News!, Janelle

New Associate Photographer -- meet Janelle!

We've had such a great response to our associate photographer team, and I'm excited to introduce you to Janelle -- our newest member!

Janelle -- pictured far right with her beautiful big eyes -- is genuine, friendly, and puts everyone around her instantly at ease. I've adored her since the moment I met her and I feel confident our clients will feel the same way.

Here is some of Janelle's beautiful work:

Click here to get to know Janelle a bit and see even more of her work!

And if you're a bride who loves the quality, service and unique style of Melissa Jill Photography, but can't justify spending $6,500+ on your wedding photography the great news is you can still receive many of the benefits that come with the Melissa Jill brand. Click on the "associates" button under the "about us" tab in the above navigation to find out more about how our associate program works. Then use the contact form to communicate about your wedding and we will match you up with the photographer who is available on your wedding date and fits your budget needs!

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Office Manager position available!

I posted about our job opening a few months back, and we are still on the hunt for the perfect full-time office manager for MJP!

As with any small business, this employee will be asked to wear many hats and work on a variety of tasks within the business. If you or anyone you know is interested, you can find a full job description by clicking here.

Please note that I will not be entertaining any applicants who have their own photography business or aspire to start their own business at any point in the future. While that may sound harsh, I want to be clear that I am not looking to train someone who plans to leave and start their own business. I teach workshops and offer one-on-one coaching for current and aspiring business owners, so if you fit this description, I would encourage you to look into one of these avenues for further training. This position is open to those who would like to be a part of our team, preferably for the long-term, and who will be thrilled to be an employee of a growing business where their gifts and input will be highly valued and utilized.

This employee will be required to work from the MJP office located in the Arcadia area of Phoenix, just north of Sky Harbor Airport.

Please forward any questions or resumes to melissa{at}melissajill{dot}com. Thank you!

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3 weddings in Phoenix Bride & Groom Magazine!

I think this is a record for me -- three weddings featured in one gorgeous issue of Phoenix Bride & Groom! I'm over the top thrilled to see three of my favorite weddings from 2013 in the newest Winter/Spring issue!

Alex & Marci (above) were married at Silverleaf club in February. Click here to see all of the gorgeous details -- including their giant 6-tiered cake! -- and see the list of amazing vendors who worked on this event.

Jeff & Jessica were wed at The Boulders in May and I love how they embraced the desert in their magical outdoor destination wedding.

And Kevin & Kimberley were married in April at Wild Horse Pass Resort and they too had one of the most sublime outdoor receptions I've ever experienced.

I wanted to also give a shout-out to the amazing planners who brought these events to life. From top to bottom:

Amy Mancuso Events
Victoria Canada Weddings & Events
Ashley Gain Weddings & Events

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2013 Year in Review

Happy New Year everyone!

What an amazing year 2013 has been! This year has been filled to overflowing with blessings. It's been so great to take some time these last few days to reflect on the past year. As a result, today I am going to share 5 of my favorite "happenings" from 2013.

#1 -- Relationships

Thank goodness for a great smart phone camera and Instagram! Otherwise I seriously would be hurting for photos of my personal life. I rarely have my pro camera with me except when I'm home or working. But, like my friend Jared Platt says, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

The above photos are a testament to how blessed I am. I've always known I am blessed with incredible people in my life, but I feel like 2013 was a year of taking that truth to the next level. The relationships I've grown with the above precious people, and many more who I just didn't happen to have photos handy for (but you know who you are!) is one of my favorite things about this year.

#2 -- Speaking at WPPI

WPPI is an annual convention in Las Vegas that draws 15,000 photographers from around the globe. I've attended for many years but this year I was honored to be able to give a platform presentation. I was shaking in my stilettos speaking in front of so many people, on a stage that I had watched so many times before, but it was an amazing opportunity and humbling experience. Definitely a highlight of my year! And the cool thing is -- they invited me back! I will be speaking again this year, but this time on a different topic: Developing a Successful Associate Photographer Program. If you're a photographer, I hope to see you there! (I'll be speaking at 3pm on Wednesday, March 5th -- the schedule currently has me listed incorrectly.)

#3 -- Walking for Autism

As many of you know, I have two nephews with autism. So the fact that there is no known cause or cure for this epidemic that affects 1 in 88 children (an increase of 600% over the past two decades) is heart-wrenching to me. This year, my team walked for the 7th year in a row to raise money and awareness for autism. Our team was huge -- 70 strong -- and we raised $6,470!!! Amazing! Click here to see more photos from this year's walk! And thanks again to all of you who donated and walked! Over $100,000 was raised and will go directly to fund multiple research studies for children and adults with autism. I can't wait to see what our efforts will accomplish!

#4 -- Growing in Trust

God has showed me again and again this year that He is my provider. For both the big things and the little things. So why do I worry so much and try so hard to figure out everything on my own? Good question, self -- haha! Seriously, I'm a work in progress on this one, but I know God has called me this year to grow in my trust in Him. I was blessed to be able to go on a spiritual retreat to the gorgeous mountains of Colorado this summer, as well as to study God's word with a great group of women this fall. And both experiences impacted me greatly.

#5 -- Business Growth

This year was a year of tremendous business growth for both of my businesses. Between my four associate photographers and I, our studio shot a total of 36 weddings in 2013 (up from 29 in 2012). I had the pleasure of teaching three MJ2Day workshops, which means I got to participate in the journeys of 40 photographers. And my album design company, Align, tripled the number of albums we designed in 2012. I feel blessed and overwhelmed all at the same time as I look back on 2013. It was A LOT of work. But man, was it ever rewarding.

Thank you all for reading and sharing in my journey! I can't wait to see what 2014 holds in store for all of us!

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Top 10 of 2013

I hope you all had a great Christmas! I felt incredibly blessed with time worshipping God for the best gift ever, memories made with family and friends, and some much-needed down-time. It was perfect!

For some reason I have a hard time seeing past Christmas every year. It seems that everything after Thanksgiving builds towards Christmas and it's all I can do to focus on the next task at hand in preparation for it. So when it passes, I'm never prepared for it to be a new year so soon. Although one week is never sufficient for me to mentally prepare for a new year, it IS a great time to look back over 2013 and reflect.

Today I'm going to share my top 10 most commented-on blog posts from 2013. This is something fun I do every year and it's great, because if you missed a popular post, this gives you a chance to get caught up!

It's always enlightening for me to look back on a year of blog posts and see what got you guys weighing in. This year's top posts include four weddings, two helpful tips for photographers, a lens comparison, a doggie birthday party, an album design, and a Frivolous Friday post.

Click on the links below to view each post!

1 -- Jay & Jessica -- Silverleaf Club Wedding
2 -- Scott & Kelli -- Different Pointe of View
3 -- Photographing Group Portraits that are in Focus
4 -- Alex & Marci -- Silverleaf Club Wedding
5 -- Jeff & Jessica -- Wedding at the Boulders Resort
6 -- Frivolous Friday vol. 52
6 -- Scott & Kelli's Album Design
8 -- Workflow Series pt. 4: Delegating & Outsourcing
9 -- Dixie's Birthday Party
10 -- Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS comparison

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