This is the world seen through my camera. Weird, wonderful and wholly original.

mkp website

Posted on Jun 22, 2017
Posted in Portraits

I’ve been trying to think of a title for today’s post that sums up this awesome woman, and then it hit me. She’s the bomb. That’s it. That’s all she wrote. This foxy lady is smart, thoughtful, kind and super caring. While there’s always a back and forth in a portrait session, she always brought it back to me, genuinely wanting to know my thoughts, goals and experiences. She was so sincere in her inquisitiveness and empathy. Basically just a lovely human being all the way around.  She’s also one hell of a dresser.   She was introduced to me by way of another incredible client of mine… I guess awesomeness travels in packs.  Here are a few of my favorite images from her headshot session 🙂

1 mkp professional headshot

2 mkp professional headshot

3 mkp headshot candid

4 mkp professional headshot
5 mkp professional headshot

6 mkp LA headshot photographer

7 mkp LA headshot photographer

8 mkp LA headshot photographer

9 mkp LA headshot photographer

10 mkp LA headshot photographer

11 mkp LA headshot photographer

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on Jun 14, 2017
Posted in Mitzvah's

I first met this lovely young lady a few years ago when I shot her older brother’s bar mitzvah. She was this adorable little girl who was bright and bubbly and danced with her girl friends pretty much the whole night. I about died when it was her turn for her bat mitzvah… I mean really! Where does the time go?! I’m pretty sure I did NOT handle that phone call with quiet professionalism. My client probably had to pull the phone away from her ear in response to my “WTF”-esq scream.

That sweet, fun little girl had grown into this beautiful young woman… Smart, kind, considerate, gracious, respectful and still fun. Basically, everything you’d want out of a daughter, or friend for that matter.

I feel like I have to start bracing myself now for the time when the youngest sibling turns 13. I’ve got lots of time til that call right?

1 mkp brother and sister

2 mkp siblings

3 mkp siblings

4 mkp family portraits

5 mkp shadow portrait

jig

7 mkp siblings

8 mkp mother and daughter

9 mkp family portrait

10 mkp boys will be boys

11 mkp la bat mitzvah

12 mkp LA bat mitzvah

13 mkp LA bat mitzvah

14 mkp LA bat mitzvah

15 mkp LA bat mitzvah

16 mkp LA bat mitzvah

17 mkp LA bat mitzvah

18 mkp LA bat mitzvah

19 mkp LA bat mitzvah

20 mkp LA bat mitzvah

21 mkp LA bat mitzvah

22 mkp LA bat mitzvah

23 mkp LA bat mitzvah

24 mkp LA bat mitzvah

25 mkp Maximum Impact Productions

Greg at Maximum Impact Productions kept the party going the entire night.  The vendors were on point.  Check out Slippy Fox Video too 🙂

26 mkp LA bat mitzvah

27 mkp LA bat mitzvah

28 mkp LA bat mitzvah

29 mkp LA event photographer

30 mkp LA bat mitzvah

31 mkp LA bat mitzvah

32 mkp dancing queen

I have this badass to thank for introducing me to this amazing family. I seriously love this woman for that and oh so many other reasons.

33 mkp LA bat mitzvah

34 mkp LA event photographer

35 mkp LA event photographer

36-mkp-LA-bat-mitzvah

37 mkp LA bat mitzvah

38 mkp LA bat mitzvah

39 mkp LA bat mitzvah

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on Jun 07, 2017

SCLARC. It stands for South Central Los Angeles Regional Center. My heart seriously swells when I think about them. They are a private, non-profit, community based organization for people with developmental disabilities. The organization has hired me to shoot several donor events at their beautiful campus in South Central the last few years. The SCLARC staff and community of supporters are incredible. They are fun, gracious, kind and quick to give you a hug and mean it. This year they had a super hero themed event for World Down Syndrome day. It was my first experience with the members of the community that benefit from all those donor events I have done for them.

Like many events, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I just knew I was going to spend a few hours with one of my favorite clients. That would have been enough, but I got way more than that. It was a pretty casual affair… It was basically one big play area, but almost everyone donned his or her favorite super hero attire. Captain America and Super Girl were in attendance leading the kids in games and teaching tricks of the super hero trade. It was amazing. Watching and documenting the interactions was so special (blast!! I’m tearing up as I type this!). There was so much love and support it was really something else to witness.

