Melissa Ring Photography: Blog https://melissaringphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Melissa Ring Photography 1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:25:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:25:00 GMT https://melissaringphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u666007122-o591826535-50.jpg Melissa Ring Photography: Blog https://melissaringphotography.com/blog 120 120 Sibling Portraits- Sisters https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2018/2/sibling-portraits--sisters I'm really proud of of my latest creation. I handpainted this beautiful Vanity fair style backdrop in my garage. It was a huge project and the artist and experimenter in me adored every minute. A special thanks to my amazing husband who helped a lot and lent me his garage floor for this project. As soon as it dried I HAD to try it out. So I grabbed my girls who happily (with bribes) agreed to let me photograph (torture) them in my Littlestown studio. 

The results were the following gorgeousness!

Now it may look like the sweet innocent lovelies would never argue or disagree, but I am here to tell you that they are a very difficult bunch to get smiling together ALL AT THE SAME TIME. A lot of candy bribery was involved here and a great deal of patience, BUT we managed to get some really beautiful portraits of them. One is now hanging on my family room wall printed on a huge beautiful canvas.

The really amazing thing about this photoshoot was that we created a classic yet modern portrait that has become a legacy piece in our home. They will never be this age again. As they rapidly grow towards adulthood we've frozen a golden age in their youth for all time. It actually brings tears to my eyes. Whenever they see this hanging in a place of importrance in our home they know two things:

1: is that they are extremely valuable and important to us.

2: Is that they have each other. They have connection. They have unconditional love.

The message this sends to them is huge. 

They are our legacy and the message is loud and clear in the middle of our home hanging on our wall for everyone to see. 

 

 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) best gettysburg photographer best hanover photographer best littlestown photographer children's photography children's portraits couture family photographer family portrait fashion gettysburg hanover littlestown photography portrait siblings sisters https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2018/2/sibling-portraits--sisters Fri, 16 Feb 2018 05:15:00 GMT
First Birthday Garden Portraits https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2018/2/first-birthday-garden-portraits August in the garden was magical this year. Here in Littlestown, I've been slowly building the garden of my dreams. The colors were so bold and vibrant. Everything was flourishing. It was a gorgeous setting for this one year old celebration. Little D in blue jean leggings and a vintage cotton eyelet babydoll blouse. It doesn't get much cuter than this. 

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We set her free in the garden and let her interact on her own. There isn't much purpose in posing at this age as their blooming personalities and newfound skills are wiggling right out of them. To avoid tears we just let them free to explore at this age. 

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When exploring was done we added in a snuggly walk with Momma down to the horsefield next door. The horsies didn't come over but the sunset view was lovely and calming and made for some lovely pictures. 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) best birthday gettysburg hanover littlestown milestone photographer photography photoshoot portrait https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2018/2/first-birthday-garden-portraits Sat, 10 Feb 2018 16:35:07 GMT
Milk and Cookies Birthday https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2018/2/milk-and-cookies-birthday Little D turned two in style with this adorable cookies and milk photo shoot.  Turning 2

The garden was in full bloom with vibrant greens and yellows. My favorite child sized bistro set made the perfect prop for Little D's garden party.

Cookie Mama?

But the most important part of course were the big chocolate chip cookies and D's big smile. 

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What a fantastic way to celebrate Little D's milestone birthday and show off her sparkling personality. Simple, sweet, and tear free photography. I just loved this session at my home studio. 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) best birthday gettysburg hanover littlestown milestone photographer photography photoshoot portrait https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2018/2/milk-and-cookies-birthday Sat, 10 Feb 2018 16:12:37 GMT
Fly Away https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2018/1/fly-away-with-fine-art-portraits In my new series Fly Away I photograph children doing something that they absolutely love- JUMPING! What's makes it even better is popping into photoshop to transform these pictures into magical works of art. 

Little E was desperate for a picture of herself flying with butterfly wings and a picture of butterflies flying her away. A tall order indeed. 

How could I resist?

I couldn't. 

So, after picking out a beautiful frock with ruffles and sparkles we set to work. 

