Monday, December 12, 2011

I Heart Face: Furry Faces

I haven't been posting much; after finishing a busy season of photoshoots and order fulfillment, etc., I'm enjoying some time off with my family and coming up with some changes to my blog, business, and life for the upcoming new year.  I've been SO remiss, actually, that I thought about skipping this challenge, but for some reason, an image popped into my head.  An image I HAD to share with you all...

I recently did a session for a friend whose horse was in declining health with her son, N.  The boy and his horse were thick as thieves and the love between the huge animal and the tiny toddler was just breathtaking to behold... I captured this moment that just perfectly showed how trusting they both are with one another and I loved it from the second I saw it in my camera. 

I can barely look at the images from that session; just days later, they had to send their beloved pony home to rest forever and I just cry because her passing is SUCH a huge loss to anyone who loves animals.  She was truly a part of their family and a gigantic part of N's life. 

Entering this photo isn't about the "contest"... it's about sharing this moment... because I was so fortunate that they shared it with me.

I love my job.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge: Black

This is my stunning sister who was kind enough to let me snap some photos of her on a recent visit.  I just can't get over what a gorgeous, sweet, fun young lady she's grown up to become... I'm actually kind of glad my parents didn't get rid of her like I asked when I was 4 years old.  (Love ya, Kiddo!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall with the Blakes | Chattanooga Family Photographer

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of enjoying the gorgeous fall weather and getting outdoors at one of my favorite locations to photograph this gorgeous family of 3.

I don't know if you can tell from the images, but the little guy - just over a year old - is an adorable little maniac!  I think I got more exercise chasing him for an hour than I did the whole week before!  It was a blast and my husband has caught me grinning ear to ear often while I'm working on their images - such infectious smiles!

The colors are just gorgeous right now.  And the weather is perfect!  I. Love. Fall.

Also, I love how Mom styled her family.  Their colors all coordinate with the season as well as one another, but they don't necessarily match.  They're all comfortable in what they're wearing and it shows.  Comfortable clients are easier to pose and enjoy the session more than those worried about how their clothes are fitting.  I'll be posting more soon on ideas for photo shoot outfits soon, but this is a great example of well thought-out style!  Go, Mom!

And the location?  Greenway Farm - it's the spot I've selected for Saturday's mini sessions.  Have you booked yours yet?  You should - there are still a few slots left!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mini-Session Time Slots

Here are the possible time slots for October 22nd's mini-sessions!  If you'd like to book one, please let me know which one you prefer, as well as one alternate possibility in case your preference is taken!  Thanks!

1) 9:00-9:20 am

2) 9:30-9:50 am

3) 10:00-10:20 am

4) 10:30-10:50 am

5) 11:00-11:20 am

6) 11:30-11:50 am

7) 12:30-12:50pm

8) 1:00-1:20 pm

9) 1:30-1:50 pm

10) 2:00-2:20 pm

11) 2:30-2:50 pm

12) 3:00-3:20 pm

13) 3:30-3:50 pm

14) 4:00-4:20 pm

15) 4:30-4:50 pm

16) 5:30-5:50 pm

17) 6:00-6:20 pm

18) 6:30-6:50 pm

19) 7:00-7:20 pm

I am so excited to see you all soon!  Remember, booking a mini-session makes you eligible for 50 free cards for the Holidays! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Mini-Session Drawing!

Alright, friends, it's time to determine the winner of the free mini-session on October 22nd!

There were 14 entries in chronological order:
1. Kara
2. Mandy
3. Mandy
4. Melissa B.
5. Mandy
6. Marti
7. Donna
8. Marti
9. Amanda
10. J.J.
11. Shalena
12. Shalena
13. Marti
14. Marti

So, using the values from 1 to 14 on, I got 5.

Mandy, you're the winner!  Congratulations! 

To everyone who entered, thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Stay tuned for other contests in the future and please know how much I appreciate your support!

I Heart Faces Challenge: Hands Up

I love hands.  I L.O.V.E. them.  I had the hardest time picking ONE photo for this.  It seriously drove me bonkers.  I was going to give up entirely and had turned to organizing my personal photo folders on my hard drive when I found this gem:

This is my husband helping one of our little girls button her rain coat.  It's such a tender, sweet moment... This daddy loves his baby girls to the moon and back and seeing him care for them so devoutly makes me love him all that much more too.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Mini-Sessions - with CONTESTS!

Who doesn't love Fall?  Autumn is such a gorgeous season for so many reasons - the weather is cooler but still nice, the colors are vibrant and rich, there's an excitement about the upcoming holiday season that runs beneath the surface... Amazing!  There isn't really a a better time all year to take photos outdoors than the fall, but scheduling those prime days can be tight, and sometimes it's just not convenient for a budget to have a full session for you, your family, or children.  That's why I've set aside a day in October - Saturday the 22nd, specifically - to devote to mini-sessions!

What is a mini-session?

A mini-session is a 20-minute photo-shoot for you as a family, individual, couple, or for your children.  It is at the location of my choice (in this case, Greenway Farm in Hixson) and time-slots are secured on a first-come, first-served basis.  You get the caliber of photos and professional service of a full hour-long session, just fewer minutes.

