The last time I photographed Lauryn she was two. Yep. Two. I remember it like it was yesterday. Fifteen years ago, my friend Pam (Lauryn’s mom) and I worked at the Summit Center. She had two adorable little girls and I had a new camera. So I took about twenty rolls of film (Yes! Film!!) to her home and photographed those two giggle boxes rolling around in piles of leaves. I’ve never had so much fun. Soon after, I was thinking about starting a photography business but scared out of my mind. Pam was always the one I turned to for reason. While she probably doesn’t know it, she talked me into purchasing my home in Flagstaff. I was obsessing…could I afford it…what if I couldn’t find a roommate…did I really want it…was I going to stay in Flagstaff, etc. Pretty much, I was paralyzed with indecision. “Why not?” she said, “Don’t be scared, just do it!” With no emotion, she just said it matter of fact. “If you don’t like it, you can sell it. What’s the big deal?“. So, the next thing I knew, I had a new home. And thirteen years later, I still live in that home. Pam coaxed me along my photography path in the same manner she did for my real estate fears. In 2005, I was on the fence. Should I leave the security of a great job? “Just go for it!“, she said. I obsessed. I made spreadsheets. I made pros and cons lists. I obsessed more. But, in the end, I followed my heart and I have Pam to thank for that.
Pam after my home purchase, Pam and I both quit our jobs. She went to work at the Northern Arizona University Marketing Department and I, well, I made the leap of faith to photography. We’ve both never looked back.
This session was special to me in many ways. I got to spend a couple of precious hours with an old friend I don’t see nearly enough, and I got to get to know her beautiful daughter once again. Thank you for taking a chance on me Pam, so many years ago. And congratulations Lauryn! You’re going to do great things with your life. Your contagious smile, your laughter, and your bright soul will lead you to much success! 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
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
I’m always so touched by thoughtful people, and this dad’s gesture was so sweet. Jeremy bought a gift certificate for his wife last fall, when they found out they were expecting little Sammy. In talking with him then, you could just see how excited they were on the arrival of their youngest son. Big brother, Tate, was loving the new role as well, and just lit up when he held his little brother. We chose a beautiful aspen grove, with gorgeous ferns, for their family shoot. The late afternoon light filtering through the trees was beautiful. Flagstaff really is a perfect place for family photos. I hope these photos bring you all a lifetime of memories! xoxo ~ Melissa
One of the things I love about being a Flagstaff family photographer is watching familes grow up. I remember when these two beautiful twins big brother, Nathniel, was just a small boy and served as the ring bearer in his parents wedding. And now, seeing these two learning how to walk, and loving to play in the forest is one of the sweetest things my heart has seen in a long time. Their mom has the most beautiful style and I absolutely loved the goose rocking ‘horse’, and by the looks on their faces, I’d say the twins loved it too! Thank you for making the drive from Phoenix and thank you mostly for honoring me to watch your family grow. xoxo ~ Melissa