Word on the Street...

— Justine Y.

— Brooke C.

— Kelly S.

Word on the Street...

"We hired Melissa for a corporate photoshoot. It was a last-minute hire and on a very tight timeline. Not only did she make herself available immediately, she was also so easy to work with and delivered incredible photos.
Bottom line: Talented and delightful to work with!
Highly recommend!"

— Sydney S.

— Tara N.

— Trisha D., Fiverr

Word on the Street...

— Allison P.

— Hannah H.

— Alexix S.

Word on the Street...

"Melissa was great! She has a bubbly personality and a great sense of humor, so I was relaxed and having fun for the entire session. She has a great eye for lighting and angles, and the photos came out just as I was hoping. Since she has so many ideas for poses and backgrounds I had tons of options to choose from for my final selection. I would highly recommend working with her!"

"Hiring Melissa to capture our intimate elopement was the best decision ever! From the first time we met her for our venue walk-through, she was extremely friendly, professional, and passionate. On the big day, she provided fantastic creative direction and made my husband and I feel very comfortable. Her energy and passion for her work are undeniable, and we were absolutely thrilled with the pictures and special moments she captured on our big day. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a photographer for their elopement/wedding!"

"Melissa is absolutely Amazing! I'm so happy that I booked her for our maternity/family photos. I love how personable and friendly she is, you will definitely feel comfortable and beautiful (especially being pregnant lol). You can tell she is very passionate about photography and very knowledgeable about locations, angles, poses, and lighting! I love how our pictures came out! I can't thank her enough!"

— Alexandria G.

— Nik C.

— Lilly K.

Word on the Street...

"I have had the privilege to work with Melissa in multiple occasions and we knew she would be our photographer for our wedding day. She still continues to surprise me with her ability to catch the most breathtaking lighting and intimate little moments of the day. I am able to look back at these photographs and feel the amount of love that was present that day. It is so special to have someone like Melissa being there in your most important days of lives. Moments that you want to relive everyday. I wouldn't trust anyone else to capture those moments. Melissa, you have a client for life!"

"Melissa does it again! This time, it was for a day I will never forget, my wedding day. She captured the love that was shared that day with our family and friends. Moments that I will forever look back on and for that I am so grateful for Melissa. She captures incredible lighting, delivers the photos in excellent time and surpasses expectations. Gives AMAZING direction!! She scouts the bests locations and knows the time of day that will give you the results you want. You can tell Melissa loves what she does for a living, very I evolved and high energy!! Melissa, you have a client for life!!!"

"Melissa is amazing!! I'm so happy for the family photoshoot she did for us she is kind and fun, so passionate about her job. I won't doubt to recommend her and obviously call her for more photoshoots in the future. Thank you so much Meli!!!"

"We met Melissa during the recent San Diego Bridal Bazaar. When we left we were the most impressed with Melissa’s photos and felt she really would do our wedding justice, but we were still open. Luckily we won an engagement shoot with Melissa and could use that opportunity to truly understand her work and process. Not only were the images amazing but Melissa has exemplary responsiveness. She booked the session immediately. She sent the unedited images within a few hours and when we selected images to edit she also sent those completed within a day! That alone was so reassuring and an important element we want for our wedding vendor team. From even the unedited images we had no doubts about booking Melissa for our wedding. Very excited to work with her again!"

— Carolina V.

— Bianca M.

— Verina O.

Word on the Street...

"I love Melissa. She is very energetic and inspiring. It was our first time doing the photoshoot and she made it seems so easy for us. Her work turned out amazing. Within 2 weeks, we have already got our photos. Thank you so much Melissa! Definitely see you soon!"

"I was so impressed with Melissa and would recommend her to anyone! She responded to my questions within an hour each time we emailed/texted and was very prompt. The hardest thing for me was determining a schedule of events (we had an unconventional wedding at the courthouse and wanted pictures in a few locations) and Melissa planned the whole day seamlessly, even giving me multiple options to choose from. My pictures were ready much faster than I had expected and I've already gotten SO many compliments on them from friends and family. We have a perfect mix of posed and casual shots, with everyone's happiness perfectly captured. She even managed to wrangle my dog in the photos. She made everyone feel really comfortable in the photos; my fiancé and I were nervous at being the centers of attention and she really put us at ease. 10/10!"

"Melissa is fantastic! I hired her to take professional photos for my business and she exceeded all of my expectations. She is professional, on time and made the process super fun. She has a great eye for light and surrounding textures making for some incredible photos. I am already hiring her again for my family photos and more!"

— Tram N.

— Melissa J.

— Emily F.

Word on the Street...

"Melissa was extremely helpful with my surprise proposal and photo shoot. She helped me plan out a location that would be better setting and for better lighting, as well as got there early and helped me plan out ideal locations for the proposal. She was very professional and took some amazing pictures that we will remember forever. Not to mention she was able to provide our edited photos back in less than a day! Highly recommend Melissa for any photo shoots you may need."

