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

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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

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. ❤


Why Should I pay for Custom Portraits???? Lake City FL Family Photographer | Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer

Ok. This topic I know may upset some….it may also reveal to some of us our true priorities. But, it’s a question that goes through everyone’s mind when thinking about paying for Family Portraits.

Especially with this economy, this is a thought that goes through people’s minds all the time. I get it. But if you think about it, are all those photos you snap with your phone or your cousin snaps with their good camera, are they photos you want to proudly display in your home? Photos that will be treasured forever. Photos that flatter you & showcase the best of your family, even in the candid moments? Usually not.

Of course, it may also be something like my problem. YOU are the one behind the camera all the time. You flip through your album or scrapbook & there are tons of photos of the kids, yet you are not in any of them…..why? Because you took the photo. Simple as that. This year, we will be getting a professional portrait session done of our family.

Is it something I will have to save to be able to do? Yes.

So, why will I do it? Well, because I want fabulous photos of my whole family. Not just my girls, but me with my girls. Photos I feel confident about & want to display in my home. Photos showing the love we have for each other. And yes, photos where I feel I look good. I feel confident & happy & it shows whether or not I lose 10 more pounds.  (& no I am not remotely looking forward to styling my family for this photo, but I know it needs to be done, lol). True, family photos are typically a once a year thing. But PLEASE do it once a year. If you are truly too strapped for custom portraiture, then let a friend capture the shot at minimum. Will it be something you treasure & want to order of a canvas of? Probably not, but at least you will be in the photo. With your children. Loving them. Being with them.

The photo below is one a family friend took last summer. I was happy we got photos where I was in them, but are they what I picture in my head for family portraits? No. Why? Because a family friend (albeit very knowledgeable in how to use a camera & takes wonderful nature photos) is not a professional Photographer. This was taken in a cute little town right before we went to dinner. Not exactly a photo session, but I wanted photos with me in them.

Family Portrait Photographer in Lake City FL

What do you need to do this? You need to find a photographer who understands what you want for your family. Has a good rapport with your k ids & is able to capture their true smiles. A photographer who knows the most flattering way to pose you & your family as well as fun ways to set up a shot that will make for wonderful candid photos of your family interacting without posing. A photographer you feel comfortable with & you feel values you & your family. This person will be able to capture photos for you that you will cherish forever. Photos that make you smile & even shed a small tear in a few years when you look back & wonder where the time has gone. You only have one family. You only have one life. Is that new purse or pair of shoes awesome now? Probably yes. But 10 years from now what would you value more? That purse or a beautiful portrait of your family?

I will end with that, as that is what it boils down to. And now, I can even shoot your session with layouts in mind for the wall in your house you plan to display those images…..which means the photos (colors, location, etc…) will be perfectly suited for display in your home.

To find out about booking a family portrait for your family or view my work head to the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To keep up to date on all Mini sessions, sneak peeks & more be sure to like us on Facebook.



There’s a Special Bond between Mothers & Daughters Lake City, FL Family Photographer | Lake City, FL Family Portrait Photographer

Last month I met up with a wonderful family in downtown Lake City for an Urban family portrait session. It started out as just Mother/Daughter, but a few other members joined the fun to capture some memories for the Matriarch of the family as well. It was a surprise and everyone was delighted.

We barely beat the rain (in fact, by the end it was a down pour), but we had fun & capture some wonderful shots! Thank you so much to everyone for coming out & allowing me to capture your wonderful family!

To see more of my work from recent family portrait sessions you can check out a couple other sessions from the blog here & here. Or you can head to the website to see even more & schedule your family portrait session! As always to stay up to date on upcoming Minis, changes, giveaways & more be sure to like us on Facebook!


MelodyPhotographer in Lake City FL