M

ABOUT MELISSA

behind the lens

I will dream with you, laugh with you, and cry with you. And your momma will giggle at me for it. Your day means the world to me.

You're engaged!!! If the excitement hasn't sunk in yet, take a second to reflect on it and glow, my friend! You're on the hunt for YOUR perfect photographer, right? Years from now, you want to look back on the photographs of this incredibly joyful, memorable time in your life and go, "I remember it like it was yesterday." You want that captured romantic glance to give you the butterflies like it did that day. You want that soft, golden light and warm breeze to feel as though it's dancing through your veil again. You want to feel that overwhelming feeling of gratitude and connection when you see your best friends huddled around you during one final toast before you say yes to forever. 

Obsessed with: her husband's hands, the smell of books, eyeshadow palettes, food movies, art supplies, & dried hydrangeas. 

 MELISSa durham

working with

you want to relive every single moment

That's where I come in! My style of photography is authentic. It's timeless and it's luminous. It's emotional. I live for those candid moments of adoring glances, tears wiped away, and laughter that makes your sides ache. I believe in leaving you confident enough to be present in every single moment, knowing I'm there, inconspicuously working my hardest to make sure your memories are perfectly preserved. (Ninja status!?) If you fear feeling awkward in front of the camera, worry not, my friend. My mission is to guide you during portrait time in such a way that authentic, genuine emotion evolves on its own. My goal is for the two of you to feel comfortable with me, to keep it simple, and to keep it about you.

I believe in big love.

It might sound cheesy, but the reason I love being a wedding photographer has a lot to do with my own marriage! When I married my husband, Herrick, in 2006, I had no idea I'd be laughing my way through such an incredible adventure. My passion for capturing your story quite literally starts at home for me. It's in every hand held, in every moment of forgiveness and "I'm sorry" we aren't afraid to say, in every slow dance in the kitchen, and in every happy tear shed when we've stopped to soak it all in. I truly believe in two people madly in love living an amazing adventure and shamelessly telling the world all about it. 

Where it all began...

I'm a boho soul who loves bare feet, a great pair of blue jeans, wildflowers, her island roots, crisp mountain air, and a great adventure.

I’m a Florida-born, transplanted city girl who loves her deeply rooted mountain life in Virginia. I've been married since 2006, and I have two incredibly bright little girls. I'm a military brat with ocean water in my blood and the mountain air in my soul. I’m a UCONN Husky, and I proudly bleed blue! I balance my inner foodie with my love for running and yoga. I love a great pair of shoes, a gorgeous eyeshadow palette, and being cozied up in a giant sweater. I obsess over calligraphy and anything that keeps my creative heart aflutter. My heart truly beats for the arts and for the sciences, so I'm always driven to nurture the artist and the scientist. (See the fun facts below for more on that!) I’m a hopelessly romantic sap who cries over every little joy in life…including yours. So heads up - we'll be crying together! 

Known for: her silly voices, giving compliments, being the world's biggest sap, dancing in the kitchen, and being someone's biggest cheerleader.

MELISSA DURHAM

let me tell you about

6. But, then I went to Northeastern University for grad school and got my M.S. in Nutrition with a concentration in Nutrition Education.

7. In the meantime...I found photography. Then I shot my first wedding in 2014. The rest is history.

8. I plan to write a cookbook. And a nutrition/healthy living blog. Again.

9. I authored a running/healthy living blog titled Live, Love, & Run for about 5 years. I had a pretty good "following", too! But I gave it up to hit the refresh button after suffering two very difficult losses.

10. We have two angel babies.

PS:  I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. And I totally believe in soulmates.


1. I was born in the Florida Keys! I also spent my childhood roaming the east coast as a military brat. 13 different schools, y'all. 13.

2. I am HORRIBLE when it comes to learning song lyrics. Honestly, I just make up words.

3. On the topic of music, I played clarinet for years. I love marching bands still to this day, and I can mimic the instrumental sounds in songs better than I can handle lyrics. See. I make up for it.

4. I went to the University of Connecticut for undergrad and got my B.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, particularly for the ecology. I'm hoping this takes me to the Galapagos Islands one day. 

5. After undergrad, I was a zookeeper (I miss my big kitty babies!!!), did autopsies in a hospital setting, and did cancer research/bioinformatics for a biotech company near Virginia Tech. 

the fun facts

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
-Confucious

If I'm being honest, my favorite moments of a wedding day are spent simply observing. Capturing quiet, candid moments. Those crazy intimate, lost in each other moments.
Two people completely enamored with each other. 
Because no matter what season in life you find yourselves, what it all comes down to is the two of you. Marriage is an adventure. No matter where you were then, now, or in the end, life will be experienced together.
So, if you plan to begin your forever with an adventure, let's dream together. Then let's make it happen. 

Discounted packages, including me and an assistant, are offered to couples starting their lives off on an adventurous note.

Cries over: personally written vows, her sleeping girls, country love songs, and the breathtaking beauty found all over this earth.

TOGETHER

let's adventure

1. Ireland
2. Alaska
3. The Alps
4. The Himalayas
5. The Galapagos Islands
6. Scotland
7. Banff / Canadian Rockies
8. Hawaii
9. Patagonia
10. Rio de Janeiro
11. Greece
12. Italy

the bucket list

If you've got plans to be here, I've got surprises for you!

being outdoors & new adventures

NEXT FAVORITE

my Favorite Things

I believe in shameless, cheesy, unabashed love and in adventurous marriages. Show me who you are together! Play in the water, let me follow you on a hike, steal a kiss near a waterfall. I'm all ears!

In unabashed love and romantic adventures

I Believe

As your photographer, I believe in allowing you to be present in your memories on your wedding day. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and the importance of faith. It's my goal to be unintrusive and respectful.

being present means everything

i Believe

Whether it's your grandma's necklace, your sister's veil, or your momma's wedding day heels she wore while dancing with your father thirty years ago, I believe your details are important to telling your story.

The details can bring you back

I Believe

big love. nerding out. life & work in tiny squares. 

on the daily

@melissadurhamphoto

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