I chose to work with the natural light from a huge glass door in my studio space. I wanted these pictures to feel very organic in spite of their supernatural themes. While I love the flexibility of studio lights, this particular project just begged for the soft  diffused window light.

I used the medium gray backdrop I handpainted. This was especially importrant. It adds a lot of texture, but is also a fairly easy color to work with when cutting out my subject, provided they aren't wearing gray. 

Commence the jumping! 

Jump Little E

Later, I popped into Adobe CC to make the magic happen. I didn't have any shots from my own work that fit my theme so I chose to add elements from Adobe Stock images. I'll be working on adding more images to my own stock folder this year. After all the elements were added I popped into this fantastic Software Alien Skin to give it a beautifully cohesive finish. 

I absolutely adore the results. So does Little E. 

 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) best gettysburg photographer best littlestown photographer in littlestown" photographer top top photographer in gettysburg https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2018/1/fly-away-with-fine-art-portraits Wed, 24 Jan 2018 21:23:55 GMT
Modern Portraits with a Classic Twist https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2017/7/modern-portraits-with-a-classic-twist I've always been drawn to old, antique, vintage, and classic styles. I'm an old soul, I guess. I remember growing up as an artist in a family full of artists. Some relatives were drawn to rigid and structured designs while others were drawn to fluid and dynamic beauty. I was personally drawn to the latter while I appreciated and even envied the precision of the former.

In highschool I got my first real camera, a pentax, I believe. It's still hanging around here somewhere in a box. I was immediatley dreaming of whimsical ideas and had a blast heading out in the woods with a friend to enact our dreamy idyllic scenes for each other's cameras.

The photos weren't so great but fast forward almost 20 years and I'm still dreaming of whimsical portraits. Only now I know how to achieve what I want. And what I want is modern portraits with classic elements.

Recently, I purchased an item that I had searched for quite some time to find. Luckily, a friend of mine tagged me in a sale post and I drove up to Gettysburg in a horrible storm to purchase my green settee from some mutual friends. It was exactly what I wanted and home it came.

I was ecstatic. And of course, I had to bribe my children to model for me immediately, so I could photograph it.

So, with a little inspiration to try natural light indoors (thanks to m favorite photographer Sue Bryce) and some clever persuasion to get the models to cooperate I began my next project.

 

Wow! I am in-love. It's so beautiful.

 

Vintage SetteeModel is wearing a lace dress ordered from Zulily Victorian SetteeModel is wearing a lace dress ordered from Zulily

 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2017/7/modern-portraits-with-a-classic-twist Thu, 06 Jul 2017 21:54:05 GMT
A girl and her Lamb https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2015/3/a-girl-and-her-lamb SONY DSC

So recently my little girl came to me and asked me to take her picture. This is HUGE! She has a very hard time making eye contact and she has an aversion to being photographed. She also has ants in her pants.

But there was a catch!

She really only wanted to be photographed because she wanted me to take a picture of her toy Lamby. Lamby is her version of a security blanket and has managed to survive to the ripe old age of 5. A little rumpled fur, a small hole, and quite a bit of dirt have added to Lamby's character over time, but overall she looks pretty good. Luckily Lamby goes through the washer really well so at least we are able to keep the germs at a minimum.

Generally, if a stuffed animal is going to be in my photos than it is required to be perfect and stylized and very attractive with a vintage look. It has to have "Prop Status".

I have several beautiful Boyd's Bears for example that I keep on the prop shelf.

Lamby is not Prop material.

But my daughter really really really loves her Lamby. It is an important part of her childhood and her innocence. Soon she will begin to forget about Lamby and grow up. So before Lamby becomes our own little velveteen rabbit story I decided that my daughter's request was not only reasonable but such a great idea.

