Unusual. Quirky. Unexpected. Non-traditional. Spontaneous. Real. Raw. Honest. As Is. Vulnerable. Truthful. Pure. Unpredictable. Authentic.
Beautiful Sorta finds magic in the mundane and strives to memorialize each perfectly imperfect moment—every deliciously true slice of life.
Please enjoy a few of my favorite moments.
All brought to you by unique humans willing to take each precious second as it comes.
THE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES I CHERISH MOST
aren’t the days spent at the sears photo studio in an itchy dress while my father pleaded with my sister and I to smile for the camera. They are the ones of my mother making us blueberry pancakes in the kitchen while singing her favorite Beatles tunes. My sister getting into a can of navy blue shoe polish as a toddler. (Picture that!) My father, in his favorite rocking recliner, listening to music he'd chronicled over the years on reel to reel tape decks.
These pictures are vivid in my mind, but how wonderful would it be if someone were there to capture them forever?
It would be sorta beautiful.
SINCE BEAUTIFUL SORTA IS ABOUT BEING AS REAL AS POSSIBLE, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE FAMILY DOCUMENTARY STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY BEFORE YOU BOOK.
IT IS NOT MY GOAL TO CHANGE OR MANIPULATE SHOTS TO ALTER THEIR TRUE STATE AT THE TIME OF CAPTURE.
Yes, this means dirty dishes and dirtier children. But as I’m sure you’ve already seen and read — these truthful moments give birth to some truly amazing shots.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR FORMAL FAMILY SHOTS,
like the look of everyone wearing coordinated colors, and consider yourself a perfectionist—documentary style may not be for you. Besides a few formals when you ask for them, my photos are never posed, and I do not style shots or use props. I always instruct my clients to wear their favorite pieces, no matter what. You’re all individuals and that should be celebrated. Being comfortable and being yourselves is key for a great shoot day. So if your daughter wants to wear her favorite unicorn tiara—Oh please let her do as her highness pleases.
I AM NOT “THE INVISIBLE PHOTOGRAPHER”
While I like to be as unobtrusive as possible, it’s important for us to chat, get to know one another, and get comfortable during our time together. This means possibly eating breakfast with all of you, sitting next to the tub during bath time, rolling around on the floor with the kids and the pets—basically immersing myself in your "normal" and capturing what I find to be truly magical about it.
I WILL ALSO SHOW UP VERY COMFORTABLE
As you will soon find out, I will get into some very awkward positions to capture the unique angles of your life. I’ve developed an affinity for sweatpants as well as an amazing sense of balance from climbing on all sorts of furniture. (Don't worry. I take my shoes off.)
YOU WILL GET AN AMPLE AMOUNT OF PHOTOGRAPHS
Family Documentary Photography isn’t about picking proofs, paying extra for selections, or watermarked photos. However many shots it takes to tell your story is what I want to give you, and what you'll get. And typically it’s more than the approximate amount—I promise.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE KIDS TO BE A FAMILY
This style of photography works for everyone. I'd love to shoot a day in the life for: Your grandparets, siblings, couples, singles, fur parents, you name it. Just ask.
SHHH... I THINK I HEARD MY NAME.
Melissa is a fantastic photographer with a great eye for the details. She captured brilliantly a day in the life of my family this year, and we were so happy with the results we've booked another shoot with her. We are very satisfied with the quality and the attention Melissa gave us both during the shoot and after. She's our go to for capturing these priceless moments. ---Carol V, Park Slope, NY
I don’t even know where to begin. Melissa's photos are breathtaking and truly capture the moment! I wish she could just follow us around every weekend and take pics of our family as her photos are truly keepsakes. I cannot wait until next time she shoots for us.“ ---Aimee S. Jersey City
I was looking for a photographer to document my daughter's first birthday party in addition to some family photos before the celebration. I found Melissa's glowing review through the Park Slope Parents community and could not be more happy with my decision. Melissa showed up early and jumped right in to capturing the special day. We felt very comfortable and at ease... and the photos show us in our natural state, but elevated. We got a ton of great photos soon after the party and it was quite hard to choose which was our favorite. Would definitely recommend Melissa to capture you in your element or on a special occasion. ---Renee B. Brooklyn
Melissa Jean is amazing. I reached out to her back in January in hopes to work with her on a personal photo project. The result exceeded my expectations. She is a true professional - trustworthy, on-time, very personable and extremely pleasant to work with. If you are looking for a photographer you can trust with amazing results—it's Melissa. ---Anna L. NYC
Everyday Life - *Updated rates for 2022-2023
A day in the life* / 1500
My most immersive package. I become part of your family for the day, documenting your life—morning through evening.
A full day, up to 8 hours documented
250+ moments via downloadable, sharable gallery
Highlights set to music
40% off all print orders
Optional 8x8 custom designed hardcover album (+$100)
*I only shoot 1 full day in the life per month so I can dedicate ample time for my edit/selection process and deliver in a timely manner.
Good Morning Beautiful / 1100
A half day, up to 6 hours starting in the morning
200+ moments via downloadable, sharable gallery
30% off all print orders
A short story / 850
4 hours any time
150+ moments via downloadable, sharable gallery
25% off all print orders
A tiny tale / 650
2 hours any time
Approximately 100 moments via downloadable, sharable gallery
I am also pleased to shoot life events when my documentary schedule allows, such as :
If shooting an event, 30 minutes will be reserved for formal shots.
Remainder of booked time dedicated to documentary style photography.
- Fee for your unique event may be priced differently from my day-in-the-life offerings. Please inquire.
- Shoots of any kind however start at a base rate of $600.
- Additional Travel fees may apply
I am also pleased to document "Birth-Days". The very first day your child comes into the world. It takes an open mind, some planning, and 24/7 availability, but should we agree to document that eventful day or night, and the stars align, you will have a collection of captured moments unlike no other.
Please inquire for details.