Sharon & Bruce – Destination Wedding – Hawaii – Waleia Beach, Maui

Calling Bruce & Sharon’s wedding “unforgettable” would be an understatement.  They were married on Waleia Beach in Maui, Hawaii two years ago with a handful of friends and family in attendance and I was blessed to be a part of their day.

Destination weddings aren’t the easiest – we travel with 200 pounds of gear, often alone, and are responsible for knowing and understanding what permits are needed, what to bring, how much you can fly with, how to pack what you do fly with, and what to do when the airline loses half your luggage. But taking gorgeous wedding photos in Hawaii? Priceless. Destination weddings are an ideal choice for so many couples as the only people who attend are the ones closest to them and they get to spend several days together relaxing and enjoying that time.

Sharon and Bruce are literally perfect for each other, I just knew it the moment I saw them together for the first time. Their wedding was filled with beauty and emotion and was truly an unforgettable experience filled with beautiful Hawaiian customs and topped off with a Luau then a sunrise beach session. I won’t ever forget the look on Bruce’s face as he saw Sharon walk down the “aisle” or that Sharon carried her fathers wedding band with her to have a piece of him there on her wedding day. The Hawaiian customs they observed were incredible – including a time during the ceremony where the friends and family in attendance were able to offer them wishes and give them hugs. The prayer circle that they formed following the ceremony was simply heartwarming and beautiful. The entire experience was beautiful and intimate and so very special.

Congratulations to you both, Happy second anniversary! I wish you so much happiness, always.

 

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Chattanooga Newborn Photographer – There’s Something About First-Time Parents

To say I love my job as a Chattanooga newborn photographer is an understatement.  I love the sounds babies make and the way they smell.  I love watching them startle reflexively and I love the little faces they make when they’re dreaming.  I love their furry little bodies and their newness.  I love their parents – their somehow stunning-despite-being-sleep-deprived mommas and their tired-but-swoony daddies.  I love scared-but-excited big siblings.  I love it all.  But first-time parents have this spot in my heart that’s a little bigger.  I love the wonder and the awe in their voices – that THEY ferried this little human safely into the world after a scant 40 weeks.  I love that they are excited and nervous at the same time and eager and timid all at once.  I love that they are less than two weeks into parenthood and have a lifetime of discovery ahead of them.  I love that all of the amazing memories I have of being a parent for the first time – the milestone celebrations (however small!) and the triumphs of overcoming hurdles will become everything to them, just as they did for me and for the zillions of parents who walked before them.  These sessions – sessions of first babies – just fill me with so. much. joy.  So, I have to say a huge thank you to Dr. Wessels of Allied Pediatrics for referring this family to me!  (If, by the way, you’re looking for a pediatrician in Chattanooga, Dr. Wessels is just a phenomenal choice.  I cannot tell you how much I respect her!)

 

Chattanooga Newborn Photographer

This little angel wasn’t super into sleeping at first.  She fought like a champ, but we stuck her up against her mommy’s chest and let her breathe in the sweet scent of her mama and it didn’t take long before she was happily dreaming – peaceful and content.

 

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I mean… Really?  Does that not make you smile?  Love.  Just… love.

 

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Oh baby girl, those lips.   That little bit of dark hair.  That creamy skin.   I die.  I just love how perfectly beautiful babies are.

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On behalf of all parents, welcome to the club!  Welcome to a journey that is exhilarating, exhausting, exasperating and exquisite.  Welcome.  I know you’re going to do a fabulous job!  And thank you for letting me be a part of your first days!

Love,

Melissa

Your Chattanooga Photographer (and cheerleader!)

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Chattanooga Newborn Photographer – Lennon and Lawson’s Twin Newborn Session

I’m absolutely giddy to introduce you to Lawson (the little guy with the dreamy smile) and his 6-minute-older big sister, Lennon!  I am still prone to goosebumps when I recall their birth!  Because they were teeny and a bit early, both kiddos had to spend a little time in the NICU but were none the worse for their stay there.  When I got ahold of these two, they were breathtakingly beautiful.  Nursing like superstars, and sleeping similarly, they made their session an absolute dream. You’ve heard of people spoiling  babies, of course, but these babies spoiled their newborn photographer for sure!

