more than a hobbyist

  • lifestyle photograph by MWAC Melissa Gibson

more than a hobbyist

I am a mom and I am a photographer.  Since I am not a business owner, I am a considered a “hobbyist”.  However, I am not “just a hobbyist”.

I am an artist.

Even more than an artist?

I am a storyteller.

Seven months before my first girl was born, I was writing about her.  I wrote letters to her in her own journal.  Skipping by my old personal journal to now jot down notes about her life instead.  I remember putting my thoughts and feelings into HER journal because everything that was her was also everything that was me.  From the very day I found out I was expecting a little one I started writing messages to her and stories about her life.  Once my second girl came along, two and a half years later, I had already been writing in HER journal as well.

By that point, I had a book for each girl and every night I would lie on my bed to write all of the silly things each one did.  Or the sweet words that were spoken.  Even little notes that the big girl scribbled down…I would fold them up neatly and place them inside of her story.  Finally, the third baby was born and, you guessed it, I was writing for her, too.  I had three stories going.  Three lives of little ones being recorded each night.  Three sets of teeny drawings tucked inside.  Three books and several pens and pencils later, their stories were just beginning.

journals for writing to children

About the time the second story began, I realized that what I so desperately needed for my girls were photographs.  I could write about their journeys; their daily tea parties, first time they found a worm, and trips to the library, but it was up to me to create that image in their imaginations through the journals.  That’s when I decided that I needed images and not just imaginations.  THEY needed the images.  They were so little and would forget so much of our fun-filled days.  Therefore, it was my responsibility to remember these days FOR them and what better way than through photographs?

I started to wonder; How much would I give to have shots of my girls just being…my girls?  In twenty or thirty years from now?  How much would I pay to give them those memories?  Ones that they could read about in their journals, but also images that they could hold right there in their hands?  That is when the second part of their stories began and I started photographing them everyday.

For a while, the images were not-so-great.

old pictures from just getting started in photography

Honestly, though?  At that point, I didn’t mind.  However, after I found the Clickin Moms forum and I started to realize where I could improve, my stories to them also improved.

mom hobbyist child photography by Melissa Gibson

mom with a camera photograph by Melissa Gibson

Once I started sharing some of my images and parts of my girls’ stories online through blogging, I started to get those little ol’ questions called, “Why don’t you do this for money?” and  “Why don’t you open a business?”  After much convincing from others, I did.  And?  I hated it.  I wasn’t having a wonderful time.  I didn’t like shooting for other people.  Why?  Because it wasn’t OUR STORY.  It was THEIR STORY.  After about a year and a half I gave it up.  Turning clients and friends away was a bit difficult, but I decided that seeing the world through my children’s lives was much more important to me.  I wanted to be in their element and remember them in their daily lives rather than slipping into someone else’s story.  I wanted to photograph my babies, remember our times and focus on their stories.

telling your childs story through photographs by Melissa Gibson

mom photographer Melissa Gibson

Since I was no longer in business, I was bumped back down the “hobbyist” title.  However, (now I want you to really listen to this part) that does not mean I was no longer a “professional”.  Read that again if you need to.  That simply means that I was not a business owner.  See?  There’s a difference.  A hobbyist CAN BE a professional.  Taking money from clients doesn’t qualify you as a “professional photographer”.  It does, however, qualify you as a “business owner”.  Being labeled a hobbyist isn’t offensive to me.  Just as being called a MWAC doesn’t bother me, because honestly, we all know that’s what I am.

But, you see?  I am so much more than “just a hobbyist”.  Most importantly, to me and also to my girls…

I am a documentarian.

I am a journalist.

I am an artist.

I am most definitely a storyteller.

