JOURNAL

INQUIRE

DETAILS

Portfolio

About

home

for all those who believe in wildly romantic, unabashed love

Personal

Silence, Time, & Dancing in the Sun

So, I have an announcement to make.

It’s no secret that time is something we never get back, and, in fact, it’s one of the many reasons I do what I do as a wedding photographer.

Preservation.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future lately, you guys, and so much of that thought process has involved things I’ve learned about client experience, preservation of memories and stories, and what truly speaks to my soul in a way that better serves my people: my family, my church, my friends, and you. It also involved stepping outside of the photography industry as a whole and listening to my heart and for once. (And might I add…man has God been speaking to me in big ways about this!) The very thing that makes my business a successful one is the heart I put into it and the love my couples have shown me.

I come face-to-face with conversations about industry saturation, competition and the lack thereof, and how to strike gold as a photographer on a daily basis. I’ve even started conversations about plagiarism and how the industry is being destroyed by the theft of words, ideas, and work. I talked about how much it’s hurting creativity, the value of what we actually do, and, more importantly, our client experience. It’s hard to stand out as a wedding photographer, and to me, it simply boils down to one thing: this industry is busy. I mean really busy. Saturated and constantly buzzing with how to hustle, how you must run your business like someone else in order to be successful, and how to become the next big thing…to be epic. For me, that’s not the case. In fact, I don’t want to be the top. I just want to be me. And to me? The focus must stay on client experience.

This work has been and always will be about client experience to me, and I’ve decided to give myself the gift of silence. Silencing the overwhelming, destructive noise of masterminds, marketing tactics, the race to become the best, and cookie cutter business models. I’m keeping my focus on how my clients – who I’d prefer to call my people, my friends – feel when they’re around me and when they’re talking to me, even if it’s through email. It’s about making sure they feel loved and in good hands. Trust. Connection. Friendship.

It’s about documenting human connection. About helping my couples stay in the moment while trusting me to capture the moment. Tearful vows. Anticipation. Joy. Milestones. Family. It’s about preserving those moments when you’re dancing in the sun.

Shenandoah Mountains Elopement | Shenandoah National Park | Mountain Adventure Elopement | Melissa Durham Photography | Virginia Elopement Photographer

It means putting my heart and soul into every ounce of my time with my people, 100% of the time.

So, with that said, I have some BIG news!

I’ve decided to make some changes! Silencing the industry noise has helped me focus more on what really matters to me and to my people.

Beginning in 2020, I will only be taking on 10 weddings a year.

What does this mean?

Exclusivity. 

And time. Now that my husband works outside of our home and his days off reside on weekends, I needed to scale back a little bit to tend to my forever love. Our girls are taking on more gymnastics, art, band, and drama, and that means I can’t be missing their moments. Our moments as a family. My husband and I also want to focus on more time spent in our church and with Christ by giving our time to the youth at our church. Just as importantly, though, my couples deserve my undivided attention as the person they’ve chosen to document and preserve some of the most incredible moments in their lives. YOU deserve an experience and you deserve someone who cares about it. You deserve someone who cares not only about you, but all of the people you chose to join you on this day.

More Elopements. More Everydays. More “just us two” moments.

More now so than ever, couples are focusing on eloping. On intimate moments on a mountaintop, first dances in fields, vows exchanged on family property, and getaways to new places. My couples are buying new homes, having babies, and celebrating anniversaries, and when you choose me to document your forevers…I want to be able to be there for just that, for as long as you want me to be. We become a family. Now, I’ll have more time to help you document your lives and preserve more of your memories.

Giving Back.

Because you’ve chosen me as your photographer, I want to give back more. To you, to human connection, and to the earth.

When it comes to my couples, there are secrets that only they know for now, but there are benefits to being one of mine. Benefits that include discounts, referral rewards, tangible heirlooms to pass down, celebrations, and more. When you book your wedding or elopement, your experience with me doesn’t stop when we say goodbye for the night. It goes well beyond that, and while you may know about some of it up front, some of it is simply a surprise for when you’re least expecting it.

Additionally, starting in 2019 I’ll be donating a percentage of my profits to Ocean Conservancy and Rainforest Alliance. It’s no secret I love the earth and being outdoors, but did you know I majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in undergrad at UCONN? 99% of my courses were focused on the environment, and I think it’s time I start giving to back to our beautiful planet. I’ll write more on that soon, but for now? I’m so excited to share that decision with you!

***

Thank you so much for sticking through this post and for taking the time to read it! I had to practice a lot of self-restraint with this one, you guys, I really did! I have so much to say about so many aspects of what I do, but for now, I wanted to share all the fun, important news!

Off to Maryland for my first wedding of 2019! I can’t wait to share!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

COUPLES

LIFESTYLE

ENGAGEMENTS

Elopements

WEDDINGS

Personal

if I'm honest, I will never love anyone
the way that I love you.

GEMMA TROY

@melissadurhamphoto