WeddingWire recently picked up a photo from Janelle & Tim's wedding, which was filled with so many unique ideas, for their 2015 Winterbook. The couple's "fun fact" cocktail napkin photo was #5 in the "50 Fresh Ideas for 2015" section on page 10! Go Janelle & Tim! And while I'm bragging on their wedding, I need to brag on Janelle -- she's got a great lifestyle blog! Go check it out HERE!
Melissa Tuck Photography had another wonderful year thanks to the best clients one could imagine! My camera had less clicks than ever before due to my pregnancy and maternity leave in the spring (but what I lacked professionally, I made up for personally). I only shot nine weddings (in comparison to 22 in 2013 and 28 in 2012), BUT I realized last year's weddings did put me at a certain milestone: I've now shot more than 100 weddings since starting my business in 2009! *Insert happy dance and proud face here.* Last year, I also shot three engagement sessions, one bridal session, 16 baby/family/maternity sessions and one baby shower. It is so incredible to me that within a year's time, I can be shooting a baby shower turned newborn session, a newborn session turned one-year-old session, a maternity session turned three-week-old session ... you get the picture. ; ) I'm so thankful that my clients (who are friends now, really) keep contacting me beyond their wedding day so that I can see their families grow! Even though the main reason for shooting less last year was my pregnancy and giving birth, I also intentionally booked less on average to better balance my work + life flow. I felt less stressed and it also enabled me to give more time + attention to every client I did serve. Since having Brooklyn and becoming a stay-at-home mom, I have had to learn how to work again in a completely different way. I've learned to prioritize my time better (hellooooo nap time!), work more efficiently, ask for help when I need it (my mother-in-law has been a lifesaver during busy editing season) and set strict office hours to spend time with my little family in the evenings. It hasn't been easy, but it's worked, and I'm happy and encouraged to move forward with my new set of skills juggling work and the babe. : )
In 2014, I was featured in several wedding blogs that I admire: Borrowed & Blue blog, Every Last Detail blog, Daily Dog Tag blog, Glamour & Grace blog, Heart Love Always blog & Charm City Wed blog. Thank you to all the editors for your willingness to share my work! I'm excited to submit my weddings and shoots from 2014 to more publications over the next several months!
Now, a note about reflection and goals. It's the beginning of a new year and the best time to think about what did and didn't work in the past and how I can improve moving ahead. I know a lot of other photographers blog in depth about their yearly (sometimes monthly) goals; I never have and maybe I'll start doing it if I need to hold myself more accountable. But for now, I'll just share a few important things on my mind for 2015:
1) I intend to focus more on family/baby/newborn/maternity sessions. As the seasons in my own life change, I've found that my professional interests have shifted. This DOESN'T mean that I won't be shooting weddings and that I don't enjoy them anymore. I still love documenting weddings, but I'll just be targeting a limited number of weddings and very few of them will be out of town. After having a baby and caring for her on a daily basis, it's just way too difficult to travel as much as I have in the past and I want to focus on more local weddings to the DC/Maryland/northern Virginia area. I've already hit more than half my goal for this year's weddings so please contact me soon if you're recently engaged and interested!
2) I want to give my presence on the web a little makeover and streamline my sites. I've seen a gradual shift to consolidate portfolio and blog sites to all one URL (for example, have www.melissatuckphoto.com & www.melissatuckblog.com linked together) and I like it. On top of that, I need to make my web presence strictly mobile-friendly (my Flash-based portfolio site - melissatuckphoto - is not viewable on phones or tablets), and I need to get on that seeing as how everyone is so mobile these days! I'm also going to switch my gallery/reprint site to a more photo-driven/friendly company that will offer immediate high-res downloads for clients. More to come on that later!
3) I want to photograph a live birth. If you know someone who may be willing local to me, please send them my way in the comments!
4) Do at least one session pro bono. I used to make this a priority and I fell slack last year. Back in 2011, I photographed babies in the NICU for families who weren't able to take home their babies right away and I may do it again. Any other great ideas? Leave a comment for me!
5) Because I moved from Georgia to the Maryland/DC/Virginia area last year, I'm looking to spread the word more locally about my business. To do so, I will be running a contest that offers a free session soon on the blog. Be on the lookout!
