Photo by Carrie Yarborough

Photo by Carrie Yarborough

Hey! I'm Melissa. A lot of people call me Mel. Here are a few little things that will help you get to know me.

I was born and raised in Greenville, SC and I am so proud to call it home. It's an inspiring place to be a photographer and a wonderful place to raise a family. I can definitely say I have a deep love for the south.

I have a B.A. from Furman University where I studied Photography and Graphic Design but my love for photography started way before my time in college. By placing his camera in my hands at an early age, my dad, a photographer himself, cultivated my love for the art form. I am very grateful for his unconditional support and uplifting words as we share in our love of photography.

While I have done and loved all sorts of photography, I can say I am truly in my happy place when I'm photographing children, regardless of their age. Photographing newborns in particular makes my heart sing! I love that it’s more than just the ability to take a pretty picture. I have extensive professional training in newborn comfort, safety and posing. I simply love babies and I’d like to say the feeling is mutual!

I am an optimist and I trust people to a fault. I treasure my friendships. I really hate the dentist. I love cheese, dark chocolate, avocados and an oaky chardonnay. I traveled a lot with my mom and I dream of traveling far and wide one day.

Having a little family of my own is so much more than I dreamed it would be. I feel most alive when I'm snuggling with my 3 babies, Lila Grace (9), Cece (7) and Charlie (2). I'm in awe of my luck in finding my husband. We've been married 11 years. He believes in my talent and has encouraged me to follow my dreams. I don't know what I would do without him. He makes me a better person.

I strive every day to be more like my mother. She is my hero. You can read more about her here.

When I'm holding my camera, I'm home.

MEET Jen, THE Studio manager


Jen is the one who keeps the dear lissie world turning! With a background in advertising, marketing and project management she's the perfect person to keep Mel (the typical right-brained artist type) on her toes. Not only is she detail oriented, but she has a wonderful artistic eye so she's the perfect partner for Mel.

Jen is a wife and a mother of 3 as well, 2 boys and 1 girl. When she's not wrangling Mel, she enjoys spending time with her sweet family, going to Clemson Football games (she's about as passionate of a fan you can imagine) and interior decorating (you should see all the amazing DIY projects in her house).

If you book with dear lissie, you'll be hearing a lot from Jen and you'll love her!



"The name Melissa is a Greek baby name. In Greek the meaning of the name Melissa is: Bee. Famous bearer: Melissa, Mythological princess of Crete transformed to a bee after learning to collect honey."

You'll notice there's a little friend hanging around here...Yes, Dear Lissie has a mascot.

Oddly enough bees have a lot of meaning in my life (other than the fact that apparently I was named after one). My mom and her best friend (my godmother) shared a very special love for The Secret Life of Bees, a beautiful book by Sue Monk Kidd. Throughout my childhood, they would send each other little bee trinkets and say over the phone, "I saw a honey bee today and thought of you...". It wasn't till later in life when I read the book too that I saw it's peaceful worth. It's a book about motherhood and female power and you should read it if you haven't.

Every time I see a bee now that my mother is gone, I think of her and feel her presence. It feels like a little gift from her...a little nudge that reminds me she's there. A honey bee even circled my wedding bouquet right before I walked down the aisle!

This sweet little bee was created by my lovely and talented artist friend who also hand-lettered my logo, Marlena, of love lettered. She's truly brilliant when it comes to hand crafted design. Not only is this a precious little bee character, but she put meaning into every aspect of it. The 2 black stripes and one white one in his body represent my 2 daughters and son, and his wings, shaped like hearts, represent love.