What does it cost?

It is $50.00, with a $25.00 non-refundable deposit due at the time of booking to secure your time-slot.  For an additional $5.00, I will create a custom Christmas card from one of my unique templates.

What do I get?

Your investment includes a disc of 5-8 (depending on the number of people in your group) retouched images as full-resolution files with copyright release.  If you add a holiday card to your order, that will be included on your disc as a JPEG file for you to print with your service of choice.   As always, fine-art quality prints are available for purchase directly from me, and I would be happy to work with you to print your cards for an additional fee to streamline your card-creation process.

Can you really do a good job in 20 minutes?

Although some children are initially camera-shy and some amount of time is spent "warming up" to a photographer, I've found that most kiddos not only warm up quickly enough, but that 20 minutes keeps the session short enough that we don't have the eventual "burn-out" that comes about halfway through longer sessions.  Because I am already set up at one location, shooting can begin immediately and will focus on the client entirely.  For example, in an hour-long session, a family photo-shoot normally yields about 75 amazing images that focus on the family as a whole, as well as on individuals and groups of individuals.  As a client of Melissa Gallagher Photography, you receive the same quality and professionalism regardless of whether you select a $600 package that covers your child's newborn through first birthday photos or a $50 mini-session. 

Contest?  Free Stuff?  What's not to love?!

Contest #1 - Win a FREE mini-session on October 22nd!
To enter:
Copy and paste the following status on Facebook (must be your status for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight) -or- blog about the mini-sessions, then come back and either leave a comment on this post or on Melissa Gallagher Photography's Facebook page.  Each status and each blog post counts as one entry and anyone can have multiple entries for multiple Facebook status posts.  Additional entries can be earned by "liking" Melissa Gallagher Photography on Facebook and by following this blog.  Please leave one comment per entry! Each comment will be assigned a number and I will hold a drawing using on October 10th to determine the winner. 

The winner will be notified at that time and be asked to select an available time-slot on the 22nd to have a free session.  If the winner has already booked a time-slot, he or she will be refunded the deposit and the session will be free.

Copy THIS as your Facebook status to enter:  
"Melissa Gallagher Photography has selected October 22nd for Fall mini-sessions - $50 for 20 minutes.  Consider contacting her to book your photo-shoot for cards, gifts or keepsakes - perfect for children, families, couples and individuals.  Visit her blog at for more details and contact information!"  

Contest #2 - Win 50 free holiday cards!
To enter:
Book a mini-session on October 22nd!  Yes, that's it!

Everyone who has a photo-shoot on October 22nd will be assigned a number (the first time-slot of the day will be #1, the second, #2, etc.) and I will select a winner that evening using and I will contact the winner so that we may work together on a custom card design and I will print the cards and deliver them the disc of images.

So, let's get booking!

Saturday, October 22nd
Greenway Farm in Hixson, TN
Fall Mini-Session Day!
$50 for 20 minutes and 5-8 images
$5 card design JPEG
And as always, please feel free to visit
or contact me:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Why Choose Melissa Gallagher Photography?

What, exactly, do I offer that would make you want to hire me for a session?

Well, I need to let you know a little bit about me and then a little bit about my business.  Hopefully, it will help explain what sets me apart.

First, I'm a mommy.   That could probably read, "I'm a mommy first" and be just as accurate, actually.  Of four.  I have four kids.  That might not be a ton, but to have had them in the span of 4 years is pretty crazy, and the experience has left me with a gigantic amount of patience.  In addition to patience (which is great when I'm photographing a group of rowdy boys!) and a hefty caffeine addiction (which probably isn't so important to you!), it has also left me with an appreciation for just how quickly moments pass.  I'm the very first to raise my hand and say, "I blinked and my babies grew into kids" or "they were only newborns for a few seconds"... and some days, I feel like I totally missed it.  If you peek at my portfolio, you might get a sense that I love to capture the intimate relationship between a child and a parent - a kiss on the forehead, a teeny hand grasping a trusted hand, etc.  I struggle each day to hold those fleeting instances in my memory and I know how much I would love to have had those moments photographed so I try to ensure that I can provide that to my clients.

I also have an intense work ethic.  Maybe that comes from being a mom, maybe it comes from working every summer of my youth installing sprinkler systems.  Either way, I work tirelessly and with intense satisfaction in the job.  Combined with my love for the art of photography, this means a sneak peek will be up for you to see within 12-24 hours of your session, your finished photos will be ready for proofing within 5 days and you'll have your disc of images in-hand less than 10 days later. 

My pricing isn't the lowest you could find.  I don't want to be the "cheapest" photographer in the area because my work isn't the cheapest.  I'm affordable and there are certainly options to explore to customize your experience for it to work with your budget.  But my price tag also conveys the quality of my work and it comes with a satisfaction guarantee. 

