Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Where is the Love? A story of finding my passion...

As I sat at a desk in a cubicle with no direction on what I was supposed to be doing day in and day out I finally got the nerve to ask more specifically what I was supposed to do from my bosses. The backlash I received from that meeting, the humiliation of making me feel bad for asking for direction was a total blow to the gut. Unfortunately, I was making really good money at this job - more than I'd made in teaching and I got to travel, albeit not to amazing places sometimes, but I thought I'd made it professionally. The only problem was - I was a puppet, their puppet, and b/c they paid me what they did I felt I should oblige to their 4am text messages, sarcastic comments, and being told what to say to customers even though in my heart I had doubt....

I returned to the classroom - rejuvenated - ready to get back to what I thought I was meant to be doing. I finished college in 4 years went straight into teaching for 8 years left to try my hand at the corporate world, and here I was back at school. My safe place, I knew what to do here, I was good at this. I have always loved working with kids - always - I consider it such a blessing to have worked with so many amazing children over the years and to now be "friends" with them on Facebook and to get emails of thanks for them. Teaching is what I knew and I thought - ok, this is good. The school I went to work at was amazing - no, seriously, amazing. Admin to custodial staff were seriously some of the nicest most gracious people to walk the earth. I had NO reason to be thinking, "What else God? What else is there for me to do with my life?" and then there was...

When I left the corporate world I left with a DSLR that I had purchased for my honeymoon earlier that year - little did I know that I was holding the key to my happiness - better yet, that I'd been holding it almost all my life. Crank and wind camera for my birthday as a child introduced me to the world of photography - a chance to "see" the world from my point of view. I can't thank my parents enough for developing all those rolls of film of my stuffed animals, or of trees, or of my younger brother doing various ridiculous poses for me. Fast forward to high school and getting a "nice" camera for graduation - it was a newer point and shoot and I used it until it pretty much broke. I had taken yearbook in high school b/c I saw people getting to check out the cool manual cameras and then you got to develop them in the dark room. Score. I still to this day would love to have a dark room. I could totally dork out about this, but I'll spare you that - the magic of watching a photo appear blew my mind. I totally loved it. Through college my walls were covered in photos, just as they had been at home, and I would just sit and stare at them remembering each moment that was captured on film. Pictures are like time travel devices for me - they help jog my memory of an event that is now hazy and bring it back to crystal clear precision in my mind - they always have and I know they always will. At the age of 13 I experienced death for the first time with the passing of my older brother in a tragic car accident that took his and his best friend's life. In true "everything happens in 3's" form, my Uncle was soon killed in a car accident and I lost my grandfather to a heart attack soon after that. I had no idea how to deal or cope, but I had pictures and I soon had a collage of those I'd loved who I lost as comfort. Photography and pictures were always there for me and as I started to learn this new camera I started to think, "What if"...

So fast forward back to this year as I was sitting in a meeting listening to some of the "new" ways to teach and realizing that at my core I disagreed with what was being said and thinking of the times I had photographed family's in the past couple of years and realizing that my passion lied there. I was happy and free to be completely creative and I knew the process of what I was doing. See back when I was getting married I had a very good friend suggest that I should do photography as a job vs. a hobby because I always seemed to catch those little moments and emotion between people that she could never catch herself. That always sat in the back of my mind - because there had been others who had said the same - so I had started taking pictures for friends and family and just practiced honing the craft in a digital world. I had another friend ask if I'd like to take pictures at her wedding just for the experience since she had already booked a photographer - I thought - why not - and learned SO much from that night I can't even begin to tell you. So I "officially" became a photographer as a "side business" when my daughter arrived in 2011 for extra money to my teaching salary. Word got out and I got busy  - like every weekend booked from October through December busy - for 3 years in a row. Then this year, 2014 I was booking in January, February, March... oh my goodness...I was busy - a ton...

Then I started praying...praying for guidance, praying for direction, praying for a sign.. and then I got this on my daily devotional app...I'm not even kidding y'all...

