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for all those who believe in wildly romantic, unabashed love

My why is very simple, very personal, and incredibly fulfilling.
It's grounded in human connection. In love. In marriage.

My work is centered on cultivating new beginnings, nourishing the wisdom of years together, and evoking the excitement of future adventures. It's deeply inspired by nourishing love. If you're looking for a photographer who is influenced by connection and exuberance for life and wants her work to make you fall in love all over again, you've come to the right place. 
Over the last near-decade of photographing love stories, I've found that the relationships I've created with my couples simply don't end at the delivery of a wedding gallery. My couples are buying new homes, starting families, and celebrating milestones. Or they're just plain in love and don't need an excuse. 
I want my work to tell your stories and to capture the connection that is your legacy. To let you live in your moments and to truly allow my work to document and showcase who you are, together.
 
Where does this passion for life's great love stories come from?
The crazy, cheesy love my husband and I have for each other even 14 years later. The really tough bumps in the roads, the growth in our marriage, the adventures, and the dreams for our future. 
It comes from a place of gratitude.
It comes from deep within my heart and soul.
And it comes from my fervent need to serve others.

More About Melissa

I am an 80s baby, born in the Florida Keys, who lived on the coast until 2004, when I found my way back to the mountains I camped in as a child. What I didn't realize is that I found my way back to what really makes my heart explode. I love my deeply rooted mountain life in Virginia, but I just can't let go of my island beginning.

I married my mountain-born sweetheart in 2006 after I moved back to Virginia, and we have two incredibly bright, beautiful little girls. Essentially, I'm a military brat with ocean water in my blood and the mountain air in my soul. I’m a UCONN and Northeastern Husky! I have a Masters of Science in Nutrition, and I try to balance my inner foodie with a love for fitness, the outdoors, and quiet meditation. 

I love a great pair of shoes (give me all the boots!), freshly painted toenails, a gorgeous eyeshadow palette, and being cozied up in a giant sweater. But man do I love my bare feet in the sand, being face-to-face with a coral reef full of life, and a good, breezy day on a boat. 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. I’m a hopelessly romantic sap who cries over every little joy in life…including yours. (Heads up - we'll be crying together!)

But most importantly, I'm a daughter of Christ. My faith is strong, my love is true, and all I could ever ask for is to have left footprints of kindness and love on this earth. 

Ocean + Ridge.
Give me the ocean, give me the mountains. The two places that call to my soul.

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ADVENTURE

To-do lists. Powersheets. My Day Designer. An abnormal number of fine liners and pens. I'm a total nerd.

Planning

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My happy place. My fam. My pups. My closest of friend. Our gathering place.

OUR HOME

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I love to cook. Do I forget to some days? Sure do! I still love it & hope to write a cookbook. Appetizing photos are required.

Cooking

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In the end, it will always be the four of us. My husband is my favorite person on earth, and our girls light up my life.

Family

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I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He's first and foremost, and I find peace in the places I feel Him most.

GoD

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My favorites

@melissadurhamphoto