P E R U V I A N R O O T S
P E R U V I A N R O O T S
C A L I F O R N I A G R O W N
I am California grown with Peruvian roots.
This has definitely influenced the way I approach life and my photography.
I am always curious about learning people's story and bringing that to life visually through still photos that create a moving impact. Whether it's a love story, a branding story or a family story; I want to capture it!
And of course, make you laugh throughout the process because I like to be silly too :)
También hablo español!
I would describe my photography aesthetic as a Renaissance painting. My mom took me to many art museums when I was younger (gracias mami) and it definitely influenced the way I edit my photos. Moody but emotionally lit.
I want my photos to make you feel something! To take you on a visual journey.
I would describe my photography sessions as work hard, play hard. Though I am Latin, I arrive early to my shoots. I scout locations before shooting your sessions to get a lay of the land and make sure I make your vision come to life. Once session is in progress, my top priority is to make you and/or the talent feel comfortable. Whether you are a trained model or you have never been in front of a camera, I will offer guidance and direction but also will crack jokes to put you at ease and capture those candid moments. I will hype you up so hard you will go through a photo metamorphosis. Also, when you see my spider monkey moves you can't help but burst out laughing. I'll climb high and bend low for your shot!
For those with the adventure spirit...
I LOVE TO TRAVEL
I'm based in San Diego, California.
I am Global Entry + SENTRI ready for any destination bookings!
I've lived in BOSTON, NYC, PARIS, LIMA, SAN DIEGO + LA
I've travelled to PERU, FRANCE, SPAIN, UK, ITALY, SWITZERLAND, BRAZIL, MEXICO, COSTA RICA, PANAMA, MACAU + HONG KONG
2023 Travel Goals:
Seattle, Monument Valley, Canada, Indonesia
Word on the Street...
"Where to even begin..... Melissa is an absolute joy to work with. I have always been a detail oriented and organizational person and look to hire individuals with those same qualities. Planning a wedding can be very stressful, especially during a pandemic. Melissa was flexible from the start and understanding as well as accommodating when we had to reschedule our big destination wedding. She was so wonderful that we still wanted to work with her for our very intimate wedding. Melissa was able to make the whole process exceedingly smooth, even for us deciding on an intimate wedding last minute. From discussing our needs, wants, signing contracts, making payments, to the day of the event, everything was very well organized to my taste. Also, I am very camera shy and can be awkward when shooting photos. She was able to provide great direction on poses and locations to shoot. Something I loved was that she makes it a priority to go to the location site before the event to pick out scenery that we would like and that suits our taste. Feeling comfortable is of great importance to me when working/collaborating with someone and she did that and more!! She provides such a positive energy and professionalism, not to mention she made the session about my partner and me. Even after shooting our event, she was able to provide us about 30 or more sample photos that same day!! I was totally not expecting this as I have worked with other photographers and had a longer turn around. It was such a splendid surprise to see such high-quality photos of our wedding so quickly. Additionally, she sent us all our photos that same week. Overall, this experience was absolutely sensational. Melissa definitely sets the standards high for what a professional photographer should be providing. Not to mention that she is genuinely passionate about her art. We are so thrilled we found her and am excited to shoot our big wedding next year with her!! We cannot thank you enough Melissa!!"
"LOOK NOWHERE ELSE.. YOU FOUND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER! I discovered Melissa's work on instagram and loved her energy and professionalism the second we spoke on the phone. The day of my branding shoot, she made me more comfortable and confident than I could have EVER imagined. I used to hate having my photo taken and after being shot by Melissa, I feel like I see myself in an entirely new and beautiful light. She knew exactly how to pose me, what props to use and even what outfits went best with the environment. I will hire for every shoot in the future and recommend her to EVERYONE I know! Thank you so much Melissa, you have helped to transform my confidence and my business !"
"We just got back our photos from our first ever family photo session and Melissa's beautiful work has me crying tears of joy! I cannot believe how amazing these images are! We are new-ish parents and we decided we should take family pictures. Three years ago, Melissa took our engagement photos and we knew then that she was an amazing talent who truly loves what she does. We did not hesitate to re-book Melissa for our first ever family shoot. We are so glad we made that choice as we are blown away by the results! After our shoot, Melissa sent us hundreds of photos to choose from, all of which I would be thrilled to have framed in our home. This is no small feat with a nine-month old baby. As I am sure happens often to Melissa, our baby completely fell in love with her. She got him to smile in so many pictures. Both my husband and I do not love posing for pictures, but Melissa made us feel so comfortable and at peace. We both enjoyed the experience and it shows in the beautiful prints she created. She was able to have all of us smiling and engaged in each frame! We are laughing, smiling, happy, and you can see how much our little family loves each other in these images. Not only did Melissa make the whole experience enjoyable, but she also went above and beyond. She helped me coordinate outfits for the whole family beforehand and suggested a location that made it look like we were in 5 different places! We got so much variety in one photo session. She completely understood the vibe I wanted and delivered beyond my wildest expectations. She has a gift that is unparalleled in the industry. I feel so lucky that I got to work with her and will be working with her for years to come."
— Samantha B.
— Danni I.
— Brenda V.
Super fun engagement session at South Coast Botanic Garden. Channeling National Geographic and getting really into the scenery.