And I encourage you to be those things, too.

lifestyle photograph by MWAC Melissa Gibson

About the Author:

Melissa is a proud MWAC who gears up with a Nikon D700, prime lenses, and edits her “fun, childlike, and whimsical” photography solely in Photoshop Elements. Melissa's goal both now and when she first began her photography journey in 2005 is to, in her own words, “remember my girls’ lives for them. They are so young yet growing so quickly. I know they won’t remember it all so I feel it’s my job to document it for them.” Visit Melissa Gibson online.
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112 Comments

  1. Jo Jan 03 2013 at 11:11 am - Reply

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. Melissa, you nailed it.

  2. The New Diplomats Wife Jan 03 2013 at 11:21 am - Reply

    love this post – and it’s so nice to find another “more than a hobbyist” out there!

  3. Janeen Jan 03 2013 at 11:44 am - Reply

    I love this!! Perfect perspective. And your girls are beautiful. Maybe when they’re grown you’ll want to capture that youth and joy for others, but I love that you’re focusing on your family and where you’re passions are, not on the money and “owner” label.

  4. momgtog_kat Jan 03 2013 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you. It’s like you read my mind when you wrote this.

  5. Angie Jan 03 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I needed to hear this. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. UrbanJungleFashion Jan 03 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Amen to your story. I like how you don’t let other people define who you really know you are.

  7. Megan Jan 03 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Artists unite! Lovely words, Melissa 🙂 What an incredible gift you have given your daughters– both the journals and your beautiful photographic documentation <3

  8. sarah c. Jan 03 2013 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Bravo, Melissa! 🙂 I, too, have struck the “just” out of my photography identity. I’m not in business, but that doesn’t make my photography journey any less important. Pinning now. 🙂

  9. Ali Crane Jan 03 2013 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Melissa, this is so perfect and so true. Love!

  10. celestejones Jan 03 2013 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    love this! thank you so much for your words, and yes, you really are an artist. love your work. thanks for sharing your daughter’s story. <3

  11. Adeena Jan 03 2013 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Loved this. I agree totally. Thanks! ♥

  12. Julie Blum Jan 03 2013 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Lovely, lovely, lovely words and photos.

  13. Addie Jan 03 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I just really, really love this article. Thank you so much, Melissa! You put into words exactly where I am in this journey. Love!!

  14. Jaimi L Jan 03 2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    AMEN Melissa! I want to give you a big, giant bear hug right now. LOVE this!!

  15. Tracy Jan 03 2013 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Perfect! Love this! Thanks Melissa! You inspire me daily.

  16. Erin Jan 03 2013 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    This is lovely! It is so true.

  17. Sarah Jan 03 2013 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    This was a timely post for me. Thank you!

  18. Elizabeth Blank Jan 03 2013 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Melissa, you are amazing – with both photography and words! What a beautiful post. Your girls are so blessed to have YOU telling their stories!

  19. Jaime P Jan 03 2013 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Yes…yes…YES!!!! You hit on exactly how I feel! I am not offended to be labelled a hobbiest, but I am so much more than that!

  20. Aimee Jan 03 2013 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Looooooove. You are a gift to this community and most likely to all that meet and know you. Thank you for your smart words this morning.

  21. Carey Pace Jan 03 2013 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    You’ve written out of my heart, here. I haven’t closed my business, but I want to. : ) Thanks for the encouragement that just because you aren’t a business owner doesn’t mean you aren’t a wholehearted artist.

  22. Kristin Dokoza Jan 03 2013 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Perfectly put! You tell the best stories, I could listen to them all day. xoxo

  23. Lauren Ammerman Jan 03 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Melissa, this is seriously my FAVORITE blog post I’ve read from CM!! What an inspiration to all MWAC’s!!

    Great Post!! Thank you!!

  24. Renee Bonuccelli Jan 03 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Best post EVAH:)!! So totally true:) I had the same epiphany on shooting for others. Telling OUR story is what I’m passionate about. Thanks for voicing this:)

  25. Ashley Smith Jan 03 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    This is beautiful. Your work is gorgeous, and you wrote this so perfectly! <3 Thank you for the inspiration this morning!