Lastly, I can't thank my hubby, family, friends, clients and MTP Insta and Facebook fans enough for all of your support and love. You continue to inspire me and my work. Please enjoy photo highlights (two from each shoot, in order!) from my year. Next week, I plan to blog about the personal side of 2014. Spoiler (or not-so-spoiler) -alert: It will surely be Brooklyn-centric. ; )
My sweet friend Meredith married her love on 12-13-14 (such a memorable wedding date!) in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. It was a day FULL of anticipation & excitement, love & tender moments and SO MUCH FUN! You may remember these two from their engagement shoot last year at the North Carolina Museum of Art (I mention it because it's one of my favorite engagement sessions that I've shot!). Bride's dress: Oleg Cassini Bride's shoes: Betsey Johnson Bridesmaids' dresses: David's Bridal Groom's attire: Dress blues, U.S. Army Groomsmen attire: Men's Warehouse Hair: Courtney Powers of Parvati's Mirror Florals and catering: Catering Works Ceremony & reception music: Joseph Giampino aka DJ SPCLGST Cake: Kelly Bellmore Rings: custom made from Bailey's (bride); David Yurman (groom) Table decor: Curry Darlington, bride's mother
I met Meredith post-college while we worked for the Special Olympics documenting the World Summer Games in Shanghai, China. We became fast friends through our mutual love of great food (preparing and eating it!) and Ryan Adams songs. After that stint in our lives, we also both lived in New York and Georgia at the same time and were able to stay in touch and meet for coffee & a good chat every now and then. Sadly, we haven't lived in the same place in a few years, but the wedding has give us a great excuse to keep in better touch! I really enjoyed being there for this couple on their wedding day. I've gotten to hang out with Ryan on a couple of occasions now, and he's so kind and polite and his green eyes twinkle when he looks at Meredith. : )
One more thing before we get to the photos. : ) When Meredith was in the thick of planning her wedding, I remember one thing she asked my opinion about was the ceremony start time. She was trying to decide between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m., and she said she ultimately decided on 5:30 because her grandmother (I think I'm remembering the relative correctly?!) said it was good luck to have the minute-hand facing (going) up. I love that sentiment and I'd never heard it before! So, so sweet... just like Meredith. : ) Congrats on a beautiful wedding day, you two!
So, so gorgeous! That dress was MADE for Meredith.
Lighting test. Love couples that like to have fun!
I LOVE this shot of Mer and her brother!
Stephanie and Zach were married on a STUNNING October day in the mountains of North Carolina at Castle Ladyhawke. The light and love was in abundance. : ) I know I use "love" a lot to describe things, but I can't help it... I LOVED shooting this wedding and witnessing the magic between this couple.
Bride's dress: Danielle Caprese Bride's shoes: Christian Louboutin Bridesmaids' dresses: Jenny Yoo Groom's attire: Calvin Klein Groomsmen attire: Vera Wang Makeup: Shantel The Make-Up Artist Hair: Tiffany Kardos Florals: Occasions By Emily Coordinator: Michelle Nelsen of Occasions By Emily Ceremony music: Allegro Music Cake: Icing on the Cake Band: Empty Pocket Videographer: Aaron R. Morrell of Grae Skye Studio Caterer: The Colorful Palate Invitations and programs: Sofia Invitations and Prints Rings: Tiffany & Co. and JB Lacher Jewelers Transportation: Elite Limousine
From the very beginning, I just knew I was going to be friends with these two. Stephanie was so bubbly and authentic and sweet. Ever since that first Skype chat, through the dozens of emails we've shared, Steph always remembers to wish me a good day/week/month. : ) During that first chat, of course I remember her telling me about the plans for their wedding, but above all else, I remember the feeling that I took away from that talk: she was SO EXCITED to be marrying the love of her life and for friends and family to be there to witness it. I mean... what else are weddings all about?! After I met Zach at their engagement session, I understood why she was so excited: he was so kind, thoughtful, funny and CHILL. They are a perfect match, IMHO. ; )
Zach and Stephanie's wedding day was so perfect. The personal vows they exchanged, the florals, the quiet moments during the first look, the GORGEOUSNESS of the fall leaves, I could go on and on... It was breathtakingly beautiful. Please enjoy my many favorites (so hard to narrow down!) from their wedding. And thanks so much to Jenny Tenney for helping me capture their day!
I LOVED STEPH'S OUTFIT! Her dress, her shoes... So many of the details had sentimental value. For example, the earrings she wore had one diamond from her grandmother's engagement ring and one diamond from her great grandmother's engagement ring. The lace wrapped around her bouquet was from her grandmother who passed away, and the handkerchief was from Zach's paternal grandmother. So special.
Such a thoughtful and fun groom's gift!
Steph, you are so gorgeous!
The girls were looking at the drone flying above in this photo. : )
The first look was so incredibly sweet!
I LOVE that I caught Steph winking at a guest here!
Somebody loved that the cake had THREE different flavors...