Attention Clients and Friends--EMAIL PROBLEMS

It was recently brought to my attention that I may be missing some email contacts submitted via my website. If you have emailed recently (or ever) and NOT heard back--I am so very sorry! I answer ALL of my inquiries, usually within the day! Please contact me at directly OR call me at 214.250.6891

Now Booking for Spring!

Welcome green grass and sunshine! We are currently accepting appointments for Spring 2013!

I am usually booked 2 weeks in advance and weekends are a hot commodity, so be sure to give us a call to secure your spot!

As always, please contact me if you have a newborn--those little ones make their own schedules. Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Back from WPPI and Soul Searching

Hey Friends, Family, Clients and other Random Blog Readers! I am back from my week-long trip to WPPI in Vegas and feeling exhausted...peaceful...and so blessed!

I went to the convention thinking that I would learn new trends, techniques/ideas, and fully expected to be inspired by the classes. I was so wrong! Although the classes I took were pretty good (even better if you bought the photographer's latest and greatest new product or book)...surprisingly the most useful knowledge was gained from my interactions with photographers OUTSIDE of the classroom. I learned so much about photography, human nature, perspective and life from some amazing people--photographers of all skill levels and life experiences. What an amazing gift. Thank you.

This is a very appropriate time for me because I have been feeling like I've been in a rut--doubting my creativity and worrying about everyone with their expensive gear and keeping up with the latest and greatest. Competition. Fear. Lack of originality. Forgetting that it is not the camera that makes a great image, but the person behind it.

But the truth is...nobody else can be me. I know it sounds silly, but it's true. There are always two people in every image I take--my subject and myself. I cannot be removed and nobody else on this planet, no matter how close we are [okay maybe you, Jen, are the exception but for the most part, nobody else] will have my perspective, drive, or desire to stay fresh...nobody else has the kind of life experiences that I have which shape my perspective, or the same kind of love that fuels my passion. I am an original, and constantly comparing myself to others is unnecessary, destructive and smothers my own creativity.

So why am I sharing this? Well, I thought I was alone in this struggle. I thought that I was the only creative person on the planet who battles this internal demon until I saw a fantastic video from Zach Arias an amazing Atlanta Photographer. Wow. What a true artist. To me, great art is something that can clearly speak the message that is in your heart...a message that is so strong, so reflective of your soul's true emotion [whether positive or negative] that you are sure the artist is reading your mind. Great songs, books, paintings all touch me so deeply that it almost feels embarrassing...I relate so strongly that I can almost feel exposed...

Well, Zach's video does just that for me. I see myself in his struggle and sat with my mouth wide open in surprise to hear such an amazing photographer outline his self-doubt, question his motivation and work through the incredible pressure to conform. I am so glad he posted this...I feel less alone. I feel renewed vision, a sincere drive to be my original self and peace in knowing that it is this that makes my work different from the rest.

Watch this amazing video--I am pretty sure it will move you whether you are a photographer or not. Like true art--it is far more about life than it is about the art itself. [the first part is a spoof of the mentality I mentioned earlier--'I am a successful photographer, so now I am going to 'sell' you my secrets in this amazing book, CD, workshop, etc.' This kind of thing is all over in photography right now. Have a good laugh at that, and then settle in for the moving commentary and stunning presentation of the creative struggle.


Holly Bellomy said...

Thank you for posting this...I can totally relate!

Shelley said...

Thank you....Thanks.

Jennifer Kelly Fine Photography said...

Melanie, as always, you are amazing. An amazing photographer and friend, an amazing mother even if some days you beat yourself up over the small stuff. Most of all today you are an amazing inspiration to me, the person who laughs with you on the internet at 2am, who admires the strength with which you tackle life on a daily basis, who thanks her lucky stars that you walked into her life at a time when mere friendship was not enough. Thank you.

Melanie Johnson said...

oh wow--[I am totally blushing here] you guys are the best!

Tina Rogers said...

Thank you so much Melanie for sharing that. It can truly hit home no matter your chosen profession. Really a great eye opener.

Melanie said...

OMG, Melanie I can't imagine you feeling like that after seeing your photos! I look forward to seeing new posts for you and admire/study your work! It's funny timing you posting this - I shot a wedding and infant shoot last weekend and just felt like I was in over my head by the end of the weekend. I know I got some pics they'll love, but I started wondering if I'm like one of those poor people auditioning on American Idol that REALLY want to be able to do something they just weren't destined to do. I just keep telling myself it's a learning process - and every time I do learn something new.

The Swallow Family said...

Melanie -

I can't thank you enough for taking the time to shoot pictures of our family today. You were amazing and so great with both of my girls. You have great talent in your work and with people. I can't wait to see how everything turns out. I'm so excited! :)


susan yee said...

Melanie - it's been a while since I've talked to you, but thank you for posting this. I remember our brief partnership at Jesh's workshop and I felt like I bonded with you so well right then and there. Thank you for sharing this video. It's what I needed right now. I wish I had gone to WPPI and seen you again! Big hugs.

mellybean said...

Melanie - you are simply amazing at what you do!!!! You could have a disposable camera and do magic. You're the BEST - such natural talent, lady!!

Geoff Bellingham said...

Hi Melanie,
Great video and so,so true !
In Australia we don't get the deep winters, in weather terms ... but the winters of the mind are the same the world over. But it does pass and the sun will shine.
Just stumbled accross your site and glad i did !
Cheers, Geoff