  26. Sara Jan 03 2013 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Loved this post…ventured into having a photography business on the side (in addition to working full time) and while I do enjoy it, sometimes I have second thoughts about it and actually wonder how long I will continue it. There is a lot of pressure and it does take time away from my family, so I just don’t know that my heart is fully into it right now. We’ll see where it goes.

  27. Tina Jan 03 2013 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    I always thought you were rad…….reading this post makes me think you are super rad! This was full of awesomeness!

  28. Holly Thompson Jan 03 2013 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Melissa, you have been an inspiration to me all throughout last year and I never let you know. But now I am. Thank you. <3

    I would love to see your girls rediscover their journals when they are in their 30s and experiencing motherhood. They are going to be blown away all over again by how much they were loved and cherished by their mother. You are giving them an incredible gift. <3<3<3

  29. Anne Manning Jan 03 2013 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Melissa, I want to be just like you when I grow up! For a few years, I wrote letters to my kids but those have fallen by the wayside. My poor 13-month old has none! You’ve inspired me to start again and to see more worth in the photos I capture of them each day. Now, onto finishing that 2012 photo montage.

  30. Erin Jan 03 2013 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Love this… thank you.

  31. Melissa Jan 03 2013 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Oh my word, ya’ll. You people have me in tears over here. :hp My kids are behind me about the beat the ever-lovin’ snot out of each other, but all I can think is….”aw! I took a pic of them running on the beach!” LOL! Thank you all so much for your sweet words. Hobbyists really ARE artists!!! And don’t you people let anyone tell you any different. I’m so thankful that this post has resonated with so many of you. Moms with cameras ROCK ON!! And write it down mommas. Write it down. 🙂

  32. Ann Jan 03 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    This is a beautiful post Melissa! I love your view on photographing your story and the stories of your children. I am starting to feel more comfortable identifying myself as an artist and your words helped me get there even more. <3

  33. Sarah Vaughn Jan 03 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post Melissa. And I adore your journals that you have created for them and your perspective. Just beautiful

  34. Melissa Koehler Jan 03 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    LOVE this post Melissa!!!

  35. Holly Powell Jan 03 2013 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    This such an amazing post – I’m so impressed with your journals not to mention I ADORE your photography style!!! Awesome all around Melissa!

  36. Lashawn Jan 03 2013 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Thanks for this. I’m going to repost it.

  37. Christine Jan 03 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Love this post! You are creating the most special keepsakes for your family!!

  38. Carolyn Jan 03 2013 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Perfectly put!! What a great post!

  39. jennifer Jan 03 2013 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    I love this so much Melissa!!! You are a very talented artist and your images of your girls are always so beautiful and inspirational!!! <3

  40. Laurie Jan 03 2013 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Love this Melissa! It is so hard for me to feel validated and the “real deal” when I don’t take $, but your right, taking $ is just owning a business. :0 Love your perspective!

  41. Christina Jan 03 2013 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Wow!!!!…you are so wise and a beautiful storyteller.
    Loveyaalots

  42. Mara Jan 03 2013 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Melissa, this article was so timely for me! I love your perspective! I think it is so important for women to know they are contributing to their families and society (culture!) with their artistic pursuits even when they aren’t earning money from it. Thank you for reaffirming this so beautifully! I love the images in the article as well.

  43. Ashleigh Jan 03 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Loved this!

  44. Tricia Jan 03 2013 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Oh how I love this!!! Can I also add you are an inspiration!!!

  45. Polina Bulman Jan 03 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Melissa, you are one of my favorite photographers! And I don’t care if you gonna call yourself a hobbyist, a MWAC or a professional. It doesn’t change the fact that your images are amazing and so much inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing them and being honest with yourself and others!

