Melissa Pena

"It may sound cliche, but the mistakes I made have pushed me to be a better photographer. I always have a humble attitude, and I look forward to constructive critiques, they will only improve my work."

What's your first name?

What's your last name?

Nice to meet you, Melissa! May we have your email address, please?

What's your Instagram username, Melissa? We'd love to check it out!

What is your location, Melissa?
United States

State / Region

Alright, now for the interview! Firstly Melissa, how would you best describe yourself?

Our readers would love to get to know you more Melissa. Tell us about yourself, why you are passionate about what you do, and your journey so far.
I am a graphic designer by trade and a photographer by passion. I usually incorporate text into my works of art to create something totally different. Recently, I decided to break through the social norms of photography and delve in creative portraiture and light painting. I am so so passionate about the medium of photography, in an can freeze a moment that will reverberate forever. I plan to continue growing/learning and collaborating with creatives alike and taking the photography world by storm.

Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos?
Keep interviewing me!

What are your goals and how do you see yourself progressing in the field Melissa?
My goal is to have my own personal studio. As of now I have a studio I have constructed in my backyard shed, and it gets the job done but long term I want a tiny house dedicated to a studio and a gallery that I can be able to move around the country!

How do you communicate with people Melissa? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements?
I am forever patient, and I have worked in customer service for most of my life, so I have learned to communicate effectively. I would say clients that I shoot with are in for a great time! I would say I am very easy going and the more relaxed my clients feel, the better the portraits! 

If you had to do it over again, what would you change Melissa?
I don't think I would change a thing. It may sound cliche, but the mistakes I made have pushed me to be a better photographer. I always have a humble attitude, and I look forward to constructive critiques, they will only improve my work.

Who is your hero Melissa, and how have they helped you get to where you are?
My hero would have to be my high school Film teacher, Mr Weidner. He really opened my eyes to the creative world. Going into my senior year, I didn't really have a clue what I wanted to study or what I was good at, and by the end of it, I knew I wanted to be in the medium of photography and design. It allowed me to express myself when words weren't doing justice.

How important are creative education courses Melissa? Have you taken any, and did you find them useful?
I would say they are important to gain some fundamental knowledge; I went through the college art experience myself. However, I will say in today's society, with social media at the click of a button there are so many other avenues for people to learn if they couldn't or didn't feel comfortable in a structured environment. Since graduating, I have learned most of my photography techniques from studying others/youtube videos.

Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out in the industry?
Be patient. Don't force yourself to create art for the sake of saying you have something to show. Think about the vision you want and what you intend to create and just do it at your own pace. When the time is right, you will be noticed for your efforts. 

Please add any photo credits for the photos you uploaded so that everybody can get recognised.
Models: @annaricks, @feather_and_stone, @kelly_spice, @annaricks

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