Ten June’s ago was my first wedding. I remember it like yesterday. The temperature was perfect. Except for when I made the entire bridal party stand in a field, with full sun on them because sun flares were the trend then. From that day on, I introduced myself as “Yeah, Hi, I’m Melania, like lasagna – I’m, uh, the photographer * cause I’m painfully awkward*” I found it. The job I was meant to do. Over the years I’ve watched so much happen in the photo industry and have had the ability to tell hundreds of stories.
Real talk time: There was even a trend in how photographers should run their businesses. That we HAD to specialize and we could only be one thing and one thing well. That concept just doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not Melania Marta. It’s not who I am. I tried to fit that mold and I think for a while my business suffered. I probably still have the autograph from a “famous photographer” that in her signature told me to stop shooting families.
I couldn’t do it. Where would my brides go? I worked so hard with them to make sure their weddings were absolutely perfect. I cared about them! And now I’m just supposed to turn it off? The people I’ve known since 2nd grade? I’m not brushing people off! No. Nope! I can’t just DO that! I felt awful. There was always a pit in my stomach. Then you’d hear, “Well, shoot the families/senior/boudoir but don’t blog them. Just blog what you want to attract. “What you want to bring in!” Oh, so take the money their money, but don’t showcase them. You’re looking at the blog. This is blog post 2 and they’re both personal posts because this has always felt wrong. So opted for nothing. You’d see me sprinkle work here and there on Facebook and Instagram.
I focused on my client. I poured everything into them. Shoot. Edit. Deliver. Repeat. Shoot. Edit. Deliver. Album. Repeat. And so on for years. The more I kept working the more it was obvious that it wasn’t a genre of photography that I was attracted to, it was a client base. I can pick out a Melania Marta bride in a crowd. I know who my families are. I can get just about any girl ready for a boudoir shoot. The theme was MY PEOPLE. Never the genre.
So, here we are, the end of May 2020 … and our industry, the photo industry is about to change again. It’s about to be a huge change. I feel it in my bones. Today, I sat alone, windows open editing Emily and Jim’s pandemic wedding and you can feel the shift. The emotions with each frame. The way Emily tickled his chest. The way he ever so sweetly handed her his tear-soaked tissue. This is our future, at least for now. Beautifully, personal, connected, present intimate weddings. Images that are so powerful that you can’t breathe, stories that will last for generations, slow dancing under the stars to the beat of the DJ who misses playing house parties. Small is the new big, and I’m here for it. [Wait till you see her blog post. Comin’ soon!]
And I’m gonna share every damn thing I shoot and if you’ve already been shot you in early 2020, I’m coming at you for permission to see if you want to be featured here. The days of images only being in my hard drive are over. I love every damn one you. Thank you for this decade. Here’s to another one.
And remember, Pennsylvania does allow Self-Uniting Weddings. It’s just a different type of marriage license application. 🙂