A Mother’s Love….. Lake City, FL Family Portrait Photographer

Back in July I met up with this wonderful mother of 2 gorgeous girls for her FIRST EVER professional portrait session. Every time I hear people say, “I’ve never had professional portraits done” I am so happy they decided to do it for their family & honored they chose me to capture this moment in time.

I LOVED the outfits she chose, how she kept her girls outfits to fit their personalities & just how much fun we had. And as a bonus the rain waited till we were done!

Thank you so much Shultz family!

Till Next time, Melody

Lake City FL Family PhotographerLake City FL Infant PortraitsLake City FL Child Portrait PhotographyLake City FL Child PhotographerChild Portrait Photographer in Lake City FLFamily Photographer in Lake City FL


A Glimpse to the Future…. Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer | Lake City FL Portrait Photographer

I have hinted here & there about some changes coming to MCP. Well, today, July 1st seems like the perfect time to tell you those changes.

Are these pricing changes? Not really. Am I shutting it all down? Of course not. I truly love photography & capturing memories for all my wonderful & amazing clients. So what’s the big change then? Many of you know I was a Kindergarten teacher before I had my oldest, Cayden. After the birth of Kylie, I got a camera & the love affair began. A year later, I started this little business to share what I love & make a little extra to help around the house, but always thinking once Kylie was in preschool I would go back to teaching.

As the girls got older, I started wondering if I could make this a business that could thrive. That could be a career & (though not make as much as teaching), be something that could be long term. So, I pushed. I tried. I Marketed, I read, watched blogs & webinars to improve my techniques & marketing as well. I did everything to see what would happen….

Am I busier? Oh yes. More than ever. This past month was the first time that the summer was as busy as the Fall, which was crazy. I feel so blessed & thankful for allowing this thing I enjoyed that God gave me, to turn into a way to bless others & help my family. But did it all work? Well, no. I quickly realized I would have to raise my prices OR take on more work to make it as profitable as my first ever job (before the 19.1% taxes I pay that is). I knew raising prices would result in the same amount I’m making now, but less clients which wouldn’t help. I also knew that working more wasn’t an option. This isn’t a 9-5, Monday through Friday job. It’s nights & weekends shooting, then weekdays (& often weekends) editing, practicing, Marketing, designing & of course accounting. It does put a strain on the family as we feel there’s not time for us to do family activities & taking on more work, though I would get closer to the business goals, I would move further from my personal family goals so I would be miserable & highly stressed. (sorry this is so long…..it’s hard to write since it is so personal)

So, come August I will once again be teaching. This way I do another job I enjoy that pays the bills & helps us get a new roof, etc… while still doing what I love on the side. And I may end up taking lots of pics of my little class…big surprise right?  😉

How big will this change be? Well, instead of 3 sessions a week, there will be 3-4 sessions a month. YES, there will be Christmas Minis & Easter Minis & probably some during the summer. So do not fear! 😉  But with the limited number of monthly openings I had to figure out a fair way to schedule it all. So, I decided my Baby Plan Babes & their families will get first pick (as they have a package guaranteeing them portraits that month). After that, open dates will be available to past clients (those who have been photographed by me before July 31st, 2013) for booking. Finally, any additional openings will be new for clients.  Jacksonville Clients will be almost as they are now since I will still only be in Jacksonville once a month. So, your availability is based on that. (Minis will be Past Clients first then New Clients in booking order) Senior Portrait Clients will also be in there & as they are all new, they will booked as they inquire & treated the same as past clients.  Obviously, summer months will be different as I will be able to book more sessions & therefore have more availability to all.

What does this mean? If you are someone who has wanted to book with MCP, but not done it yet, THIS MONTH IS YOUR CHANCE! TO be considered a “Past Client” I would have had to photograph your little one or family by July 31st, 2013.  If you have family or friends who have wanted to book let them know, now’s the time! I have limited availability, but I will do what I can to get those in.

I am SO thankful & blessed to all of you for making these past 3 years wonderful & I look forward to capturing more memories in the upcoming years (albeit less than before)……

Till next time,

**And because this is a photography blog, some shots of my sweet niece. 😉 Figured a Monday needed cuteness to soften the blow. 😉

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Look Who’s One :: Baby Plan Graduate Jacksonville Beach FL Family Photographer | Jacksonville Beach FL First Birthday Portraits

Early in May one of my baby plan babes graduated. Which means he is now one…almost walking, crawling everywhere, following his big brother, playing & just being cute.

