Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Baldi.
Melanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Ever since I was younger, around 6th grade, I always had a fascination with cameras. My parents always had disposable cameras around the house, and I would take selfies with them or just pictures of random things. As I got older, I upgraded to a pink point-and-shoot digital camera and started taking more pictures of my friends.
Throughout high school, and afterwards, I upgraded to DSLRs, beginning with an Olympus and ultimately settling on Canon. I also expanded the topics I photographed to things like flowers, animals, etc. It wasn’t until I became a parent; however that I truly appreciated my camera and the memories I was creating with it.
I’m the youngest of four kids in my family, and out of all my siblings, I have the least pictures of my childhood. Film cameras and disposables were considered a luxury in Costa Rica, and with a family of six, cameras were the least of my parents’ worries. That’s why when I became a parent, I knew I had to capture as many pictures of my kiddos as I could.
From there, my love of photography only continued to grow. I brought up the idea of starting my own photography business to my husband, and while he was a little cautious, he was also very supportive. We had many late night talks and finally decided to put some money towards new equipment. I started my business (then known as Little Wolf Photography) in December 2015.
I decided to change my business name to Melanie Baldi Photography in September 2016, and have continued to grow since then. It’s been a lot of hard work, COUNTLESS late nights, a ton of reading and researching, and even a few doubt-filled days.. I’ve dabbled in wedding, family, maternity, birth, boudoir, and lifestyle photography.. and in the end, where I’m at now, I wouldn’t change a single thing.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Taking everything into account, I’d have to honestly say that it’s been a smoother road than I imagined it would be. That’s not to say I haven’t had some bumps along the way, but I do feel truly blessed for the way everything has been.
I’d have to say my biggest challenge has been myself. I tend to be an over-thinker, and sometimes I just over think what a client’s reaction will be to a session. Or I’ve compared myself to other photographers and put myself down by thinking my work will never compare to theirs.
In the end, though, I have to gently remind myself that my work is my own, just like that photographer’s work is their own. My clients choose me because they like my work, even though sometimes I may forget that. That photographer I admire has put in hard work to get to where they are at, and if I continue to do so as well, I can be just as great as them one day!
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
While I’ve photographed everything from weddings to births, what I ultimately specialize in would have to be family and maternity sessions, as well as children, and in-home sessions (or lifestyle photography). I also specialize in couples photography and single models. I definitely think what sets me apart, however, would have to be my model calls. I usually try to plan one once a month, with two-five models, and different themes.
I’ve done a steamy lake session with a couple, a rooftop session with multiple models, a 70s arcade session, etc.. As a woman of color, one of the most important model calls I held was in celebration of black women and their strength and beauty! With all these model calls, my models were usually my friends or models I met through friends, and that made all these sessions even more special to me and my supporters. I know when my supporters see models of all races, ethnicities, ages, and sizes, it makes them love these sessions even more.
Some even step out of their comfort zone and apply for future model calls. I’ve also met so many new and amazing people along the way, as well as become closer with people I already knew. These model calls are definite highlights in my photography career, and I’ve seen myself grow just by doing them. I’ve the chance to think outside the box and learn new skills. I’ve tried things I normally wouldn’t and just expanded my creativity to lengths I never knew I could reach. It’s truly been wonderful.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
When I first read this question, I really didn’t know how to answer it (I even asked my husband what he thought!). I had to step away and sit on this one for a bit, and I finally came to the conclusion that there isn’t just ONE characteristic or quality that has made me and my business successful. It’s definitely been a mixture of many.
I know that being what many calls a “social butterfly” has truly helped me in speaking with my clients. I love making new friends and meeting new people, and photography has really given me the opportunity to do just that. I also feel like I’m attentive to my client’s needs which helps me provide memories that they will truly love because ultimately that is what is most important to me.
Being able to provide my client’s with images that they will be able to cherish forever is such privilege. These wonderful people chose me to capture a moment in their lives that they want to be able to remember forever.. it doesn’t get any better than that, which is why I definitely feel like it takes many qualities to be successful in this business, not just a specific one!
- Website: www.melaniebaldiphotography.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/melaniebaldiphotography
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/melaniebaldiphotography
- Other: www.pinterest.com/melaniebaldiphotography