why i missed fall

If you know any photographers they will tell you that fall is their busiest season.  It could probably be an Olympic sport…being a photographer during fall is SERIOUS business.  I always have families, seniors and couples clamoring for the month of October like it is a prize to be won.  But fall was not busy for me…at least not this year.  I did not photograph at all this fall.  The last session I did was in September and then I just stopped.  Didn’t even have the desire to take photos or go on sessions.  And were there people wanting those dates?  Yes, of course there were.  But could I commit to giving them my time.  No, in all honesty I could not.  I took this fall to work on me and to put more important matters first.    There were many different things going on in my life, and with the demands of school (I teach full time all day Kindergarten if you are new to the blog) and the demands of self, it just was not possible.  My heart told me “take a break…give it time…there is no worry.”

Fall is my favorite time of year.  The changing colors of the leaves, the crunch of them underfoot, the brisk air, the very smell of fall, the nature, the beauty.  This season I experienced beauty in a much different and unexpected way.  It came in taking time out, it came in helping others, it came from giving fully and with vulnerability, it came not in the form of golden hues and amber waves, but in the form of the light of a child’s smile, the hug of a stranger, the continued (yet unfinished) healing of the heart, the warmth of a message, the words of grace, the giving without expectation, the search for the soul.   So, while I took fall “off” this season, it was for the best.  Of course I missed the colors and gorgeousness of it all, but it was a small price to pay for the fall that I did experience this year.  And that my friends was worth it.  And so the title of my post “why i missed fall” is probably misleading.  I didn’t miss it, no I found it I’d say.

I am continuing to take as much “off” time as I need here and there.  That being said, I am looking forward to a busier winter in my new studio and in the snow.  Lots ahead that I am so happy to be sharing with you all.  And speaking of sharing, there are a few new things I am excited to let you all in on…very soon.  I still have some things on my heart that are just waiting to come out…and projects planned that will soon come to fruition.  Stay tuned dear friends…

As I realized it was coming to an end, I couldn’t resist getting a few fall color filled photos, so I took my BFF Bailey out for a quick photo in our backyard.  This was probably about a month and a half ago.  He is such a willing subject. :)

my BIG announcement

I have heard it said that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  This quote by Seneca is a half truth in my opinion.  As I don’t really believe in luck.  I am of the mind that everything in our lives is part of a divine plan.  This belief of mine has been tested and put through the fire more than ever this past year.  And really it has been tried over the past few years if I am being honest.  I question the very faith that I hold so dear.  I have asked the meaning of things in life, and I have had my doubts in the ultimate plan that lies ahead.  I still have moments when I wonder if there is a road with happiness that lies ahead just for me.  This is not to discount the joys and gifts I have been given, but at times I do question the future, where I am headed and if there ultimately is a path that is mine and mine alone.   It is in those times of weakness of spirit and draining doubt that I have to rely on someone much larger than myself.  I have to put my very life into His hands and believe in Jeremiah 29:11.  ”For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  While believing this on certain days can be quite the struggle, that is where faith comes in and grace fills in the cracks.

Today I am excited to announce that after years of hard work, preparation and planning, one of my dreams is coming true.  It is not by luck or chance that this has happened.  It was a long road to get here and I was not handed this opportunity out of the sky like a magical gift.  This is something that I worked for and a goal and dream realized through dedication and the tenacity to never give up.  My BIG ANNOUNCEMENT is that I am now the proud tenant of a storefront and studio in downtown Tiffin!  I can hardly believe it myself, but it is true and I am so thrilled!

Currently I am renovating the space with some help and I intend to open sometime in the fall.  I am not giving out the location just yet, however let me describe my space to you.  Think historic, think yummy light from a storefront window, think high tin ceilings, think glossy white floors, think high end, think chic, think white and gold, think amazing and you just about have it.  I am taking a historic space that was old and tired and giving it a Melissa Perry makeover a la snow white and glimmering gold.  Right now the studio is getting a professional paint job from top to bottom by the most amazing painter in town.  Walls are getting extra love with smoothing out, filling in and crisp paint.  The tin ceiling is now gleaming white and the floors will soon shine as well.   I have picked out gorgeous lighting and artwork and have begun collecting pillows and frames and other accoutrements that will make the space simply me.  If you are a past client you may see your face on the wall or you may get an invitation to my studio opening this fall.  To say I am elated is an understatement.  This space will allow me to further my business, to welcome clients to my world and to finally have a space of my own that is not inside of my home.  If only you could see the plans in my head…they are off the charts!  Right now the space is looking quite different {in a VERY GOOD way} from the way I found it and it will only go up from here.

I realize that this dream could have never become a reality without so many supportive people in my life.  I want to thank my husband Chad most of all for supporting me even when I have crazy and unorthodox ideas.  I am blessed to have a spouse and soul mate who truly believes in me in all aspects of who I am, and who puts up with the pain I can be when I get an idea in my head that will not go away.  I am also so grateful to my family, friends and clients who have been cheerleaders over the years.  What a gift it has been to be loved and lifted up by so many people who have always believed in me and my passion.

I look forward to inviting you to the studio opening.  I already have visions of storefronts dancing in my head and if you know me I will make those visions a reality.  Because the truth is when preparation meets opportunity, dreams really do come true.

~ xo mel ~
ps…for those who guessed it was baby news that i was going to announce perhaps I will fill you in more on our family story someday down the line…
i have a heart that longs to share with you all

lilly {senior}

It’s not secret that seniors are one of my favorite types of sessions.  The fashion, styling, poses and vibe all are just part of the reason I love photographing this genre so much.  Add to that the ability to help young women in feel confident and like a model for their time in front of my camera and it is easy to see why I could easily photograph seniors everyday!  I always seem to get amazing senior clients as well.  This is Lilly’s session (or should I say sessions) from a few years back.  We had fun shooting country, urban and in the studio.  The result are some of my favorite images ever.  Lilly was a natural as you will see.  Happy “throwback thursday” bonus post!

Lilly wanted to include her boyfriend in a few shots so we did that at the very end of her last session.  I always allow my seniors to get a few shots with a friend if the choose, but we keep most of the picture about the senior!

perry girls {posh kids}

Today’s “throwback thursday” post is of two of my favorite girls.  These are my beautiful nieces Avery and Rylan.  This shoot was all the way back in 2012 and was for their birthday.  I had fun styling this session and love to style all of my sessions now.  Hard to believe how much they have changed and grown since then.  Hey girls..now stop that!  Can’t you just stay little forever?

Avery was in a total “model groove” that day.  And so we took tons of shots of her rockin’ the camera like a pro.  All those years of having a camera pointed at her have definitely paid off! Rylan’s turn . oh those eyes!  {and that look!}crowns . balloons . stars . what could be more fun?a personal favorite from this session…LOVEtwo more of my favorite shots…blowing glitter has become a very popular thing now . but it was actually a little more original back then . this was fun . though i was finding stars in the grooves of my floor for years to come…~ xo mel ~