Carol Mellema

Me-Avatar02Twelve years ago I began my business as a professional portrait photographer when my youngest son was beginning kindergarten. My husband and I owned a business, primarily run by my husband, where I worked a couple of days a week. I really wanted something to call my own though, so I went back to my love of many years – photography. At the time, there was never any question that I would become a portrait photographer. My many years in client-centered fields made it an easy choice.

When I began my portrait photography business, the world was right on the cusp of digital photography. I had always used film to take my photographs, and had in fact built a would-be darkroom on to my new home that I was having built at this same time. I have never used that darkroom. In fact, it is now just a storage room located off my laundry room. I purchased my first digital SLR camera (a Canon D60), took photography courses at my local community college, as well as from The New York Institute of Photography, and was on my way!

While the advent of digital photography certainly has been awesome in most ways, in other ways it has taken its toll on the profession of portrait photography. It’s not easy to be a portrait photographer anymore – there are tens of thousands of us out there. However, I cannot and will not ever put down my camera! So a couple of years ago I shifted my focus to stock photography, as well as landscape/nature photography. It’s a little bit slower of a climb in this arena, and I believe it’s the fact that it is a slow process means there aren’t a lot of good stock photographers out there. You have to have a lot of patience and really build up a good portfolio to make it here, and that takes a lot of time!

My work environment consists of a small room in my home, where I shoot all of my stock photography using only natural window light and reflectors. Most of my portfolio consists of food photography, as that is a good niche to fill in the stock world. Right now I am represented on Shutterstock, IStock, 123RF and Dreamstime.

My husband and I own an RV and love to travel the country and see all that this beautiful nation has to show us! I absolutely love taking nature and landscape photos, with flower photos being my most loved subject. My nature, landscape and flower photos are available for purchase through Fine Art America.

My photos have won awards through the Professional Photographers of America. I have also hung artwork in the Louisville, Colorado Art Association National Juried Photography Show.  I have been honored to have a chapter in Alain Briot’s #1 best-selling book entitled, “How Photographs Are Sold”. My work also hangs permanently on the Labor & Delivery unit of Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois; as well as in Dr. Doris Nietert’s Pediatrics office in Naperville, Illinois. You can find my portrait work at www.memoriesbycarol.com and my stock/landscape/nature work at www.besidethemountain.com.

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