• Suzanne Melissa Photography and Family

    Welcome to Suzanne Melissa Photography and Family. This is a place where I try to keep track of the blessings in life (like kids, family and Bravo TV), my hobbies (like Photography) and my inner DIY.

    Full disclosure: I tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor...read at your own risk:-)


Tips for Photographers {Check Your Junk Mail}

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Jasmine Star thFix.  You can read my review of it here.  While there I met the sweetest husband wife photography team and snapped a picture of them with Jasmine’s husband JD.  A couple of days later I emailed the picture to them and never heard back.  Another couple of days goes by and I mention on FB that I emailed them the picture.  Amy says she never received the email and asked if I could email it again.  I re-send the email and again I hear nothing back.  Amy and I run into each other at another workshop and she still doesn’t have the image.

And then it happens…she finds it in her junk mail.  No big deal right?  Guess what else is in her junk mail…4 wedding inquiries and a couple of portrait inquiries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HUGE deal now!!

I had the exact same thing happen to me last November.  4 inquires went directly to my junk mail and I didn’t realize it until it was too late.  It was like a giant sucker punch in the gut!  Since then, I keep a close eye on my junk mail.  Most of the time it’s just offers to help certain body parts “grow” (wink-wink),  but I still check it EVERY day.

Kari Jeanne When I heard this story from Amy my heart actually hurt for her – totally one of our worst nightmares! Thank you for sharing – this can definitely happen to anyone!!

Fit Friday-Volume I

I made a bold move by putting on my 2012 list of goals that I wanted to lose 30 lbs.  Two months into 2012 I haven’t exactly put a dint in this goal.  So, I’ve decided to start Fit Fridays.  Each week I will post my progress and a little bit about the past week that has helped (or hurt) me meet this goal.  I’m hoping that this public display of insanity commitment will keep me focused and motivated throughout the week.

Despite my better judgement I am posting a BEFORE picture (dear lord-please let this be a before picture of loosing 30 lbs and not a before gaining 30 lbs).  Thank you to my fellow photog Liz for taking these pictures!

I have no idea why I’m holding my stomach like I am pregnant, but just to be clear I am NOT pregnant!

Weight loss this week: -2 lbs

Total Weight loss: -2 lbs

Workout: Run/walk 2 miles twice.  Leg and arm workout twice.  Hoping to get more workouts in next week.

I ate this: Salmon patties from Costco, lots of fruit and Healthy Choice Pasta.

I wanted to eat: OMG…anything covered in chocolate and stuffed with peanut butter.  I’m convinced that this combination is like heroine and I’m an addict.

Do you have a fitness goal that you are trying to reach or suggestions to help me meet mine?  Leave a comment below because I promise I need all of the support, funny insights and virtual high fives to keep me from deleting this post:)


Sarah I think you look great! Just remember it took 9 months to put the weight on! :)

Michelle It is agreed that you look GREAT and make for one hot mama!! You got this… piece of cake, piece of pie… I mean piece of fruit! I have a little over 6 months to get to my goals, so I’ll help ya through your goals 😀

Kari Jeanne Virtual HIGH FIVE from me!!! The tip that hit home for me was when I read about ‘crash workouts’ just like crash dieting – where you go hardcore and then just stop – and how working out this way is actually causing MORE harm than good. So, long story..umm even longer, focus on doing just a little bit more often and don’t get discouraged if you miss a day!

Andrew {5 months}

I have been reading fellow photographer, Jenny, give monthly updates on her little girl and every month I told myself I would do the same for Andrew.  Well, finally I am doing it!

This is mostly for me to remember all of the sweet little details of my favorite guy…


  • Eating!  You get VERY excited and start to giggle, squeal and lunge for the bottle.  Dad thinks this is really funny…it makes me a little crazy.
  • Anything you can put in your mouth and usually this is your hands.
  • Doing the naked baby squirm when we change your diaper.  It’s quite funny and you giggle a lot.
  • Nana-she currently watches you two days a week and provides non-stop entertainment…which you LOVE.
  • When I pour water on you while taking a bath.
  • Sleeping with your hands above your head and rubbing your face.  I have to put socks over your hands so you don’t scratch yourself.
  • Giggling, laughing and playing…you are a VERY happy baby and we love it!!


