lifestyle + newborn | the lahoda family

Henry_031I had the distinct pleasure of photographing Henry’s parents’ wedding as well as maternity photos of his mommy. Henry and I spend a relaxing fall morning together, cuddling in bed with his parents, his two adorable dogs, and with his kitty looking on from a safe distance. I love that a lifestyle + newborn session also captures the family home – your home tells such a rich, detailed story about you. Jennifer and Daniel’s loft is filled to the brim with colorful art and eclectic finds at every turn. And of course their hearts are bursting with so much love for Henry. He is a a very lucky baby indeed.

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lifestyle + newborn | the reeves family



Ever since I announced my retirement from photographing weddings and families, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I’ll be photographing next. The short answer is “I don’t know yet.” After shooting photos for over a decade and almost 6 years in business, I can finally see my own voice emerge from my photos. I am drawn to authenticity in photography, to photos that are beautiful because they are real, not in spite of it. I’m not entirely sure how that will translate into my business, but for now all that matters is that I continue to clarify my voice and my vision when it comes to photography.

This is my family – brother, sister in law, and my 3 nieces. I pitched the idea of a different kind of newborn shoot, one that is more in the moment with no lengthy planning of wardrobe or props or any sort of posing. When you have a newborn life is a blur – it’s easy to forget those quiet, beautiful moments that happen between numerous diaper changes and the witching hour and one (or two) or midnight feedings. My goal: create a collection of photographs that captures this precious time in a family’s history, but do it in such a way that is honest, intimate and true. I’m so happy they took me up on the idea.



November 25, 2014 - 11:19 am

soufik ahammed - I like you

October 27, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Christine Pham - I love this.


melissa_brandman_maternity_boudoir_001The only constant is change ~ unknown

I’ve faced a lot of changes over the last 10 years. Buying a home or two, moving away, having kids, moving back, quitting a career, starting a business. That being said, I am still uncomfortable with change. I can sense when change is coming, and I fight like hell to stop it. But change always happens, almost always for the better.

This decision was made many months ago, but now is the time to announce it: as of today, I am no longer photographing weddings and families. My reason is simple: I need more time with my family, especially my girls that are growing up way too quickly. Don’t think for one minute this decision was easy. It’s been on the horizon for over a year, but I was just deep in denial about it. Let me be clear: I love love LOVE photographing weddings and families. You, my clients and friends, are the reason I didn’t want to walk away. But I know in my heart that it’s time for a change.

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’m looking forward to taking my photography in new directions, and thanks to brave clients like Jennifer here, I get the chance to stretch my creative wings with new genres of photography (maternity boudoir, anyone?) I’m teaching my first photography class this week and I am so jazzed about it. So I’ll still be here, drinking coffee and taking photos.

I hope you’ll continue to join me.

October 16, 2014 - 10:18 am

the reeves family | melissa brandman | photographs - […] since I announced my retirement from photographing weddings and families, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I’ll be […]

September 30, 2014 - 10:05 am

Jen Johnson - I’m so happy for you that you’re continuing on and refining your journey! Can’t wait to see what the future holds!!!

travel | summer vacation in Santa Barbara


Our Summer Vacation

(all photos: Contax 645 and Contax G2 + Kodak Portra 400)

With school and fall activities in full effect, I can’t help but wish I was back at the beach on summer vacation. We had a “glamp and glam” summer vacation in Santa Barbara – 2 nights at El Capitan Canyon and 2 nights at a hotel in Santa Barbara just in case “glamping” was an epic fail. It wasn’t, but I have to admit that first shower at the hotel was one of the best EVER.

Here’s to holding on to summer – easy to do with the weather in Southern California at the moment…