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)
I'm not sure if I have mentioned it on my blog before, but our son Eric is on the Autism Spectrum. He is in the moderate to severe range and sometimes that makes simple tasks, like getting a haircut, into a stress and anxiety filled situation for him. Many people on the autism spectrum are extremely sensitive to sounds and sights- to put it in perspective, imagine if I stuck you in a room with a fire truck and ambulance with lights and sirens going- this is what he deals with daily.
Now, imagine going to a salon or barbershop and all the noises that go along with it. It wasn't until he was diagnosed that I became aware of all the noise that we live with constantly. We had tried traditional haircuts a couple times, but it was just too hard. I even watched YouTube videos and cut his hair myself for awhile (it wasn't perfect, but we weren't sure what else to do). Then one of the other mom's in our local Autism Group mentioned that a friend/hairdresser of hers was willing to put a saddle on a hay bale and cut hair outdoors on her farm- to take the noise and the scariness out of the equation. We have now visited the farm on two separate occasions and now that my kids are familiar with it they are both excited to go. While they get their hair trimmed they get to watch the chickens, deer, goats, ostriches and sheep mingle.
Kelly has made haircuts into something fun and taken much of the stress out of the situation for many special needs parents. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done to help families like mine and I highly recommend her services!
Kelly also has an indoor salon, The Crop Shop, on her property for the more traditional visit. If you want more information or to make an appointment you can check out her Facebook page here .
All images taken on my Pentax K1000 with Fuji Superia 400 and Kodak Color Plus 200 film, developed and scanned by The FIND Lab.
My beautiful (I'm a bit biased) niece Rachel turned sixteen earlier this year.As a birthday gift, I offered to do a special Sweet Sixteen session for her. She brought a couple of friends along and we had fun walking around the local college campus.
All images shot on film; Mamiya 645J with Portra 400 and Pentax K1000 with Kodak Color Plus 200. Film developed and scanned by Pro Photo Connection
Springtime in the Central Valley is always beautiful. Whether it's the blossoms or the new greenery, the shades just seem to pop after a long winter. I met up with these two and their Momma for a quick session in the orchards last month, and even though the kids were not exactly in the mood for pictures we got some great ones!
Shot on film with Mamiya 645J and Portra 400, and Minolta Maxxum 7000 and Fuji Superia 400. Lab: Pro Photo Irvine
My nephews Luke and Zach are great kids. When Luke's Mom married Zach's Dad a few years ago, they became a blended family and the boys became brothers. Both of them will be graduating in a couple months- Luke from El Diamante and Zach from Mission Oak- and I am so proud of the two of them. Both are HUGE Star Wars fans so we decided to have some fun at the end of the session and let good and evil battle it out with their lightsabers.
Shot on my Mamiya 645J with Portra 400 and Minolta Maxxum 7000 with Fuji Superia 400, developed and scanned by Pro Photo Connection
I've said it before, I have a special place in my heart for blended families. I come from one and now have one of my own- so they are near and dear to my heart. It was such a pleasure to meet this beautiful family. We had a great time wandering around Simonian Farms in the early morning on a Sunday a few weeks ago.
Portra 400 shot on my Mamiya 645, Ektar 100 pushed +2 on Minolta Maxxum 7000, and HP5 pushed +3 on Pentax K1000 developed and scanned by Pro Photo Connection
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!