"Melissa is such a gem and extremely talented! Photos are what I treasure most and when we started searching for a wedding photographer, it became more daunting than fun. Everyone we had talked to just felt like another business transaction but Melissa made it so personal from the beginning. She wanted to setup a call and asked questions to get to know us and our story. My husband and I are both in customer service and the moment we talked to her, we could tell she truly cared and we did not hesitate to book her. First, we did our engagement photos with Melissa and I was blown away! She has an amazing eye and can capture all the feels. On top of it, her personality makes the shoot so much fun! She's the perfect hype woman - full of energy and great and giving advice on how to look your best. We felt comfortable right away! We had to postpone our big wedding and had a small backyard family one. She was extremely flexible and able to do the small one also. Our families had so much fun with her! She's great at getting the crowd to move and pose. She has the best visions and her photos are just stunning! PLUS her turn around time is unbelievably awesome - SO quick! Book Melissa - you will not regret it for a second. She has the best personality and so great to communicate with. I can't wait for next year's wedding - and will be using for years to come! Thank you Melissa - you've made these moments so special for us!"

"From the very start Melissa was very responsive and easy to talk to. We scheduled a maternity shoot with her at Scripps Pier. She made us feel very comfortable and made the shoot very fun. We'll definitely be using Melissa again for any photos in the future and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a photographer."

— Shawn B.

— Chirag M.

— Emily K.

Word on the Street...

— Carolyn H.

— Amy B.

— Abigail R.

Word on the Street...

"Melissa did an incredible job with my professional headshots. She reached out ahead of time to ask for my vision, any specifications, and to discuss location and logistics. She guided me on clothing and hair decisions, and special considerations regarding lighting. Her planning and organization leading up to the shoot made me feel confident and prepared. On the day of the shoot, her energy and enthusiasm were infectious! Any nerves that I had were immediately dampened, as she encouraged and cheered me on. I like how she showed me the images throughout the shoot, building my confidence and helping to guide me in what angles worked and didn't work. My final headshot images were professional and unique. They were exactly what I was looking for. She really made my vision come to life. Such a great experience!"

— Olivia F.

— Taylor L.

— Jennifer D.

Word on the Street...

— Imani M.

— Dani K..

— Maya G.

"Melissa is fantastic!! She took our wedding photos during a covid courthouse ceremony. Melissa made everything so easy. She brought joy, energy, and professionalism. Easy communication, great to work with, and fast turnaround. She is super efficient with time, and we got so many different types of photos. We love her mix of candid and posed photos. Melissa also walked us through what to expect during a marriage hut ceremony, texted us reminders the day before the ceremony, and shared tips and advice. Hire Melissa!"

"Melissa made our shoot beyond memorable and amazing. Her creativity and ideas for building the perfect love story was unmeasurable. Such a sweet, silly woman. We walked a mile it felt like to get to the shooting site, but she assured us it was for the perfect spot and place and it really was. We were able to have three outfit changes in a short period of time (due to us running a little late) and so many moments captured. She's a miracle worker!! Here's two I'll post. Thankful to have found her services and glad to be here and recommend her to all of you."

— Harpreet T.

— Kate R.

— Nikki M.

— Silvana C.

— Von D.

— Sepiedeh P.

Word on the Street...

San Diego Engagement Photographer
Quail Ranch Wedding Photos
Cuvier Park Engagement Photos

"I cannot say enough great things about Melissa! She made our engagement day so special and the pictures she took are something I look at daily! She went above and beyond helping my fiancé pick the perfect spot to propose. Being from Oklahoma and just visiting San Diego, I found out later on that he had been in contact with her for weeks so she could give him suggestions on where to do it and went so far as to FaceTime him at different locations so he could see what it would look like. She knows her stuff and makes taking pictures so much fun and they turn out absolutely BEAUTIFUL! 
We cannot thank her enough and appreciate everything she did to make our day so special!"

"Melissa is amazing! We hired her to be the photographer for our wedding next year and recently had an engagement shoot with her. The shoot went so well! Melissa is very enthusiastic and a true professional. She provides the perfect amount of direction and captures beautiful photos. She is also got the photos back to us within two days! We are so happy that we hired her for our wedding!"

"Melissa is truly a gifted photographer! She makes magic Happen with the snap of her camera! My husband and I were in love with how our wedding pictures came out! She does not only capture the great moments of the day, she also captures wonderful memories. Melissa is such a pleasure to work with and such an awesome energy to have. She is very flexible and just rolls with the punches. We cannot praise her enough with how amazing her work is."

— Colette A.

— Selene Z.

— Cady S.

"Melissa took our family holiday photos. She did a great job of helping us find the right beach for the best background, entertaining our 1 year old to get smiles, and was super easy to work with as always. She also got our photos turned around at lightning speed. Will definitely use her again next year. We originally used Melissa for our wedding photos back in 2017. She did an amazing job, and we always get complimented on our great photos."

"One word... amazing. I learned about Melissa from our neighbor friend. They gave us a holiday card with their photos for two years and I always notice the photos on them. I finally asked who took them so I can reach out for our first family picture. As it turned out, I had two other people who used her and highly recommended her. This was our first professional family photo session and Melissa made it so comfortable and fun. I felt like I've known her for a while even though I had just met her. She just has a natural welcoming aura. She has such a high energy and a contagious laugh and smile...which made it easier for us to give her our smiles :) She handle our toddler so well and captured him smiling...yay!!! :) I always prefer more candid photos to truly capture the people and that's exactly what she did with ours. It's taken me some time picking out which photos I wanted because they were all so good. I've definitely and will continue to refer Melissa to family and friends. We can't wait to do more sessions with her. So excited to print our photos to hang in our home and include as part of our holiday cards. P.S. She really does have a great package deal. I would say even better than any you will find on Groupon. Melissa...YOU ROCK!!!"