 

Chattanooga Newborn Photographer

From the moment they entered the world, you could see Lennon is a miniature version of her stunning mommy.  She has to-die-for skin and the most incredible little lips.

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Little Lawson is just like his daddy – with lighter skin and eyelashes for days.

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My goodness.  It’s amazing to me to see twins together outside the womb.  Their connection, their love, their instinct for touch… They’re such special little people, twins are.  Even though my own girl twins are nearly 5 years old, I *still* look at them in amazement that they lived and grew together inside me.

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Proud Dad marveling at his two little miracle babies.  Oh, my heart!

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And… I spy two big sisters who are beyond happy to have these little bits to snuggle!  I know Lawson is going to be spoiled sweet with his THREE big sisters!  I just love it!

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Sweet babes, you are the light in so many eyes.  I know you’ll grow big and strong and happy surrounded by love and affection.  Thanks to your amazing family for allowing me to spend time with you and indulge the snuggle-cravings I’ve had since the day you were born!

Love,

Melissa

Your Chattanooga Newborn Photographer

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Ali & Reaves Chattanooga Wedding at Manker Patten Tennis Club

In Chattanooga wedding season typically begins in March.  The weather is usually mild, warm enough for an outdoor wedding. It rarely snows here, if it does then it’s two inches in December or January. By February it’s springtime again. As you can see from the photos – spring had arrived. The trees were blooming, the grass was green. However, on the day of Ali & Reaves wedding – it decided to snow, it was cold, the wind was insane. Their friends and family were simply amazing. Not one person complained or stopped smiling all day even when taking photos in knee-length dresses while braving the snow and the cold.

Ali and Reaves are a beautiful couple, inside and out. Their wedding day was simply beautiful, filled with emotion and love. They chose Manker Patten Tennis Club  for their wedding and reception because it had meaning to Reaves, who played tennis there the majority of his life. I love the colors they chose, the gorgeous pink lace dresses that the bridesmaids wore. Ali looked simply stunning in her Vera Wang gown. The look on Reaves face when he saw Ali walking toward him down the aisle was simply priceless. It’s a moment I won’t ever forget. So many moments – tears, laughter, family and friends grinning from ear to ear. Havoc from the wind as the unity candles blew out time and again and Ali’s veil decided to attack her. A beautiful reception with family and friends, dancing, food, and so much excitement and genuine happiness for the couple. Incredible details – the Wedding Libs are one of my favorite reception ideas I’ve ever seen.

Happy First Anniversary, Ali & Reaves. I wish you a lifetime of happiness together!

 

Much love,

Your Wedding Photographers,

Melody & Mike

 

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One Year Anniversary – Chattanooga Couples Photographer

Many couples are excited about having engagement portraits taken and their wedding photographed. Then it all ends. Some may choose to be included in a maternity, newborn or family portrait as their family eventually grows. But what about pictures just for them? Just because?

I believe it is so important to capture who you are as a couple – before and after children come along. Pictures of you and your significant other together should not be uncommon as the years go by. Whether it be a few pictures by yourselves during a family session or even a portrait session exclusively for you. Such a wonderful reminder of the love you have for each other throughout the years! Imagine being able to look through a book of your parents lives together from before you were born? How amazing would that be?

I was so happy when these two wanted photographs in honor of their first anniversary. They even brought along a cute little chalkboard to document which anniversary it was. This could be the start of a fun yearly tradition!

 

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I love that you can truly see how in love they are on their first anniversary and that they chose to capture this milestone in their lives!

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Newborn Photographer in Chattanooga – When Hopes Are Filled

My family is, in my eyes, complete with 4 kiddos.  However, that doesn’t keep me from longing to hold a sweet-smelling babe in my arms for just a little while.  It doesn’t mean I’m impervious to the dreamy milk coma smiles and the soft downy fuzz on their soft, delicate heads.   I usually get a pretty good baby fix as a newborn photographer in Chattanooga, but sometimes I need more.  Sometimes it’s a little awkward for me to kiss a baby I’ve just met… So I *ahem* LOVE to get my hands and lens on my friends’ babies.  They get a little extra snuggling.  I get to steal a kiss here and there and I get to relish having known about this baby since before she was a she for sure – sitting with coffee and talking with her momma about their plans for bedroom situation and names and wondering how the big brothers will react to the new babe.  It’s just bliss.  The expectation and the excitement and flush of love for a person so, so early in life.  It’s amazing.

