Mother holding daughter on pier at lake in summer.  Vintage image.  documentary family photography. Hudson valley ny


I'm Melanie, a documentary family and newborn photographer. Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, I have been blessed to be able to raise my two children (now 17 and 21 years old) in the same small town that I grew up in! I have a love for all things that are "real" and home. Real life, real moments, real smiles, and real tears. I love to capture real personalities and the essence of a soul. I love being home and am most comfortable surrounded by the people and things that I love.

Something that you probably don't know about me?

After attending school at Pratt Institute as a Fine Arts major, I decided to change careers and became a pediatric occupational therapist. I have been a pediatric OT for over 20 years, working with children from birth to five-years! Working so closely with such little ones and their families has been one of the biggest influences on my photography, and likely why I gravitate toward what is real. There is extreme beauty in real life, including some of the most difficult aspects of "realness." The beauty is always there, you just have to see it.

Why does photography matter?

I often ask myself this question and think that I may have found an answer hidden in one of my favorite photographs. It's a photo of me and my mother. I love it because of that, but I love it for everything else that this particular image holds. It's a quiet moment that I never would have known about, had it not been for this photograph. The moment is peaceful and safe and simple. It wasn't staged. It was captured when no one was paying attention except for my father, the photographer. To me, it is timeless. It could be me and my own daughter, but it is me and my mother. It could be today, but it was years ago. It could be anywhere in the world, but it was in New Hampshire on a pier at a lake, where we spent our childhood summers. I can feel the warm sun, a gentle breeze, and the cool lake water. I hear the sounds of people laughing and talking. One image of a moment that holds all of that, captured forever with one click of a shutter. If you ask me why photography matters, I will tell you the story of this photo. This is why photography matters.

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