The thing that caught me off-guard, however, was the behavior of the siblings to the special needs kids. These young kids acted like adults, protecting and caring for their brothers and sisters in ways I didn’t see coming. You’d expect kids that young to be off running around playing on their own, but that was not the case. They were right there with their siblings the whole time laughing and playing with them. It was incredible.

As a full-on adult woman who can barely take care of herself, I could not imagine how hard it would be to take care of a child who was born completely healthy, let alone one who needed extra help. SCLARC provides a much needed service to a community that is better because they are there.

It’s really easy right now to look at our world and see countries and communities closing their borders and their doors to people in need from no fault of their own. It’s refreshing to know and associate with people that choose to navigate the world from a place of inclusion, compassion, grace and dignity.

SCLARC, I love you.

1 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

2 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

3 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

4 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

5 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

6 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

7 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

8 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

9 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

10 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

11 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

12 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

13 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

14 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

15 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

16 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

17 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

18 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

19 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

20 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

21 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

22 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

23 mkp SCLARC world down syndrome day

mkp-SCLARC-world-down-syndrome-day-hug

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on May 31, 2017
Posted in Portraits

That’s what I call this hottie. YogaJOHN… All one word.

A friend and client of mine, the super talented Kristen Lem, arranged this photo shoot with yoga instructor, John Chen. When I was scheduling his session in my calendar that’s how I identified him. I knew he would be cool since he was coming to me from a woman I cannot say enough good things about, but I didn’t meet him until the two of them showed up to my studio ready for the session bringing with them coffee and bagels. He was so full of love and light that you couldn’t help but to love him! An Armenian woman whom I loved used to call me “MelissaJon”. She told me that adding “Jon” to someone’s name was a term of endearment so this YogaJohn thing really just happened organically.  If I’m being honest, I don’t know how I’ll call him anything else.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the session. If you want to meet the man in person, you can do by taking his class at Curative Yoga in Pasadena. You won’t regret time spent with YogaJOHN, I assure you.

1 mkp yogajohn

2 mkp yogajohn

3 mkp yogajohn

4 mkp yogajohn

5 mkp yogajohn

6 mkp yogajohn

8 mkp yogajohn

9 mkp yogajohn

10 mkp yogajohn

11 mkp yogajohn

12 mkp yogajohn

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on May 24, 2017

Remember last week’s blog post of the super fun, very photogenic family portrait session on the beach? Well today’s post is of the actual bat mitzvah ceremony and party. I’m pretty sure I expressed how much I adore this family already, but the team they put in place for the event was just a pleasure to work with as well. Rose at Two Tree Events is the bomb, as was D&G Entertainment who kept the dance floor packed the entire night.

A fun and lovely family + a rock star vendor team = me loving my job.

1 mkp Temple Judea

2 mkp LA bat mitzvah

3 mkp LA bat mitzvah

4 mkp LA bat mitzvah

5 mkp LA bat mitzvah

6 mkp LA bat mitzvah

7 mkp Temple Judea

8 mkp LA bat mitzvah

9 mkp LA bat mitzvah

10 mkp LA bat mitzvah

11 mkp LA bat mitzvah

13 mkp LA bat mitzvah

14 mkp LA bat mitzvah

15 mkp LA bat mitzvah

16 mkp LA photojournalistic bat mitzvah

17 mkp cousins

18 mkp Temple Judea

19 mkp for Two Tree Events

20 mkp for Two Tree Events

21 mkp for Two Tree Events

22 mkp for Two Tree Events

23 mkp LA bat mitzvah

24 mkp gettin down copy

25 mkp LA bat mitzvah

26 mkp LA bat mitzvah

27 mkp LA bat mitzvah

28 mkp LA bat mitzvah

29 mkp LA bat mitzvah

30 mkp LA bat mitzvah

31 mkp LA bat mitzvah

32 mkp LA bat mitzvah

33 mkp LA bat mitzvah

34 mkp LA bat mitzvah

35 mkp YMCA

36 mkp LA bat mitzvah

37 mkp LA bat mitzvah

38 mkp LA bat mitzvah

39 mkp LA bat mitzvah

40 mkp LA bat mitzvah

41 mkp LA bat mitzvah

42 mkp LA bat mitzvah

43 mkp LA bat mitzvah

44 mkp LA bat mitzvah

45 mkp LA bat mitzvah

46 mkp LA bat mitzvah

47-mkp-the-wave

48 mkp LA bat mitzvah

49 mkp LA bat mitzvah

50 mkp LA bat mitzvah

51 mkp LA bat mitzvah

 