As you will see, the level of connection I got from my daughter was amazing. She has never been so natural and comfortable being photographed before. As a result the images blew me away. I was just so touched and amazed at the beautiful momento of youth these pictures became to me. There is such a wonderful wide range of emotion in these images and they really show so much of my little one's personality.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

 

 

 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) Child Photographer Child Portrait Family Portraits Family Portraits Gettysburg Family Portraits Hanover Gettysburg Portrait Photographer Gettysburg Wedding Photographer Hanover Hanover Photographer Hell House Littlestown Phtographer Littlestown Portrait Photography Maryland Maryland Portrait Photographer Newborn Photographer Newborn Photography Photograph Photographer Photographer" Photography Photography Posing Photography Props Portrait Portrait Photographer Senior Photographer Senior Photographer Gettysburg Senior Portrait Photographer Gettyburg https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2015/3/a-girl-and-her-lamb Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:46:53 GMT
Back on the Horse https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2015/2/back-on-the-horse SONY DSC

A lot has occurred since the last time I blogged. My photography knowledge and artistry have progressed. I have implemented so many new techniques gathered from webinars and light-bulb moments (you know, those moments when something new occurs to you and a light bulb goes off in your head). I have a new and lovely little studio corner in my basement. I feel excited about photography again.

 I've had some beautiful photo shoots in the last 6 months with some lovely friends. I am so grateful to these people who willingly let me drag them out and then shoot them repeatedly (with my camera) until their arms are numb and their backs hurt.

My  dear friend Susan of Wellness by Susan came out with me early this fall just when the leaves started changing. She had taken me up on one of my model calls and we collaborated on an idea for the shoot. We decided on the location. It was getting close to Halloween and we had an idea maybe to do some spooky pictures. The old Seminary in Ellicott City dubbed The Hell House by locals was our final choice for a setting. Wow, what a gorgeous location. We talked about wardrobe and I had some crazy costume pieces I knew she would show off to perfection. We also decided to take a few pictures in her wedding dress.

 

Susan is stunningly beautiful (and totally unaware of it). She is also a makeup SONY DSC and hair artist who does a fantastic job. She is probably the first person who pops into my head when I'm itching for a photography adventure. She is always up for my crazy schemes and I have to say my face hurts from smiling by the time I head home from one of our shoots.
 

So here we are at the Hell House, on a gorgeous sunny day and to my surprise there are tons of people hiking through. Now you have to understand that about 15 years ago this place was the kind of place that you were dared to go. It was creepy. One of the main reasons it was creepy is because there was (for real) a crazy caretaker with vicious dogs. If you went up there to explore you risked the chance of being chased by the dogs, the Police, or Crazy Caretaker with a shotgun. No joke! 

 

Anyway, when I got there and realized how busy it was the whole spirit of the shoot changed for me. It was no longer dark and creepy. It was warm and full of light and life. Friendly dog walkers and happy couples were passing through left and right sharing warm smiles and asking about our project. It was wonderful and exciting.

 

This place used to be a deeply spiritual and holy place. The gardens and structures were originally erected there to help the students learn and meditate on God. Unfortunately in recent decades it had been reduced SONY DSC to a dark and perilous place when the building burned down and then later decayed. It was dead and dim and drew mischief and fear to its grounds. But now it has changed into something beautiful and spiritual again. Something holy and lovely, full of peace and light.

 

Now, the grounds still draw amateur horror film makers and ornery kids, but it's main draw is to hikers and walkers on a sunny golden day spending time communing with nature, soaking in peace, and hopefully even meditating on God and his glorious creation.

 

Instead of a significantly more Gothic costume and theme we wound up shooting much more of the session in Susan's wedding dress. The results I think you will find as angelic as I did. The sun glinting of her soft golden hair and the luminous quality of her gown pulled the light in and magnified it.

 

 As we went up the steep and numerous granite steps we found ourselves surrounded by a small clearing. One of my favorite discoveries was the trees bending and bowing around the clearing like ancient bowers of a cathedral. It was almost as if in the absence of a sanctuary the flora became their own shrine to the holiness of this place. SONY DSC SONY DSC

 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) Autumn Bride City Ellicott Fall Fashion Gettysburg Gettysburg Portrait Photographer Gettysburg Wedding Photographer Hell House Maryland Maryland Portrait Photographer Photograph Photographer Photography Portrait Photographer Senior Photographer Senior Photographer Gettysburg Senior Portrait Photographer Gettyburg Wedding Wedding Photographer https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2015/2/back-on-the-horse Sat, 28 Feb 2015 19:09:46 GMT
Don't wait for tomorrow https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2015/1/dont-wait-for-tomorrow I have shared articles and advice on this in the past but I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately. It seems that often I see people waiting for something better before they do something now. I am guilty of this and so many of you are too. Do you know what I mean?

