I'm a Maine based photographer, specializing in weddings and lifestyle portraiture. I serve all of New England and beyond as no event is ever too far.

Teaching at Hallmark Institute of Photography

In 2001, I graduated from Hallmark Institute of Photography.  In 2013, I was asked to teach a class at Hallmark.  So, this past May, I taught two classes.  To be considered is a huge honor, to be asked is mind blowing.  The preparation for the class was really exciting.  I gathered together information and promotional materials from the vendors I work with to run my business.  I reflected on my career and had many laughs looking back at it all.  When you go through situations and they just do not make sense at all, you find later, they made perfect sense and needed to happen in order for you to be where you are.  I learned to trust the way life unfolds more through this experience which is invaluable.

The students I worked with were set to graduate a few weeks after my class so I focused on providing information and tools to help them feel more confident in their next steps.  I shared a brief summary of my journey and walked them through what a day looks like in a wedding photography business.

This picture was taken prior to the class starting.  I had all the intentions to take more photographs but I got so into the class, it was over before I knew it.  I swear students came to the class.  🙂

It was really interesting to experience the dynamic of the two classes.  The first class was very engaged and asked questions.  The second class seemed a bit glassed over and weren’t as engaged.  I’m glad that I had a chance to see what both ends of that spectrum are.  I gained so much respect for teachers.  As a photographer, I feed off of people’s energies and as a teacher, it is very similar.  Of course, not everyone in the class is interested in leaving school and photographing weddings so I didn’t expect everyone to be excited.  But I do want to feel like the time I’m giving is worth it.

Well, I’m happy to say it’s very worth it.

Thank you to SugarJets Studio, WHCC, Leather Craftsmen and AlbumExposure for sending along materials for the students.

I’m prepping this weekend for my next class in August.  This class is more of an intro so the information will be different.  I’m not sure exactly what my focus will be this time but I’m going to go take a yoga class and come back to figure that out.  I was gathering some things for class and came across the original copy of the welcome speech I made at my graduation ceremony in 2001.  I have obviously grown up in the 12 years since that day yet I can relate to this speech and am so glad I never swayed from this foundation.  I’m sharing these words with you here from that day.  May this little piece of history serve as a great reminder or give you inspiration.

Alarm Sound : {I rang an old fashioned alarm in the mic to start}

“How many times did you hear this sound this year and roll over and say, “Oh my god, it’s another day!?”

How many of you feel like each day here was equivalent to the length of a week or a month?

How many of you laid down to sleep at night and said, “I cannot believe I got all of that done today.”

We had a lot placed on our plates in these 10 short months.  We’ve dealt with things we never thought were possible.  We all made this decision to be here at the right place and the right time.  Which brings us here at the end.  All 128 of us.  Can you believe it?  We survived the Hallmark “bootcamp”.  They told us this was going to be intensive but did you really think it was going to be THIS insane.

To all the people who stood by us through this time.  To all the friendships made and lost.  To all the worry, lack of sleep and tanks of coffee.  To all of the instructors and staff without your dedication and hard work we would have been lost.  To all the goals we’ve met and who we’ve become.  Fo all the moments we have captured and all the times we’ve shared.  For our strength and determination.  For all of our similar difficulties, weaknesses, failures and our sadness.  To all of our celebrations of joys and successes.  To many days of waiting, wanting and discovery. 

Look around you and remember this moment…this is our final day to this chapter in our lives.  We share this common bond.  Regardless where you are headed, no matter what – we are together as one because there will never be another class of 2001.  

Have you been asked yet . . .”What do you do?” . . . “You take pictures?”  “Is this what you are going to do with the rest of your life?”

Why yes, we are photographers.  And this is a real job.  Our job is to create and connect with people.  So, when you are asked if you are ever going to get a real job.  Be sure to reply this is a real job….as real as a doctor, teacher or a scientist.  Being a photographer is not something you choose to be, it is something you are, like tall or short.  

There is no choice, either you are or you ain’t.  ;)”

xoxo . . .

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Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit the Melissa Mullen Photography blog. I'm a Maine based photographer, specializing in weddings and lifestyle portraiture. I serve all of New England and beyond as no event is ever too far. Please feel free to take a look around and introduce yourself by leaving a comment of affection at the bottom of any of the posts. Or drop me a note as I would love to hear from you.

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