Hi. I’m Melissa.
And I am a storyteller.
Photo Credit: Dana Marquart,
Photogenics on Location
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories. As a child, I would pour hours a day over books, enjoying the details used to write them and the deeper connection I found to the characters. As a student, I created the places and characters I needed to tell the full story I envisioned.
Then as an elementary classroom teacher and stay-at-home mom, I had a great desire to share my love of stories with the children closest to me. I loved helping them see how stories, especially their stories, could change the world. To learn to create their own amazing tales and find their voice within that creation. Today as a documentary photographer, I love to watch the deep stories families are writing as I photograph it all right through my lens.
I think Ansel Adams said it best: “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” Here’s to the beautiful stories God is creating through us everyday.
My journey of photography started in 2010, where after leaving a career in education, a comment in an introductory photography class opened the door for me to begin learning manual mode shooting. I spent 4 years immersing myself in daily learning and practicing, but found myself still searching for my style. In the midst of that stage, God’s voice come out loud and clear (read that story here). As I followed His calling, and stepped out of the way to watch and listen, I finally saw the natural beauty that existed in everyday moments. I saw how truly amazing all the things around me were when I slowed down and stopped trying to control everything.
Soon after, I started reading and learning about what I now know to be documentary family photography. I started down the path of documenting my family and the moments that mattered most to me. I began to notice the beauty of the way God made each of us. Even with all our imperfections, how our daily interactions came together to tell the most beautiful stories.
I long for your family, my family, and families all over the world to return to what we were created for. To slow down and abide in God’s natural design. To let go of our desire for perfection and embrace the natural beauty we were all created with. To build into each other, love each other, and be present with one another the way He made us to. And to create lasting memories for our story along the way.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
~ John 15:4