There are a lot of things we put off until we meet some made up criteria we set for ourselves.

Waiting can be a really good thing. It can mean using patience and wisdom. It can mean letting something just okay go until something great comes along worth seizing. But, sometimes waiting is not a good thing.

So, I'm talking to Moms and Dads, Grandparents, and Uncles, and Aunties, and you.

When was the last time you had a real portrait taken of you? Not a selfie! Not a photobomb of you passing in the background. Not a quick snapshot on vacation. Not a sit your camera on a ledge, hastily focused, run, jump in the scene and say cheese while accidentally choke-holding your spouse or sibling (no time for a graceful pose) and hope the picture took kind of photograph.

WHAT?!!!! It's been that long? Are you kidding?

I hear the excuses. I get it. I really do. I make them too and I am  photographer. For pete's sake I should know better by now. It's not worth waiting. Life is short.

Um, Melissa, aren't you just trying to sell us your photography business?

No, I'm not. Hire me; don't hire me; find a great hobby photographer who needs to practice. But have an up to date portrait taken every so often, please.

Do not wait until you are skinnier. Do not wait until you feel better or look better or until someone has a wedding and wants you in the family picture.

You might be thinking that it's too vain to have your picture taken. Maybe you think you're not important enough to have your portrait done. Maybe you are shy or nervous, or awkward feeling. Or maybe no one has ever taken a picture of you that looks good and you hate every single picture you've been in EVER!  Maybe you just feel like crap and you can't muster the effort to have your portrait done.

Let me tell you something. You are important right now. Someone loves you. Someone wants to remember you the way you are now. If you spend time dodging pictures or never having your portrait done you are leaving a whole in the world when you leave. Because there are people in this world who will miss you. They will want to take out that picture and see you and look at your face and remember what it was like to have you here.

Whoa, Melissa, what a downer. You just made me really depressed.

Well, no one wants to think about the what ifs. But honestly, if we look at history we see that we are very lucky in the here and now to have a way to remember our loved ones. We all think it's creepy to see those articles that swim around the internet about Victorian people who took portraits of their dead family members posed like they are alive and had jewelry made out of the deceased's hair. Think about it. Those people were desperately trying to have something to hold onto that would help them remember what their loved one looked like years after the memory started to get fuzzy. We go to funerals and play slideshows of a person's life in pictures. Those are wonderful memories. Did you ever sit watching one of those slideshows and think that maybe it would have been nice if there was a good clear portrait of that person?

Okay, the Debbie Downer moment is almost over but hold on for one more second and look at it like this.

As a mom and photographer I take four million portraits of my kids. I can't get enough. I want to see every change and every stage in a picture because my memory is awful. I want the super duper close up macro lense pictures so I can see every baby wrinkle, fat roll and phalanges. But what about our kids perspective? They love us oodles and oodles (even when they won't admit it as teenagers). Guess what, when we are old or passed-on they are going to wish they had all those pictures with us IN them. So, while they definitely don't want macro's of our fat rolls and phalanges, they do want really good images of us with a lot of details and personality. They want a picture with you or of you. Don't worry about the wrinkles! They show how much you gave us as you raised us! Every laugh and tear and sunny vacation are in those imperfections and they are lovingly etched on your face. We are part of someone's history.

You are significant now. SONY DSC

You are loved now.

So grab someone who can take your portrait (preferably someone who knows what they are doing) and let your walls down. Someone who loves you will cherish that picture.

It's a photographer's job to take well posed flattering pictures of you. Find one whose style you like, grab your kids, your spouse, or your sister, or your mom and grandmom, or someone you just love a lot, or go by yourself. It's worth doing.