Well, that's all it took and here I am! Melanie Wright Photography - owner, photographer and founder of PhilanthroPICS. My passion I completely feel is a calling from above and these past few months as a full time photographer have already taken me across the country and helped me do what I love while spending time with the ones I love. I am blessed and humbled and honored to get to do what I love. Can I get an "Amen"??

Who Am I?

I'm taking on a 7 Day Blogging Challenge from the most amazing Alex Beadon - so hang in there for those of you who know me... :)

Who are you?

Well - my name is Melanie Wright and I am a veteran teacher (elementary classroom teacher for 12 years and a national trainer for a educational software company for 2 years) turned photographer. Or maybe I should phrase it like this - a lifelong photographer who took the path of a teacher for awhile but finally realized that her creative joy was found in doing what she considered a hobby her whole life. I will have to dig through my parent's attic one of these days to share the photos I used to take as a kid - I think I've had a camera with me for 90% of my life. I am a creative soul who feels like she's doing what she's meant to be doing when I truly felt a calling from above at the beginning of this year to leave the safety of what I'd always known professionally and venture into the world of being my own boss and running my own business.
I'm also a silly wife and mom of a toddler who loves to make those around me laugh and often get that to happen whether I intend to or not!
PS - I overuse exclamation points and :-) faces in all that I type and have to re-read every email I send and delete about 10 too many of both! Agh!

Why did you start blogging?

I originally started blogging to put some of my photography out there for the world to see. I wanted to share it to see if I was any good and to see what people thought. It's now turned into a vehicle to promote my work and show my skill set and share a little bit about myself as well.

Who is your blog for?

Current clients, future clients, friends, family, other photographers. Anyone who is willing to stop and by and take a look and tell me what they think! :)

What’s something you’ve been working on lately that you’re REALLY proud of?

I'm currently SUPER proud of my sessions as of late. I have been studying and reading and practicing a new technique to make the light in my photos really magical and I feel really proud of what I'm producing these days. I've come a long way and that's something I want to shout from the rooftops or the internet- either one. ;)

What’s the ONE MESSAGE that you hope people take away from your blog?

Hmmm, I hope that people read and learn more about my PhilanthroPICS program of when you book a session  you can donate one to a family in need. At the heart of my business I want to help others and help them remember all these amazing moments we have in life that are so easily forgotten. Photographs can freeze those moments & I would love to be able to do that for so many! Read my mission statement here:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Motivate Monday

Just a little pep talk for your week! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Throwback Thursday for all my Wimberley Peeps!

Well, I didn't realize I would be more sad to see a building get knocked down (well, via Facebook) as I was when my old elementary school was torn down in my small hometown this week. I grew up in Wimberley since 1st grade so Bowen Elementary was my school all the way through my youth. Our town was really small back then and it breaks my heart that a little piece of it's history is gone so that big business can move in.

Here are some of my TBT pictures of me supporting our local Texans in true 80's fashion...

Bowen Library (courtesy of Gary Blythe)

These are my top 10 Memories of Bowen Elementary:
1.) This is where my memories of school really come from - I remember doing Show and Tell in Mrs. Lynne Oldham's 1st grade class with my stuffed unicorn. It was awesome.
2.) I remember arriving to school in 2nd grade after I broke my arm and then having to square dance that year for our program.
3.) Speaking of SQUARE DANCING I also remember doing tinikiling (?) sticks? Where you had the two long pieces of bamboo and you jumped through and over them. I loved that, loved that, loved that. I'm sure it was crazy loud in that old wood gym floor!
4.) I remember if you were good you could help load the snack machines by the cafeteria - oh man, and then getting to pick one item. Score!
5.) I also remember the MASSIVE playground and going to the swings WAYYYYY in the back. I'm fairly certain there was no way they could monitor us all the way back there.
6.) TRAILS WEST. Enough said. If you're a local - you'll know.
7.) I remember the school store and saving up for those delicious smelling erasers.
8.) The library... oh, I think it had it's own special smell. Stamping your book, card catalog, and then getting to go in the "back room".
9.) Does anyone else remember the fire drill where they did smoke bombs in the hallway?? I do, and I remember almost getting trampled. Great practice though!
10.) I think my favorite memory of Bowen though is that you pretty much knew everyone. That's what I love about growing up in a small town - you know your people. I could go on and on about playing in the gym for basketball (mother/daughter games anyone??) , having music out in the portables and the start of band, holding hands behind the portable, getting a slushy on special days in the cafeteria, etc.
It was a great building that can never be replaced in my heart or my memories.
Alright, now all you Wimberley alumni share your stories below!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What I'm Working On...

