• Why, Hello!

    Thanks for stopping by. My name is Melissa and I like to take pictures...a lot of them really....of you. I am a semi- professional (that makes sense, right?) and am always learning about this beautiful thing called photography. Life is a bunch of adventures strung along together and it so important to be able to look back on, so why not have some photos of it? I love taking pictures, but I enjoy learning peoples stories even more.

    Here's my story. I'm 26 years old. I have a sweet husband, Josh, beautiful baby girl, Lillian and cuddly pup, Wrigley. Originally from Chicago suburbs, we moved to Phoenix four years ago for life adventure number one. During the day time, I teach children who are deaf and hard of hearing. I love that I get to laugh every single day. That also means I do know a decent amount of American Sign Language. I never pass up a good iced carmel macchiato with skim. I love organization...like a lot. I hate socks and if I must wear them, they have to be inside out. My heart yearns to travel. Anywhere, really. Ireland, Italy, Greece, New Zealand. Also, one day, we will go to Africa and then bring home a baby.

Sweet Lillian Turns One

Our baby girl turns one today!

I have a difficult time believing that all of this happened a year ago.
(although, actually, I kind of can believe it. Just look at me. All I can think of is “Oh hello, hot mess” and “Poor past Melissa and past Josh. Just make it through the first 12 weeks and you’ll be OK! It get’s easier. Sort of.”)

It’s hard to begin to sum up this past year and really, I don’t think that I can accurately, or eloquently, do that. It has been the hardest of times, the tiredest of times, the most confusing of times, the most frustrating of times, and absolutely the most joyous of times. People say “cherish this” and “you’re not going to get this time back” which is all, of course, true. I can confidently say I cherished the crap out of year one. Whenever there was a moment of hesitation to whether I should put my baby down or hold her or if I was freaking out about a “nap schedule”, I told myself “she is only this tiny, my baby, for so long.” Even if we are blessed with a second baby, it won’t be the same as this. I’ve put the dishes down, slacked on the laundry, and our carpet was not vacuumed nearly enough. It was all worth it. And I have realized that even though I have cherished it, I am still allowed to miss it. For some reason, before, that wasn’t allowed in my brain. “I soaked it all up so that’s that. I can rid my hands of any future ‘missing’ of any sort.” Crazy talk. Furthermore, I’ve realized there is a difference between missing it/remembering fondly and dwelling in the fact that she is growing up. I had a good friend tell me “People have babies and then are sad when they grow up. It doesn’t make sense. They’re babies. They grow up.” It didn’t sound that harsh in person but that was the gist of it. And it’s just true. They grow up. There is a tension between “dwelling that the past is over” and “so ready to get them to __ stage ‘”. I think thats what I’m trying to say. My remedy for that is to stop. Stop and just take in all of the goodness that is the current stage, while also being cognizant of the fact that tomorrow they will be just a bit bigger.

Watching her grow and learn to do things as simple as rolling over, turning a page, signing “more”, and walking backwards is so exciting. My husband and I have to objectively talk about the last time we posted a picture or video and make sure we’re not bombarding peoples news feeds. Lillian is so much fun to play with and it’s so gratifying to re learn things with her. Oh that door does open and close. Buckets are fun to put stuff into and then carry around the house. Wrigley does not need help eating his food (we have to relearn that one every.single. day.). Splashing water really is worthy of laughing about.

Side note: Watching your husband be a father is probably the most attractive thing ever. ever ever. He is so gentle, kind, and loving yet firm. Just like a good daddy should be. I have loved seeing a whole new side of Josh emerge. Plus he’s just hot.

Although this birthday is bittersweet, it is mostly sweet. Lil has become such a curious, silly, and sweet little girl. I am so excited to see how she continues to learn. One thing I forgot to mention in her birth story  is that our nurse, Kay, said we should name her “Lillian Sparkle” in honor of the 4th. And I have to say that may have not been a bad name, as she has quite the sparkly personality.

Lillian Grace, I could write you an essay but I will just say this. You bring unspeakable amounts of joy into our lives. We are incredibly thankful that you have been entrusted to us and that we get to call you our daughter. Happy first birthday to our sweet, sweet girl.

July 4, 2014 - 8:42 am

ashley dixon - Happy 1st birthday little girl! You are beautiful!!! :)

Creative Market Shop

The last couple years that I’ve been doing photography, I’ve gathered quite the collection of photos! Whether I’m working a wedding or on vacation and see something fun or unique, I snap! Recently, my friend Kelley at Creative Market suggested that I open a shop on their site for people to buy prints. I thought it was a pretty fun idea and figured why the heck not. So that’s what I’m doing! Check out the shop here:  Melissa’s Shop

Here are some of the photos that I plan to start out with!

 

Chris & Jennine

Let me start with this.
I really, really don’t like shooting weddings. It sounds bad, but hear me out.
You get to spend multiple hours with an awesome couple and all of their people.
I can’t help but develop what I will call “circle envy”
It’s where you really wish you were in their circle of friends.
I usually leave thinking “we could totally be friends, we’re obviously going to hang out all the time!”
(For real though. From the moment I knew they had chickens in their backyard it was instant friendship)
Although you spend most of the time behind the camera, shooting a wedding is really an intimate event. You get watch all these relationships that are in these peoples lives come to this beautiful moment where two people decide to become husband and wife. It is really neat to say the least.

Chris and Jennine actually said “I do” at a courthouse back in December but decided to do the whole wedding thing just a couple weeks ago at Maricopa Manor. Chris is a firefighter and Jennine is a future lawyer. They met online (that is a legit way to meet people these days!) and hit it off. Chris is a super funny dude, and was making Jennine laugh the entire evening, it was incredibly sweet.  Jennine had a unique idea when it came to the ceremony, have four of her closest friends take turns officiating. It was done so beautifully! There were sweet, handmade touches everywhere from the paper hearts lining the aisle to the personalized wine glasses paired with cupcakes.I’ve always said I would never change anything from my wedding day, but that is no longer true. If I did one thing differently, I would have brought in a gelato cart! That may or may not be the most brilliant wedding idea to date.

Thank you, so much, Chris and Jennine for allowing me to be there on your wedding day!

Kendall’s Senior Session

Last week I got to head out to north Scottsdale for my very first senior session..
Kendall made it super easy
Surprisingly, 18 year olds are just a tad easier to photograph than 2 year olds;)
I also realized how uncool I am. I think you hit your cool peak in high school and it’s only downhill from there.

Thank you Kendall for looking good in front of the camera and good luck on this next chapter of your life!

Imani & KJ

I was able to spend last Friday evening with the James’ family.
We visited a park in Scottsdale and roamed around for about an hour or so
KJ is a handsome little 6 month old who was enamored with all things grass and rocks
and Imani is just simply beautiful, a free spirited little girl who loves her little brother
She was a little shy at first, but before I knew it, I was witnessing a personal performance of Frozen…
She has Elsa’s character down to a tee, I was pretty impressed!