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Conversations with Katie Melendrez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Melendrez.

Hi Katie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My interest in photography started when I took a black and white film course in junior college and fell in love with being in a dark room. Sadly, after just one semester, the school decided to no longer offer film photography and only offer digital instead. I couldn’t afford a digital camera at the time, so I bought a film camera and continued to take pictures of friends and family over the years as a hobby. Fast forward ten years to my wedding day where my husband surprised me with a gift… a new digital camera! He had been listening to me talk endlessly about how much I loved photography and how I wished I had kept going with it. One month later, I hit the ground running and signed up to attend a styled shoot. I was super nervous and had no idea what to expect, but everyone was so nice and answered all of my questions.

After that, I learned as much as I could about photography and how to start my own business. I continued to attend styled shoots and I started to invest in business education and offer free photo shoots so I could practice as much as possible. By putting my all into this, I was able to become an official small business within 1 year. Kathrine Melendrez Photography currently offers a variety of photography services, but I plan to hone in on my niche within the next year or two so that I specialize in specific services. My favorite types of sessions are romantic couples, sexy boudoir, and fun family sessions. I also offer wedding and elopement services, which come in 3 packages based on client needs.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Surprisingly, it’s been mostly smooth for me. I have utilized support from other professional photographers and invested a lot into photography education which I think has kept me afloat during any challenges or stressful situations. I am very much the type of person who will go out of my way to figure out an answer to a question or issue I am having and solve it as quickly as possible. I think that the biggest struggle has been managing my time so that I don’t allow my business to take over my life. There’s a lot that goes into building and maintaining a business that requires you to put in a lot more time than people realize, especially in the beginning. Finding that balance is a main focus of mine so that I don’t experience burnout right off the bat.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a professional wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Orange County. I specialize in lifestyle sessions like engagements, maternity, families, and graduation and I recently started doing weddings last year. My photography style has been described as bold and true to color. I am most proud of my two-page spread in The Photography Chronicles Magazine in their March 2022 Women Empowerment issue. This spread featured images I shot back in 2021 at an all-women’s styled shoot where we celebrated different women and their bodies. I am very passionate about lifting women up to their full potential, especially women who are “different”. The wedding industry is saturated with a “type” of couple, which is why I recently began branding my business to focus on “weirdos and alternative couples”. I think that’s what sets me apart from others.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
Watch videos, invest in education, utilize support from others in your industry, and ask ALL the questions. There is ALWAYS something new for you to learn. Keep pushing yourself to grow.

Pricing:

  • Weddings starting at $1800
  • Lifestyle Sessions starting at $250

Contact Info:

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