Today we’d like to introduce you to Melinda Westenfelder .
Hi Melinda, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
When I was younger, I absolutely hated to have my picture taken. I struggled with a lot of low self-esteem issues, and any image I saw of myself just seemed to amplify that. But once I had children, that all started to change for me. When you have a baby, you have this desire to capture everything—every smile, every step, every laugh, and cry. So, I picked up a camera and started documenting my children. The more images I snapped of them, the more confident I became in wanting to see myself in them as well. I wanted them to be able to look back on their childhood and see Mom there too. As I began to take more and more photos, my desire to expand this comfort of capturing life began to grow outside of my own circle and into those around me. From there, I began to try my hand at any and every style of photography. Eventually, I began to notice that I felt most comfortable and fulfilled when I photographed Seniors who were transitioning from that world of childhood to adulthood. And now, that journey has led me into a more creative and artistic path—which I can’t wait to explore further!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing about photography has come easy to me. I had no idea how much there was to learn in simply “taking a picture.” I struggled to learn the basics functions of my camera in the beginning and sought out online course and books to really master that skill. But honestly, it’s something I’m still learning even today. Posing has been a real struggle of mine. Trying to remember the “dos and don’ts” of positioning a subject, along with the lighting is not an easy thing. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of mistakes.
I have had shoots that haven’t turned out the way I planned, but each time I take a picture, I’m learning something I didn’t know before. Each change I get to photograph someone is a change for me to grow and get better at what I do!
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I absolutely love art! Books, paintings, films, photographs… anything artistic I am drawn to. I love seeing or reading something that provokes an emotion within me. Which is why I want to really turn towards a more creative photography brand with my images. I would like to give anyone a chance to express themselves through a visual format of cultivated images. Something that empowers them and makes them feel more confident in who they are and where they’re going. My goal is to eventually offer creative sessions for portraits of all types. I want to make expressing yourself (your brand) in images a sought-out experience. And experience that promotes growth and self-love all in the click of my camera lens.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you, and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
If anything, COVID has taught me to really cherish the relationships in my life. Building a supportive community around you is so important to your success in any venture of life. I want my clients to feel and know that I’m in their corner—I’m here for them behind the lens and off.
- Creative session starting at $250.
- Website: www.melindawestphotography.com
- Instagram: Melinda West Photography
- Facebook: WEP2019
Melinda West Photography