Posted on May 14, 2017
Posted in Mitzvah's, Portraits

When this family hired me to shoot their eldest daughters bat mitzvah, they were on the fence about whether or not they were going to do separate portrait session prior to the big day to use for things like a sign-in book, and other odds and ends relating to the event. I get it; scheduling time to pose for pictures some Muppety lady is taking of you is easily dismissible in the time-strapped world we live in. I am SOOOO glad they decided to do it!!! A separate portrait session is always great for me personally because it allows me one-on-one time in an intimate setting with just my clients… The kind of time that is impossible to achieve in the beautiful chaos of the actual event day.

When I do any kind of portrait session, I ALWAYS try to incorporate the potential for some kind of action. This very awesome young lady is big into books and dogs. I found a beach in Malibu that was dog friendly, and told them to bring their pup and some of her favorite books so we could incorporate her literary love into the shoot. Although she was the primary focus, the whole family was involved. It was so much fun!!!

Here are some of my favorite pics from the session… Stay tuned for a post of the bat mitzvah day!

1 mkp family portrait

2 mkp family portrait

3 mkp girl reading

4 mkp family portrait

5 mkp LA bat mitzvah

6 mkp LA bat mitzvah

7 mkp LA bat mitzvah

8 mkp LA bat mitzvah

9 mkp sisters

10 mkp sisters

11 mkp sisters and their dog

12 mkp sisters and their dog

13 mkp sisters and their dog

14 mkp sisters and their dog

15 mkp LA bat mitzvah

16 mkp LA bat mitzvah

17 mkp LA bat mitzvah

18 mkp LA bat mitzvah

19 mkp LA bat mitzvah

20 mkp LA bat mitzvah

21 mkp family portrait

22 mkp zombie family portrait

24 mkp family portrait

25 mkp family portrait

26 mkp LA bat mitzvah

27 mkp sisters playing on the beach

28 mkp sisters playing on the beach

29 mkp family playing on the beach

30 mkp daddy's girl

31 mkp girl on the beach

32 mkp sisters playing at sunset

33 mkp sisters playing on the beach at sunset

Posted on Apr 23, 2017

I am so excited about today’s post, you have no idea.  As some of you know, last year was the beginning of what has become an annual, on-going collaborative project with Poet, Sarah Suzor.  The project is based on a two-structure theme.  The first, and always consistent theme is the changing of the seasons.  The second theme changes each year and is decided upon based on subjects we each wish to explore within our respective mediums.

2016’s theme was the natural elements; Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  We released quarterly poems last year here on my blog.  Although the blog posts were a good method of exhibiting our work, it was never intended to be the only medium.  We both wished to put it together in a video format as well as an actual book.

I am happy to announce that both are ready!  Well, actually the book is still at the press, but will be in our hands in a few short days… Just in time for my studio’s group show and open house this Saturday.

My studio is located in an artists community in DT LA called Keystone Art Space.  We do a group show in the gallery space and open up our own private studios to the public twice a year.  It’s really freaking cool.

I am going to show the video in the group show, and actual books will be for sale in my studio, A12.  The incredibly talented and gorgeous Sarah Suzor will be there in person as well.  My studio space-mate and very dear friend, Painter and Writer, Robin Maguire and I will be welcoming all who wish to check it out.  We are excited to receive friends, family, clients and other long lost acquaintances.  We’re even making a special cocktail!!! Woot woot!!!

Here is the official premiere of last year’s project in video form.  I have to thank the very talented Kevin Campbell, for editing the video and allowing us to use one of his original songs, Again, as the background track.  Check out our website, sarahandmelissa.com, to purchase your book, as well as stay updated as to this year’s project “the feminine.” (Working title.)

 

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on Apr 17, 2017

I know it’s the middle of April and I’m just now getting to this post. Don’t judge me… Okay. You can judge me.

1 mkp rocking chair

This was a test shot for a shoot I did for the AMAZING Leah Zeger. I loved the test shot, what can I say?

2 mkp Leah Zeger

Here is the same shot as above with the intended subject. This girl ROCKS in so many ways. Do yourself a favor and google her. Full on blog post for this shoot coming soon!