Luv ya,

Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2015/1/dont-wait-for-tomorrow Wed, 14 Jan 2015 19:51:03 GMT
It's not what camera you have it's the Artist behind it https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/5/its-not-what-camera-you-have-it-s-the-artist-behind-it I have been asked one question as a photographer more than any others. Can you guess what it is? If you're a photographer than you probably know the answer.

What kind of camera are you using?

The funny thing is that it is not other photographers asking this question, it's regular people. The moms and passers-by and the pocket camera hobbyists.

When I tell them they all respond with the same phrase. "If I had a camera like that I could take great pictures too!" Or something similar to that point.

I smile and say how nice it is to have a good camera. But inside of me is a deep dissapointment that so many people think that's all there is to what I do. I just bought a nice camera and magically became a photographer.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know that they are mostly making small talk or they secretly want to be a photographer some day. I have nothing against these people and many times they are dear sweet friends.

But think about eveything that really goes into a photograph. Below are just some of things a photographer must understand to be succesful.

Lighting

Using light is study that can go on for a person's entire life. How we use light, how we see it, how it can change the dynamic of a picture completely. Sometimes light happens happily by accident and beautiful natural light scenario unfolds. But just within the use of light itself lies a number of complex an variable applications that a photographer can use. Light can bring out the detail creating grit and depth and texture or it can soften and illuminate and accentuate. Light itself can tell a story. A photographer invests in tools to use and manipulate the light and sometimes invests in tools to create light where there is none. You can also ruin a picture if you don't know how to work witht the light. You must study and learn and practice and adapt.

 

Posing

You might think a person just stands or sits in front of the camera and 300 clicks later you have an album. Of course, if that's how it works then you will probably have a pretty boring and lifeless gallery of images. There are masculine poses and feminine poses and poses for hands and feet and hips and head and all of them have to come together in a smooth and fluid natural looking position. You have to study the human form and how the camera angle effects it. A good photograph has angles lines and curves like any good painting or drawing. This communicates interest and form in the image. These elements may aline perfectly by accident every once in a great while, but generally you need to have an eye for them and be able to direct the subject or move to a place that affords a better view of the desired scene to line up objects in the optimum composition. You need to be able to go with the flow of your subjects movements but also to direct them and give them guidance and purpose.

 

Camera Settings

Sure the auto setting on a nice camera is pretty good compared to a basic point and shoot. For many amatuer photographers this setting is perfectly good for almost any general picture. The problem is you can't control it. It controls you. If you aren't in control then you can't determine the quality or result of the image the camera takes. You are at it's whim and as technologically advanced as they may be they are not capable of making the same judgements and assesments to compensate for each situation. A good photographer has at least a basic knowledge and understanding of manual functions and menu settings. A great photographer has a mastery over the camera settings and all it's features and can make snap judgments and adjustments in moment to capture the perfect shot.

 

An Eye

A basic instinct and understanding of what looks good in a photograph. It isn't necessarily learned (although in some cases it can be learned). In many cases it is a naturally occuring artistic talent that merely needs to be harnessed and properly directed through the tools of the art form. A vision that comes inspirationally though the artist's mind and soul.

 

 

There is so much heart and soul and work and monetary investment involved in photography that goes much farther than the camera. A photographer takes what is there and shows it in its best form and light. In some ways it can be the most challenging medium of all. You must work together with the elements to capture a moment in time, a snippet of reality and fantasy in one breadth of a second. There is no do-over. The next minute the moment is gone and the elements have changed never to be the same perfect moment again. A true photographer is an Artist who captures and seals a fleeting moment in time in one finite frame to last for generations. Can you even put a price on a moment in time?

 

 

Below is an example of a photo taken with the auto settings before manual control of the camera, makeup, lighting, set, and wardrobe.

(yeah, I know, scary, right? don't laugh at my tragic before picture. well, at least don't laugh too hard. would you hang this on youre wall? I think not)

 

Then the after, done literally an hour or so later with time an attention to every detail. Clearly the camera is not the reason the second picture is more succesful.