"Melissa did an amazing job with our family/maternity photos! She was so flexible with time and location. She shot me pregnant with my husband and two little girls, 5 and 3. She was so good with them and let them play and waited for they to warm up to the camera. We're waiting for our baby to get a few more months older to do another photo shoot."

— Nikki A.

— Maria H.

— Anne B.

"We have finally found a photographer that we will use as long as she is in business! Melissa is such a catch! I asked her to do our annual family photos this year, a session which also needed to double as a maternity shoot, and my husband and I were blown away by the experience. She suggested a site which allowed her to take photos that made it look like we were in multiple locations, she helped with wardrobe decisions, she came prepared and energized for us and she was so entertaining that my three year old didn't tire of saying "cheese" over and over for two hours! Melissa turned around hundreds of photos and let me pick which out of that batch I wanted to keep as the ones I paid for in my package. She was fun and professional and we love the photos she took more than any others we have done professionally. We will be using her again, and recommending her to anyone who asks!"

"Melissa is amazing. There's no other way to put it. My maternity shoot with her was truly an experience to remember. She was very prompt with her responses and helped me decide on a location. She's sweet, fun and honest which is huge when your capturing moments and memories that you will hold dear to your heart for a lifetime. We loved it so much that we've since had 2 family shoots with her and look forward to future shoots with Melissa. So grateful that we found her. From beginning to end she is quite simply, THE BEST."

"Melissa is the sweetest with a great eye, she made my maternity photoshoot fun, energetic, and brought our love to life. My hubby and I are not cheesy photo people, but we loved our experience and best of all beautiful photos to remember my 32 week pregnant moments. She was earliy to our appointment and a pleasure to work with. It shows that she loves taking photos!"

— Shauri W. I.

— Marina M.

— Meghan D.

"What can I say but nothing short of amazing! I met Melissa through mutual friends who had hired her for their wedding. One meeting with her and the rest was history. She has an amazing personality which cascades into an awesome vibe. Started off with an engagement shoot with her and had huge plans for our wedding but when Covid hit, my wife and I were stressing if we were even going to have one. Melissa was there every step of the way to help us, answer questions and just chat. Ended up finding a new venue, had to replan an entire wedding in a month, she accommodated us and worked with us to shoot an amazing day for us. My wife and I cannot thank her enough for such an amazing job. Will definitely be hiring her for more pictures and shoots very soon! You will not be disappointed!!"

"Where do I even begin?! Melissa is beyond amazing. We have worked with Melissa multiple times. From our San Diego courthouse wedding to our maternity shoot. She is insanely talented. She makes you feel comfortable (even when you have no idea what to do) by giving great direction and a great sense of humor. We are always amazed at the moments she can capture. Melissa is extremely versatile. From weddings to commercial shoots, she can really do it all. We are always impressed with her talent, work ethic, and infectious personality. We will continue to have her document our special life moments for years to come."

"Where do I even start? Melissa is amazing! Super personable and she has great energy! She made my little family feel so comfortable during our photo shoot. She gives great direction when trying to make sure the picture looks perfect. The location she had us meet at was perfect. So many different backgrounds all within a few minutes walking. She was great with our one year old, even with him just waking up from a nap and being a little cranky. Overall great experience. I'm glad my friend referred me and I will definitely refer her to everyone."

— Christine F.

— Lauren R.

— Anthony K.

"Melissa was absolutely amazing! My two childhood best friends and myself were reuniting for the first time in 2 years and, for the first time, our husbands and kids were joining the party too. We decided we wanted to capture this joyous time together and I did some research for a photographer in Southern California. Melissa was prompt with all her communication, extremely helpful with ideas and outfits, and made me feel like I was her only client ever. She was professional and fun and somehow managed to entertain 6 adults and 2 squirrely kids for an hour and a half. And the best part: the photos look stunning! I couldn't have asked for a better experience!"

"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!!"

"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."

— Rebecca M.

— Danni I.

— Brenda V.

"Melissa is absolutely amazing!! She captured our family perfectly! We have three small children and she kept them laughing and smiling the entire time. She is fun, patient, and professional. We couldn't be happier with the way our family photos turned out!"

"So much fun! Great attitude and pictures turned out absolutely amazing!"

"Melissa did such an amazing job taking my maternity pictures! She made it fun & comfortable! Definitely pictures of a lifetime, 10/10 would recommend! Best photographer out there!!"

— Jeff C.

— Natalie C.

— Laura O.

“Hands down the best photographer out there! She’s super nice and gets super excited about shots, makes you laugh and has that creative eye. My family enjoyed her as well! Would highly recommend her and book her again for future shoots! Already told my sister to book her for her wedding next year!”

"Melissa recently took senior photos of my daughter and we could not have asked for a better experience. My daughter does not enjoy having her photo taken but Melissa was able to get her to loosen up and she ended up having so much fun. Melissa is so creative and her energy is beyond fantastic. I would definitely recommend her!"

"Melissa took our courthouse wedding photos, and did an amazing job. She went above and beyond for our photos. Got everyone to laugh and smile for the camera, and got tons of compliments from both sides of the family.  All our friends and family commented on how great she did with the photos, and interacting with everyone. She is very bubbly, personable, and energizing. She got our family members to smile, loosen up, and enjoy the photo taking process. All our friends and family commented on how great she did with the photos, and interacting with everyone.am still stunned by our photos she took. I will definitely be going back to her for more photos in the future."

— Georgia M.

— Jamie W.

— Lauren P.

