in South Carolina

For the last few days I've been relaxing in South Carolina with this sweet family. Rhonda and Clay have been friends of mine for years and I even shot their wedding 3 years back. Charis (pronounced karis) is a new addition to the cuteness. She is 19 months old and pure smooshy cuteness:

And Rhonda is expecting their 2nd! So exciting!

It's been so much fun catching up with these guys. If I had it my way they'd were my next door neighbors. But I guess they give me a good excuse to travel out to the Carolinas. Another good excuse is my MJ 2 Day workshop in Charlotte coming up on Monday and Tuesday! Rhonda will be attending and assisting with it and I can't wait to meet the rest of the attendees! Due to the intense schedule of the workshop I won't be blogging for a few days but stay tuned for a recap of the fun next week!

Add a Comment
Share This Post:

101 in 1001

Photography Forums

This summer I worked hard to complete #61 on my 101 in 1001 list: Post on a photography forum at least once/week for 3 months.

This was a tough one for me.

If you've read my story, you know I was friends with David Jay pre-photography business. When he started Open Source Photo Forum (OSP) I was one of the founding members. It was 2003 and there were like 5 of us sharing info and learning from one another. I have to say that early on in my business OSP was a HUGE resource for me to learn and grow. Any time I had a question or issue I would post it on there and I would get a bunch of replies that would steer me in the right direction. As my business grew and the number of members on OSP grew, I visited less and less until I was completely MIA.

What it really was more than anything that caused me to stop visiting OSP was my own neurotic need for order and completion. If you haven't gathered I have issues in this area yet from reading my blog, well...I do. As OSP grew, it was no longer manageable for me. There were just too many people and too many posts to keep up on. Early on when it was just a few of us, I felt like I could follow everything and not feel overwhelmed. But anymore, when I get on photography forums, I just feel super-overwhelmed with the sheer number of posts, topics, information and people. It's complete overload. So I just stayed away.

But I never lost sight of how helpful and formative photo forums were for me in the early years of my business. And I realized that it would be good for me to try to contribute on a regular basis - for a number of reasons - even if it was just a little bit. So goal #61 was born. And for three months this summer I consistently posted on both OSP and the Pictage Forums.

I still feel completely overwhelmed when I visit. I can't read it all. Sometimes I feel like I can't help.

But I realize that's ok. Sometimes I learn something new. Sometimes I CAN help. And I believe it's important for me to give back to the community the way I was given to when I was starting out. I also know that many of you who are blog readers and photographers found me through a photo forum. And my blog readers have been a huge part of my business success. So it's just smart business to keep connected to the forums.

So I'm going to continue to wage war against my neurosis. I'm going to try to contribute on forums consistently - especially during my off-seasons.

If you're a photographer, definitely join the conversation!

Open Source Photo
Pictage Forums

Add a Comment
Share This Post:
Album Design Templates


Kitchen Engagement featured on Junebug!

Remember Anthony & Chrissy's fun engagement session shot entirely in a kitchen? It is featured today on Junebug Weddings - a gorgeous wedding blog that just won the prestigious 2010 Aisle Dash Award for Best Wedding Web Site's Blog! Love Junebug and love this shoot! Check out the complete feature here!

Add a Comment
Share This Post:
MJ's Camera Bag


Seth & Bethy's album design

Seth & Bethy were married Sunday at JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix and we just finished their album design! Don't you love the colors of their details?

Click here to see the full design! And keep in mind that the finished album is much larger -- 14x10 inches in size.

Note to photographers: If you need help getting YOUR album designs done fast, click here to find out how you can purchase my templates!

Add a Comment
Share This Post:

wedding inspiration

Whimsical & Romantic Tablescape

Recently I joined forces with Victoria Canada Weddings & Events and an amazing team of vendors to participate in a contest being put on by Riedel Crystal and BRIDES Magazine -- The Ultimate Tablescape Challenge. Victoria is brilliantly creative and came up with the theme "Poetry in Motion." I can't believe how amazingly beautiful the whole table turned out! I had so much fun photographing it!

Victoria's theme was inspired by the delicate feel of Riedel Crystal. The soft colors of the table were offset with vibrant and fresh pops of color. The table is whimsical and layered. The hand cut butterflies and paper flowers were created out of pages of poetry books. I love all the detailed touches that force you to take a closer look! Butterflies were also infused subtly in the elegant linen from Wildflower Linen.

Looking glasses were layered on the table to add visual dimension and another fun touch:

The floral from Petal Pusher was lush and feminine. The huge peonies and dahlias were mouthwatering:

I love, love how Victoria used the crystal in such an unexpected way in these goblets hanging over the table from an Arizona Pecan Tree. They were breathtaking!

The contest only required a tablescape but what is a wedding table without a bride? We brought in a model to keep with the theme of elegance and floral whimsy. Kaytie's Jim Hjelm dress from Destiny's Bride was sweet, light and fresh. Her hair was romantic and the product of the amazing Amber with flawless make-up from Linda Wagner.

Every bride needs her cake and this creation from Julia Baker Confections did not disappoint.

The cake's style took it's cue from the butterflies that were hand pinned to each chair and ran down the back to add a couture effect:

I'm so in love with how the whole thing turned out! Please take a moment to click here and vote for it in the Tablescape Contest!

Location: The Farm at South Mountain Phoenix, Arizona
Rentals: Tri-Rentals
Calligraphy: Jennifer Schmitt
Hair: Amber Hasson Tillinghast
Accessories: Victoria Canada

Add a Comment
Share This Post:

RSS Feed

Facebook ShootDotEdit MJ 2 Day Photojunction Templates Infinet

Infusionsoft Queensberry B&H Blog Collage Templates Spam Arrest Align

Blog Archives

Blog Stats

©2014 Melissa Jill Photography.     Website by infinet design Tel 480-269-0036     Fax 480-248-3146