I'm so excited to be working on two different sessions right for a sweet little 6 month old and another for a newly engaged couple.

Tell me what you think!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trainer Tuesday....

From my husband's blog....

What is Optimal Health?
This is a question I get asked frequently due to the barrage of misinformation we receive on a regular basis. Most people would have you believe it's the ability to lift a massive amount of weight or conform to a certain body type. In my opinion neither are correct and can be very misleading for someone who wants to take their life back and get in shape. I will define what I believe a peak physical state embodies and hopefully this will provide clarity for those who may have a distorted view.

I'll begin with the most important concept and that is feeling damn good in your own skin; (i.e.) When you look in the mirror you like what's looking back at you. It's a congruency of your self-perception and everyday reality.

Another key component is attaining multiple skill-sets to create a well rounded athleticism to perform the specific tasks one has set for themselves. A lot of people appear to be fit , but have poor performance.

My final point is maintaining a healthy body weight through a balanced eating regiment that consists of eating a variety of (live) nutrient-rich foods and proper hydration. It's important to remember "optimal health" is somewhat subjective and will vary from person-to-person, but hopefully these concepts I've shared will set you on a path to becoming a better version of you...
So I always get asked, "What's it like having a personal trainer as a husband??"
Here is your answer...

It isn't easy, but it's worth it. He's getting me into the best shape of my life so I can't complain! Thankfully this sandbag was about the weight of our daughter so it wasn't too bad!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Noonday Trunk Show...Eye Candy Alert!

Yesterday I was so honored to host my first Noonday Trunk Show. I was introduced to Noonday a couple years ago by a co-worker who always wore the most fabulous jewelry and when I learned the story behind it I knew it was a company I could support and feel good supporting with my purchases.

Read the Noonday Story here:

So here is some exciting news that I didn't know about.... you can shop and get some of these fantastic pieces even if you didn't attend the Trunk Show! You can shop this week ONLY at the following link and order exclusively from my amazing host Mrs. Judy Maguire!


Here are some shots I got of the great jewelry from my house. I'm in love with pretty much everything featured. So, shop for yourself, shop for others and get a jump start on your Christmas shopping, and then shop for yourself some more!

SO - as your eyes drool over these beauties remember that purchasing these items actually helps those in need - read their stories here:

Happy Shopping and Love to All!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday #TBT

To that moment I became a Mom. Can't tell you how thankful I am that my friend - the super talented Jared Tennant of .

I'm very excited to be working with him tonight at The Harvest Moon Festival hosted by Lifeworks Austin. Can't wait to share what we capture!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I'm working on Wednesday...

A little bit of heaven... or so it seems. I have spent a large part of my summer researching, reading, watching, and studying my little heart out in all aspects of this photography business adventure that I'm on. I was finally able to get everything clicking in my brain this past week and then apply some of the techniques during a shoot.
These are not my first time to shoot with these families and what is so amazing about working with them is that they both completely trust me and my ideas. It's truly humbling and a blessing to have people believe in you that much. SOO... here are some sneaks of some of the great little faces I got to work with this week..

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fashion Photography

I have had the pleasure and fun of shooting a few fashion style sessions for a good friend and sorority sister of mine - Shanna of

Fashion photography is such a fun, different change of pace b/c the focus is more on the clothes than the person per say. I had to laugh b/c sometimes I would stand and hesitate taking the shot when she wasn't looking at me and then I finally started to realize that she was showcasing the clothes! Dope.

Anyways - here are some of my favorites - you can see the rest on her site!

Oh and here is a shot of us in our matching red rain boots! It had been a downpour the night before so we were both prepared to totally get rained out but it held out for us - Thank you God!!

Who are some of your favorite fashion bloggers???