Over at Bayside Bride, we simply adore the work of Melissa Manzione Photography and are very excited to have Melissa as our November Vendor of the Month!
She is both a creative visionary and local icon in Annapolis – someone that has helped to shape the Annapolis wedding aesthetic with each and every wedding that she photographs! We absolutely love her and are so happy to have her as a part of the Bayside Bride family! Enjoy this little question and answer interview with November’s Vendor of the Month!
Tell us a little about yourself:
I grew up on a farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Farm life is so very different than what most kids experience growing up and looking back, I’m grateful to have had that experience. I learned about work ethic really early in my life and I am certain it helps me on a daily basis when running my own business. I left my hometown and went to college four hours away from my family at James Madison University (GO Dukes!) where I pursued a degree in communications, met some of the most amazing people on this planet and started dating a sweet Italian boy from New Jersey. He charmed me with his love for cooking, dedication to his studies, and ability to dream for the future. Soon after college he became my fiance, and has since evolved into an amazing husband and father to our sweet pup, Molly.
I’ve been shooting weddings for three years now and learned early on that it’s not just about the shooting, editing and turning around images. It’s about the relationships I make with my clients and other local vendors. Making a connection with my clients is the most important aspect of my business and I strive to treat each of them like a friend.
In my free time I enjoy wine tasting, cooking, shopping, traveling and spending time with family and friends. I am so blessed to work in this incredibly supportive industry and I really couldn’t ask for anything more in a job!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years… wow! Such a great question. In ten years I see myself running an incredibly successful photography business, living with my husband and our future children in our dream home somewhere near Annapolis. I hope to have been published in at least one national or international wedding publication by then and it goes without saying that I would love to do more traveling and possibly even shoot a few weddings overseas. Let’s be honest… hopefully that dream home will have a pool for me to relax beside while sipping a perfectly chilled glass of chardonnay; when I’m taking a break from following my dream of being an international wedding photographer, of course!
What is your favorite part about documenting a couple’s day?
I love documenting the emotions that come with a wedding day. It warms my heart to capture the father of the bride seeing his daughter for the first time on one of the most important days of her life. Or the look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride walking down the aisle. These are my absolute favorite moments of a wedding day. The raw, unposed emotion. Having the ability to capture these moments reassures me that I’m exactly where I need to be in my life; and in this business.
Favorite Wedding Trend?
I am loving the “first look” trend. I have had a few couples opt to do a first look this year and it really changes the dynamic of the day. The first look really allows the bride and groom to connect emotionally, really talk to each other and savor the moment. A wedding day can feel incredibly rushed and many couples don’t really have the chance to really connect with each other. First looks also allow us to shoot a lot of the photos before the ceremony, so the couple is able to maximize the time after the ceremony to spend with their guests.
How do you feel Annapolis area weddings have shaped your photography style?
Annapolis is an absolutely amazing place to shoot weddings. I often think Annapolis locals take the beauty of city for granted. It’s such an amazing place to live but because we are here every day we don’t truly embrace the beauty of the city. I love being so close to the water, the history of the city and the beautiful colorful buildings. I think shooting in this area has really given me an eye for detail. Annapolis is very different from any other place I’ve shot before. It’s quaint, home to vast US history, vibrant and political all at the same time. And I absolutely LOVE it!
What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
2012 is going to be such an awesome year! I have a lot of really great couples to work with who have chosen really dynamic venues for their weddings. I’m also looking forward to seeing what 2012 brings to the wedding photography industry. The trends, the products and new equipment. The photography industry is evolving so quickly and I’m excited to see what 2012 has to offer; and embrace it!
What is the best advice that you can give to local couples who are planning their wedding?
Take your time and make sure your wedding is a reflection of you as a couple. Making your wedding day a reflection of yourselves and who you are as a couple will make your photos and memories of the day absolutely timeless. And of course, make sure you’re choosing the right vendors; vendors you can trust.