And, to have the honor of photographing such a miracle is one of the biggest joys in my life – personally and professionally.   This is sweet Josephine.  She is profoundly beautiful and profoundly loved.

 

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(Isn’t her headband precious?  It came from an amazing shop called Snippets and you can visit here to shop for your own goodies if you’d like!  I can’t help drooling over everything!)

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Hey there, Joie L.  I just want wanted to let you know how glad I am that you’re here!  I know I speak for a LOT of folks, far and wide, when I say, you are a light in our lives.  I know your mommy, your daddy and your superstar big brothers are going to shower you with affection and keep you safe, always.  Welcome to this crazy world!

Love,
Melissa

Your Chattanooga Newborn Photographer

and

your friend.

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Chattanooga Newborn Photographer – Identical Twin Boys!

I don’t know how many sets of twins I’ve photographed since becoming a newborn photographer in Chattanooga, but it’s quite a few.  Maybe it’s because I have endless patience or because I have a set of twins myself, but I absolutely love working with multiples!  However, in all of that time, this is my very first set of identical twins!

 

Chattanooga Newborn Photographer

 

Cash (without the hat) and Presley were older newborns at their session.  It’s cold and flu season, and a lot of mommies wisely choose to keep their babes home until they are a bit bigger and are better able to defend themselves against illnesses.  Usually, I prefer babies to be between 5 and 10 days old for their newborn session, but beautiful sessions can result from babies who are older than that window!    These two little guys are a perfect example of that!  Presley was pretty sleepy the whole time, but Cash fought for awhile before he succumbed to my charms.  And let me tell you, that little fella has a crush on me.  I swear he does.  I was absolutely over the moon for him – he just hung out in my arms cooing and smiling and giving me THE EYES.  Oh, the eyes.  What a little sweetie he is!  (Of course Presley is too, but he didn’t love on me  like his brother!)

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Mommy (talk about a superwoman!  Love her!) told me that the only way they really have of telling the boys apart is the shape of their heads (I think I would have needed a bit more time with them to see it) and the shape of their belly buttons!  How cute are they!? She described them as “a smiley face” and “a candy cane”.  *dies*

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Oh these boys.  The little details – eyelashes, belly buttons, noses… I know their wonderful parents and super great big siblings are swooning over their little features as much as I do!

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Sweet boys, thanks for being such little hunks during your session – I enjoyed every single minute I spent with you and am excited to watch you grow!  I’m sure I’ll be seeing your Mommy and Daddy at Sam’s Club a lot in the future!

Love,

Melissa

Your Chattanooga Newborn Photographer…

…er, Your Chattanooga Newborn TWIN Photographer!

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Senior Portraits – Ellaina – Class of 2014 Heritage High School – Chattanooga Senior Photographer

I’ve known Ellaina since she was in middle school, so I was thrilled when her mom, also my friend, decided she wouldn’t have anyone other than me take her Senior portraits! I still can’t believe she’s already a high school senior! Immediately, we started talking about outfits, makeup, hair, locations, ideas – all the fun stuff! We found some locations in Ringgold that fit Ellaina’s personality, and the look we were trying to achieve perfectly.

We started out at a little farm, which worked beautifully with her long lacy dress. I was in love with that dress. I could’ve photographed her all day.

 

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I loved the contrast of delicacy and the rustic background.

 

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Ellaina has a sweet and gentle soul. I would’ve known this even if I’d just met her that day. I like to get to know a bit about my Seniors and have their true self shine from their images.

 

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Ellaina and her mom hired a make-up artist. She is absolutely beautiful and doesn’t normally wear a ton of makeup.  The artist was able to amplify her beauty in a natural way, yet it still worked well with the camera. I always say, for the makeup to show up, and the beauty of your features to be highlighted in photographs, it’s bestto let a professional take care of you. They know what it takes. Even when I try to do my own makeup for portraits, I realize later that I definitely needed more, or something different. It makes a world of difference, and it’s also one less responsibility for you on photo shoot day.

