Melissa Rodrigues

 
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Melissa is a documentary and lifestyle photographer specialising in family, wedding and portrait photography. Her work encapsulates the bonds between families, friends and those due to be married in an organic and honest way. Melissa loves to photograph surrounded by mother nature’s backdrops which enable her to create bright, bold and beautiful imagery. She aims to produce timeless photographs for loved ones to treasure forever.

“Being comfortable and connected with your photographer creates a sacred space where the visual story organically unfolds."

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Tell us about your path to setting up your business and what motivated you?

I spent most of my early twenties dreaming of setting up my own business. Growing up surrounded by music and the arts, I quickly realised I had lots to express, but hadn’t quite found my outlet. Family bonding time usually included my mum bringing out a box of old photographs which we would all reminisce over – most of which were taken by my dad. It feels as though he has passed his love of imagery onto me! It still brings me so much warmth and joy flicking through all those memories. That’s the kind of joy that I want to pass on to the families and individuals I work with. But it wasn’t until I started working as a wedding coordinator for Jersey Heritage that everything just seemed to come together.

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How do you work and what is a typical day like for you?

As a freelance photographer my days vary greatly. Juggling my role at Jersey Heritage with my freelance work keeps me pretty busy. My wedding co-ordinating background has been invaluable at aiding my progression. Experiencing the importance of communication and team work when working on a wedding has helped me to understand that being a photographer isn’t just showing up and shooting. It’s working with everyone to make sure you capture all the tiny details. I usually engage with my clients through social media and emails, but my favourite method of client contact is meeting over a coffee. I’m just as happy to call or FaceTime.

What are the best parts about your business?

One of the best moments for me is seeing my images in print and on my client’s wall. It’s then that I realise that I have the best job in the world. I would say one of the best parts of my business is that I place great importance on building a relationship with my clients. Understanding their essence in itself helps to create images that really represent who they are. Being comfortable and connected with your photographer creates a sacred space where the visual story organically unfolds. Seeing everything come together, that’s where the magic is for me.

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What has been your greatest struggle as a business owner so far?

Self belief. It’s impossible in this day and age not compare yourself to other people, especially when you love what your peers are creating and aspire to be the best you can be. I’m constantly learning new elements of my craft and being able to exchange knowledge with so many other talented individuals is a blessing. I’m eager to keep learning and growing as a photographer and having support within the creative community is invaluable to us all.

What has been your biggest a-ha moment so far?

Realising that I’m different and that it’s a good thing. When it comes to art and expression, anything goes so I’m running with it!

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Do you have any advice for other small business owners?

It’s very cliché, but then again it’s said so often because it’s true...Never ever give up. It’s hard running a small business; but it’s so exciting too. You’re putting yourself out there. It’s a whirlwind of emotions and at times you’ll feel frustrated, tired, maybe even want to throw the towel in and put all your equipment up for sale on eBay. In those moments, try to remember how much you’ve grown since starting your business and all the challenges you’ve overcome. It definitely isn’t easy but it is certainly worth it. Trust the journey you’re on.

What currently inspires you?

All the love that Surrounds me! My family, friends and my fellow creatives constantly inspire and challenge me. I’m fortunate to have encouragement and support. Everyone’s craft is unique to them and offers such a beautiful dynamic to our little island. Witnessing our creative community thrive is pretty amazing and I feel so lucky to be a part of it. That continues to be my inspiration.

You can contact and find me here

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