San Diego Lifestyle Photographer

"Simply put - Melissa is the best. We hired her for our courthouse wedding in downtown San Diego. She did a walk through with us the week prior (super helpful). She is very responsive, arrives early, and stays late to get that perfect shot. She is full of positive energy and encouragement; she will keep you smiling throughout the entire shoot. She uploaded our photos quickly (and provided sneak peaks). I would 100% book Melissa again and recommend her to any friend. Our photos are stunning. She is A++, zero complaints, only praise."

"My magical day was beautifully captured by Melissa and I will always be thankful! Even though my wedding was set under certain COVID regulations, Melissa blessed us with her energy and captured THE most breath taking memories! Since reaching out to Melissa, she has provided the best support and was a true blessing to have by my side. She ensured there was communication to bring my dream memories to life. It was a pleasure to work with Melissa and I look forward to work with her in the future!"

"I needed some lifestyle photos for a business venture and I was beyond happy with my photos! Melissa is professional, communicative, and FUN! She creates such a relaxing energy during the shoot that gets the best shots out you. Feels good to know I have found my photographer for life! Thanks Melissa!!"

— Keith C.

— Maria G.

— Hannah R.

Melanie Morton Confidently Connected Community
San Diego Courthouse Wedding Photographer
Sunset Cliffs Elopement photographer

Melissa is a great photographer! She is very professional and has a fantastic energy. We’re so glad she could be a part of our special day!

Melissa was awesome and our photos were amazing. She knew all the best spots to photograph us and she kept it fun, while making sure we were always comfortable. Melissa communicated promptly and clearly, and was also patient and understanding. We had such a great time working with her and I would highly recommend hiring her!

I worked with Melissa a few months ago because I needed more photos for marketing my health coaching biz on Instagram. A friend of mine had referred me to her and we set up our shoot super quickly! She was so helpful during our time together and made me feel so natural and comfortable. I'm no model so I told her I needed direction and she delivered. She is also just the sweetest human ever and such a pleasure to work with :)

Our wedding plans for June 2020 were changed due to unseen circumstances of COVID. We still made the best out of our day, and got married! I found Melissa on Instagram and fell in love with her work. When we initially met her and started our session, she made us feel so comfortable as if we’ve known her for so long and as if we have been doing photoshoots- as this was our first ever photoshoot; so our experience with her was beyond what we could have imagined- she is so fun to be with!! The pictures came out amazing, her visions for every picture she took was more than we expected when we saw the final product. Thank you Melissa SO much for capturing our special day.

— Dana C.

— Melanie M.

— Tiffany C.

WEDDING photos: Bali Hai Restaurant, San Diego, CA
Lifestyle Fashion Photos Nicole Alex

No words can describe how amazing and how hard working Melissa Montoya, she made our special feel like a fairy tale. After spending months looking for a photographer, im glad we found her. If don't use her then your missing out, she's know all the perfect spots to shoot. I've never met someone who was so dedicated to there work. She made out vision come true. Thank you so much for all that you did to make our day special.

I hired Melissa for a photo shoot for my women's clothing line, and I cannot say enough about how amazing everything went! She really made my vision come to life and had great ideas for the shoot. I would definitely hire Melissa again and loved her vibe. Even though I met her just a few days earlier, I felt like I was working with a friend, and I know the model enjoyed working with her as well. She also edited the photos beautifully and got them back to me very quickly, which usually never happens!

Melissa did an amazing job with our family/maternity photos! She was so flexible with time and location. She shot me pregnant with my husband and two little girls, 5 and 3. She was so good with them and let them play and waited for they to warm up to the camera. We're waiting for our baby to get a few more months older to do another photo shoot.

— Rob V.

— Nicole Z.

— Nikki A.


Melissa has been our family photographer since I got pregnant with my first child. I now have a 3 and 4 years old and we've had her take our pictures each year ever since! She is absolutely phenomenal and makes everything in her power to create the best shot possible. I still recall her slithering on the ground at Paramount Ranch to get the best light for our pictures. Telling us jokes and making us laugh to get that natural smile on the shoots. I was very hesitant to book a photo shoot the first time since my husband highly dislikes pictures, but somehow, she made him laugh and get beautiful shots that are still hanging in our walls. Add to that 2 boys with LOTS of energy and the same camera aversion as their dad, but once again, she figures out a way to manage the situation and get one of a kind pictures. Not only is she amazing at what she does, but she brings the best energy and smile to every photo shoot , she's super professional, makes you feel at ease even in front of a camera and creates beautiful memories that you'll cherish forever. Thank you Meli!! You truly are one of a kind!

Melissa rocks! Look no further! After using Melissa for photos of my husband and I at last years Marine Corps Ball, I knew I wanted to use her again to do some boudoir photos. She had done such a beautiful job with those and I felt more comfortable with the idea of using a photographer I had worked with previously. Of course I was still nervous to not only be photographed but to be practically naked while doing it. Well, let me tell you, everything that I was nervous about went away once we started shooting. Melissa was super professional (but not cold by any means) and so fun to work with. She did everything I asked of her, from poses to working with the lighting and editing. She was honest, like I asked her to be, and she worked with me to make sure my poses were spot on. I don't think I could've had a better experience, honestly! And I am picky as all get out, so that's saying something (;

Melissa took our engagement pictures and I love them. She was fun, energetic and VERY helpful since day one. She responds right away and she is very passionate on what she does. She is highly organized and is 100% invested in her clients's needs. I'm so excited to have her take my wedding photos.

— Yaz O.

