Melissa Waller Photography – Fredericksburg VA Senior Photographer » Weddings, High School Seniors & Families

Melissa Waller Photography – Fredericksburg VA Senior Photographer bio picture
  • Welcome

    Thank you so much for stopping by my little piece of the world wide web. It is here that you will find my recent work, personal posts about my family, dogs and maybe a few of my favorite recipes. Grab a cup of coffee and stay for a while. It makes you happy that you are here.

    My favorite things:
    My heavenly father, family, blackberry ice cream, sour patch kids, coffee, and anything chocolate.

Bethany | Contemporary Dance Session [Fredericksburg, VA Photographer]

I have been dying to do a dance themed photo shoot for months now, so I put out a model call on Instagram. If you aren’t following me on Instagram – it is the “it” place to see all of my current work. You can find me here. I originally had in my mind a ballerina, but when I got Bethany’s request to the model call and scrolled through her images, I knew she would be perfect. I loved her contemporary style of dance and felt it would be a great combination to the urban location I had selected. Bethany is a true beauty inside and out. She is sweet, talented, smart and an all around beautiful human being. I couldn’t be happier with the images we got and I can’t wait to show her the final edited images. Until then, here are a few of my favorites from my time with Bethany.

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Morgan – Sweet 16 | Fredericksburg Senior Photographer

We have been planning this photoshoot for a couple of months now and I am jumping up and down excited about how these photos turned out. My baby girl will be 16 in just a few days and we wanted to do a themed photoshoot to celebrate this milestone. Our sweet friend Alexa made this beautiful tulle skirt for the shoot and I am in love! Kristen from GOGO Gorgeous did Morgan’s hair and makeup and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Morgan’s friends Maddie & Giselle accompanied us and rocked the reflector for me while tweeting behind the scenes shots. All around, we had a fantastic day and I am super proud to show you the results and my favorites from yesterday.

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Its such a blessing to have wonderful friends!
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2015 Senior Rep Shoot | Fredericksburg Senior Photographer

I am so excited to post these photos. This was my first year doing a senior rep shoot and I had so much fun. While we didn’t have a distinct theme, it was more about all of my reps getting together to meet each other and me while getting some combined photos and individual photos. We met up at a local Fredericksburg park where we just chatted and I got to see how amazing they all are. I couldn’t be more proud of the team I have this year and I know they are going to ROCK their individual senior photos. I am excited to do another shoot with them this summer that will have a distinct theme so keep an eye out for that in a few more months.

Until then, I would like to introduce my Senior Representatives for 2015.

Brie

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Connor

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Lizzy

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Lauren

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Tolly

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Jordan

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Sarah D

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Sarah S

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Kealey

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Brooke

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Unfortunately, we were missing 3 members of our team to illness, so Blaike, Kali & Allison…I can’t wait to meet you and have some FUN!

After we did the individual photos, we just had some fun. My sister made my reps a 2015 sign for the shoot and we had some fun with glitter. Side note* I have never used glitter in a shoot, so if you are going to try it, make sure you get confetti or large leaf glitter. Mine looked more like sand, but they had FUN with it, so I included those photos also.:)

Enjoy some of my favorites from Sunday’s Group Shoot Out.

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  1. Diane Lary posted the following on March 12, 2014 at 2:34 am.

    GORGEOUS photos….beautiful and handsome “Senior Reps”!!

What to Wear – Fredericksburg VA Senior Photographer

One of the biggest questions I get before a session is “What do I wear?” This is a hard question, and I always start my advice the alternate question “What kind of a look do you want?” You should pick your clothing choices based on your location. So, for instance, if you want your photos in a field with a country vibe, you should consider wearing a cute dress, cowboy boots or a maxi dress and cute floppy hat. However, if you like a more urban grunge look, and you have an edgier personality – you should pick an area with brick walls, graffiti and lots of texture; you should choose jeans, a rockin tee and some combat boots.

