If 2020 has given us anything it's a strong bond to the connections we have with each other, especially to our family.
I believe that as we get older and those we love age along with us we see more clearly how valuable our time is. We see how precious and few the moments are. "I want to have these pictures of my mom. I want this time and these memories," Karen told me when we first talked. Karen is honest from the moment you meet her. There is no cleverly crafted persona or
"Melinda, It is so hard for me to put into words what a profound experience this was. I have spent the majority of my life avoiding being photographed at the fear it would lead to so much inner turmoil. I am so used to picking apart every last little “flaw”. I know that there are years of my life missing from the record because of this very reason. It has taken a lot of inner work over the past few years to get to where I am today - a place where I’m willing to step a little
Would you like to know how kind and understanding Stefanie is? I have much that proves this point but for today I'll stick to one experience. First, you must know that names matter to me. Even though I struggle remembering them when I'm in groups I try hard to remember names. Your name is special. It's unique to you even if thousands of other people share the same name. When you hear it something speaks up inside you. It's a verbal and visual collection of letters and sounds
I'm really thankful that I get to choose who I work with.
And I'm picky.
I'm picky because I want to give you the best people I can possibly find.
I have worked with Amanda for years . . . in fact, I thank her constantly because she knew me when all of this was in its infancy.
And she believed in it . . . she believed in me. I've written about Amanda before. And I bet I'll write about her again. She is tireless and determined. She's a romantic with high standards. She's a
"Melinda is a ray of light and warmth, and makes everyone she meets feel like a lifelong friend. From the moment I had my initial meeting to my actual photoshoot, Melinda made me feel so beautiful and comfortable. At my photoshoot, I was greeted with an infectious smile and hug that was so welcoming. I never imagined myself being a model or doing a photoshoot. As women we are often hard on ourselves, and I always doubted I was the right person for this kind of experience. Aft
Lauren is clear as crystal and just as striking.
When Lauren speaks she is precise and articulate. She's just brilliant to talk to because she listens and engages. Her speech reflects her strong character, and Lauren is strong in every way that counts. You know that with your first interaction. There is no laziness with Lauren. Not with her choices or her lifestyle. She is dedicated and driven and decisive. Getting to photograph Lauren was intense, and there is nothing negat
Do you have any idea? Do you know how much of an impact you have? I’m not asking this question like a generic post, one where I’m just trying to get you to stop so that I can sound wise and poetic. I really mean this question. I share pictures of the people I photograph on social media, I share them with potential clients, I tell your stories to my children. Imagine how far your portraits and your stories of you go. Imagine how many people read about how incredible you are. I
You don't need me to tell you you're beautiful.
You don't need me to prove it to you.
Whether or not you're photographed by me doesn't change who you are. You are a divine being who's very atoms share celestial glory.
A portrait isn't going to change that in any way. That's just who they are. It's who you are. Your very nature is one of beauty. Women don't come to me and then I make them beautiful. It doesn't work that way. You already are beautiful . . . I just help you s
"Melinda made me feel so welcome and beautiful from the moment I stepped foot in her studio. She greeted me with a warm hug and smile and made me feel so good. The entire day I was buzzing about how amazing the experience was. If you have any doubts or think that you can’t “model” or that your pictures won’t look like you want them to, I’m here to tell you, you will fall in love with yourself all over again after such an empowering and inspiring experience. Thank you, Melinda
"One of the various aspects that we forget to appreciate in our lifetime is moments. I have been told all my life to continuously live in the moment, cherish all the little things that you experience and enjoy life. The last 4 years have opened my eyes and have taught me more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that life has offered me, but I am also proud of myself for everything that I have overcome and how hard I work
" “I want to be able to see the beauty that others see...”
“I want to feel worthy again...”
That’s what I told Melinda when we first spoke. We spoke for over an hour, unbeknownst to her she was being my “therapist”. I had closed a chapter in my life and had survived it. I explained that I wanted to capture that I had made it... when I thought I wouldn’t.
As a mom, it is only natural that we tend to self-sacrifice our wants...Don’t we all do it? I questioned this experienc
When Jessica came to pick up her pictures we had an unexpected talk. At this point, I think if you got Jessica and me in a room together we'd find a way to have some sort of long talk. Jessica talks about all the things that make my heart sing. She talks about personal struggle but overcoming. She talks about the value of oneself the journey that takes. She talks about grace and faith and how they heal. Most valuable to me, Jessica talks from a place of experience. She's walk
Worthiness. What is this noun? What is this thing we seek after and chase?
To me, it's a feeling of acceptance, of being ok, of being good enough. Once we have it we can go forth doing and feeling what we once were not able to. Without it . . . we are stuck. We are denied access to the emotions, dreams, and life we desire. We chase worthiness like a badge that if presented with, gives us permission. But I wonder, where does worthiness come from? Who grants us this precious gi
Photographing husbands makes me nervous. Not because men make me nervous. I love men! I love photographing them when they come to me for headshots or body and form creations.
But husbands tend to be different from other men that come to me for portraits.
See, husbands are usually coming with their wife. She brings him in at the end of her photoshoot and he does it because he loves her THAT much. But sometimes husbands aren't that jazzed about sitting in front of a camera. I
Emily came to me with a point to prove and, my oh my, did we ever prove it. "#operationbootyshorts2020 was a personal campaign I had, it was not about the act of wearing booty shorts…anybody can do that. But for me, it was about the CONFIDENCE to know that I could ROCK the booty shorts. As I was taking my own personal journey I became aware of Melinda’s Every Woman Campaign. Her message was exactly what I was trying to find myself and share with my daughters and other women.
This experience speaks a little differently to each person.
Everyone comes in with what they are hoping for. We talk about how they want to be photographed and how they want to be seen.
Every person's answer varies.
It's personal. Hollie wanted to celebrate, to be seen as happy, beautiful, and to be with the ones she loves most- her husband and children. Photographing Hollie was a joyful and laugh-inducing time. It was also contemplative and quiet as we listened to Hollie
Brandi, a friend, and stunning woman who I've photographed, talked about her sister and the incredible woman she is.
"You and Hollie would be instant friends," Brandi told me.
Of course, Brandi was right.
Shortly after photographing Brandi, Hollie contacted me. As if had been predicted, Hollie and I quickly became friends.
A military wife with 10 deployments under her belt and two kids, Hollie is incredibly independent.
"It's been a long road," Hollie said as she talked
What holds you back from loving yourself . . . actually, let's start simpler. What holds you back from liking yourself? Tell me. I've heard it all. The most common: age & weight "I'd really like to lose a few pounds." "I worry I'm too old to do something like this. Isn't this just for young people?" If you dislike yourself because of your weight I want to tell you that losing those few pounds and punishing yourself as you run and count calories won't make you like yourself. I
It is within your divine birthright to be valuable. In fact, I know you're valuable whether you believe it or not. No one has been able to convince me otherwise. No argument, no logic, no traumatic past, no forced lies spun by popular media- nothing could convince me that you are nothing less than valuable and divine. But if you think otherwise, I'll invite you to come and sit with me. I'll tell you how your bravery is beautiful. That your mere existence is an un-replicatable
"I want something different," Michelle told me.
"Excellent!" I said. "I've already photographed you once before so you're a pro at how all this goes. Let's get creative this time around."
"I want to be photographed raw and real. It doesn't have to be pretty. I just want something this is emotional and represents this time in my life. I've gone through so much and I want to create that feeling."
I've been friends with Michelle since I photographed her last year. She was wo