Has it really been over a year?
While it has been a trying time, I have to admit that my family really bonded and came together throughout this last year and a half. My kids got to spend WAY more time together than they ever had before, and I watched as their bond grew immensely. I documented all the little stuff, The tree blossoms in the first photo are from our walk the first day of quarantine. We took our time and looked at all the colors of the spring blossoms. A few weeks later, we drove to the foothills to enjoy nature. This last year, we have had front yard picnics, backyard dinners, read hundreds and hundreds of books, and just slowed down from our normal everyday hustle and bustle. Has it been hard? Yes. Have tears been shed? Oh, yeah. But overall, the slowdown of it all was kind of a strange gift that made me understand how much I should appreciate the life I get to have.
I can't believe I never published this blog entry. This session literally happened weeks before everything went topsy-turvy with co-vid 19. I am sharing it now because it was such a fun and amazing session and I can't wait to start taking portraits once again!
Megan wanted her Senior session to take place in her Grandmother's almond orchard while it was in bloom. For those of you unfamiliar with almond bloom season- it is quick! You get a week or two before the blooms are gone. It's gorgeous and I get excited about our county's blossom trail every single year.
We were in luck because we got beautiful weather and blue skies for her portraits. Her Mom and Grandma let us wander around, taking our time being creative. Unlike many of the other seniors I have photographed, Megan had done her homework and knew what kind of posing she wanted to try and was was very comfortable having her pictures taken.
The session was entirely shot on film. developed and scanned by The FIND Lab.
With co-vid 19 quarantine and stay-at-home orders, I have only been photographing and documenting my family. However, our oldest and his family moved to our area right before the world turned upside down and they also found out they were expecting. We remained in each other's "bubble" during quarantine (watching the kids when needed) so we planned to take a few maternity photos at Thanksgiving. We knew the boys probably wouldn't cooperate with us, so we didn't expect too much and just wanted to make sure that baby Joy was documented. All images were shot on expired Focal film (it's what was already loaded in my Pentax K-1000) and developed and scanned by The FIND Lab.
Before we left Oklahoma, we made a stop in Oklahoma City to see the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. The last time I was there was the night it was opened to the public, at the 5 year anniversary April 19, 2000. So many emotions hit as soon as we drove up, it was the first visit for my husband and it was just as difficult for him. It's hard to believe that this year will mark 25 years since that terrible day when 168 lives were lost. Some may ask why we made a stop there, but I think it is very important that we remember this day and the people that were lost.
I had meant to share these pictures last year, but as usual, time got away from me. But this trip meant so much to me that I don't want to just forget about it, so here they are. I hope you enjoy!
Stillwater, Oklahoma is the place of my birth. My parents met at Oklahoma State University and then moved out to California (where my Dad is from) when I was about 3. I am Oklahoma born and California raised... and both states have a big part of my heart.
I returned to Oklahoma at 19 to attend OSU and to be closer to my Mom's side of the family. This part of Oklahoma still feels like home to me, even though it has been nearly 20 years since I moved back to California. I loved watching my kids explore and fall in love with it as much as I have. While visiting, I took everyone to the University and we wandered around the campus. Visiting the library, student union and Theta pond brought back so many memories! Of course we had to make a stop at Eskimo Joe's (a local bar and grill)... if you live in Oklahoma, you know Joe's. My Mom also let us know about a couple of new sites to go check out. The two transformers were a hit with my kids, they thought that we should go look for more! I'm hoping we make another trip this summer so I can show my family that there is so much to love about Oklahoma.
The route from our home in California's San Joaquin Valley to my grandparents and my mother's homes in northern Oklahoma is one that I have traveled many times, However, this summer was very different- instead of driving to get to our final destination, our family took some of the scenic routes and found adventures along the "mother road".
I plan on sharing these summer adventures here on the blog in the next few weeks along with the pictures I took (mostly film). We didn't get to see everything we had planned on, but we also took the time to go see sites that our kids would enjoy and remember. So many of the experiences were brand new to me as well. We are planning on taking another trip next summer and I plan on doing a little more research of the fun things that may be a little off the beaten path- but well worth the time. I hope our adventures inspire you to find the hidden gems in your area and beyond.
She said yes on Christmas Day, a week or so later we met at the park to get some portraits to celebrate. Congratulations to my beautiful niece/goddaughter, Kaitlin, and her beau, Will. It is such an honor to share this happy time with the both of you!
All images were shot on film with Pentax K1000 and Mamiya 645J. Developed and scanned by The FIND Lab
It is always a pleasure to see the Alcala family. I went to high school with Robert and have taken portraits of his family over the last five years. His boys always make me laugh and his wife and I always love to catch up. Because the boys get bored quickly, we try to incorporate some fun into the session- the boys had a few races with their Dad to see who was the fastest! I can't wait to work with them again.
All images shot on film. Developed and processed by The FIND Lab
At the beginning of 2017 I decided to make a goal for my personal photography- I wanted pictures of my family doing out everyday thing. Nothing fancy, just documenting our everyday life. I was sure it was a project doomed to fail. I've tried things like this before and never got to a half-way point... I'm not sure why I thought this would be any different, but it was. I documented our family with both digital and film cameras (waiting for film scans was torture but always worth it). Now, I am at the end of this project and I have this incredible amount of pictures from the last year. I haven't quite figured out what this year's project will be, but I know I want to do another one! The best thing that came out of this project are all the little everyday moments- that I might have forgotten about- are captured for me to remember. Here are a few of my favorites from the last year.
Let me introduce you to Laura Ferrick, event planner extraordinaire and just an all around amazing woman and friend. Laura was my wedding planner back in 2010 and our amazing friendship bloomed from there. She has a way at putting her clients at ease and bringing their dream event to life. I highly recommend her services and if you want more information about them you can check them out here.
Last summer we braved a hot day to go to the courthouse at Millerton Lake to get a few pictures for her website. We then took the scenic way back and stopped at a winery to catch up and sample a glass. Images are all shot on film (Portra 400, Fuji Superia 400 and 800 shot on Mamiya 645 and Pentax K1000)
Hi, I'm Melissa. I am a wife, mother, step-mother, Gigi (step-grandma) and a photographer. I started out as the family member always asked to bring my camera along and it has turned into my life dream. I just love being able to capture moments for others that they can always cherish.This is my little corner to share my sessions, projects, and a little piece of our daily life. Thanks for stopping by!