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/5/its-not-what-camera-you-have-it-s-the-artist-behind-it Tue, 22 May 2012 00:27:12 GMT
Fantasy Photography Shoot or Trash the Dress Session near Gettysburg... https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/4/fantasy-photography-photo-shoot-or-trash-the-dress-session-whichever-you-prefer

 

This is my dear sweet beautiful friend Susan. She asked me to do her headshots for her new business but she didn't want plain old boring headshots. As you can see we photographed a lot more than just her head. Together we both came up with the idea of having a whimsical photo shoot. We knew we wanted to have a lot of fun. Susan searched for the perfect dress for the fnansty part of our shoot and someone lent her this AMAZING dress! Totally awesome!

She was a little nervous about having her picture taken and felt that she was not photogenic. WHAT? Not photogenic?! I could photograph this beautiful Lady over and over!

Susan has a wonderful private Wellness Studio:

She is dedicated to providing you with the opportunity to calm your body and mind, refresh your spirit as well as cultivate and sustain your natural beauty without exposure to harsh products and invasive methods practiced by other, more conventional service providers. She selects and uses only the highest quality holistic and organic products that contain little or no preservatives and no harsh chemicals.  

Susan is one of the nicest people you will ever meet and I assure you that you will look and feel wonderful after recieving her care and attention.


Check out her facebook page and Click like for updates and contact information.  
 

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Wellness-By-Susan/205437102858173

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/4/fantasy-photography-photo-shoot-or-trash-the-dress-session-whichever-you-prefer Tue, 10 Apr 2012 21:54:20 GMT
My Stunningly Beautiful Friend https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/3/my-stunningly-beautiful-friend

I had so much fun photographing a dear friend of mine this past weekend. Normally I prefer to use natural light with the occasional supplmental fill light from a flash or another source. I find natural light is usually much more flattering on people. I rarely attempt any kind of dramatic lighting becuase I find it much harder to control and I do not have the luxury (yet) of a fully functional indoor studio.

Wouldn't you know it? It rained. We both have crazy schedules so changing the date was out. I was desperately hoping for at least a break in the very very dark sky of rain and would at least have liked a lighter overcast day. I didn't need full sunlight but absolute darkness seemed to be all I was going to get. I was doomed to darkness for the day. 

Luckily for me Kayla is such a good sport that she let me torture her with experiments. I thought for certain I had done a terrible job and that I would be lucky to have taken a few nice pictures. Boy, was I wrong! Apparently the camera LOVES her (because she is gorgeous) and there were so many wonderful photographs that I was overwhelmed with delight.

Let me tell about my dear friend a little. She is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. You see, Kayla radiates from within. She has the most amazing smile that comes up from the depths of her heart and beams all around her like a halo. She doesn't need make-up (in fact she wasn't wearing any). Her kindness and gentleness sweep you up in their embrace and her laughter draws you in. This lady has charisma. Not the shmoozy kind of charisma, but the natural easy charm of a genuine loving soul. I know where that love comes from. Kayla is deeply devoted to her love for the Lord. She is passionate about her faith in Christ and she wears it as her crowning glory.

 

 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/3/my-stunningly-beautiful-friend Wed, 28 Mar 2012 14:40:10 GMT
What does beauty mean anyway? https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/3/woman I have often thought in the last few years very deeply on the subject of feminine beauty. What does it mean? Who has it? How do we get it? Why do so many beautiful women feel so unattractive? Why do women critisize themselves so much? Why are we so focused on our flaws?

As I have watched my body change from the super skinny fatless girl of my teens to the motherly figure with hips and love handles and lines on my face I have looked deeply into the mirror. My husband tells me I am beautiful and sexy but I can't understand why? I don't see it! Is he lying? I can't seem to feel the beauty he says I have. I look in the mirror and I see too many freckles, dark circles under my eyes and baggy pajamas that do nothing to flatter the figure. I'm too tired to dress up and do makeup most days. Does that mean I am dumpy looking?

I started looking at other women. Young to old. A trend emerged as I really looked at each of the women I encountered on a day to day basis. They were each beautiful. Seriously! I'm not making this up. Every single woman had some beautiful quality about them. I think what struck me the most was their smiles. Each woman has their own magical little spark in their smile. EVERY other woman had some kind of beauty that was clear and apparent to me. What was I missing. Why did all of these women curvy or stick straight, lined or smooth, short or tall come across as beautiful, but when I look in the mirror I can't see it in my self?

