Melissa obtained her degree in Professional Photography and Digital Imaging in 2006 from McIntosh College in Dover, NH. After graduating, she immersed herself in the field; working as a freelance photographer, photo editor & graphic designer. She also worked in a fine art gallery as a photography curator, where she had the opportunity to work with art of photography masters. This further sharpened her eye for excellent photography, and inspired her to pursue portraiture and abstraction in addition to her commercial work. Her current venture is newborn art photography. She photographs in local hospitals to create a photojournalistic story of baby's first day. While she has a photography studio in Windham, ME, where she photographs newborns & families, she also is well known for her on-location photography. She loves to explore new locations for a great photo shoot opportunity. Living on the east coast, there is no shortage of beautiful backdrops in every season of the year.
Many artists inspire me and have influenced my work.
Karl Blossfeldt’s macro work has been a huge influence. Even before I owned a macro lens, I found myself drawn to photograph at closest range possible. Since Karl worked with a camera he designed himself, he was able to magnify objects up to 30 times actual size. I definitely don’t have that capability with my macro lens, but would love to explore macro photography at that level. I have always found images that explored the intricacies to be the most interesting.
Edward Weston got my attention before I went to school for photography. I had seen his work at an exhibit after studying books about his work. He definitely contributed to my love of food photography and abstraction. His work appeals to me on many levels, but the way he abstracts his food photographs into something of a landscape or portrait is what appeals to me most and inspired me to pursue food photography and its potential as a fine art expression.
Imogen Cunningham has always been a favorite photographer of mine. The way she uses light and form - whether it be her botanicals or nudes, she creates a fantastic drama in her images. Her sense of design and her ability to provoke emotion through her photographs has always stuck me as something to strive for in my own work.
Robert Mapplethorpe is probably my newest influence. Once I was introduced to his images of flowers, I began examining this area of his work. What struck me was that the flower images were really all about design elements – something so elementary in my studies of photography, but it made me realize this is more where I want to be in my own work. I think maybe that was where I was drawn all along, but just needed a push to remember design elements and abstraction is what I really want to explore in my new work.
There's a fifth artist I have to mention. With the exception of Mapplethorpe, these artists all work in black and white only. Although I used to shoot black and white negative film for awhile, my work is clearly a lot about color now which comes from my studies of Elliot Porter's work. His use of color photography inspired me to return to color and to use color as a major component of the image.
As for equipment, I shoot almost exclusively with my macro lens when photographing fine art or commercial objects. I used to shoot slide film with a 4x5 medium format Mamiya 645, which was stunning. I now work with a Nikon D800 DSLR and love it.