— T.W.

— Ximena T.

MATERNITY and FAMILY photos: Scripps Beach Pier
San Diego Beach Wedding

"My husband and I live in Chicago and ended up turning our last minute vacation to San Diego into an elopement. We weren't exactly sure where to begin, but thankfully the universe brought us to Melissa and with her help we were able to find the most breathtakingly gorgeous spot to get married on a beach in La Jolla. Prior to the elopement, Melissa even went so far as to drive around to multiple locations and FaceTime us to make sure we found the exact spot we were envisioning. Our "elopement" ended up turning into a small destination wedding with 20 guests on the beach. Melissa directed our friends and family to ensure the ceremony was seamless and she got the best possible shots. After we said our I do's, my husband Jeff and I hopped in Melissa's car and did a couples shoot for an hour. This was definitely a highlight of our day. Melissa's energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Jeff and I had such a blast. Melissa would periodically pull the car over whenever her expert eye caught a glimpse of a potential spot for our next picture, and as a result we have hundreds of magazine-worthy photographs. Just when we thought we couldn't love Melissa any more, a gallery of stunning photos were edited and waiting for us when we woke up the following morning. We are trying to figure out how to get Melissa to come to Chicago to shoot our post-wedding cocktail reception this summer- she's that good! Melissa is truly a gem of a human and photographer!"

"Melissa is awesome! She shot our maternity shoot for us in 2019. Not only did she make myself, my husband, and our 4 year old all feel EXTREMELY comfortable and relaxed, but she was so great at giving us task direction and letting us play around with some of the shots. Her demeanor was professional yet playful and kind. She was open-minded to my requests regarding location and outfit changes. Her pricing was also extremely reasonable compared to similar style photographers in the area. She is so down to earth, and the photo turn around time was very quick. We still receive compliments on these photos to this day. I am so happy we found her to capture one of the most precious times in our lives. We will forever cherish these photos! Thank you Melissa for a wonderful experience. We look forward to hopefully working with you again in the future."

"We did our engagement photo session with Melissa in January, and we are so happy we chose her as our photographer! She is super quick to respond to questions, very helpful and informative, and so talented at what she does! She even created a detailed wedding day timeline for us to make sure everything runs smoothly. Her photos are beautiful and she makes the whole process so much fun. We felt totally comfortable being in front of the camera with her! She has such a fun, creative, and silly personality that makes it that much more enjoyable getting to work with her. And the pictures came out beautiful!! She has a great eye for capturing artistic shots. I can't wait for Melissa to do our wedding pictures this summer! I would highly recommend her!"

— Molly W.

— Caity P.

— Abby B.

Samantha Bove Branding Coach
ENGAGEMENT photos: Balboa Park, Old Town, La Jolla Cove

"Our Engagement Photoshoot with Melissa was fantastic. She was really helpful in helping us choose which locations to shoot at and the best time of day to do it. When we met Melissa, she immediately made us feel comfortable and gave some great tips on how to take the perfect photo. The shoot was so much fun that my fiance and I left with big smiles and couldn't wait to see how they turned out. Within a couple of days, Melissa had sent us the full, edited album, and the pictures were all so fantastic that we decided to get the whole thing for only a little bit more money. It was SO worth it! We love the photos and have amazing memories of that day and our engagement to live on forever. We couldn't recommend her enough!"

"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 !"

"If you’re looking for a creative photographer with great energy and overall good people skills who will make your wedding party and guests feel at home while she captures the important moments, I highly recommend Melissa. She really gets to know you and customizes the plan to ensure that the photos that she takes truly represent the couple.For our wedding Melissa happily ran around different piers and sand to capture incredible pictures as we (the bride and groom) set off in a sailing boat after the wedding. Her attention to detail was critical in order to ensure she captured the sunset right when we kissed with all the flags on the sailboat that spelled our last name flying in the right direction. We will truly treasure all the amazing moments she captured."

— Evelyn H.

— Samantha B.

— Gisele B.

FAMILY photos: Balboa Park

"Melissa was amazing from beginning to end! She took pictures of my wedding and she had the best personality and sense of humor, she was able to bring out the best of us on my special day!"

Where do I start besides my wedding would not have been the same without Melissa. My whole family, and husband fell in love with her. I saw her pictures and could not believe her exquisite use of lighting (brides you know what I mean). You won't go wrong with her. Day of our wedding--she put our minds at ease. She took charge, made us laugh and comfortable during photos, and made it all a breeze. A true professional. Can't believe we found her. You'll be lucky if she's not already booked on your day.

"She did an amazing job. I had 2 little kids running everywhere and she was so patient and the pictures came out incredible. She did magic with the camera. Thank you."

— Fabiola C.

— Glenda N.

— Jen L.


"We asked Melissa to photograph our family of three for Christmas cards. I was very impressed with her capabilities to capture our high energy 2 year old and her very tired parents (my husband and I). Melissa was able to make our family look "picture perfect ". I love the way our photos turned out and Melissa's style of photography. I also appreciate the quick turn around! We were in a time crunch and she was able to get us edited photos the very next day! We look forward to having Melissa take our photos every year."

"We had such a great experience doing the photo session with Melissa, she had wonderful ideas, angles, backgrounds. All the photos turned out so beautiful. I highly recommend using Melissa!!"

