Melea Nelson Pictures

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Much Needed Change

A few months ago I realized it had been awhile since I had been on a photo shoot that I was truly excited about. For the past year and a half I have been shooting for small fashion/lifestyle bloggers here in Utah. I've met a lot of nice bloggers, but they were more interested in doing quick multiple outfit shoots that didn't have much of a budget for a larger production or creativity. I know that's what works for them and really all they are looking for are decent quality images of them wearing clothes for a blog post without having to spend a lot of time or money. Almost every one of them claimed that I would get more work and followers from doing a shoot for them since they had 20k or 30k or 60k followers. This was not so. I never had a jump in followers or an increase in rate of new followers, and I'm pretty sure it never brought more work because of that bloggers post. It often made me feel bad about myself as a photographer. I had spent all this time and money developing my talent, passion, and style and wasn't even happy with what I was doing and wasn't shooting for the people I wanted to shoot for. I decided I needed to make a change and get back to doing what I love. Shooting real fashion/lifestyle and working with real models on larger productions for brands, not bloggers. 

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I decided I needed to set up a test shoot that was 100% what I wanted to shoot to get back in the swing of things. I found an amazing greenhouse, Sunriver Gardens, to shoot at an collaborated with some great brands for clothing on this shoot. Indy Brand Clothing for super fun t-shirts, Moby Thrift for vintage denim, the lace dress, and the red dress, and Bella Moi Boutique for the linen dress. 

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Almost everyone that worked on this shoot was new to me but all talented. Kenzie and Miranda were my models and they are both gorgeous and kind girls. My trusted stylist Sammy was in charge of hair. I've worked with her on a few shoots and she always does a great job. Alyssa Hall was the makeup artist and she really is my favorite so far. I've worked with artists who take a little over an hour to do someones makeup, which is fine, and someone who took OVER two hours to do one models makeup, not fine. I had set aside two hours total for hair and makeup and Alyssa took a little less than an hour for each girl! She did an amazing job and we finished about 15-20 min ahead of schedule which is always helpful.

This greenhouse was set up beautifully with so many different layouts and backgrounds which gave me tons of options. I love plants and flowers so being surrounded by them made me happy and helped put me in a positive mood. Not to mention this place had a beautiful gift shop which carries really yummy suckers for like a dollar. I got the watermelon one. YUM!!!

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Getting back to shooting what I love made a huge difference on my outlook and attitude. It inspired me to not settle, to work harder, to spend more time marketing myself to brands and creative directors, and to quit doing shoots that aren't worth my time. Sometimes we get stuck and are slowly regressing without realizing it. Yes sometimes in life we have to do things that may not be fun or ideal but are necessary. But every now and then we need to take a hard look at our life and honestly ask ourselves if what we are doing is bringing us joy and it is worth our time. Are we happy with ourselves and where we are going in life. Then we need to make the necessary changes, think positively, and work hard. Don't sell yourself short. Your time is valuable.

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