Congratulations to the winner of the “Show MyCorporation Your Business’s True Colors” photo contest, Melissa Wolf of Melissa Mae Photo! For this contest, we asked small business owners to sum up the heart of their business in a photograph. We wanted to see what your businesses are all about and what their true colors were like. Check out our interview with Melissa below on how she got her start with her business and her plans for her $1500 grand prize!
What prompted you to start Melissa Mae Photo?
My husband bought me a camera for my birthday the summer after we had our first daughter. He said he saw something in the photographs I had been taking. So my husband and biggest supporter bought me a camera and told me to go for it. I started off just taking pictures of my daughter and then little by little it turned into friends asking for pictures and then their friends asking for pictures. What eventually got me to take it to the next level was realizing the importance of preserving memories. An old college computer hard drive crashed that same summer. I lost about 7 years worth of photographs and memories on there. Wedding, births, our honeymoon, countless vacations, etc. I wanted to help people capture their memories and also more of my own. (Back up your files!!)
What’s the best part of owning your own business?
Getting to work with my family!!! 99% of the time my family is at the shoots (when it’s appropriate). My kids help get kids to smile or feel more comfortable. Incorporating people that are important to me makes it so much more fulfilling and FUN. My youngest is obsessed with taking pictures. She will set up little scenes with her and her sister and just go to town. It makes me happy that I get to share my passion with my family. That I am also home for homework, dinner and sports but that I also get to show my daughters what it’s like to follow your dreams. It’s so very important to me to be a Mom first, but I also try to be a good example of a strong, passionate woman. I’m happy that I get to do that everyday.
Do you have a favorite subject to photograph?
My own family. My two daughters are my muses. Their vibrance for life keeps me excited. Their ideas, Halloween costumes and summer beach days inspire me every single time. More and more though, I’m really enjoying photographing in the water. There is something so peaceful and calming about it. It’s definitely been a new avenue I have really enjoyed exploring.
It’s easy to see by looking at your website that your family plays a large role in fueling your inspiration. How does that inspiration affect your work?
Family is my life. My husband and my daughters are absolutely everything to me. I love seeing in other families what I see in my own. Capturing those little moments that I know are special to me for another Mother or Father is such an honor.
Finally, how will you spend the $1500!?
Oh my goodness – I am really excited to invest the money back into my business. Some new equipment being the first thing on my list. I am so in love with water photography, so, perhaps a wide angle lens for the ocean. Or maybe I’ll just get a jump start on paying taxes this year!
You can follow Melissa on Twitter @melissamaewolf, and also find her photography page on Facebook.