"Choosing a photographer for your wedding can be overwhelming! We are so happy we chose Melissa. Melissa goes above and beyond to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. My husband normally isn’t a fan of pictures and can look awkward. Melissa talked us through the whole process. She told us exactly what to do. Melissa is so creative with her backdrops. She makes something so simple look glamorous and beautiful. Melissa is a true professional. She takes her work seriously and she is amazing at what she does. We were shocked at how fast and promptly we received our photos. We are so happy with our wedding photos and would definitely book Melissa again!

— Lauren K.

— Priscilla C.

— Lauren R.

WEDDING photos: San Diego Courthouse + Star of India
San Diego Wedding Photographer

"Melissa is amazing and you’d be hard pressed to find another person more enjoyable to work with. 10/10 would recommend!

My wife and I browsed through a LOT of various wedding photographers and reached out to many. Style is obviously subjective, so we knew we had to reach out to only those who’s work resonated with us. When we came across Melissa’s work, it stood out, and we honestly thought that she wouldn’t be within our budget. Throwing a wedding with 300 guests, budget was strong concern. I figured it can never hurt to at least make contact. What immediately stood out was her responsiveness, understanding, and willingness to work with us. I learned how massive the wedding industry is, so it was refreshing to find vendors who made it more personal and less “big business”. She worked closely with us, getting to know us, our style, and what we were comfortable with. She took us through location scouting and walk throughs of the church and reception venue. She worked with us to create shot lists and timelines to ensure we stayed on schedule. She worked closely with our coordinator as well. Her personality and energy is infectious, and it stood out on the day of. She made us feel comfortable during our formal portrait shots, and made what could easily become a tiresome, repetitive exercise, really fun. The most stressful point of our wedding was taking all the family portraits (remember I mentioned a guest count of 300). She remained collected and kept the same energy working under so much pressure and with so many people running around. She goes above and beyond. She gave us sample edits the next day, and her turnaround on the final edits was much faster than we expected. Melissa is a pleasure to work with...she’s organized, professional, personable, and entertaining...of course, this is all on top of the fact that she’s incredibly talented photographer. comfortable during our formal portrait shots, and made what could easily because a tiresome, repetitive exercise, really fun. The most stressful point of our wedding was taking all the family portraits (remember I mentioned a guest count of 300). She remained collected and kept the same energy working under so much pressure and with so many people running around. She goes above and beyond. She gave us sample edits the next day, and her turnaround on the final edits was much faster than we expected. Melissa is a pleasure to work with...she’s organized, professional, personable, and entertaining...of course, this is all on top of the fact that she’s incredibly talented photographer."

"Melissa is a very talented photographer and was a great addition to our wedding day. She started by walking us through what the day would be like beforehand and showing us her favorite places to shoot. On the day she was so supportive, made us feel really comfortable, and even a little glamorous! Her style and professionalism mixed with her warm personality made all the difference to us. Best of all she delivered quality photographs in a very timely manner. I highly recommend her, especially if you decide to have your ceremony at the San Diego County Admin building Downtown."

"Melissa took our photos for our new office along with the headshots in La Jolla. Our previous photoshoot with a different photographer didn't go well at all. We chose Melissa to retake them, she showed up with full of energy and she made everyone feel very comfortable. She made it fun and enjoyable. Our experience turned out great. Melissa is a true artist and her photos turn out amazing. We can't wait to use her for our Temecula office."

— Brittany L.

— Megan D.

— Eddie F.

WEDDING photos: San Diego Courthouse Wedding
FAMILY photos: Scripps Beach + Woods
WEDDING photos: Pacific Edge Hotel, Laguna Beach

"Melissa's style was exactly what I was looking for in wedding photos. Even though we just took pictures at the courthouse, she really captured the moment for us and made it feel special. She's super fun and friendly and knows exactly how to make the pictures unique. I'm not one that usually likes being in pictures but her direction and energy made it so much easier and more comfortable for me. I'll definitely be coming back to her for any future projects/events!"

"We had a great experience doing family photos with Melissa! I have two very wild boys ages 2 and 4 that are not very good listeners, she was very patient and engaging! Every time I was getting frustrated with my kids and wanted to give up Melissa cheered us on and kept us going! "

"Look no further- just book Melissa to shoot your special event photos. She is incredible. We were blown away with the engagement photos that she took of my husband and I and knew we had hit the jackpot finding her. She is so professional- she reached out months before the wedding to set up a date to meet at the venues to scope out locations for potential shots. I didn't expect this and was so impressed that she took the time to walk through everything with us. Punctual- she was early for everything! She is so on top of things and organized and what a relief that we never had to worry about her being there on time or wonder where she was. She is energetic and fun! Everyone at our wedding adored her! I don't consider myself very photogenic or comfortable in front of the camera but Melissa has a way of making the entire shoot so much fun and we actually relaxed and had fun with it. She is creative! Melissa had so many ideas and different setups that we have such an amazing variety of photos. The icing on the cake was the turnaround time- our wedding was on a Saturday evening and by Monday she had sent us a preview of our photos because of course we were dying to see them. By Wednesday we had all of our wedding photos, edited and ready to go. The best decision we made after deciding to get married was to hire Melissa, she made our day so much more fun and all of the photos are incredible. "

— Stacey B.

— Spencer M.

— Sara M.

