It’s been over a month since I’ve posted any of my work to my website. The first quarter of 2017 was the busiest I’ve ever been in ten years and I’m so grateful to all my clients with trusting me with their memories. And then there came new equipment to learn and new computers to install, a new employee to train and priorities were just redirected. Being a full-time photographer for the past ten years in Flagstaff has been a blessing. But, I’m always amazed at how much time I spend doing other things than actually photographing. When I had college photography interns, that was their greatest disappointment, they were not using their camera. I crunched the numbers one afternoon and found out that I only click my camera shutter about 12% of my working time. While it wasn’t a surprise to me, seeing that small number stare back at me was an eye-opener to how I spend my time. However, I’m getting into a rhythm now and I wanted to kick off my return to posting with one of my most cherished clients, the Byers Family.
Amee has been my hairstylist for the past ten years and owns Shanti Salon here in Flagstaff. When I’m in her chair, I feel loved and with a friend. Her husband, Thomas, owns Thomas Byers Guitar Studios and teaches music to students and adults in Flagstaff. I’ve been with this couple every step of the way from their wedding to their first baby, Cohen and their rescue dog Maple. Amee and her family are now expecting their new little boy any day now and I can’t wait to meet this little angel! I love that they are going to wait to name him until they get to meet him face to face. What a lucky soul to have chosen these kind and loving people to be its parents. Congrats! I can’t wait to see him! ~Melissa
Amee chose the gorgeous Oak Creek Canyon as her backdrop and it was so fun watching Cohen play in the creek while we did her photos. If you’ve never been to Oak Creek, I highly recommend you go, but on a weekday. The secret is out about this enchanting slice of Arizona and the weekends are crowded and chaotic. Amee’s rose colored maternity gown was gorgeous and her gold headband enchanting. Amee has always been very stylish! Amee was even brave enough to step into the creek for a few photos despite the creek being freezing! (Snow melt is very cold, lol). Thanks for being so adventurous Amee!
Congrats to the Byers Family! I can’t wait to see him! ~Melissa
The Casey family wanted to come to beautiful Sedona, Arizona for their annual family photos and who could blame them? The red rocks, beautiful vistas, and the gorgeous sunsets are unrivaled in the Southwest. I love shooting in Sedona because at every turn there’s something that will take your breath away. There are many reasons why so many people make the pilgrimage to Sedona…from acclaimed vortexes to the healing waters and sounds of Oak Creek to the peace you get when you find a trail all to yourself. If you’ve never been, make the trip!
Jessica and Gerry are expecting their second baby in December and big brother, Elvis the Bernese mountain dog, and big sister, Delaney are very excited! I loved the custom signs for Delaney and Elvis! But mostly, I adored how much this family loved one another. There’s nothing quite like being able to observe a close family and how they make each other laugh and smile. The Casey family were adventurous and wanted to go to the summit of the Sugarloaf trail and Jessica hiked it like a pro! The views were definitely worth the effort!
It was great meeting each of you! Thank you for coming to Sedona! xoxo ~ Melissa
I’m not only lucky to have this beautiful family as clients, but also as friends. This family has been entwined in my life for over 13 years. (where does the time go??). It’s been quite the journey…from having Adam as my roommate in 2003, to him and Kristen dating, getting engaged, married and the birth of their sweet munchkin Kensie, not to mention all the wonderful, crazy moments in between all the milestones. We’ve all been through a lot together and they’ve all shared some of my most joyful, precious and even sad moments of my life. They were cheerleaders to me to start my own photography business in 2007 and I’ll always be so thankful for their support and love. I always look forward to photographing them and watching Kensie grow up really has been a privilege. It was wonderful spending the afternoon with them and their parents. Love all you lots!! xoxo ~ Melissa
Jennifer got the news that all of us with furry family members dread to hear…her beloved Oswald only has a few weeks to live. Oswald has been with Jennifer all over the world, and even enjoyed living in Germany for a while with she and her husband. He was there when they found his doggie siblings, Macy and Panda Bear, and there when they adopted their adorable little human child, Ava. For a soul that has shared so much, it’s hard to even think of saying goodbye. But therein lies the only fault with our animal friends, they have such short lives. But their time with us brings us so much happiness, so much unconditional love, so it’s the price we pay to have them by our side, if only briefly.
I was so happy that Jennifer reached out to get these photos of Oswald. I know that in the future, these images will provide some tears and loving memories of the spirit who first captured her heart.
I hope your final days are filled with love, belly rubs and all the bacon you can eat sweet boy. After spending only a couple of hours with you, I can see why your family adores you so much. Truly, when you do go to heaven, you will add one of the brightest stars in the sky. Much love ~ Melissa
The Naleski family is near and dear to my heart and one of the reasons I love being a Flagstaff family photographer. I met Jerome though a friend when Jerome was his realtor for his home purchase. After that, I joined Jerome to help form the Elevated Achievers, a networking group here in the Flagstaff. Jerome is a natural leader and I learned so much from him during our time with that group. I got to know Jill when she me called for a family session back in 2009 when sweet Grace was born. And now, through the years, I feel like I’m part of this sweet family. If you’re in the market for a home, call Jerome at FlagHomes Real Estate, and be sure to check out his website for tips on selling a home and the latest on the market. Jill is a talented massage therapist who has an office at Flagstaff Athletic Club-West. The family recently adopted a sweet dog from Second Chance Center for Animals and I was delighted when she showed up for the photos too! The Naleski family photo sessions always contain a lot of laughs and I adore spending time with them. We choose Frances Short Pond for their session, it’s always so beautiful there. It’s always great to see you! xoxo ~ Melissa
I can hardly believe this little man just turned one. It seemed that is was yesterday when his mom called the studio to tell us the great news that Olivia would soon get a little brother and we did their maternity photos at the Pioneer Museum. I remember how excited Olivia was when I asked if she was excited to be a big sister. I think that smile was permantely planted on her face from the moment she found out. For Sam’s first birthday, his mom arranged for a great Cake Smash in the family’s home backyard. Most cake smashes don’t go this well. Most kids stare at the cake, and timidly put a finger in and take a lick. But not Sam, he dug right in and started devouring it right away. He’s my kind of boy. 🙂 Happy birthday Sam! I hope you always love cake this much! xoxo ~ Melissa