  • Being left alone (or at least when you think you are alone).  If you can’t see mom or dad you have started to get upset.  You also got upset for the first time when Grandpa held you.
  • A wet diaper when riding in the car.  We have had to pull off of I-10 twice to change your diaper on the way back from Tucson.
  • When I have to get the boogies out of your nose.


  • You are almost rolling over from your stomach to your back
  • You have full control of your head…no more bobble head baby!
  • You started eating pureed baby food
  • Multiple trips to Tucson
  • Your first tooth…I think.
  • You now play in the exasaucer

From me:

I can’t believe how much personality you have now.  You are such a HAPPY baby and everyone in the family thinks you are the greatest.  When I am around you I can’t help, but kiss and squeeze your cute little face.  When I am not around you my heart aches to see you.  I can’t wait to see what new things you will be doing each day.

Jenny Bishop You just made my day, Suzanne!! Thanks for the shout out! :) So glad my posts inspired you to post updates on your cutie pie! He is so sweet and such a happy little guy! Can’t wait to read future posts to see how much he’s grown and changed! Can you believe how quickly they grow?!! Thanks so much for reading my blog and always commenting!! :)

Kari Jeanne Oh my goodness. He is just so stinking cute!!! Love the last photo :)

Jasmine Star theFix-Phoenix, AZ

Last week I attended Jasmine Star’s theFix.  This was the first stop on her 12 city tour to speak to other photographers about….

Well, that’s an interesting question.  theFix website describes the event as a conversation with Jasmine Star.  Jasmine describes it as, “prom, but with better hair”.  I had pretty awesome hair at prom, so I signed-up.  Actually, I signed-up because I knew that whatever Jasmine had to say I wanted to hear.

Jasmine spoke about a new movement in the industry right now.  The idea of photographers working together to help each other grow their business.  Networking is HUGE in this industry, but historically it has only gone so far.  Get together for lunch…yes.  Tell me where you shot your last engagement session with that really cool background…no, actually hell no.  Tell you how much I charge?  I’m more likely to tell you how much I weigh.

It’s as if we invite everyone over to our house, but don’t let anyone inside and instead mingle on the front lawn.  There is an internal struggle of wanting to be open, but fearful of giving out what makes us successful.  What makes the client choose me over you.

Jasmine’s theme throughout the night was to let these fears and hesitations go.  The idea that you will be stronger as an individual by being part of a community.

It could have just been the atmosphere (or the champagne), but it feels like change is coming to the photography community.  It’s time to let each other past the front door and…gasp! let them walk on the good carpet.

And now proof that I had awesome hair at prom!







Elizabeth Langford Love the promo hair!!! It was such an inspiring evening (The Fix… not prom) and I’m glad I got to share it with you!!!

Suzanne Melissa You weren’t inspired by prom?? It was a great evening and fun to hang out w/you…we need to do this more often!

Kari Jeanne Love this! Thanks for sharing :)

Jodi Harris Loved your blog. Well done. Loved the prom hair too. Thanks for sharing.

Norton Family Portraits

I met Karyne at the Melissa Jill 2 Day workshop in January.  We instantly bonded over our lack of sleep due to new babies!  Karyne and her husband, John, have two beautiful boys Silas and Garrison.  We decided to trade portrait sessions since both of our babies are around 6 months old.  Since Garrison just turned 6 months we shot their session first.

It can be extremely nerve wracking shooting portraits for another photographer.  I really appreciated Karyne and John’s easy going nature.

Silas is the big brother and SO curious about checking out his surroundings.

Garrison is such a happy baby!  For these pictures John stood behind me and made Garrison laugh…like full belly giggle non-stop laugh.  I can’t wait for Andrew to laugh like that!

John with his boys.

For some reason this next picture totally cracks me up.  Everyone was sitting on the bench and we asked Silas if he could give Garrison a hug and this was the result….real life people!

One last favorite…taking advantage of the setting sun.

Michelle ADORABLE!!! I love the one with mommy and the boys… daddy and the boys… actually I love them all!!! SOOO CUTEEE 😀

Karyne Norton Thanks again Suzanne! We love them! Although, lesson learned… never take your child for a haircut 2 days before a shoot- no matter how overdue they are! Silas looks like such a dork! LOL