We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
Hi there! My name is Melissa Harris and I am from Frisco, Texas. As a kid, I had so many journals and Lisa Frank diaries that were filled with doodles and stories that were created with every crayon color you can think of! I enjoyed anything and everything art related and of course loved taking pictures of my family and friends on those Kodak film disposable cameras *WOW, I feel old lol!* My mom used to create photo albums all of the time and my heart was so happy when she helped me create my own. Photography is such an important and special part of my life and I gain the utmost satisfaction when working with my clients so that I can create memories that they can cherish as well.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The ultimate goal for my business is to serve my clients well. I was studying Photography in undergrad when I received the opportunity to shoot my very first wedding in 2015. All I could think of was, what if I fail, what if I ruin all of these pictures and the bride hates my guts, what if my camera dies, what if I pass out? All I could think of were these dramatic worst case scenarios, and the pressure was high because the bride was my now-sister-in-law! Once I stepped onto the wedding grounds, I killed it! Everything was perfect, the nerves turned into adrenaline, I was laughing and smiling, the wedding party was amazing, and the wedding was smooth, gorgeous and the best time of my life. I was nervous for no reason at all and I realized all I had to do was change my mindset and go out there and do my absolute best. The thing that I was most scared of, failing, completely disappeared once I began shooting. When I tell you my heart races with excitement when I’m shooting a couple, family, or single portrait, it’s so real! I am most proud of everything that I have accomplished this far in my business and I’m eager to keep growing and learning as the years come. I am looking forward to my future studio location, the clients I will receive and the ones that keep coming back, the opportunities I will have, the networking events to attend, the workshops I will sign up for. I live to be a forever student in the Photography industry because I love it that much. This process has not been an easy one but with prayer, support from family and friends, and the knowledge gained from my mentors, it has made this journey that much more rewarding. I want the world to know that I am here to serve, I’m dedicated to my craft and my work will be astonishing!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The most important thing about a vacation is the food! Throughout the week I would take her to all of my favorite food spots for brunch, lunch and dinner. Whiskey Cake in Plano has an amazing Chicken and Waffles along with everything else brunch related! Gloria’s in Frisco is my #1 spot because I am in love with the drinks! She must order a Margarita and/or a Melt Down with me and we would laugh and chat the whole way through. We absolutely love the chips, salsa and bean dip too! We also would go to the Shops at Legacy and visit Mexican Sugar and order their tacos because they are amazing. With the great outdoors, I would invite our friends and my sisters out and we could all go to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano for a fun hike on the trail. I love having all of my favorite people together to talk, laugh and just fellowship with one another. What better way to do that and to get a great exercise session in? Then we would definitely have a relaxing day at the pool in this spicy hot Texas Summer heat!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This shoutout definitely has to be dedicated to my husband, my family and my best friends! My husband D’Marion has been so incredibly supportive throughout my journey. When I studied Photography in school, he was always there for me when I was so overwhelmed by critiques and projects and would feel like quitting the process. Since he is also an artist, he understands what it means to be so invested in your craft and pour your heart out into the art that you make. I am so grateful to him that he continues to inspire me, motivate me, and ultimately give me tough love when I need it the most! I would not be this strong and passionate without him. My mom, dad, sisters and best friends are the best encouragers I have! All of us are creative in my family so it’s pretty safe to say that they are 100% supportive of my dreams of becoming a Photography Business owner. I’m so grateful that I have a loving and caring circle that has let me practice shooting with them, always open to listen to my crazy rants about my own insecurities as an artist and are there to cheer me on. My family and friends mean everything to me!