wedding & elopement photography in santa cruz, california

photo by Diane Villadsen

oh hey! I’m Melissa.

I’m a fanatic of hiking, camping, the idea of being up at sunrise (it usually remains an idea) and listening to nerdy podcasts. I’m constantly doing mental facepalms because of something dorky I said. You will probably catch me awkwardly dancing in the corner at your wedding!

the beginning.

For years, a black and white photo of an Egyptian butcher and his son hung on the wall of my childhood home in the East Bay of San Francisco. Looking at it always reminded me of a feeling I experienced the day my mother captured that photo in a little village outside of Cairo. The feeling was a *whoosh* -- a rush of joy and curiosity as my mom laughed and pantomimed to break past the language barrier in that tiny butcher shop.

That *whoosh* became a deep ache- a permanent flutter of longing to connect with people whose stories were different from mine, to understand even just a little bit when words fail, and to make tiny beautiful stories about these people.

The camera became my way of connecting with others in a deeper, more vulnerable way. It taught me to recognize important moments and how to respect them. It gave me a way of telling tiny beautiful stories about those moments. Today, I love the challenge of using my camera to shape a space for meaningful moments. I’ve got a special love for working with people who feel awkward and vulnerable in front of the camera. Why? Because I am the same way.

Want to know more? Send me a message today to receive my wedding collection guide and to see if I'm available on your date!

My wedding photography collections begin at $3600 with most collections ranging between 4-7K.  Elopements start at $2,000. Get in touch for more detailed information! I'm excited to hear from you!

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