It’s always bitter sweet when these little ones graduate. I have gotten to know them & their families over the past year & been honored to capture them grow & change. It happens so fast, even for me & I’m not the parent! 😉

Thank you so much D family for allowing me to capture your little man this past year. ❤

To find out more about the Baby Plan program visit the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To view sneaks from upcoming sessions, keep up with all the happenings here at MCP be sure to like us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter!

Till next time,


Jacksonville Beach FL First Birthday Portraits

Mr. Colton :: 14 Days New Jacksonville Beach FL Newborn

Early last month I got to meet an adorable little guy who is lucky enough to have two amazing parents (who are also good friends of ours) & a fantastic big brother.

I have to say the light coming through two large windows facing the beach even on a rainy day was amazing. Even wide awake, Colton was relaxed & happy. Such a doll.

I am so lucky to be able to capture these little newbies after they enter the world. It’s an amazing job for sure. ❤

Thank you Frauenheim Family!

Till next time,


Jacksonville Beach Newborn Portrait Photographer

Why Relay??? Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer | Lake City FL Photographer

Today’s blog post is very personal. Tonight is Relay for Life in my town. Many of my fans & followers know I participate in Relay, raise money & even do a Charity Mini session to help raise money towards Relay, but I’m not sure they know why. Why I do this. Why I spend the time. Why it means something to me.

When I was 9 years old my dad died of Colon Cancer. My girls have been raised knowing they have Grandpa John in Jacksonville & Grandpa John in heaven (yes, both grandpa’s were named John). This year was the first year I kinda told them what Relay is about because tonight they are walking a lap. Not sure how to tell them, I told them the truth.

Me: “Relay is an event that raises money to help fight Cancer.”

Cayden: “What’s Cancer?”

Me: “Cancer is a very bad disease that makes people very sick & sometimes people even die from it. Cancer is what caused Grandpa John to go to heaven.”

Cayden : (who is a bit dramatic, but does have a very sensitive heart) starts crying a little “I don’t like that. I miss Grandpa John.” Kylie then agreed that she too missed Grandpa John.

This is why I walk & raise money. This is why I absolutely LOVE getting photos of dads with their kids. These pictures are two of the things I treasure most in the world & 100% after getting my kids out would make sure I grabbed if our house was ever on fire. I cannot replace them. Why Relay American Cancer Society

I realize most dads want nothing to do with family photos, rarely want to be there & only show up because their wives told them to. But we all need to see, how easily those images of use with our children can be all they have. All they treasure for the rest of their lives. But this is not about the importance of getting portraits done. It’s the importance of making memories with our children and of course, why fighting Cancer will ALWAYS be something I want. I will fight until no more children will have to learn that Cancer took their grandpa…or their daddy.

That’s why I Relay. Thank you those who read this. As it is a personal post. ❤


Twice the Fun, Look Who’s 1! Newberry FL Family Portrait Photographer | Newberry FL First Birthday Photographer

Early last month I was honored to capture the 1st birthday party of two adorable little sweeties. Their dad is a photographer as well, so this was even more of an honor, as he didn’t want to be behind the camera the whole party, but enjoy it instead.

Yummy food, beautiful traditional Korean outfits, cake & a bounce house! What could be better?

Thank you so much Davidson family for allowing me to capture this special time for you!

To view more of my work or find out about allowing me to capture your little one’s 1st birthday, head to the Melody Coarsey Photography website! To keep up with sneak peeks, upcoming Minis, announcements & more be sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! You can even follow our Pintrest boards for what to wear sections, samples of my work & more!

Till next time!


First Birthday Party Portrait Photographer

Mountain family + Beach Portraits = Awesomeness Jacksonville Beach FL Family Photographer | Jacksonville Beach FL Photographer

Late last month, after FINALLY feeling better I got to see some old college friends who I hadn’t seen since their wedding in Tortola, B.V.I. (amazing place, you should totally visit). I got to meet their precious kids Mackenzie (who is one month older than Kylie) & Curran a happy sweet little 9 month old cutie. The lighting was great, the weather was perfect & despite the cold they caught on the plane to Florida from Denver, they did amazing.

I LOVE that I can use the gift God gave me to bless my family & friends with portraits they can cherish. Portraits of their family, their children, that they can display & treasure.  I have known Nicole for almost 16 years (ouch) & Ben for going on 15……wonderful friends, wonderful people & an opportunity to have a place to stay when we take the kids to Denver. 😉

Family Portrait Photographer near Jacksonville Beach FL

Thank you so much Ben & Nicole! Next time it will be in Denver! 😉 To view more of my work or schedule your family portrait session head to the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To keep up with all things going on at MCP including sneak peeks, Mini Sessions & more be sure to like us on Facebook!