  46. jessica Jan 03 2013 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Awesome post Melissa! You said it all so, so well *curtsy* 🙂

  47. Kim Jan 03 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Oh Melissa, you made cry. Happy tears. I love this.

  48. christina Jan 03 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    simple, straight to the point, and beautiful told. Great post, Melissa <3

  49. Debbie Jan 03 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Couldn’t be more perfect! I totally relate to this. I’ve taking pictures of my daughter and people ask me to take their pictures too, which I accepted. But then I realized that something is missing in my clients’ pictures. And you said it perfectly. It’s their story and I don’t know their story. Thank you so much for sharing this! How true what you said.

  50. nikki m Jan 03 2013 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I totally needed this today! thank you so much for sharing your story!

  51. gigi Jan 03 2013 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Wonderful Melissa! Love your word stories just as much as the ones you beautifully share with photos!

  52. heidi Jan 03 2013 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Loved this!

  53. Michelle C. Jan 03 2013 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    I LOVED this and it’s exactly what I need to hear… so great Melissa!!!

  54. mommaceleste (Celeste Pav) Jan 03 2013 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    This is so beautifully written. What a good Mom you are to document their lives this way with the journals and the photos. You’ve inspired me!!! <3

  55. Vicky Jan 03 2013 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    I LOVE this! Thank you for writing this and putting into words how I feel about photography <3

  56. Beth Simpkins Jan 03 2013 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    I loved reading this Melissa. Thank you!

  57. Erica F. Jan 03 2013 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Beautifully said/written! ❤

  58. EyeShoot Jan 03 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this post! I’m only discovered this website since two days or less and this day was so depressing for me in some ways and while reading this post I got a really uplifting feeling again.
    I’ve a friend who is into photography as much as I’m but unlike me she is actually taking clients and shooting other people than her family with her camera. On some level it really did made me feel less of a photographer than her. And to be honest; it tore down my creativity and eager to become a better photographer for myself. Last year though I stopped myself and just took the chance to take classes for photography and I really want to become a better photographer. But I’m not aiming to make myself a photographer for other people. For some people it’s a hard thing to understand that I want to do this only for myself and my family…
    So, again, thank you for this post. Very inspirational!

  59. lyvismommy Jan 03 2013 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    So beautifully written. I was talking to my sister on the phone the other day, and referred to myself as a hobbyist. She interrupted me and said, “You are so much more than a hobbyist. You are an artist.” It was the greatest compliment that I have received in a long time! I am so glad that I am comfortable with telling my story! Thanks for your encouragement!

  60. Melissa D Jan 03 2013 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    I love your work Melissa- you are absolutely a professional!

  61. Dawn M Jan 03 2013 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Said so perfectly for all of us who work so hard to get better just for the love of documenting our families!

  62. Elena Jan 03 2013 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Dear Melissa, I heart you!! You are one of the strongest artists I know. End of story. Great article!

  63. Jessica Reischel Jan 03 2013 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Melissa,
    thank you! touching on so many levels.

  64. Andrea Jan 03 2013 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    I love everything about this!
    Beautifully written, Melissa!

  65. Freda Jan 03 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I love this! This is me at this exact moment, I’m a MWAC. And it’s all I may ever be. But that’s ok because this MWAC has a hard drive full of moments with her little girls preserved by me. 🙂

  66. Meredith Jan 03 2013 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Is it weird if I just say that I love you. Well, there it is.

  67. Jenna Jan 03 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    I’ve told you before, but… well, I am happy to say it again – I adore you!

  68. Leah Jan 03 2013 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    AMAZING post, Melissa! we are SO much alike! <3

  69. Tiffany Morrant Jan 03 2013 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    LOVE this, so much.

  70. Christi Jan 03 2013 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! Once I got past the mom guilt of not keeping journals.

  71. Liz Jan 03 2013 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    just perfect Melissa! Love it !!

  72. Courtney Kirkland Jan 03 2013 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I loved this post. I hear often that I can’t be a professional without owning a business. I love taking pictures and capturing moments of my boys. But, like you, I don’t enjoy doing it for everyone else. There’s too much pressure and stress of trying to capture moments for people that you really don’t even know that well. I’m so happy you put this out there.

