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.
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 was so honored to be a part of Rachel and Tyson's evening. We met up before they went to dinner (pizza!) and took pictures of the two of them.
Portra 400 shot on Mamiya 645, developed by Pro Photo Connection
Words cannot express how excited and proud I am of this beautiful lady. My youngest sister, Meredith, has completed her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts!
“Believe in your greatness. Because what you believe is what you become.”
― Udai Yadla
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
When I initially met Marc and Brittany they stressed that they wanted their day documented with as many candid moments as possible. As someone that loves documentary type of work, I was over the moon for this opportunity and couldn't wait for their big day. They exchanged vows at the beautiful Nonini Winery in Fresno County and it couldn't have been a more perfect day. Both the bride's and groom's families were so wonderful and genuine and the entire day was about the blending of two families. Congratulations to the Armstrongs!
Film shot with Portra 400 and 160 on Mamiya 645, developed and scanned by Pro Photo Connections
I have had the pleasure of photographing the Alcala family for a few years now (since little Gabe was just a baby!) Robert and I have been friends since high school and it is always wonderful to catch up with him and his family. His oldest boy, Nicholas, is a charmer. Halfway through the session as we walked around the Fresno State campus, he slipped his little hand in mine and my heart melted a bit. I have so much love for the four of them.
I used a variety of cameras including my (new to me)Mamiya 645S, Minolta Maxxum 7000 and my Sony Alpha DSLR. For film choices I finished off an expired roll of Focal Film that was already in the Minolta and then switched over to Fuji Superia 800 and Ektar in the Mamiya.
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!