What to Wear :: Large Family Portraits Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer | Family Photographer near Lake City FL

You ask & you shall receive. The number one question I am asked is, “What should we wear?”. And though I do not yet offer styled sessions (though I would so into that, but it involves me trifling through your closets or shopping with you to pick out well suited & coordinated outfits), I can give you Seven simple & great tips that can lead you down the path towards fabulous family portraits.

Tip #1: Choose a Color Palette. What does this mean? Pick 3 or 4 colors that look good together & start from there. The shots below show a few color palette choices. Remember the colors you choose should also take into consideration your own personal style as well as the location of your portrait session.

Color Guide Starters for What to Wear


Tip 2: DO NOT MATCH~ Ok, by this I mean gone are the days of “everyone where white shirts & khakis” or “everyone where black shirts & jeans”. I know when organizing a group (especially if it is a large multi-family portrait session) this seems like the easy way, but it does not add any interest to your portraits. Differing outfit choices, styles, etc.. all with the same color palette (see above) is a MUCH better way to keep everyone happy & expressing themselves, while keeping the photos consistent & interesting.

Tip 3: Prints can be overwhelming.  One person in a print dress or shirt that coordinates with everyone else is fine, but when you 2, 3 or 4 people in different prints, whether you stick to the color palette or not your photos will still look like they were taken unplanned at a Family reunion where everyone just says “smile” before hitting the pool again. There is definitely such a thing as TOO MUCH when it comes to prints. Like with writing, when looking at your wardrobe use the KISS principal. Keep it Simple Silly. Vests, jackets, necklaces, etc.. can all add interest to a plain colored shirt without throwing everyone out of whack. 🙂

Tip 4: Accessorize!! Necklaces, hats, bracelets, belts, etc… all can add a pop of color & interest without taking away from the people in the photos as well as the overall feeling of the images. They help you express yourself. 😉

Tip 5: Don’t be afraid of color! Some people shy away from teal or coral or yellows….DON’T they bring excitement & fun to your photos!!  Be bold! There are colored jeans, jackets, necklaces, everything to help you bring some color to your portraits & keep them fun!

Tip 6: Right before your Family portraits is NOT the time to try a new do’.  What do I mean, don’t make any drastic changes to your appearance right before your portrait session. No spray tans or new hair do’s…..you never know how it will turn out & then do you really want portraits of your family when your haircut is lopsided or you decided to try the pixie look & not realizing how much you loved your long hair?????

Tip 7: Last tip. Have fun! No need to worry about whether or not your children are smiling…that’s the photographers job! The more relaxed you are the more relaxed your children are & it will show in your photos! The fun, happy family you have. Captured forever for you to cherish. 😉

To view my Family Portrait work or find out about scheduling your Family portrait session head to the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To keep up to date on all changes, Themed Mini sessions, sneak peeks & more be sure to like us on Facebook!



Look Who’s One! Lake City FL First Birthday Photographer | Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer

One of my last sessions of 2012 was the first birthday session of this adorable little man….

Newborn Portrait Photographer

I have been photographing him since his parents were patiently waiting his arrival. 😉 It’s so great to be able to watch clients’ children grow. Grow from sweet little newborn babes into silly, loving, crawling & walking cuties & up into crazy, active toddlers. I am truly blessed.

Jacob’s birthday was Cookie Monster themed, so we definitely brought in blue to accent that. His mom made the adorable cake (even if he was not fond of being messy to enjoy it, lol) & brought his Cookie Monster doll. All together makes for a very cute & sweet session.

Thank you so much Smith family for once again allowing me to capture your family & this timeless memories. Happy Birthday Jacob!

To view more of my work or find out how to schedule a smash cake session for your little one head to the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To keep up with all that’s going on here, as well as sneak peeks, Mini session announcements & more be sure to like us on Facebook!



Family Photographer in Lake City FLLake City FL First Birthday Photographer
Smash Cake Session

I never do this….but it’s too good to pass up Lake City, FL Photographer | Lake City Family Photographer

I have seriously limited the giveaways I enter lately. Mostly due to time. I now only enter those I TRULY want to win. This is one I can’t pass up. Not only the lens (which would be awesome), but the Mentoring!!! I have realized I may be as far as I can get in my photography journey alone. I need help. I need mentoring. Mentoring can be expensive & though it’s a Goal for 2013, who wouldn’t rather WIN something than pay for it?? 😉 If you feel the same head over to Crave Photography for their amazing giveaway.  You will not regret it if you win…and if I win my clients won’t regret it either. 😉


Crave My Photography Giveaway