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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-Profile-Spotlight-Melanie-M-5.be110857376e1c1dc5afaa178864837f.jpeg

Alpha Profile Spotlight: How This Creative Came Full Circle With A Renewed Purpose

We connect with photographer and cinematographer Melanie Myhre (@melaniemyhre) to learn more about her return to fine art photography with a renewed purpose, more wisdom and more experience.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/100-sec., f/3.5, ISO 640

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/200-sec., f/2.8, ISO 500

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/8, ISO 100

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1000-sec., f/2.8, ISO 125

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7S II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/2.8, ISO 200

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/125-sec., f/6.3, ISO 250

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/125-sec., f/7.1, ISO 640

Photographer and cinematographer Melanie Myhre (@melaniemyhre) started in artistic photography and eventually moved into wedding photography. Like many in the industry, these quickly-changing times have also changed her work, and she found her way back to fine art photography with a renewed purpose. She’s been working on a surrealist series focusing on resilience, environmentalism, and portraying active roles in saving our planet. We saw her Alpha Universe Profile and connected with her to learn more about her work. Read her story below and create your own Alpha Universe Profile HERE for a chance to be featured on AlphaUniverse.com.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/8, ISO 100

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/8, ISO 100

When the pandemic had a huge impact on her wedding photography business, Melanie Myhre came full circle back to fine art with a renewed purpose, more wisdom and more experience

Career Snapshot

My first exposure to photography was in the 9th grade. I had an influential teacher who loaned me a camera and gave me the opportunity to be a yearbook photographer. The school had a black and white photo lab. That experience ignited a lifelong passion, but it wasn’t until many years later that passion became fulfilled.

My career has been multidisciplinary. I started creating photos as a hobby and a creative outlet. It was a way to express the wonder and beauty I saw in the world around me, and a way to share it with others. It wasn’t until I mustered the courage to ask someone to model for me that I really found my creative focus. I began creating images that were beautiful, feminine, and surreal. I learned about lighting and photoshop techniques to enhance my vision, as well as employing many crafting techniques such as sewing wardrobe and creating props for my fantasy worlds. I started down a career path as an artistic photographer, showing in galleries, contributing to publications; including a book on creative photography; teaching workshops, and working with industry vendors.

Creating income from fine art was challenging and I was inexperienced. In 2011, I saw a market for wedding photography so I opened a studio specializing in them. I did high school senior portraits on the side, and started a mentoring model program. I added cinematic video to my offerings. It wasn’t long before weddings took over and I was shooting over 50 weddings a year. I no longer had time for purely creative shoots, and so I used the handful of high school senior shoots I had a year as a creative outlet. I worked long hours and sacrificed much to grow my business. Although I loved what I did, I began to truly miss creative fine art shoots.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7S II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/2.8, ISO 200

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7S II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/2.8, ISO 200

For me, the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise. It had a huge impact on my wedding business, forcing me to take a step back. It reinforced the need to pivot, but it also gave me the space in which to do so. I have come full circle and am beginning to create fine art images again, only this time with a renewed purpose, more wisdom and more experience. I am currently working on a surrealist series focusing on resilience, environmentalism, and portraying active roles in saving our planet. Future projects involve social activism encouraging positive attitudes towards ageism, gender roles, and more. I truly love working with teens, and am re-focusing the studio part of my business on high school senior portraits and will reopen my model program in 2022.

Working In Creative Fine Art

After shooting in many genres, I can say that I love photography in all its forms, but what excites me most is creative fine art work and high school senior portraits. Often the two go hand-in-hand for me. I enjoy creating in both studio and on location, and each has its own set of challenges. Since the pandemic began, I have not had a usable studio space. Trying to create a studio look on location has increased my knowledge and use of lighting techniques. I have photographed in full sun, high humidity, rain, snow and fog. I have taken my Sony to flower fields, mountaintops, caves, and everywhere in between. Once, I even photographed a wedding in a glass chapel during a tornado watch! 

Photographing in the elements can be very demanding on both people and equipment. I sometimes create an entire set in outdoor spaces, bringing in furniture, props, and wardrobe. It can be a lot to haul in and set up for just a few images, but I love creating my own little worlds and sharing them with viewers! It takes a lot of preparation and planning. When it all comes together, it’s magic; but sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and one has to be prepared for that possibility. Last fall, I set up a Halloween themed shoot. I checked the weather carefully and it all seemed clear. In the middle of the shoot, a surprise rainstorm popped up! Luckily, I always carry rain gear in my car. My models didn’t mind the rain, but it just didn’t work for the images I had planned.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1000-sec., f/2.8, ISO 125

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1000-sec., f/2.8, ISO 125

Why I Shoot With Sony

I have been a Sony shooter since 2017. When I purchased my first Sony camera, I was shooting primarily weddings and looking at getting into cinematic wedding video. I needed a technically advanced lightweight camera that could do both photography and video in very demanding situations like low light, fast moving situations, and full (hot) sun. Sony’s consistent innovations in full frame mirrorless cameras seemed like a perfect fit, and their level of quality and attention to industry needs couldn’t be beat.

My Go-To Sony Camera & Lens

I started with a Sony Alpha 7S II for its video capabilities, but quickly moved to the Sony Alpha 7 III when it came out. The Eye AF, dual card slots, longer battery life, in body stabilization, and touch screen greatly enhanced my ability to provide my clients with my best work. The 24MP, fine highlight and shadow detail and natural skin tones were all pluses for me.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/125-sec., f/6.3, ISO 250

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/125-sec., f/6.3, ISO 250

My go to workhorse lens is my 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. It offers a highly flexible range in f stop and focal length that is perfect for weddings and works well for portraits too. It’s tack sharp with a creamy bokeh, and at f/2.8 it’s great for low light or shooting in high speed sync. I use an off camera flash and shoot in full sun for many of my senior shoots, so high speed sync is a must for the style I want to capture.

Another favorite is my 50mm f/1.8. It’s a classic portrait lens that works great on a gimbal for video as well. I recently started working with the 70-200mm f/4 G. I like it for how it compresses the depth of field and highlights my subject. It’s a great portrait lens for capturing your subjects from a less intimidating distance. The lightness of the f4 is also a great trade off from the heavier f/2.8. I am 5’2”, so I try to go as light as I can with gear!

What Photography Means To Me

Photography creates experiences in my life that calm and center me. It’s my creative outlet, a way to express myself, make a difference in peoples’ lives and the world as a whole, and it has propelled my personal growth in a multitude of ways. It encourages me to be a better person, to reach outside of my comfort zone and overcome challenges, and to share that knowledge with others who may be facing similar challenges. Photography has been my saving grace in my times of deepest need. It has been my sole source of income and it has empowered me with the freedom to live my life as I choose. Photography is an integral part of who I am today.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master.

Photo by Melanie Myhre. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master.

What Being A Part Of The Sony Community Means To Me

Being a part of the Sony community means being a part of something bigger than myself. It means being connected to a community of like minded people who support each other, and I am proud to be a part of this family. We are making the pie bigger so we can ALL have a slice. It means lifting each other up, making our whole industry better, and making a difference in the world as a whole. I am deeply passionate about my craft and my industry, and I prefer to align with brands who are also passionate and want to make a difference. Sony has not only been innovative in technology and quality, but also in promoting awareness and change with regard to social inequalities, injustices and environmental causes. It takes a lot of integrity to stand up for what you believe in, and I feel I have found my tribe in the Sony community.

See more of Melanie Myhre's work on her Alpha Universe Profile and on Instagram @melaniemyhre.

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