Hey! I’m Mélina (pronounced May-lina). My closest family and friends call me Mey. I’m a Vancouver based Wedding, Couple and Family Photographer. Though, when people ask what kind of photographer I am I always respond with – “Love.” “I’m a love photographer.”
The genre of my photography focus is love. Love between you and your partner on your wedding day or an intimate couples shoot. Love when you’re expecting a newborn, or welcoming that newborn home and how your baby naturally syncs with your home environment and family. Every kind of love.
Truly, at the basis of all these scenarios is a story. Your story. The story of how you got to where you are today and why you’ve selected the path you have and potentially partner you have. I want to hear more about that story and, through my lens, tell it just as it is! Beautiful and raw.
So for my very first blog post I thought I would answer a couple questions I receive often. While I could probably do an entire blog post on each of these topics, and I’ll be sure to elaborate more on each point in time, for now I’ll answer one common question from a variety of catergories I focus on. So here we go!
Q: How do I know my photographer is the right choice for my wedding day?
A: This is a loaded question. While sometimes the style of a photographers work/end product is usually the driving force behind why you would hire a photographer, another major element of selecting a wedding photographer should be how does this photographer align with my personality and vision for my wedding day.
Ultimately you need to sit down and visualize what your wedding day looks like for you. Are you typically outspoken, colourful and boisterous? Do you want a photographer that can rally your wedding party, drive energy and be a part of the day alongside any other guest? Or are you a more reserved individual? You love your nearest and dearest close by but would rather your photographer remain in the shadows; calm and quiet waiting for just the right time to capture every little moment you ever dreamed of documenting.
Neither of these answers are wrong. They are just different. And different photographers will bring different energy and style to your special day. Remember. Your wedding photographer, and their team if they have one, is with you for a majority of your wedding day; so, if you jive well in your initial meet and greet, then that’s a great start. But during this meeting ask them about their style as a photographer. Are they the life of the party trying to get every shot up close and personal? Or are they more chill, reserved, poised and calculated in their approach to photography?
You may be asking yourself – ‘well can’t they be both?’ Absolutely. After all, photographers are in the service industry – we WANT to service your deepest desires. But the perfect time to hash out these details is during your initial meet and greet. Don’t be afraid to tell your photographer what you are looking for and how you visualize this component, and their photography services, on the day.
Q: What do I wear to my maternity shoot?
A: Wow, there are so many angles this could go. What is your style? Are you hard edged, bold and colour drawn? Are you whimsical, earthly and raw? Are you a nature lover? I ask these questions because they are a great place to start. Honestly when I had my daughter 4 years ago I knew I wanted a photo shoot but when it came down to the day and what to wear I was lost. I ended up going out and purchasing some lingerie and under garments but I wasn’t certain how it would fit in with the story. I brought along an old, but favourite, bridesmaid dress for a second look and my fiancé JJ wore a suit and a casual look. We were all over the place in our approach. I had no idea what the location looked like and all of a sudden when we showed up I felt like our look wasn’t cohesive, didn’t fit the backdrop of the location and I didn’t really understand my own angle. Having a plan before hand, and discussing this with my photographer, would have majorly helped in the overall look and feel of the images.
While there is no wrong way to dress, there is something to be said for what style you are going for.
If I were recreating this photo shoot again today I would start first by tuning everything out. I would put on some music and sit there listening to various types of artists. I wouldn’t do anything else but listen to the music. This always draws up some inspiration. We can be more creative when we shut out electronics and turn off what others are doing. At this time I would jot down some notes. What am I drawn to? What did I picture in my mind? Then, after some solid note taking, I would peek (just peek) at Pinterest and look for the general styles I like. Then I would communicate this to my photographer. If you aren’t easily overwhelmed by Pinterest you could also make a general mood board for clothing and things you like and then share that with your photographer as well.
If Pinterest is not for you – never fear. Just have an idea of your story and how you and your partner can dress together to tell that story. Try and coordinate your apparel so that it looks cohesive. If you want to go nude or semi-nude, perhaps don’t have your partner in a suit or something completely different. In this case perhaps you’re both showing a little skin. If you want bright bold colours and a tight dress that shows off your baby bump, don’t have your partner in something loose with a neutral pattern. Think about your look together because ultimately you are bringing this baby in to the world together.
If you really don’t know where to start then this is a GREAT topic to bring up with your photographer and together you can begin to brainstorm.
If we are so fortunate to work together, I will always be here to support you. I want you to feel amazing on your session day. I want you to rock up and feel confident in what you and your partner are wearing and where you’re being photographed. I want you to feel like your images are going to be returned and the first thing you’ll want to do is put them up in your home or make a fine art album for all your friends and loved ones to see. Let’s make you rockstars.
Q: What to do when my little one is having a serious tantrum on shoot?
A: Let the meltdown commence! Honestly. Let it roll off your shoulders. As a mom of an almost 4 year old now I have learned that anytime I try and stop something I don’t like behaviourally right in the thick of the moment, or in front of other people, it’s never helped alter or ‘fix’ that behaviour. If anything it typically makes it worse. So. Please please please don’t ever be concerned about the end result of your photos on shoot. It will just make you as the parents more stressed out and in turn you won’t enjoy the process as much as if you let your kids be kids!
The whole goal of a family session is to take time out with your family, no phones or electronics, just you and your inner circle together having fun and spending quality time together. And, I assure you that if you let loose, your little one will too!
My whole goal with family sessions is to document you being you. Real and true! And I promise in the mix we’re going to get those cute giggles and smiles along the way!
Okay that’s a wrap on my first blog post! That was fun. I really enjoyed writing these little tid bits about different kinds of photo sessions and I look forward to writing more articles in the future. If you have any questions or want to see something in particular in these blog posts let me know by contacting me here.
Lots of ‘love’ from me, until we connect soon!