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.
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.
I met up with this beautiful blended family on a super hot July day. We couldn't reschedule because their oldest was due to go back to Washington, so we toughed it out and looked for some open shade, but man that sun was harsh! I still can't believe how big all the kids are getting... time seems to fly by these days.
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
I have said it many times before; the best part of my job is that I get to see old friends from years past and meet their families! Stephanie and I graduated from high school together and I was so excited to meet her husband and boys. I brought along my film camera (a Canon EF) and shot images on it as well, and I must say that I loved the results that I got with it. Many thanks to them for navigating through tall weeds and brush to get to the spots I had scouted before the session.
Film images were developed and scanned by The FIND Lab
So excited that I get to share this wonderful little family on the blog today! Brittany and Marc will exchange vows in October at a beautiful little local winery.
Some girls get excited about shopping for clothes, I get excited about shopping for plants. I know, it's strange but that's what I like. Last year the drought took a toll on our lawn and flowers... we stopped watering because we thought it was the "responsible thing" to do. And let me tell you, our house just looked sad. I hated driving up to see brown dead grass and no flowers. This year with things looking up we are thinking of better ways to deal with the water shortage and still have a nice yard. My hubby has been fixing up our backyard and told me we were ready to plant the fruit tree and vines that I have wanted since we moved in almost six years ago. Now I just need to get to work and get everything planted!
One of our favorite places to visit, especially in the Spring when wildflowers are out and everything is blooming. Wonder Valley is located just east of Fresno in the Sierra Nevada foothills. They have free-range cattle and other animals wandering through the valley. Our boy loved being able to run through the field and down to the stream, our daughter had fun investigating nature.It was a much needed retreat for our little family; we're planning a picnic during Spring Break.
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!