freshman year of high school I discovered black and white film! The picture below is not a good picture, but at the time it was a huge turning point in my life. Written next to this photo in my album is "Photography begins". Something clicked when I took it. I started to think maybe photography could be an art for me instead of something silly.

I decided to approach the yearbook advisor about becoming the student photographer. She was hesitant because I was young and usually they didn't have student photogs. She gave me one roll of film and sent me to a football game.

Here was my favorite picture of the day. Again it's really not that good, but I loved it! I thought she looked so happy and natural.

When the film came back I went to see the advisor. She said "Looks like we have ourselves a budding photographer." Can't tell you how proud I was! Here I am sorting through photos at 14! You know you love my hair!

Here is a photo of my parents. It's one of those photos that will always be special to me. I think a lot of the photos I've taken over the years have meant a lot to my family. I took this with my first "real camera". My dad bought it for me from a classified ad in the newspaper. Thanks, Dad!

Here's another day or roll of film that will always mean a lot to me. My friends and I skipped school one day in senior year. I took so many great pictures of my friends that day. Here is one. It was the 90's and we were SO "alternative"

When I got the photos back from this day my friends went crazy for them! I had to make copies for everyone. To this day they all remember these pictures and this day. One of the biggest reasons that I love photography is it gives me the chance to give people beautiful memories. That plays into my personal and professional life now. I do it when I take a picture of my daughter and when I go to shoot a wedding. It's an amazing feeling and one of the many reasons I love my job!!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Melissa! It was neat getting a glimpse into your teenage life. We are so glad you found your calling! I just shared my albums with some other friends the other night, and they couldn't stop raving about how beautiful the photos were. Every time I look at them, I feel like I'm reliving the day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! -Stella

  2. Melissa, I think we are kindred spirits! I felt like this story was about me! (Almost anyway, minus the curly hair of course.) Such a great insight into your transition into wedding photography!

    Lisa F

  3. I really DO love your curly hair!! Thanks for sharing a little summary of your photog history, so fun! From a fellow curly, Emily (AKA chatty cathy!!)

  4. Not only was that the curliest hair ever, but I teased it to make it even bigger! I had a boof! Should have known it was bad from the name alone! Happy everyone liked my compact photo history!