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Does she not look like an angel wandering about the forest? I liked the magical weeds around her.

 

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This is fun. She had a navy blue dress with daisies on it. We had discussed wanting a field of flowers. I rode around searching for the best spots before the session and found this field full of yellow flowers…er… maybe weeds, but beautiful, nonetheless. What’s neat, is that this is right in front of her school.

 

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Ellaina danced and danced and her mom laughed and laughed as we both became absolutely covered in hitchhikers. I wasthrilled that she was brave enough to go in! Well worth it, I’d say.

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I love motion in pictures, and Ellaina was more than happy to do a little twirling and dancing. She was on the Heritage High School Dance Team and she is an amazing dancer!

 

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I think Ellaina did an amazing job picking out her outfits! I just love seeing these happy  Spring colors.

 

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I love this image of her laid back. It makes me think of daydreaming about the future. Not a care in the world. A million opportunities at your finger tips. You’re capable of anything, and the choices you make right now will shape your life. It’s always refreshing to see the life and excitement in a high school Senior’s eyes!

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The Little Sister – Chattanooga Newborn Photographer

We are so professionally fortunate to have such a strong, supportive and friendly network of photographers in Chattanooga.  When a fellow Chattanooga newborn photographer, Jennifer of  Wilkerson Photography, was expecting her third baby, she was so kind as to refer clients to us during her maternity leave.  I’m not sure, actually, if there is a bigger compliment I could be paid than to have another professional place so much trust in me!

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Overwhelmed with gratitude, I offered to do a newborn session for her, and these images of her gorgeous baby girl are the fruits of that labor of love.

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This beautiful baby is one of the smiley-est babies I have ever photographed and I loved each second with her!  She slept like a dream and was calm and content.  She snuggled perfectly into her poses and her petite little features made both her momma and I swoon with every image.

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Just look at this beautiful family – they are so in love and so content.  I simply cannot believe how grateful I am to have worked with them and gained a new friend in Jennifer.

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(And, can we take a moment to talk about how handsome the big brothers are?  I mean…  seriously.)

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Welcome to Chattanooga, sweet girl!  I hope you enjoyed your time in front of the camera – I have a feeling you’ll find yourself there often!

Love,

Melissa

Your Chattanooga Newborn Photographer

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Dillon & Bethany’s Berry College Wedding – Rome, GA Photographers

Berry College Weddings are always beautiful. Dillon and Bethany’s was no exception. They had a beautiful ceremony at the chapel on the campus in Rome, GA. Most of our couples have had their ceremony at the Frost Chapel on the Mountain Campus. This was a treat for us! The Chapel was gorgeous! Dillon is the baseball coach at the college so you’ll notice a lot of baseball themes incorporated in to the reception. Baseballs in the centerpieces, a baseball themed grooms cake, and a baseball bat exit. I thought that was genius and added such a personal touch to their reception. I also loved that Bethany made her guests a wonderful treat to take home with them! It’s wonderful when people add touches to their wedding that make it so personal. It was a gorgeous day, Bethany was an absolutely stunning bride! And her dress? Absolutely stunning. They put so much thought in to each and every detail.  All of their friends and family were just wonderful. We had an amazing time and just fell in love with Bethany and Dillon.

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Lisa - You just never disappoint Mel! These are beautiful and you really know how to tell the bride and groom’s story through your stunning images. Those shoes are on FIRE!

Lina - WOW, I am amazed. Beautiful wedding, you are so talented to portray it so amazing.

Sherri Winstead - You do such beautiful work!!! Love the little girls in their white dresses together. What a beautiful wedding, and they were lucky to have you!

Anna-Karin - stunning wedding photography! All of the photographs featured really showcases how beautiful their day was. From the brides beautiful gown, to the absolutely vibrant and lovely colors of the boquet, the ceremony and to the fun of the festivities during the reception.Beautifully captured all around. You are one fantastic and talented wedding photographer!

teri - Gorgeous! I love the attention to detail and the great lighting! Simply stunning. Oh and those red shoes are to die for!!

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