Bonjour! My name is Melissa and I'm a wedding and portrait photographer in the Pacific Northwest. This blog is where I want to tell you the beautiful stories of my clients, share their weddings, and give you a behind the scenes peek of this crazy business that I love. Grab a glass of champagne, snuggle up, and get lost in love stories... xoxo
02. About Us
This post has been a long time coming. Every time I sat down to write it, the words never came. How can you even begin to explain an experience that you can’t even wrap your whole head around? But here it is, ready or not.
The last month has been NUTS. I’ve been a mess. I’ve dug deeper and pushed harder then I ever have before. I thought I was just going to reSTARt my business- little did I know, I would be restarting myself. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, reread the last few blog posts). I’ve cried more in the last few weeks then I have in the last few years. put together. times one thousand. But it’s not sad tears. They are tears of exhaustion, tears of joy, tears of frustration, tears of overcoming. I’ve been forced to take a step back and look at myself. Who am I? Do I like who I am? Where am I going with my life? Where do I WANT to go? These are SUPER tough questions to find answers to, and there has been many loads of laundry not folded because of it (yes, I am too busy self-reflecting to do menial chores).
My first day of reSTARt was crazy and surreal. It started with breakfast. Ya know, just chillin’ with J* and JD, eating oatmeal together like NBD. And seriously that’s how it was- we talked about family and life, and who stalked who’s blog more. It felt… normal. The rest of the day was spent pre-taping for the live broadcast and <cough> a surprise wedding consult <cough>. While I wasn’t prepared for THAT, I went into this whole experience ready to give it my all, show the scary cobwebs, and learn as much as I physically can. It was amazing, and to sit on a couch and look up and see my photography idol behind a lens photographing ME, well, there are no words.
I felt ready for the first day of live taping. I met most of the audience members the night before, and felt like I was looking out amongst friends. I felt the permission to be myself. The whole morning was fabulous and I was learning so much, to the point where my brain might explode. And then after lunch, things came crashing down… <<insert favorite Finding Nemo quote: “Good feelings gone.” >>
THE PHOTO SHOOT. Shooting in front of thousands of people was terrifying. I was given 10 minutes to come up with one money shot, and my brain was frozen under pressure. I couldn’t visualize the posing I wanted, I couldn’t think of actions to give the models. I was barely holding myself together. And when my 10 minutes were up, I felt like a failure. I felt like I didn’t represent who I was and I certainly didn’t like my pictures. I was exhausted, like I had just ran a marathon. And all of a sudden the shear enormity of the realization that thousands of professionals (most of whom are possibly “better” then I am), just watched me TANK IT, weighed on my shoulders.
We regrouped on the couch to recap the day and then she asked the question. The dreaded question that no one wants to be asked when you’re on the verge of losing it…
“Melissa, how are you feeling?”
Then the flood gates opened. All of my fears of being a failure, my fear of not being good enough to do what I love, came out in big, fat, hot tears. Let me tell you, crying in front of thousands of people is embarrassing. But what happened after this blew my mind. People in the audience stood and talked about their struggles. I came home to 65 emails and FB messages of people POURING their hearts out. People who told me they cried with me, that they watched me struggle and were cheering me on. People told me they were holding my hand. I came home and cried my heart out as I read each message. I woke up to more messages and proceeded to cry more (for reals, I was/am a basket case). I have never felt so supported in my whole life. This has been an experience like none other, and I am so grateful for it. I’m grateful to be able to show ME in all of my imperfect glory, and learn from those imperfections.
My Mom raised me to never care what people thought of me. Of course, this resulted in crazy outfits, a half-shaved head, and an eyebrow piercing at one time or another. But it has also allowed me to dance in empty gyms, meet amazing people, and live life to it’s crazy-fullest. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Tune in to CreativeLIVE again on February 13th as we continue on this journey together.
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