WEDDING photos: San Diego County Administration Building
WEDDING photos: San Diego County Courthouse

"We had a great experience with Melissa for our small wedding ceremony. Her energetic pace covered a tremendous amount of ground in a short period and was flexible with trying new shots as they appeared. My husband and I felt continually encouraged and comfortable in front of the lens, and thank her so much for making it such an enjoyable experience. She was quick to respond in getting booked and turn around our images, thank you so much! "

"We picked Melissa to be our photographer for our civil ceremony and we could not be happier with our decision! She was extremely easy to talk to and very responsive via both text and email. Was a little nervous at first with picking a photographer I had never met before from the internet but upon meeting her for the walk-through my fears were immediately alleviated. Melissa is super energetic (she was climbing on top of rails and getting down on the ground to get the shot), she is creative, detail oriented and always on time (even though we weren't. hehe, sorry Melissa! ). On the day of she not only acted as our photographer but also as our guide though the entire courthouse wedding process. She told us what to expect, where we needed to go and also kept us on track.
We had never had professional photos done and she put us right at ease with her fun and hilarious personality. We got the photos back much faster than I anticipated and they all looked AMAZING. We looked way less awkward than I thought we would look thanks to her direction! She has a great eye and was able to make use of the courthouse and the surrounding area and turn them into beautiful backdrops for our pictures. I love love love our photos and so glad we chose Melissa to document our special day!"

"Melissa is simply Amazing! I loved her work!! Our wedding pictures are simply beautiful and unforgettable all thanks to Melissa! She went over and beyond to get the most perfect pictures ever! Very professional and the sweetest ever! When someone loves there career/profession, it shows!! Melissa was soo excited and enthusiastic to be our photographer we loved it! Hands down the best Photographer Ever! We will definitely keep in touch for future needs. "

— Laura M.

— Connie H.

— Tonia Y.

WEDDING PROPOSAL photos: La Jolla Cove
San Diego Maternity Photographer Scripps Beach

"Melissa was kind enough to find the perfect location and face time us while she was there since we were across the country. She was able to help us devise a plan to have the perfect surprise proposal! I would recommend Melissa to anyone who wants to have a perfect proposal with even more perfect pictures to top it off! She really went above and beyond and was able to make our moment the center of attention for our special day. "

"Melissa did beautiful pictures for my mothers wedding and I knew exactly who I wanted for my maternity shoot as I neared the end of my pregnancy. She makes you comfortable, she directs you in poses for what Is most flattering! She's active and will move into her many position to get the best shot! I highly recommend Melissa Montoya photography for any special occasion! We will be hiring her for many years to come! "

"Melissa is a very talented photographer that has the gifting of making the photoshoot become a fun and exciting event. Her style of working is very uniqe and made me feel extremely comfortable and the result was far beyond my expectations. If you are looking for a photographer that can bring out a natural and relax look Melissa is the choice. I recommend Melissa Montoya highly."

— Daniel M.

— Alexa Scott

— Rohan P.

FAMILY photos: Toddler Cousins, Mission Beach
LIFESTYLE photos: Jessa Black X Livalto X SLIMPEN
Big Bear Wedding Photographer Gold Manor Mountain

"Absolutely Amazing! She is so professional and knows what she is doing. Engagement shoot, wedding day were both excellent! i cannot recommend her enough to everyone. you will not be disappointed."

"We met Melissa at the San Diego Bridal Bazaar 2019. She was very engaging to talk with and we had no doubt she would be perfect for us. We wanted to confirm this by having a full interview with no other distractions. We met for coffee and began to go into everything we were imagining for our wedding. Melissa was able to walk us through the process of how she would operate and even created the timeline for our day right there. took into account everything from the ceremony, family photos, dancing, cake cutting, etc. we had the whole plan laid out for us to start working off of. this was amazing! Our engagement photo shoot is where we fell in love with her. not knowing what to expect we asked for advice on clothing and she help us create outfits that fit the locations we requested. she is a woman who has a lot of energy and brought the very best out of us and the photos reflected it. Seeing the final product and having the experience with her, my wife had absolute relief and appreciation that she was going there on our wedding day. We were both so nervous and taking photos was almost something you don't want as your mind is racing through so many items. Melissa was able to get us focused and remember that we are doing this for each other and memories for our future selves. Having scouted the area prior to the wedding day, she had a well thought out plan on when and where to do our photos. She worked so well with our videographer and created such a wonderful environment of calmness and beauty for us. I couldn't believe how incredible the pictures came out until we saw them. my wife had tears in her eyes seeing one with her and her mother, father, and sister. the sunset photos were an amazing idea and truly were magical. A friendship was formed and one that will certainly last. after all, just because the wedding is over doesn't mean the adventure is. Expectancy photos, baby photos, family portraits will be in the future. And we have no doubt she will help be a part of those moments in our lives as well."

"Big time thank you to Melissa for capturing beautiful beach-side photos of my mother-in-law and father-in-law with all 6 of their grandchildren! It is no easy feat to get 6 kids (ages 2 yrs-10 yrs) all together let alone looking and happy and then you throw in sun, wind, water, and sand! Melissa got so many gorgeous shots that we will cherish forever and had our gallery ready to view in 1 day!! Unheard of! Will continue to use Melissa as our family photographer, she is so easy to work with and such a great eye for the light. "

"Melissa was amazing! She was able to direct and be creative throughout the shoot. I am not a model and just need photos for social and my website and she really as able to get a large variety in just an hour and a half. The lighting was beautiful, and the editing brought it to the next level.

— Jessa B.

— Colleen S.

— Daniela + Alex T.

