Hi, I'm Kara!
I'm a mother to the sweetest little sassy girl, a wife to an even sassier husband, and a photographer who lives for the small details and moments in life; nothing sets my soul on fire more than chasing the sun with a couple who is hopelessly and recklessly in love.
Fun fact, this company was named Melian Photography because Melian stands for "Dear Gift" in Elvish. While I am just a bit nerdy...okay maybe a lot...my goal is to provide you and your loved ones with beautiful pictures that capture your story. That means the real moments: the moments that take your breath away, the ones that you'll print to hang on your walls and share with your family and friends, the ones that represent the real you and your story.
A fact you may not know about me: I am a trained and licensed Social Worker in the State of Michigan. My educational background and experiences in the mental health field have instilled in me a deep sense of wanting to capture connections between people. My background also helps me help you; whether we have to do some deep breathing exercises because your cake wasn't delivered, or you just need a calming word during your session, that's what I'm there for!
I believe in getting to know each and every client I work with. If you're into capturing photos that are as real as you are, and you'd like to make a new friend in the process, go ahead and fill out my contact form. I can't wait to meet you over a cup of coffee and talk about how we can work together!
Some completely random facts to leave you with:
- My favorite store is Trader Joe's (my husband would say Amazon with all the packages we get, but my favorite physical box store is definitely TJs! Or TJ Maxx... give me all the TJ's).
- My favorite items from TJ's are the Cookie Butter (crunchy!), their chocolate dipped chocolate chip dunker cookies, and their black pepper pistachios. Also a special shout out to the Chipotle BBQ sauce that I now dip everything in.
- My favorite series is the Harry Potter books as I firmly believe pretty much every life lesson exists between the covers of those amazing treasures!
- My bucket list item that I got to cross off recently was...drum roll please... shooting the cover of a novel (my photo will be used as the cover)!
- My favorite vacation destination thus far is a tie between the Highlands in Scotland and anywhere in Ireland (literally anywhere, but finding castles in random fields was the best!). Did you know that I offer huge discounts on destination weddings and elopements? Well I do, so please take me with you to capture your adventures!
Where are you based and do you travel?
I'm based out of Midland Michigan, but if you couldn't tell, I love to travel!!! If you want me to photograph your story, it may require a travel fee for sessions depending on where it takes place (for locations farther than 45 miles from Midland for lifestyle, senior, or newborn sessions based upon current federal mileage reimbursement). For weddings located outside of the lower peninsula of Michigan, there will be travel and lodging fees associated with wedding collections; but no worries, I always try to find the cheapest way to travel and we will discuss this upon our initial contact. Don't forget, I offer GREAT DISCOUNTS FOR ELOPEMENTS AND DESTINATION WEDDINGS!
When will we get our photos?
Wedding galleries will be delivered 6-8 weeks after your wedding date. Photos will be delivered through an online gallery; a link will be sent to your primary email and from there you can share that link with your family and friends.
How long will my wedding photos be accessible online?
The images will be available for 45 days after your wedding gallery is completed. I recommend that you please back up your images in at least three forms (laptop, USB, external hard drive, etc.) before that expiration date; if your gallery expires and you have not downloaded your images, there will be an archival fee for me to save and re-upload your images.
What exactly are "printing rights?"
Printing rights means that you can take those images to a printer of your choice and get those printed. For example, if you wanted to use Shutterfly or another online printer, you are able to do that. I never recommend places like Walgreens, Walmart, etc. as the inks/printing methods they use often screw up the color profile of your images. I do not guarantee the printing quality of any printers outside of those that I recommend and use directly through my online galleries.
I know that I get a print release, but can I also order prints directly from you?
Yes, the online gallery system I use allows you, along with friends and family, to order prints directly from the website. Those go through a professional printing lab that I work with and ensure the best colors/composition for photos of your special day!
Can we request a specific shot list for our wedding?
Yes, a month before your wedding I will send you a wedding questionnaire which will request the specific group shots or images that you are interested in. After I receive this questionnaire, I then go ahead and put a personalized photography timeline together to ensure that I (and my second shooter if applicable) know where we're starting along with planning out time for the shots you're requesting. I never guarantee an exact duplicate shot as we want to ensure that your wedding and session is represented in a unique way, but I do use photos that you request as an inspiration for specific shots.
If for whatever reason you're unable to shoot our wedding, is there a back-up plan?
This has never happened before (and knock on wood that it never does!), however emergencies do happen. In that case, I would have my second shooter take over and find another back-up for him/her. I would then be the one to edit all of the images to ensure that they are a similar style to what you would see and what you would expect from my wedding gallery. I always hire my second shooters to ensure that they have a similar shooting style to me in the case that, god forbid, an emergency were to ever happen.
Do you carry insurance?
Yes! If your venue requires proof of insurance, please just let me know and I can get that to them prior to your wedding date.
Do you do any retouching, color adjustments, etc. to the photos that you take?
Yes, color adjustment of images is a typical process of my editing. In terms of retouching, I do complete light retouching, however, if there are extensive amounts of retouching that are requested, those would be charged per image (for example if Uncle Bob had sweat stains when in his suit, I would not fix that unless specifically requested). Light retouching means that I would be looking for images of the two of you and if you had a pimple or something on the day of your wedding, I would ensure to remove those. My style of shooting is not heavy editing where I am using Photoshop to change what anyone looks like, instead it would be to enhance the natural beauty during the day and remove the things (like pimples) that wouldn't be there typically.