documentary Wedding PHOTOGRAPHY

 

uncontrived photos

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

 

The real laughter, tears, and hugs with your loved ones on your wedding day are worth so much more than the cliché, contrived photos that dominate pinterest. So I glue my camera to my face to capture all the un-staged, unexpected and expected moments.

 

You'll get my honest, attentive perspective with photos that tell the real story about moments that matter. You won't be asked to fake laugh or force an unnatural pose. We will make beautiful and natural portraits, but I promise to not 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. Yes, I have been fortunate to get published, to work with celebrity clients and to photograph hundreds of couples-- but the 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. Wedding photography collections begin in the 5k range.

explore my portfolio below using the arrow buttons!

 

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.

 

What THE WEDDING INDUSTRY doesn't tell you

The wedding industry has trained couples to want a predictable album with highly styled images depicting every decoration and accessory, accompanied by a batch of perfectly posed portraits and staged moments. Photographers easily spend a few hours styling and shooting these material details and endless portraits on a wedding day. Often, many of these photos are for the other vendors, or for hopes of being published.

 

Real and emotional moments are happening somewhere between loved ones while these detail shots and highly posed portraits are pored over. Time is ticking. The real moments go undocumented, and they will never happen again.

Why i'm not for everyone

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. If you envision an album full of carefully posed portraits and stage moments, we will not be a good fit.

 

But, if you want unique, emotional photos that reflect an honest story of you and your loved ones, we might be a great fit.

 

My friend, I promise to prioritize photos of humans, to keep portraits simple and natural, and to never keep you too long from your party.

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

Pricing

Wedding photography collections start in the 5K range.

 

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!

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Weddings / Santa Cruz Wedding Photography and Elopement Photography

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