San Diego Maternity Photographer La Jolla Cove
MATERNITY + FAMILY photos: Scripps Rocks
WEDDING photos: Leoness Cellars, Temecula

"Working with Melissa for our maternity photos was fun and easy, and we absolutely love our photos! She was attentive and helpful from the beginning, offering lots of ideas for locations and even helping pick my outfit! Her energy and enthusiasm while taking our photos was infectious. We had a blast during our shoot and felt like we could be ourselves. She helped me feel beautiful, even with a growing belly. At the end of our shoot, Melissa was covered in dust, dirt, and sand from making sure she got all the right shots/ angles. We are so thankful we booked Melissa and would recommend her to anyone! "

"Melissa was so amazing to work with for our wedding photos. She had such a passion for her craft. She is a truly gifted photographer. I warned her in advance that I am not a photogenic person at all so was nervous about my pictures turning out. Of all days I wanted my pictures to be beautiful for my wedding. Boy did she deliver. Not only was she a joy to work with but she made me feel so comfortable, special and even beautiful. I would highly recommend working with Melissa. She will make you feel so special on your special day and beautiful when you need it most. Thanks again Melissa! "

"Melissa Montoya is the best maternity photographer in San Diego! Not just her photography but also her knowledge of San Diego’s best photo spots is amazing. We were lucky to have found her. Sharing one of the many photos she clicked for my wife. Thank you again Melissa! I give her a score of 10/10."

— Harjinder K.

— Shari S.

— Leigh S.

San Diego Maternity Photographer La Jolla
ENGAGEMENT photos: Scripps Beach + Woods
LIFESTYLE photos: Marlboro Woman, Valley of Fire, Nevada

"I was super nervous because I've never done a photo shoot before, but Melissa set me right at ease from the very beginning. She is professional but so personable, and makes the shoot just fly by. The pictures turned out beautifully too, and we had them within 24 hours! We can't wait to shoot with her again. Thank you!!"

"Our experience with Melissa felt personal, professional and thoughtful. We didn’t know how to pose for the camera or what positions would look best, but Melissa guided us through the whole experience and the outcome was phenomenal! Professional, timely and hard working. Melissa went above and beyond to satisfy our needs! We loved our experience with Melissa. Melissa is a Rock Star! Plain and simple. She picked the location, guided our awkward selves through the whole experience and delivered the photos insanely quick. It couldn't have gone more smoothly. Thank you Melissa!!"

"I adore our engagement photos!! Melissa has been an amazing photographer. She arrived bursting with energy, ready, prepared, professional and she literarly got the best out of us. There is no way in the world any other photographer would make us feel so good and relaxed and take these amazing pictures. She gave great directions such as how to turn, where to look and tips for great poses. She was very creative with the background so our photos looks like we took a trip around the world!

I can hardly pick my favorite one. Thanks to Melissa we have these beautiful engagement photos to look back at with a smile remembering what a great time we had taking them."

"This review is long over due. My first session with Melissa was about a year and a half ago and I have been re-booking her AND recommending her ever since. She is a reliable, professional artist with a keen eye for extraordinary backdrops and lighting. I have worked with her in grand opening events, lifestyle shoots and jewelry look books. I will be hiring her again for a wedding and engagement shoot later this year. Not only has she captured unforgettable memories but her energy is a joy to be by. Definitely an experienced photographer and gives great feedback and direction. I love this woman!" 

— Verina O.

— Daniela P.

— Kelli + George H.

ENGAGEMENT photos: La Jolla Cove
San Diego Wedding Photographer Bali Hai

"Melissa did a series of personal photos for my husband and I and did an amazing job. She has a knack for selecting the right pose, lighting and backdrop to successfully make us look our best. I absolutely recommend her!"

"Melissa was fantastic! She was quick to respond to emails and extremely flexible with our schedule.
The day of our shoot she had already scoped out different places for our photos and made us feel relaxed and comfortable. She took so many incredible photos and was really fun to spend a few hours with!
Additionally, the turn around time for our photos was so quick which was awesome as we were eager to see the results.
We were blown away with the photos she sent us, honestly we can't get over how many of the photos we absolutely love. We can't wait to have her shoot our wedding!!!!"

"Melissa was great! She is very friendly and makes the situation light and easy. My fiance and I aren't the most comfortable in front of the camera but Melissa was really good about giving directions and the pictures came out great. All the pictures are so good and natural we are so excited for her to shoot our wedding as well!"

"Melissa was awesome. She was punctual, energetic, professional and easy to work with. My entire family loved her personality."

— Laura F.

— Mary P.

— Sara + Eric M.

San Diego Headshot Photographer Coronado
FAMILY photos: Isabel Rafferty, Forbes Magazine
Senior Portrait Photographer Balboa Park

"I absolutely LOVE the pictures that Melissa took for our family. She is so easy to work with and responsable. I have worked with many photographers in the past and always struggled in finding the perfect picture of our family. I was so happy when I received the pictures from Melissa there were so many nice pictures to choose from. I look forward to work with Melissa for many years to come. "

"Did my senior portraits with Mel in Balboa Park and now having a hard time choosing just one for my yearbook. If your looking for for quality photography with no distractions- You're in the right place! :) "

"Melissa was so awesome! She made me feel so comfortable and coached me through the session. Im not very photogenic, but she made me look like a pro! The photos came out AMAZING and the turn around was super fast! I HIGHLY recommend Melissa! The boring stuff: Her communication before and after the shoot was flawless, she showed up on time, ready to go. We had a great time, thanks Melissa!"

— Kamila D.

— Ken M.

— Isabella R.