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Check Out Melody Thompson’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melody Thompson.

Hi Melody, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I do not have the traditional “I grew up loving photography” story. I knew that I enjoyed it, and I constantly wished to “freeze” moments the way I saw them so I would never forget them. I dabbled a bit with my dad’s camera but I didn’t take much interest until I started doing modeling shoots for local venues.

I began to want to have more control of the overall process and the final look until I asked enough questions to get a start. I enjoyed being in front of the camera but I started to enjoy taking the photos and having a say in the creative design more.

In 2011, I was in college for my second degree and had a terrible motorcycle accident that left me with broken bones and road rash burns all over my hands. I had to exit school and I was out of a job. I had a two-year-old little girl and bills to pay, so I started offering my photography services to friends. Man, I remember that first year, those photos were so cringe-worthy.

God bless those sweet souls that let me practice my new skillset on them. But, at that point, I was hooked. I read so many books and asked my mentors a million questions. I attended workshops and watched YouTube until I was cross-eyed. I taught myself with the help of others limitless patience with my trial and error.

Over the next few years, I had a few babies and struggled to find a suitable job that allowed me to be a mother, a wife, and a full-time employee. Daycare was so high and it just made more financial sense to stay home with my children and do my photography to help bring in an income. Here and there, I tried to work a “regular job” but I quickly learned that my mind and my talents were being wasted on a job that barely made any money, and made me miserable to boot. I kept circling back around to my photography being my #1 source of income.

I enjoy shooting family sessions and seniors, and weddings are always tugging at my heartstrings. But boudoir is where I want to focus more on my efforts. I love the confidence and empowerment it brings to women of all shapes and sizes. So I’ve tried to direct my focus to these areas the most.

Life changes and I found myself a single mom of 5. I knew I had to throw myself into this full force if I was going to offer my children a better life than I had. I’ve expanded to a website with a print shop, I have a part-time assistant and I made the jump to pricing myself and my work more accordingly. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done and the changes I’ve made to get to where I am at.

I started from the bottom but I have full intentions of going to the top.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Oh boy. It has not been a smooth road for me. I wasn’t wealthy growing up, I wasn’t born into “family money”. I had the “wake up today and hustle for what you want” money.

Working for yourself is so much more stressful than people realize. I had to come up with the money to buy my camera, my lens, my props, and accessories, and then the maintenance of it all.

Upgrades and new software constantly come out and you have to make it work. I think the financial side has been the biggest struggle for me. Making every dime count is most important. There’s no room for error, at least not for me.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a photographer based in central Mississippi.

I do travel to neighboring states as well. I shoot portrait sessions for families, seniors, and children and I also offer wedding photography. But I specialize in boudoir sessions. Boudoir can be such an incredible life-altering experience for women, it builds confidence and a sense of empowerment that is a joy to watch and be a part of.

I like that my style is clean, classic, and true to life. I’m not a huge fan of “trendy” filters and presets that alter the look of the images and their natural colors. I want someone to look at my photos in 20 years and think it’s a classically beautiful image, and not cringe because it’s “dated” by the editing style.

What sets me apart from others is my extensive knowledge in front of the camera as well as behind it. I know how it feels to be the subject, therefore I feel like it gives me the advantage to connect with my clients and putting them at ease.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Photography is always changing. It’s freezing a moment in time and we all know time doesn’t standstill. I’m curious to see the new cameras, editing software, platforms, and lens.

Pricing:

  • $250+ for regular sessions
  • $500+ for boudoir sessions
  • $1499+ for weddings

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Melody Ellis Photography

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1 Comment

  1. Bryce

    May 15, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    I’m so proud of my aunt!!!!!❤️❤️

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