3 mkp Los Angeles city hall

This was an exterior shot of a venue for an event I shot last month. You can see the very beautiful LA City Hall in the background. You can see the blog post for this event here.

4 mkp polaroid picture

I love this so much because he actually took a real Polaroid picture of me! To see his photo and the rest of the pics from this fun event, click here.

5 mkp two wild and crazy girls

This shot cracks me up. It was taken at an event for Five Acres last month. It’s become a tradition at the end of each and every event I do for them to get two shots of the organization’s Senior Leadership Team. One shot is a nice tame one they can use for professional purposes, and the other is a crazy one. I can’t remember the crazy pose I suggested, but half the group was into it, and the other half was not. Let’s just say the gorgeous woman on the right was into it and tried to physically coerce the defiant one in her grasp into agreement. It didn’t work out, but the struggle was oh so good.

6 mkp Dana Calvo

This incredible woman is a client and friend. Her parents came into town for Grandparents Day at her daughters’ school, which also happens to be a client of mine. I snapped this pic of the two generations delightfully engaged in a classroom discussion. Like mother, like daughter.

7 mkp family beach photo bomb

This shot was taken at a family portrait session I did at the beach. Although it was a family portrait shoot, the main focus was the middle child for his upcoming bar mitzvah. This shot made the cut because the young man with the ball and his sister photo bombed what was supposed to be a shot of the parents with their brother. The oldest wasn’t super into the shoot at first, but I knew then that I had broken him. Shenanigans tend to make for the best moments.

8 mkp soccer head

Dude. Same shoot as above! This was a complete accident! It might be one of my favorite pictures ever. Full blog post from this portrait session coming soon!

9 mkp World Down Syndrome Day brothers and sisters

The South Central LA Regional Center, or SCLARC, is an organization in South Central that helps people in the community with special needs. They hired me to shoot an event they held for World Down Syndrome Day. This event was so special… I don’t even know where to begin. Up until this particular event, SCLARC had only hired me for donor events geared toward the fundraising arm of the organization. This was my first experience seeing for whom that money is raised. The super hero themed event is one I will never forget.

10 mkp World Down Syndrome Day twins

This and the following 2 photos are also from the event for World Down Syndrome Day. These twin sisters had a private moment while their parents checked them in for the event. The girl on the right whispered something into her sisters ear that made her smile.  She immediately put her head on her shoulder after the exchange.  It was so sweet; I totally teared up while I was taking it.

11 mkp World Down Syndrome Day brother and sister

I didn’t realize how sweet this shot was until I was editing the whole job. The way this boy his caring for his little sister makes me cry as I type this. Dammit! Why am I such a sap?!

12 mkp World Down Syndrome Day Superman

There’s just too much awesomeness going on in this shot. Full blog post from this event coming soon!

13 mkp girl with her grandma

This was taken at the same Grandparents Day event from the photo of mother/daughter pair a few pics above. “Sweetness” seems to be what drove my favorite photos from March. This girl holding her grandmothers hand as she shows her her school gets me in my sappy core.

Sappy McSapperson here guys. Now you know, if you didn’t already.

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on Apr 09, 2017

The Pasadena Police Activities League, or PAL, held it’s 15th annual Golden Badge Awards Dinner last week. This year’s commemorative “Through the Years” event honored Steve Brockmeyer of Bolton & Company, retired Pasadena Police Chief Bernard K. Melekian, the Salvation Army and current Pasadena police chief Phillip Sanchez. Guests dressed up in their sporty best and partied it up for a good cause. Jill at MHP Events hooked up Pasadena Convention Center for a beautifully staged and executed event. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that DJ Severe, the official DJ of the Dodgers, kept the party going from the cocktail hour and beyond. That guy seriously rocks so hard.

The Pasadena PAL is such a gem of an organization, it continues to shock me that more people don’t know about them. The Police Activities League is a national organization that came to Pasadena in 1997. It partners the youth of the community with the men and women of the Pasadena Police Department in a fun, safe, and nurturing environment while providing academic and cultural enrichment. PAL offers homework assistance, various sports, and a wide variety of special activities such as robotics and arts classes that give students an opportunity to build character and form a positive relationship with our community’s law enforcement. Currently, the PAL program serves an average of 120 children a day in grades 4 – 12 with over 200 more on the waiting list.