It dawned on me. Mirrors are evil! Yes, I know we've all thought that in the fitting room at the department store. You're not telling me anything new, Melissa! Those mirrors are warped and brutal but even the perfect mirrors are missing something. A mirror only sees on one plain. When you stand in front of a mirror you are hardly revelaing your true self. You don't smile and laught at yourself. You don't cry and show your emotion. You look for the imperfections, on purpose. That's what it's for isn't it? We stand in front of it and we pick at every part of the picture we see to make sure we don't walk out the door with something hanging out of our noses or hair coming out of our moles, or our underwear sticking out of our pants, or to make sure our fat roles don't fall to far over our pants waist. We are looking deeply and intentionally for our flaws so we can try our best to fix them or hide them. We are not looking for the beauty, and we will not find it in that evil mirror. So where is this elusive beauty? How do we find it? How do we feel it? Well I haven't figured out how to feel it exactly, at least not yet. But I have decided to start trusting the people around me to see it for me.

You see, a woman's beauty is deep and complex. It encompasses so much more than an appearance. It is a history of our lives, it is the attributes of our parents, it is the pain we have felt and the joy we have experienced. It is our innocence or our experience. It molds our bodies and faces and shapes them. You can see the love on a woman's face and you can see the heartache there too. We are transparent. You can see through the surface of a woman into the depth of her soul and character. A mirror can not. It takes all of the senses to experience a woman's full beauty.

Our eyes can see into her eyes and perceive the emotion behind them and the wisdom of her experiences.

Her touch shows us her tenderness or strength.

Our ears can hear the laughter or the sorrow in her voice, and even the love that she holds. The sweet notes of her tone.

Our sense of smell can detect even the soft scents of a woman, flowery or fruity or the hard work and the labor she has endured.

Her husband's kisses taste the delight of her love.

All of these things are part of a woman's beauty.

 

Some may say that beauty is only skin deep. Others may say that beauty is on the inside. They are both missing something. A woman's beauty is all encompassing. It is on the outside and the inside. It is in her every experience and feeling and action.

Our beauty is our story. Every part or mark on us is a chapter of our story.

 

We don't need make-up or clothes or face lifts to make us beautiful. We ARE beautiful! We have just relied on the mirror for far too long to define how we feel about ourselves.

Next time my husband tells me I am beautiful I will trust that what he says is true, because he can see my story, even if I can't find it in the mirror.

 

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/3/woman Mon, 05 Mar 2012 18:51:41 GMT
Giving New Life to Old Favorites https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/2/giving-new-life-old-favorites  

 

I am always growing and learning and as such I uncover new tools and techniques on a regular basis. recently I accidentally clicked on the wrong folder and opened up an album from an Autumn one or two years ago. I found some of my favorite pictures from that time of year and began seeing all the wonderful potential they held in light of the things I had learned since taking them. So with love I picked a few of my absolute favorites and decided to play around with them. It's amazing how much a photograph can come alive when you manipulate the light and tone and contrast of the image. A little paintbrush of detail hear and there and "voila" a simple landscape reveals the mystical world you had flattened onto a digital file. Suddenly it has come alive with a whole new depth and meaning. It went from a basic image to Art! What I love about these picture is that before they seemed very 2 dimensional but now they feel as if you could walk right into the picture and peek around the next tree or touch the glassy water and feel the cool liquid as your fingers submerge beneath the surface. I can feel the hazy Autumn sun glaring in my eyes and making my vision fuzzy and hear the rustling leaves as a soft cool breeze brushes my cheek. It's like a lovely dream sequence from a favorite movie. I could sit and stare at these for hours reminiscing of the time I spent in this beautiful wood.

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1melissaring@gmail.com (Melissa Ring Photography) Autumn Fall Photograph Photography https://melissaringphotography.com/blog/2012/2/giving-new-life-old-favorites Wed, 29 Feb 2012 21:40:50 GMT