Perfectly Real – Melissa Hines

Say hello to July’s Perfectly Real artist Melissa Hines.  We loved her detail-oriented submission that was full of light and shadow.  You can find her online at www.melissahinesphotography.wordpress.comFacebook, and Instagram.

boy sleeping with dinosaur - family documentary photography

What is your favorite lens for shooting this work? And do you have any accessories that you just love (filter, bag, camera strap, etc.)?

My Nikon 35 mm f/2.0 lives on my camera. I have a Nikon 50 mm f/1.8, but I haven’t found the need to use it since getting my 35 mm in March. My house has tiny rooms, so I love that I can include more in my images without being as far back. And besides my Nikon 610, that’s all I have. I love keeping it super simple.

boy holding bug with sun flare - family documentary photography

What is your favorite type of light to shoot in?

I have two favorites: shooting towards the sun during golden hour to get sun flare and the drama of window side light.

girl playing t ball - family documentary photography

What is the most valuable tip you have learned in pursuit of shooting in a more documentary style?

To just trust myself, let go, and shoot when I see something that I need to document and remember. I have learned that when I try to force it, I hate it no matter how technically correct it is. But when I allow myself to let go and just shoot, I find that it brings back the feeling of the moment that I wanted to remember in the first place. And then I’m done documenting the moment a lot faster so that I can be a part of the moment, too! That is something I have really worked on this last year.

boy at library - family documentary photography

What are you drawn to document? Is there a particular composition, technique, or mood you love?

I love to document the everyday details. Those moments that you can easily overlook because they are such a part of your everyday until your kids move onto the next phase and you realize you no longer remember the details. Capturing those moments for my family and the families I work with make me feel alive! I love to use creative crops, leading lines, and of course the light to highlight those ordinary moments and bring out the beauty in them.

Hand on rain spattered window - Family documentary photography

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