From the moment she received her first camera at age 13, Melinda Lamm of Photo Artistry by Melinda was smitten. Yet, even while working for a local professional photographer, she preferred being nestled away in the darkroom, and later, as technology changed, working her magic in Photoshop. “I just wanted to shoot for myself,” she says. But when her circumstances evolved, she faced her fear of being the actual “photographer” and learned that, indeed, she could also be comfortable working directly with clients.
Melinda began her own business about four years ago and is officially in love with what she does. If you’re a devoted reader of Forsyth Magazines, you’ve certainly already admired her amazing work. From business headshots and modeling portfolios to engagements, weddings, and any “just because” occasion you want captured forever, her personality and eye for detail shine through. Even though she grew slowly into her own comfort level behind the camera, Melinda is a true magician at making her subjects feel at ease – and even playful! – in front of the lens. She offers boudoir photography and personal shoots, where embracing your personal beauty is essential!
“As women, we are our own worst critics,” says Melinda. “I wish we could see ourselves as others see us. Every age and stage of life is beautiful in its own way!”
For these more intimate photo sessions, Melinda encourages clients to let her know what would make them feel most relaxed. “I’m open to whatever makes them feel at ease,” she says. “Bring a friend, bring your pet, or bring a bottle of wine! Boudoir shoots are very personal, and most are done as gifts for significant others, but there are some women that want to celebrate who they are, solely for themselves. I applaud these women!”
She offers a stylist for clients who aren’t skilled at doing their own makeup, which is a real confidence builder for women who want to try something different. Boudoir sessions can be held at Melinda’s studio, outside in a natural setting, or she can visit the client’s home.
“Milk bath sessions are my favorite!” says Melinda. “So very feminine and soft, and I love the skin against the milk and the colors of the flowers. Another favorite? My mermaid sessions – they are pure fun and fantasy. Who doesn’t want to be a mermaid?”
For these more intimate sessions, she encourages clients to dress in something they feel good wearing. There’s nothing worse than worrying about an unflattering look because a garment is too tight. “I always tell women to bring several outfits to wear,” says Melinda. “How racy you want to dress is up to you. I never try to get anyone to show more than they feel comfortable showing. For milk bath sessions, I’ve had women wear only a bathing suit bottom, or I’ve had them wear a tank top and shorts, or even a long white gown. Be as sexy or as modest as you want.”
That’s what determines the final masterpiece: How comfortable the subject feels! While Melinda is modest when it comes to talking about her talents, she’s always happy to discuss her craft. “Photography is all about lighting and angles,” says Melinda. “A slight tilt of the head or positioning of the body to camouflage an area the woman is uncomfortable with, that’s the goal.”
Then there’s Photoshop! “I can soften lines in the face or thin it out a bit. I can make the shoot as real as possible, or I can create more of a picture-perfect, model-type shoot where things are retouched.”
But her heartfelt honesty is one of Melinda’s most endearing qualities! “I truly wish we could see ourselves the way others see us,” she says. “We are so quick to point out our own flaws, but everyone has them. It makes me sad when people tell me they want to wait on photography because they want to lose weight or change their hairstyle, even have cosmetic surgery. Don’t put it off! All you have is right now – and you will never be younger than you are today!”
Melinda happily finds herself smiling when she photographs events. “I get to watch the happy times – surprise engagements, graduations, gender reveals, marriages, babies being welcomed into families,” she explains. “As the saying goes, choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. It took a long time to get here, but I can’t imagine not doing this now!”