  73. Trace Jan 03 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Melissa, thank you SO much for writing this. I LOVE WHAT YOU WROTE!!!! Now I don’t feel so awkward for writing down everything since before my daughter was born. I now write the Letters to My Daughter monthly. Such a great way to document her life.

  74. Kim Jan 03 2013 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    Courtney shared this post and as a photographer I just had to read.

    And let me tell you, I agree with every word. My husband (the paid professional between us) has been intent on starting a business for as long as we’ve been together and even beyond that.

    Me? I’m content with where I am at as a photographer. I shoot to document my friends, the world as I see it, places and things of historical value, and my husband. Courtney is spot on about the pressure and stress of creating a good shot for others. I admire those who can do it but it’s just not for me. I will shoot the occasional event but it’s generally rare.

    I’ve seen many new photographers get caught up in wanting to become professionals with a business. And while their ambition is admirable, the reality of it is that it’s a hard and often unstable business. I encourage these photographers to slow down and enjoy the process. If after a few years they still want to go into business for themselves then more power to them. If not, hey there’s nothing wrong with documenting and telling stories just for the fun of it.

  75. kelly garvey Jan 03 2013 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    beautiful! i totally resent my “business” now! very well written.

  76. Jodi Arego Jan 03 2013 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Melissa, I’ve already reread over and over this several times… I am so inspired with what you put into words here about the role of the storyteller. <3

  77. kate Jan 04 2013 at 12:30 am - Reply

    This is amazing, Melissa!! Every single word. I have been a “business owner” for almost two years, and have started coming to the realization of how much I hate it too. But, I love documenting every little detail of our life at home. Such a perfectly written article. Made me smile tonight as I was about to get up to go to bed. Thank you!

  78. Cary Jan 04 2013 at 1:49 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this Melissa 🙂 I too love being able to be a MWAC and documenting our lives!

  79. Chesna Koch Jan 04 2013 at 2:37 am - Reply

    Love this article and your work!! Thanks for sharing!

  80. Amanda Jan 04 2013 at 8:18 am - Reply

    This is so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this. So well written and so true!!!

  81. Karen Jan 04 2013 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Nice to see the written feelings to what I’ve been struggling with. Sometimes doing something you love for money can take the joy out of it. Thanks for the article!

  82. Erica Collins Jan 04 2013 at 8:36 am - Reply

    This was absolutely perfect!! Thank you for sharing this!!

  83. Courtney Jan 04 2013 at 9:40 am - Reply

    This was wonderful!! This is exactly where I am and I SO needed to hear this today! The focus on the story of my family is my art as well, and it was so great to hear someone else say that it IS an art. Deepest thanks for writing this piece!

  84. Rosa Jan 04 2013 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Well said! I enjoyed your post and it speaks to many of us on this forum.

  85. Sarah Jan 04 2013 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Love this! That’s kind of where I am, Melissa- got pressure to do a biz, and now it’s not really what I want, but I do love it to a degree. Just not the biz part. Thank you for this post. I’m giving biz one last big push this year, and if I still feel the same way next January, I’m going to go the way you did. 🙂

  86. Deirdre Jan 04 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    This is so spot on! Many people have asked me the same: “why not photograph for money?” Maybe some day I will, but right now it’s more important to capture our story.

    Thanks for putting into words what I’ve never been able to articulate.

  87. Leah Cook Jan 04 2013 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    you, my friend, are WAY MORE. what a talent you are, Melissa. beautiful article with gorgeous images. xoxo

  88. SharonKC Jan 04 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    This post was incredibly moving. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  89. Candy Jan 04 2013 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    I love your article, I am a little the opposite, I have such a need to photograph families but I can totally, totally see your need not to. I love your photos and your beautiful words.

  90. Karenb Jan 05 2013 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Love this Melissa! Thanks for sharing.

  91. Melissa Jan 05 2013 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this. Well said.

  92. Randa Jan 05 2013 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    This is beyond fabulous! And so affirming for many 🙂
    Love your images Melissa!

