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  • WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

    Hi there! I'm Melissa, and I am a visual storyteller who specializes in documentary wedding photography and fresh, stylized portraiture. I'm based in the Washington, DC area, but I love to travel!

    I am passionate about telling people's stories fully and authentically from a unique perspective. I love what I do, and I'm excited to share my life and work.

    If you use social media, please consider liking my Facebook page to stay updated on new content.

    So happy you stopped by for a visit. Look forward to hearing from you!

ANNIE + MARK – The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Wedding

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Annie + Mark were married in late July at The Hilton Oceanfront in Virgina Beach, Virginia. I really enjoyed shooting this wedding — all of the details in metallic, creams and neutrals were so elegant and modern. I especially loved Annie’s dress. The back detail lace was stunning and she wore it so beautifully. My favorite part of the day (like most any wedding) was our time spent on the beach for portraits. We went to a more-secluded, private area of Virginia Beach for the wedding party and Annie and Mark’s portraits. As we were driving to the area, the sky darkened JUST IN THAT AREA, and it looked like it was about to downpour. I was so nervous we weren’t going to fit it in! But the rain held off, and the dark sky was a stunning backdrop for photos.

Bride’s dress: BHLDN
Bride’s shoes: Kate Spade
Bridesmaids’ dresses: varies
Groom’s attire: J.Crew
Groomsmen attire: varies
Makeup: Leah Watson of BlushTones
Hair: Stephanie McDonald of Stephanie Rose & Co.
Florals: Flower Works
Coordinator: Michelle Amarillo Event Planning
Cake: Mary Ellen Sandbank of Small but Tall Desserts
Band: Soul Expressions
Invitations: Paper Source
Favors: donation made to Paws for the Cause in honor of guests and in memory of Charlene Sangenario Dumais

Annie & Mark, thank you so much for being so wonderful! Your love shines bright and I wish y’all the best. Special thanks to Beth Hamilton Photography for helping me shoot! And thanks to Michelle Amarillo for making everything run so smoothly. : )

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During portraits on the beach, Beth caught this shot of some curious bystanders and I love it!

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Mark’s grandmother warmed up the exit line with a huge smile and a beauty queen wave. It was adorable.

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September 10, 2014 - 11:56 am

Michelle Amarillo - Melissa, these are absolutely amazing! You captured every moment perfectly! Annie and Mark, you two are so wonderful! Wishing you so much love and happiness!

Featured: Heart Love Weddings — Melanie + Collin’s Wedding

I took the day off today to visit the hubs at work with Brooklyn, and I completely forgot that Melanie + Collin’s gorgeous summer wedding was published on Heart Love Weddings. I LOVE their love story. Thank you, Alexandra, for choosing to highlight their special day. Go check out the full feature HERE!

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August 29, 2014 - 8:45 am

Alexandra {Heart Love Always} - You’re so sweet! Thanks so much for sending them my way! xoxo

CHRISTINE + MARY — Firehouse Chicago Wedding

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If you follow me on Instagram, this first shot is the teaser that I posted from Mary + Christine’s wedding (#celebratemaryandchristine if you want to see more awesome shots from other folks!). I LOVE THIS PHOTO. Probably one of my top five favorite wedding photos I’ve ever taken. The background is gorgeous (Lake Michigan WOW), the weather was stunning and Mary + Chris have the BEST expressions on their faces. Simply: a portrait of happiness.

Christine’s attire: BHLDN (dress + shoes), Tilly (jewelry)
Mary’s attire: Theory (jacket), J.Crew (pants), Frye (shoes)
Florals: Field and Florist
Coordinator: Michelle Marchisotta
Ceremony/reception music: TJMadeja Music
Cake: Luscious Layers
Caterer: Fig Catering
Venue: Firehouse Chicago
Rings: Rebecca Zemans
Invitations + programs + stationary + decor + styling: Christine Irvine

I flew to Chicago, Illinois to shoot this wedding. It was SO difficult to leave my six-week-old behind for two days, but I was honestly happy to do it for two such special people. They are both so loving and care so much about everyone around them. I’ve known Chris since high school, and her family means a lot to me (I was a bridesmaid in her sister Mary’s wedding, and I shot her other sister Rachel’s wedding), so I wouldn’t have missed shooting it for anything.

Before I get to the photos, I also have to comment on what a wonderfully unique ceremony it was. It was centered around community and love. A few favorite moments of mine: the couple walked in with each other, their friend Suzanne sang a gorgeous song and the couple invited people to stand and share sentiments and reflect about them and their relationship (had me in tears!).

As Chris herself would put it, it was a very “gay” — and by that she/I mean HAPPY! — wedding day. : )

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Adorable nephew Tate!

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They are both so beautiful.

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August 22, 2014 - 11:43 am

Photo fan - LOVE these. The portraits are stunning. Their love, and the love of all of those around them!, jumps off the screen. So happy for them.

August 22, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Brenda Stewart - Ohhhh, Mel, you’ve just transported us back to that magical day! You have such a special gift!

August 22, 2014 - 2:01 pm

Jenny Tenney Goss - LOVE! These are fantastic. The ceremony looks so moving. The pictures almost made me tear up and I wasn’t even there! Looks like a really special day and amazing couple.

HARRISON: NEWBORN

Today I get to share a special newborn with you! Harrison was born fast and furiously five weeks early and weighed a whopping 5 lbs, 9 0z. His lovely parents asked me to photograph him at 13 days new. I am SO happy for Bernadette and Casey and can’t wait for Harrison and Brooklyn to have many playdates! : ) Here are some of my favorites of this handsome little guy!

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I love this next shot; every time I look at it, I think he’s saying, “I HAVE A QUESTION!”

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August 12, 2014 - 2:54 pm

Bernadette - ah, love love love! thank you so much for your amazing work :)

August 27, 2014 - 9:47 am

Stefanie Merkel - Those pictures Are so beautiful, Harrison is such a cute baby:) lots of love Stefanie

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