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Summer is my favorite! I love the heat, I love the sun, I love love love that gorgeous summer light. Sandstone is such a gorgeous location for those who love open fields and big trees, it’s the perfect spot for a summer engagement session! Carly & Josh were so, so sweet together, the camera just loved them!

Liked what you saw?! Then you’ll love Kendall & CJ’s session or Amanda & Richard’s session!

Melissa Sue Photography is a Colorado and Destination wedding photographer who specializes in wedding and engagement photography. Melissa is based in Colorado, but travels worldwide, capturing local and destination weddings all over.

To learn more about me, my photography, and how I can best serve you on your wedding day click here or send me an email to set up a consultation.

I can’t wait to hear from you!


Why I Became a Wedding Photographer : Part 3

Let’s Learn!

Read Part 1: The Beginning
Read Part 2: When it all Clicked for Me

So here I was, 20 years old and a two time college drop out, completely lost on how to make my new-found passion a career. That summer I photographed my very first wedding. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, I was using my dad’s camera, since I didn’t even have one yet. I played around with some truly terrible editing techniques to try to get my photos looking better (what was I thinking?!) since I didn’t know how to get those effects, like a blurry background in camera. So instead I just blurred the whole photo. Lovely.

My parents bought me my first DSLR, a little Canon Rebel T3 (that I still have) and a few basic lenses for Christmas that year. Thanks mom and dad! I started shooting all the time, but was never very happy with the results. I knew what I wanted my photos to look like, but I still didn’t know how to get them there.

I took to the internet to learn more. Finally I found an online/at home photography course so I could start learning. I begged my mom and dad to loan me the $900 for the course, which they so kindly gave me. My parents were the biggest reason that I was able to start my photography career. Thanks again, mom and dad!

I was so excited when my  course materials arrived. I drove right in, pouring through my workbooks and videos and soaking up as much as I could. It helped, for sure. I learned some basics about photography that I really needed to know. But I found myself wanting more than what these courses could give me. They were a little outdated, with many, many references to film and trends that were long since retired. I grew more and more frustrated that these courses weren’t giving me what I needed.

nothing says true love like posing in front of traffic, right?

So now what? Where do I go from here? I know I needed to learn, but I didn’t know where to get the knowledge. I wasted a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and wondering why I wasn’t just all of a sudden amazing at photography. I spent a lot of time on the internet looking up local photographers. I reached out to a few who offered mentoring, but I couldn’t afford their rates. I spent more time feeling sorry for myself. I was real productive during this time.

Finally, when I was 22 I stumbled upon Corrie Kraft Photography and was hooked. She was amazing! Her photographs were stunning, and spoke to me on so many levels. This was what I wanted to be, but didn’t know how to get there. I took a HUGE step out of my comfort zone and sent her a message, asking if I could buy her coffee and pick her brain. I waited so so nervously, terrified of no answer, or even worse, getting a “no way, you’re crazy” response. Well, Corrie did neither of those things. She responded with an excited “of course!” and we got to setting up a date!

Since wedding season was just starting for Corrie, finding a time to meet was hard and we weren’t able to connect right away. Shortly after though, she posted that she was hiring an intern and I applied immediately. After a filling out a few questionnaires and waiting on pins and needles, I got the email that she had chosen me! Ahhh!! I cried when I got that email, I was so happy. Finally! After 2 years of not getting anywhere, finally, I was getting somewhere!

Stay tuned for the next chapter!


Why I Became a Wedding Photographer : Part 2

When it Clicked for Me

Read Part 1: The Beginning

In 2009 I took a vacation with my parents and sister to Florida. We spent a week at Disney World (best week ever). My dad had always been into photography. He had put the camera down while raising 4 kids, but now that his youngest (me) was in college, he had time to enjoy his hobby again. He brought his camera with him everywhere we went that trip. (PS he’s also an amazing landscape photographer, you can check out some of his work here.)

My dad and I in Florida.

We were spending the day at the Animal Kingdom when my life changed forever. It might sound overly dramatic, but this moment for me was monumental. We were watching some monkey’s swinging around in their exhibit, with my dad snapping away. I asked him if I could try taking a few photos on his camera. I’d always liked photography, I took a photography course in high school that I’d loved, and I always had my point and shoot on me, but I’d never used a “big camera” before. Pretty sure that’s the technical name for them.

I remember very clearly bringing my eye to the viewfinder, lining up my shot, waiting for just the right moment, and squeezing the shutter.

This is a different, unrelated monkey.

I pulled the camera down to check out my work. It was good! I took a good photo! I showed my dad, and saw the look of approval on his face. He thought it was a good photo too!

That’s when it all clicked for me.

Get it?! ahhh sorry, I just had to!

But seriously, that was the moment that I decided I would pursue photography. And while I had never considered being a photographer before, after that moment, it made perfect sense. I’d always enjoyed taking photos. I’d always believed in the importance of taking photos to preserve memories that would otherwise fade. I was almost surprised at myself that I hadn’t thought of it sooner. It was like it was right in front of my face the whole time, but I’d never seen it until now.

When I got home I called my school and switched my major to photography. I was excited to start learning more about taking photos riiiiiiiight up until the moment that I met with the counselor and she showed me the required classes for a photography major. In 4 years of schooling I would take six, just six, photography classes. I read though that list almost in disbelief. Sculpture, drawing, painting, graphic design, what?? There were more general art classes listed than photography classes. My heart sank, but I registered for classes anyway.

I made it through one semester of a drawing class (that I actually enjoyed) and a sculpture class (which I totally bombed, because guess what, I’m not a sculptor) and not one single photography class before I said screw this. I think those were my exact words. I didn’t so much care about having a degree in photography as I did just wanting to learn about photography. I figured there had to be a better way (and omg there are a million better ways).

So I dropped out of college for the second time. How’s that for life accomplishments?!

Read Part 3: Let’s Learn! here

  • sheena - I’m happy to hear you found your calling as a wedding photographer! I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun. Best of luck to you!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Slaughter - This is such a sweet story of the road to you becoming a wedding photographer! Can’t wait to see the rest!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Kingsbury - I can totally relate to this! I have my BFA in Photography and Video and I wasted SO much time on pottery, drawing, and sculpture classes that I was terrible at and will never use. I agree that you don’t need to go to college to be a photographer if you really put your all into growing yourself.ReplyCancel

  • Larissa - Such a great story! I just know that you will find fulfillment in being a kick butt wedding photographer!!ReplyCancel

  • Amelia Protiva - This is awesome! I love how photography was a sudden “ah ha!” moment for you. I can’t wait to hear more of your story and how you got into weddings specifically.ReplyCancel

  • Angela Damico - You can learn just as much on your own in photography as you can in school! You’ll be an awesome wedding photographer!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - I love learning how you found your way to wedding photography! (And right?! I had the same issue with so many unnecessary classes. I mean, I love sculpting and pottery…but those aren’t really applicable to our chosen careers.)ReplyCancel

  • EJ - Good luck in your next adventure as a wedding photographer!ReplyCancel

  • Coryn - Way to take the leap and follow you passion to be a wedding photographer. Good luck!👍ReplyCancel

  • Leah - Sounds like you were born to be a wedding photographer! Love hearing stories of how skillful traditions are passed down through families!ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa Bouma - i loved reading this! what a fun journey into becoming a wedding photographer!ReplyCancel

  • Savannah - What a cool story, we can thank those monkeys for you becoming a wedding photographer!!!! 😀ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - I’m loving your story! Very inspirational! Can’t wait to hear more!ReplyCancel

  • Mercedes - Fun story of how you got started! And all because of a monkey :)ReplyCancel