  93. Dana Foley Jan 06 2013 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Beautiful Melissa! As a huge fan of your work, I adored this article…. and you even more! 🙂

  94. Greta Jan 06 2013 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Melissa this made me teary eyed! As a admirer of you amazing talent, as a fellow story teller and as someone who is right now struggling at the cliff of business or “hobbiest” thank you for your wonderful words!!! There is no place better place to focus your heart than with your family and art after all is right inside heart!!! Hugs!!!

  95. Lacey Jan 06 2013 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Wonderfully said, Melissa. I’m so happy you’re doing what makes you happy. 🙂

  96. Ardelle Neubert Jan 08 2013 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Love this Melissa, beautifully written.

  97. Anna Hettick Jan 08 2013 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    I absolutely love this post. At the moment I am also a “hobbyist” photographer. But I do know that I am good at what I do, I just don’t make money at it. And while I do aspire to be a “professional” i.e. paid photographer, I am not entirely sure yet what sort of professional I want to be. Shooting portraits is fun but I also love table top or product photography. I love that you were able to stop shooting for money when you realized it robbed you of your love of photography. Very inspiring! 🙂

  98. Alida Jan 09 2013 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Thank you for these words. I haven’t thought of myself this way, but it was so good to realize. And you like sweet tea? We can totally be friends. PS: Beautiful photography and stories.

  99. severine Jan 12 2013 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    thanks a lot Melissa ! I like your approach.

  100. Wendy A Jan 18 2013 at 3:36 am - Reply

    Your story could have been written by me. I started documenting my 3 girls lives after I lost my first baby. 7 years later I still am. I create a photo book each year with my journal. This is my 4th year for photo journal books, and I know I need to go back and finish the previous years.

  101. Erika Jan 18 2013 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Oh, Melissa thank you for sharing. The photographs are stunning and your words are so inspiring. I’m glad I found this and I’m sure you and your girls will cherish these memories forever.

  102. Ann Lee Jan 19 2013 at 3:55 am - Reply

    Thank you. I’m even more inspired to capture memories of my family after reading this inspiring post.

  103. Kim Feb 04 2013 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Awesome. It is important that we articulate what we do and why because this IS a big deal. Our value and our training is not necessarily reflected in our income.

  104. Belinda Feb 04 2013 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Love your photography!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  105. Lauren Feb 04 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I love this post, thank you for sharing and your girls are so beautiful! You capture the moment so well 🙂

  106. Heidi Feb 04 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Such a great way to look at what you (and I ) do. That’s exactly how I feel about what I shoot… well, it sounds funny to say I shoot my family, but they are my favorite subject! Thank you for letting us see your girls as you do!

  107. Vanessa Feb 04 2013 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I have been in business for 8 years now. I have two little girls and I constantly find myself feeling guilty for not capturing THEIR lives as well as I should because I’m always working on others. I have been contemplating taking a step down and going “out of business”. Atleast for a while. Thank you for the article. It really hit home!

  108. Carly Feb 04 2013 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    I loved reading about your honesty and I think in our society we are driven to feel like we need to make a business out of it. Your work is beautiful and your children will love the photos and appreciate them, not to mention us!
    I would love to know what’s in your bag in terms of lenses. Thanks

  109. julie Feb 22 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    I love this Melissa- thank you for being so open and honest. love all your pictures of yur kiddos

  110. susan ramos Feb 28 2013 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    you are awesome! I love this Melissa – thank you!

  111. Liz MacMurray Apr 09 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Hey! This is awesome! I am always struggling with whether or not to be a business. I mainly take photos documenting my family, anyway. It is just–what to tell those few people that actually come looking for a session? I like to get paid for things I like to think I’m good at. 🙂 Don’t we all! But this was nice…it was a nice little reminder that it is OKAY not to run a business. That doesn’t de-value my work or make me illegitimate…thanks for sharing.

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