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Life and Work with Melissa Gritter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Gritter.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Melissa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my journey in photography in front of the lens, as a teenager when my sister was in Art School. She’d come up with crazy concepts and I’d be there acting it out for her… we eventually did so much of it that I’d sit down with her and she’d show me how to use Photoshop and Illustrator. I became obsessed with Artistic Photography and adjusting pictures till they were a whole new image, simply to understand how to enhance, and in some cases really over filter an image for the sake of knowledge – this was pre-Instagram! I’d be terribly embarrassed now if anyone saw those photos that I had plastered all over my moody navy blue bedroom… but those images essentially taught me post-production.

When I became a mom, I bought a Canon 7D to take pictures and make milestone videos of my daughter. I became obsessed and an old fire started brewing. Fast forward a few years and another kid and I was taking pictures not only of them but of all the nature and families around me. I eventually upgraded the camera, got the lens of my dreams for Christmas, and off I went, pretending to be Sally Mann and following my neighborhood of kids doing kid stuff and trying to make art of it.

My goal is to produce a piece of art for each client. I’m generally opposed to posing and prefer to capture things you can’t fake for a camera. Shooting primarily children allows me to capture such a wide range of emotions, and nothing gets me more excited than texting a client a sample image of their session and hearing back the excitement it brought them for the rest of the photos… because that’s how I feel too! I’m still that teenager locked in a navy blue bedroom dreaming of making art one day.

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?
I think my biggest obstacle has been breaking away from what people expect, and sometimes think they want out of a photo- which is the old school, posed studio style shot of 1995. I really have to talk to clients and make sure they understand the work I do.

Another issue I still face is exposure. There are so many options out there and if someone is looking for a photographer or really anything, they are flooded with possibilities. It’s overwhelming for the client and the businesses. I’ve found that the only solution is to keep going. Keep producing, join groups that inspire you to do better, and eventually, the quality of your work will catch on…

Please tell us about Melissa Gritter Photo.
I am a photographer located in North Palm Beach County specializing in candid shots and natural light.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
I have joined a lot of groups of photographers and we share images all the time. There are often themes and seeing others’ work come to life so beautifully inspires me to try, to work harder, to spend the extra time. I think it’s necessary to find someone or lots of people in your line of work, that will always make you feel like there’s further to go, and more to learn. Especially in art, which is an ever-evolving industry.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Savannah Gritter, Alix Nolan, Samantha Coate, Gia Frenkel

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