Meaningful Wedding and Elopement PHOTOGRAPHY


Hi! I’m an unconventional wedding photographer in Northern California.

My name is Melissa. I photograph weddings and elopements for rad, adventurous couples!

I love to give folks a MEANINGFUL and FUN experience that is centered around real moments and emotion. I specialize in working with people who aren't super comfortable being photographed.

Let's ditch the awkward posing and create something worth remembering.


un-staged photos

Eventually all of our memories are replaced by the photographs that remain. Let that sink in...What will be important to you years from now as loved ones pass and life looks different?


You may not know the exact answer to that question yet, but one thing is true: your memories with loved ones are sacred. And this is where photographs can add meaning to our lives. In an effort to preserve your sacred moments, I glue my camera to my face to truthfully capture all the un-staged and unexpected moments happening throughout your entire wedding day. I won't ask you to fake laugh or engage in wedding photo clichés. We will also make beautiful, classic portraits too, but I promise to not keep you too long from your party!


My priority is to make photos of moments that matter. Photos that will make you feel something, even years later.

truth bomb

Friend, if you want wedding photos that look like most photos you've seen on pinterest, we will probably not be a good fit. If you want magazine style photos of all the decor, your shoes and accessories lined up, and your dress hanging from a tree, then we will probably not be a good fit. But if you want unique, emotional photos that reflect an honest story of you and your loved ones on your wedding day, we might be a great fit. If you feel confused, keep reading.




Are you confused about what wedding photography should look like? I don't blame you! The wedding industry has trained couples to want a predictable album with highly styled images depicting every decoration and accessory. Photographers easily spend 1-2 hours styling and shooting these material details on a wedding day. More time is spent on endless perfectly posed portraits. So why does this matter? While these detail shots are being set up and pored over, real and emotional moments are happening somewhere between loved ones. Time is ticking while contrived portraits drag on. The real moments go undocumented, and they will never happen again.


So my friend, I promise to prioritize photos of humans, to keep portraits simple and honest, and to never keep you too long from your party!

Let’s talk!

When I photograph a wedding, I show up wholeheartedly for YOU. Not for photo awards, not for instagram content or to get published. I offer an honest, attentive perspective with photographs that tell the real story about moments that matter. Yes, I have been fortunate to get published, to work with celebrity clients and to photograph hundreds of couples-- but the absolute best part of my work is delivering something meaningful that you will treasure always.


If you want your wedding reflected honestly and thoughtfully by a photographer who won't take over your day, then please reach out today. If I'm available on your date I'll send you my client guide and answer any of your questions. I'm looking forward to hearing your story, friend!


explore my portfolio below using the arrow buttons!

client love

"Melissa has been an absolute pleasure to work with on our wedding and engagement photos...I hate overly posed, artificial-looking wedding photos, and I could tell from Melissa's portfolio that she does not deal in cliches - instead, she has a knack for capturing real life and motion and emotion as it happens. In our engagement photos, she gave just enough direction to nudge us into feeling comfortable, and then she captured the true emotions of the moment. And dang, did she make us look good! The engagement session was perfect practice; on our wedding day, we already felt easy and comfortable with Melissa (which isn't hard, because she is kind and calm and lovely!). Melissa captured this day beautifully, and got the photos to us in record time. Looking at the photos, I feel just how I felt on my wedding day. Thank you!! We could not have asked for a better memory of our day."


-Kseniya, 2019 Client

Want to know more?

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! I offer various photography collections for elopements and weddings.

featured wedding blog posts:


Weddings / Santa Cruz Wedding Photography and Elopement Photography

As Seen In...

Santa Cruz Wedding Photographer / Big Sur Elopement Photographer / Big Sur Wedding Photographer / Carmel Wedding Photographer / California Intimate Wedding Photographer / Santa Cruz Wedding Photography