This is a place for the people who travel, Mothers, Young fathers, Photographer enthusiasts, Women who move, Sun-seekers, Backpackers, Road-trippers, Foodies, People who prefer to have no roof over their heads, People who bring the outside in to their homes, Dreamers. California lifestyle seekers.
Talking about yourself is a childish way of getting attention. But it works. So here goes. I’ve had a wandering heart since I can remember and have always had a backpack full art supplies in every car ride I’ve ever been on. A firm believer that having a roof over ones head is overrated, I am an ambassador for female explorers who believe that rising before dawn is the good stuff in life. I can be spotted traversing California North to South along Hwy1, Westward towards the ocean, or East bound for the Sierras. Any three consecutive days at home leave me feeling restless. In the early 2000’s I began my career in film production which sent on taking photographs and making films for a diverse clientele including MTV, Pixar Animation Studios, GAIAM, VH1 and ABC. And thence day I woke up, decided that the cooperate world was not for me. The true meat of my calling is to vary my clients and follow my own path.
Melissa provides an incredible lens to a client’s project with content stories that might’ve otherwise been missed. Her instinct and taste level draws moments ranging from a lifestyle still-life moment to guest candids, directed portraits and lifestyle shots that capture an event with a seemingly effortless approach to achieving an editorial aesthetic. Her calm nature allows her to flow through an event where she’s able to engage with guests in a warm manner that creates a natural dynamic between subject and shooter. Often if not mostly—-Melissa can capture an event with little to no direction including prop-styling moments without assistance. Its extremely rare for a photographer to have a magazine editorial eye and its a huge value for client whose goals include providing well-composed visual stories to media as well as high level brand building content for social media.
Wedding photography for adventurous souls. Oh that is so my jam! I’m currently taking clients who let their hair down, prefer to go barefoot on the dance floor, and aren’t afraid to get a little dirty and sweaty in the most expensive dress they have ever bought. I capture weddings to document you and your people not just your beautiful details. Let’s celebrate the good stuff in life together, love first and always.. we can make some beautiful photographs in the process. I’m there! Destination and elopements get bonus points. I love to travel!
From editorial and entertaining stories to creating your next campaign let’s work together to create imagery. Let’s take your product or brand into a a dynamic scene and create authentic moments that will leave your clients and customers will swooning. I’ll help style, art direct and work with your team to capture photographs that come to life.
Let them be little let them be free. Let's get together and take photos of this little slice of time before your littles get any bigger! My family sessions are focused on seizing the moment and photographing your children as they truly are. The spirit of a good family session I believe is a mix of beautiful portraiture and all of the messy and wonderful moments that truly capture the spirit childhood. You won't catch me perfectly posing you children with props and asking them to stay clean and smile right at the camera very much. Let's make something a little special and unique that tells your story.
Offering tailored social media and and content creation for your brand. Ranging from product imagery to flat lays, social content shoots and design. Send your products or holler about your next idea and we can start making inspiring imagery to tell your story.
California natives and lovers of the great outdoors, we are the Gustos! When my husband, Josh, and I met sixteen years ago, we would never have guessed we would buy our first home together as a family on two acres in the middle of a pandemic. Or that we would be tearing down nearly every […]
A free photography guide for expecting mothers during this time of Coronavirus quarantine. I started thinking about all of the other mamas like me who were in their third trimester and unlike me had no professional photography experience to document the most magical moment of their pregnancy. First time moms and and last time moms […]
It captures an intimacy and energy between people, nature and environment in a way I haven't seen other photographers do. There were a lot of unknowns for us in planning a destination wedding, but we knew for sure Melissa was our photographer before we had even contacted her.
this never gets old for me. this work
is like a bolt of lightening.
Working with Melissa was fun, easy and felt completely organic
you can see it in our photos. I think a lot of that has to do with her natural talent, but I also think a lot of it has to do with her spirit and who she is as a person. She put everyone at ease, went with the flow and was truly with us through the joyful, quirky and emotional moments.
take trips and travel more deeply.
take trips and travel
Not only is Melissa crazy talented, and her photography / perspective incredibly beautiful but her bubbly and positive energy is seriously contagious! You can’t help but want to be around her (making her so easy to bring along on any projects)! She makes you feel completely yourself and at ease in front of the camera
focus on fresh, wild, and adventurous