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Spotlight Photographer: Elaine Melinda Studio


1. How did you get started in photography and when did you start your business?  

In highschool, my art teacher would let a few of us who were interested in photography use the darkroom as long as we were able to keep up with the classwork. You could say that occasionally I turned in less than stellar classwork because I spent most of my time in the darkroom. Fast forward (14 years) I started my business in 2008 after needing a creative outlet from my day job, but before I could start my business I had to learn how to use a Digital SLR. Lucky my Husband (then boyfriend in 2006) had a DSLR. I was so skeptical because up to that point I was still using my film cameras for anything creative, and a little digital camera with terrible quality for snapshots.


2. Where are you located? Do you have a studio space or do you shoot on-location?

I live and work in Rogers, Arkansas. Newborn Session mainly take place in my in home studio. Milestone sessions also take place in my studio or on location depending on the seasons or client preference. Family sessions and Maternity are shot on-location. In our part of Arkansas, we have some amazing Historical Downtown Spaces with tons of character and some Glorious green spaces that include weeping willows, lakes, and fields. You can give you clients tons of options to choose from.


3. What do you shoot with and what are your favorite lenses?


I stood with two Nikon D700's. I usually keep my 50mm lens on one camera and my 105 on the other lens. I also keep a 17-35mm close by.


4. What drew you to newborn photography? Do you photograph anything else?


When I first began shooting professionally I shot mainly weddings and Families with some newborn sessions here and there. Over time I began shooting more and more newborns because I just loved it so much. Not long after my first son was born, we took the whole family to Canada so I could attend the Baby as Art workshop. It rocked my newborn world and completely changed how I approached newborns. I learned SO MUCH about lighting newborns and posing. When I became pregnant with our 2nd I completely backed of Weddings. I just didn't want to be pumping in the car between the ceremony and reception. This is when I decided to really make newborns my specialty - I was just being drawn in that direction and it just felt right! I also love photographing families and small kids. I love the milestone sessions and especially the Sitting-up sessions where babies are 6-8 months old.


5. How would you describe your style? Where do you find inspiration?


My newborn and baby photography is soft and timeless to give my clients lasting images that they will be proud to display years after they are taken. My family and maternity photography is fresh and romantic showcasing a families personality and natural interaction with each other.


6. Have you taken any photography workshops/training?


I try to take a workshop or some kind of training every year, however It's sometimes hard when having babies.

2009 Ryan Brenizer's Workshop in NYC

2009 WPPI in Vegas

2011 Baby as Art Workshop in Canada

2013 Beyond the Beanbag online workshop

2014 Savvy Sisterhood Workshop in Alys Beach Fl with:

Kara May Photography

Kimmy Howard Photography

Laura Winslow Photography

From the Treetop Photography

2015 Thriving Photographer


7. Where do you like to shop for props? Do you have favorite vendors?


All over the place.....

I love antiques so do pick up may thing at antique stores for props.

I also have found may backdrop throws and props at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx.

Lots of my backdrop fabrics are also from Mood Fabrics in LA and NYC. I also got many cuts of fabric to use as wraps from Mood.

Other vendors include, SnippetsProps, Tiny Bean Baby, Goodnight Moon Props, Luneberry, JustJosie, Milkmoney to name a few. I'm sure there are more.

My mom knits, so I get patterns for hats and such off Etsy.

And, I'm not above the occasional Prop De-Stash purchase, I just have to like it.


8. What are three things you wish someone would have told you when starting out?

1. I wish I had someone to help guide me through some of the businessy stuff. I didn't have a mentor, so, so many parts were very painstakingly difficult to figure out. Find a friend in the business. Even if they don't have much more experience than you do, at least you will have someone to bounce ideas off of.

2. I wish I utilized social media more when I first started out.

3. I read about BlogStomp on Jasmine Star's Blog YEARS ago. I wish I had gotten it then. Once I did I was furious with myself for spending so much time adding my logo and resizing images for my blog. I felt a fool!


and work very hard. I'm confident success will come if you're all in  

9. What are your favorite things about How long have you been a member?


I love the friendly, uplifting community that has created. Everyone is so nice and super helpful. Just ask and someone will have helpful advice for you. I love seeing everyone's work from all over the country (and world I suspect).



10. Please share with us your Top 5 Favorite Images. Why are they your favorites?

1. My little boys. When I see this image of my two boys together - it makes my heart melt. I have a huge canvas of it in my office and I get to look at it each and every day. Because of the feelings this particular image stir up in me, I encourage all my Newborn Clients to have siblings in a portrait with their new baby.

2. Baby toes. These toes are of my son's, but I try to get each Newborn client a image of their baby's toes - because I love them so much. They are just so tiny and they will NEVER be that small again.

3. Sarah at her Sunrise Maternity Session. I love shooting in the morning and the amazing light the sun provides as it rises. Sarah ROCKED her Maternity session and this was one of my favorites from her session. She is literally glowing!

4. Little Zachary. I love this backlit shot so much. I think because that day I turned him and his prop around and walked around to the other side. I hadn't planned on doing it and I just love the resulting images. It just reiterated to me - to never stop looking for a new way to shoot. Try to give each client something new and fresh.

5. Emma Kate at her Sitting-Up session. Little Emma kate is wearing a romper from TinyBeanBaby. She was actually pretty mobile during her session, but sitting her in a prop gave me about a minute to shoot before she had to be re-set in the prop again. I love how much babies smile and babble during this milestone session. It's quite possibly one of my favorite milestones to shoot next to the Newborn Session.


11. What is your photography site and url?


Website  |  Facebook  |  NBP Profile | Instagram 



12. Lastly, tell us about YOU! Who are you other than a photographer?


I am a wife of 7 years to Adam (my DIY handyman, gardner, tech support, supper-dad husband). We met in Arkansas but we are both from Florida. I grew up in a small town called Niceville, home of the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival (no joke) I spent my summers in a little beach town called Seagrove on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I am a mom to two beautiful little boys, Owen is 4 and Ellis is 2. I am also a sister to 3 older brothers. I have a degree in Fashion Design and worked as a Designer's Assistant, Technical Designer, and worked in Product Development. I love Hot Tea (never iced), Red Wine, Dark Chocolate, Podcasts, Period Movies where women wear corsets.

Would you like to be our next Spotlight Photographer? Fill out our Spotlight Photographer form HERE! We look forward to featuring you!