The more supporters of the organization, the more kids they are able to let in the program. At a time in our country full of fear, unrest and division; programs like this that truly nurture relationships between those in the community and those that serve them, creating a dialogue that goes both ways, is absolutely imperative. We can yell and scream at what’s wrong, or we can put our energy into those things that work.

PAL works. I love them so much.

1 mkp pasadena convention center

2 mkp pasadena convention center mhp events

3 mkp pasadena convention center mhp events

4 mkp mhp event details

5 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

6 mkp pasadena pal golden badge awards

7 mkp Phlunte Riddle

8 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

9 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

10 mkp pasadena pal supporters

11 mkp Roxanne Haines, Anthony Riley and Eddie Bondarczuk

I told you they wore their sporty best.

12 mkp pasadena convention center mhp events

13 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

14-ref-nice-mean-face

The event committee co-chairs show their nice and mean faces.

15 mkp Eddie Bondarczuk, Roxanne Haines and Chief Phillip Sanchez

16 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

17 mkp boys in blue

18 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

19 mkp Roxanne Haines, Eddie Bondarczuk and Chief Bernard K. Melekian

20 mkp Pasadena Police and Fire

21 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

22 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

23 mkp Eddie Bondarczuk

This is not a picture of a guy in 1930… He is real now.

24-mkp-Eddie-Bondarczuk-hits-a-homerun

25 mkp Deborah and Chief Phillip Sanchez

Two of my favorite people. I love them so much!!

26 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

27 mkp pasadena pal golden badge gala

28 mkp epic ball throw

Sporty best dad engaged in an epic throw!

29 mkp epic ball catch

To his cutie pie of a child who figures out that the best way to catch a ball is with closed eyes.

30 mkp he's going to hit a home run

He’s locked in folks!

31-mkp-Roland-hit-a-homerun

HOMERUN!!!! And the crowd goes wild!!!!!

32 mkp Roland hit a homerun

33 mkp Roland hit a homerun

Just the usual second base homerun celebratory squats. As you do.

34 mkp Roxanne Haines

35 mkp Roxanne Haines

This lovely lady is the Pasadena PAL director, Roxanne Haines.  She is so very loved.

Like what you see here?  Want information on my professional services and availability, or maybe to discuss a creative collaboration, click here!

Posted on Mar 26, 2017

Flintridge Prep hires me to shoot all sorts of awesomess. Just last month they brought be in to document what was virtually a whole day of science labs, one of which included dissecting a cow’s eye! At one point, I set down my gear, put on some rubber gloves, and got in there with the students. It rocked. You know what else rocked? Their incredible 70’s themed benefit that took place not too long after the bitchin’ cow eye encounter.

The committee absolutely killed it. They held their biggest fundraiser at the stunning Vibiana in downtown L.A. They put together a fantastic group of vendors that included Keith McLane at KLM Auctions, Dean Henderson at RSVP DJ’s, High Voltage Lighting and yours truly to document the 70’s insanity.

One gorgeous venue,

+ wild, fun people dressed in their 70’s best ready to get down

+ a super skilled committee and vendors ensuring a tightly run ship

= a gem of an event that was a treat to shoot.

Flintridge Prep, you just keep shaking your groove thang.

1 mkp Prep Gala

2 mkp LA City Hall and Vibiana

3 mkp Vibiana

4 mkp Beth and Rob Hansen

5 mkp 70's theme gala

6 mkp Andy Warhol and model

7 mkp Flintridge Prep

8 mkp Keith McLane, Phill Lewis, Phil LaMarr and Dean Henderson

9 mkp Vibiana

10 mkp Vibiana gala details

11 mkp Nicole Trevor aka best picture ever

12 mkp Prep Gala

13 mkp gala detail shots

14 mkp Prep Gala

15 mkp Stephen and Juliana Erdody

16 mkp Keith McLane, Phil LaMarr and Phill Lewis

17 mkp gala live auction

18 mkp live auction negotiation

19 mkp gala live auction bidding war

20 mkp Phill Lewis, Keith McLane, Phil LaMarr and Peter Bachman

21 mkp Prep Gala

22 mkp 70's theme gala

23 mkp lets groove tonight

24 mkp polaroid picture

25 polaroid of Melissa Kobe

26 mkp 70's theme gala

27 mkp ymca

28 mkp 70's theme gala

29 mkp Prep Gala

30 mkp Monique Stevens and Leslie Levy