There are so many choices and it really depends on your personality and what you want your Senior Portraits to portray. These are just some examples that I tell my Seniors and I always try to put together some looks for them when they decide what kind of look they are going for. I put together some examples for you, so if you have a session with me soon, look at these and hopefully it will give you some inspiration for your senior photos.

For a casual look

Casual Gal

For the Country Girl

Country Gal

Are you a little edgier?

Edgy Gal

My personal fave – the Preppy look

Preppy Girl

Changing my focus | Fredericksburg VA Photographer

I have been working on this blog post for several weeks, really struggling with my decision to specialize in a certain genre of photography. I know, you are going to read this and say “that took her several weeks?” YES…YES it did! I told you I have been struggling!

As a photographer starting out, I shot for a long time without charging anyone. Now, four years later, I look back on how far I have come and I am proud of what I have accomplished. When I feel down, I go back to the sessions I shot early on and I compare it to my work now. It is world’s apart on so many levels. I don’t do photography to be the next big, hottest, know-it-all photographer out there. I pursue photography and knowledge of photography because I LOVE it! I thirst for it, drink it up like a big tall margarita kidding; how about lemonade; I don’t even drink. Seriously, I don’t!

Anyway, I have struggled with quitting my job to do photography full-time because I am that passionate about it…but then reality hits. I have a great job, I have a BA in Legal Studies and I work for 6 attorneys who keep me plenty busy. I am fortunate to work for a company that allows me the flexibility to do both jobs. I would be stupid to give that up. If I was a 20 something out of college kid, I might have taken the chance, but at 40, I am more worried about my pension, 401K benefits and health insurance. It’s hard juggling both a full-time job and photography; I also have a husband and family that depends on me, so I have to add that into the mix also.

So…here it is. I have changed my focus of photography. While I love capturing all the details of a wedding and seeing two people who fell in love pledge themselves to each other, I have realized it isn’t the path I want for my photography. I fall behind on blogging, albums and editing because I just don’t have the time it takes to devote to this genre of photography. I have always tried really hard to provide the best service and a quick turn around; but other people and responsibilities in my life have suffered.

I have always had a soft spot for teenagers and the hardships they endure going through high school. Bullying has become so prevalent these days, I mean there have always been clicks, but when I was in High School we still hung out with everyone. Those days are long gone and especially with technology taking over, it makes cyber bullying that much easier. This is such a crucial time for kids this age. The need for acceptance and fitting in while you are still trying to find yourself as a young adult makes things even more difficult. Please don’t delude yourself that it can’t or won’t happen to your child. I have witnessed what bullying can do to a child. It will strip them of their self-esteem and bring them to a level of despair that is unimaginable. This is why I have elected to focus on empowering teenage girls through my photographs. I want them to experience a session where they feel beautiful, strong and embrace being a teenager. This can be such a wonderful time in their life and I want to be a part of making it memorable for each and every young adult that comes to me for their senior photos.

This of course doesn’t mean that I won’t take a wedding here and there for friends, family or a previous brides referral, it just means that I am not going to be seeking wedding photography. I won’t be advertising or marketing weddings I have gotten a lot of inquiries in the last year, mostly brides who are price shopping and while those are great for some photographers, it wasn’t right for me. I was spending far more time culling and editing thousands of photographs and not having the time I needed with my family. A senior session yields far fewer photographs that I can really concentrate on and be creative with.

Let me preface this last paragraph with this statement…”I shoot for me, not to impress anyone else”. I see a lot of competition between photographers on social media and honestly, I am not a competitive person. I won’t get caught up in the crap storm I see other photographers go through. I am not trying to steal anyone else’s business or price gouge anyone, I just want to shoot to make other people happy. I shot a family session last year for a family who’s 5 year old daughter is dying of cancer – if that doesn’t put things into perspective for you; I don’t know what will.

On that note, here are a few of the amazing seniors I had the pleasure and privilege of photographing in 2013. I am honored that each and every one of them chose me to capture this time in their lives and I look forward to this year’s new group of seniors.

God Bless…

James 1:3
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

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