From the beginning of our relationship onward, I offer personalized, professional service that aims at making your experience a happy, relaxed, enjoyable one.  I will consult with you on the styling for your session, on your specific goals and throughout, while you will see my style in the photography, you will hear your voice in the finished images. 

It's all about the relationship.  Choose me.  You'll see.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

End-of-Summer Sale!

If you book between now and July 31st, you'll receive 50% off your entire purchase!  That's 50% off a session fee, off a disc of images, or off your prints!

It's a great deal and spots are being filled in August already! Contact me today to snag your spot!

melissa [at] melissagallagherphoto [dot] com !

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Heart Faces: A Touch of Whimsy

Whimsy?  I think pastels, gorgeous lighting, romance... something out of a fairy tale where a knight sweeps a beautiful damsel off her feet...


This photo was it.  Perfectly beautiful, romantic... .Hhunky knight?  Check.  Gorgeous damsel?  Check. 


Y'all, I'm not kidding, this image makes my husband go all fluttery.  He said it makes him fall in love with me all over again to look at this couple being so obviously in love.

Well, shoot, my job is done.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Benson Sneak Peek!

I am a total sucker for a cute kiddo.  They're like my kryptonite.  (I think I needed that programmed into my DNA to make  having four kids possible.  It's the only way they survive some days!)

Which made this shoot so SO much fun!  Little Miss was a wee bit shy so it took me dropping all my "professional" hats and going full-on goofball to get her to crack a smile and feel at-ease.  And thank goodness for sweet kids that make us act like children ourselves!  She made me play hide-and-seek with her and she made me chase her through sunny fields and get down on the damp grass and laugh at absurd ducks.  She invented games with pine cones and showed me her "Princess Smile" at long last. 

Making it all the more perfect? My son adores her and her mom is a wonderful person with whom I'd love to spend more time because I think there's the potential for a pretty awesome friendship.

Have I mentioned how much I love my job?  How much I love popping that SD card in and opening up the images and laughing and smiling and remembering how much fun I had at the session?  How much I love zooming in on these kiddos' amazing eyes and marveling at how absolutely perfect God's creation is?  How much I love delivering the finished, polished images and hearing that my clients love the result because I know they'll treasure those photos forever? 


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge

I didn't blog a sneak peek for Vandy's shoot because I turned around her images so quickly - from shoot to website was a mere day - I was so excited about the photos I captured and couldn't get enough of her daughters' beautiful faces and sweet personalities.  I had so many, many favorites from that day and I'll post them soon, but I wanted to put this one in particular out there because I fell in love with her youngest daughter's wistful, innocent gaze.  Not only was this my favorite shot, but it seems to be a fan favorite as well. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shalena Sneak Peek

I had the absolute pleasure of photographing a good friend of mine and her three adorable, spunky, sweet, well-behaved kiddos yesterday at an incredible day - perfect weather, perfect setting, perfect companionship!  I loved, loved, LOVED every minute of this session!

I loved this curious, energetic, independent little doll!

I loved the confidence she exuded - I still can't believe she wasn't a model at some point in her life!

This little guy gave me the greatest smiles and was a fantastic listener!  (I secretly hope my kiddo becomes as easy-going a 5-year-old as he is!)

Big brother here was about the sweetest thing I've ever seen with his missing teeth and adventurous spirit.  He spent most of the day running from one place to another, pausing here and there to flash his toothless grin my way and make me laugh. 

And each one of them is full of love for the others.  I captured so many fun, sweet moments yesterday... I couldn't stop smiling as I tabbed through the images with my cup of coffee after my whole family had gone to bed.  I can't believe how fulfilling this "job" is - I can't believe how blessed I am to get to know these people and how firmly they imprint themselves in my mind with each snap of my shutter.  I can't imagine NOT being a photographer now - my life is so much more enriched for going down this path and I am forever grateful to the people who make it possible!

Thanks, Shalena and family, for working with me!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Infant Goodness

I LOVE infants!  I love my infants (this particular one is 2 months old now!) and I love other folks' infants and I love photographing infants and snuggling them and watching them grow up...

Is that weird?

I just need some other infant models to round out my portfolio.  Any one know anyone who has a squishy, sweet-smelling, bright-eyed, delicious infant they'd like to lend to my camera for a little bit?  I promise I won't spend the WHOLE time singing to and swaying with the baby... unless Mom and Dad want me to!  And for now, while my baby is still little, I promise I won't be begging to bring the babe home with me (though, give it a few more months and I betcha I'll have the fever again!)...

Gah!  Babies!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And Away We Go...

Well, here we go, Ladies and Gentlemen.  I've taken the plunge and decided to follow my heart into the world of professional photography. 

Inspired by my brother to look at a camera differently... Inspired by my children to capture not just the moments but the essence and the emotions that string together to comprise a childhood... Inspired by your support and faith in me... Inspired by my husband's confidence in me... and inspired by God's unending beauty... I am inspired, and I hope I can bring that inspiration to my clients and make them more than my clients and develop friendships along the way.

So please, enjoy my journey with me - I'd love it if you would and I'll try to make it fun!

Feel free to browse my website here and find me on Facebook here!