Mlchapman's Blog

Those eyes…
July 20, 2010, 11:00 am
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My new favorite baby photo.


…and I’m back!
July 16, 2010, 2:27 pm
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Did you miss me?  I’ve been remiss in updating the blog for a while now.  My excuse – I’ve been busy with client photos!  What a great excuse to have! 

Enough of that though.  I’m going to be better at updating this darn blog if it kills me.  So you’re going to see more posts in the next week and they are going to be awesome!

Months ago it seems, my friend asked me to take her daughter’s 9-month photos at the beach.  After about 2 months, we finally got out there.  So we’re going to lie to the sweet girl later in life and tell her these are her 9-month photos.  And to answer your next question, no, there was no oil!

Sweet girl was not crazy about the camera this day. She was fascinated by the water though.

Every girl should have a zebra print bikini. Am I right?

My gut told me that she was a little aprehensive about the water. This look sums it up well.

More on Monday!

Vintage look
May 12, 2010, 1:02 pm
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I just had to share two photos from a session I did last week.  It was a great opportunity for me to process with a vintage look on some of the photos.  This look isn’t great for many photos but as soon as I looked through this set, I knew I could use it!  I love the rich colors and the depth to these. 

Processing like this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so I always give my clients an option to request alternative looks – black and white, sepia, or vibrant colors – for any photo in their selection.

Coming next week…more babies!  (yeah, that’s a big shock, huh?)

Check out for more baby photos and the children’s gallery. 

 Become an mlchapman fan on Facebook. 

A very cool baby
May 3, 2010, 10:02 am
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My friends Nathan and Mary Ann had little Grady a couple months ago.  He’s a lucky kid with parents like these.  He already listens to reggae, dresses pretty snazzy, and hangs out on the kayak with his dad.  His parents are some of my favorite people so Grady is bound to be one too!

Check out for more baby photos and the children’s gallery. 

Become an mlchapman fan on Facebook. 

April 29, 2010, 11:33 am
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My friend Kristin wanted some photos of her boys just doing what they always do.  I was so distracted by the awesomeness of their toys.  These boys have a lot of trains…and really cool Legos (my favorites!).  I want to go back without the camera for another playdate. 

I love that Kristin wanted photos like these for her boys.  When I look back at photos of me as a kid, I like to notice my favorite toys in the background.  I hope her boys look back on these someday and remember the fun they had with light sabers, Legos, and trains.

April 19, 2010, 12:44 pm
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We spent a day in Seaside this weekend to take advantage of the perfect weather/pre-tourist season and it was incredible!  We spent the whole day riding bikes, playing at the beach, eating good food, eating good cupcakes, and wandering aimlessly around town.  Seaside is the utopian little beach community used in the movie, The Truman Show.  It’s made up of the most adorable homes and shops all built around a central town square right along the beach.  I really didn’t take many pictures because it was one of those times when you’re just having too much fun to pull out the camera.  Gotta love those days!

crusing - the Truman House - lazing


Coming up later this week…Baby Grady and the Fairchild boys! (not a folk band but a great name for one)

Miss Presley
April 6, 2010, 10:42 am
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I had the pleasure of meeting little Miss Presley in March at a couple weeks of age.  I met her proud parents earlier this spring for some maternity pictures (the “before” pictures) so I was very happy to come back for the “after” pictures.  I was so surprised by how alert and aware sweet Presley was for a newborn!  What a good baby she was to photograph – lots of eye contact, some great expressions, and she didn’t complain once! 

This just makes me say, "Oh hello there!"

and hello again!

 This next one wasn’t an ideal photo but I just love the look that Presley is giving her mom.  It’s that sweet “I recognize you!” look of adoration and it’s just beautiful! 

love that look.

I love photographing newborns.  For other sessions, I try to stay within a one-hour time span, but with newborns, it could drag out a bit longer.  I just love to take time to hear new parents talk about their baby’s personality quirks, sleeping habits, and all the changes that are occuring in their lives.  For a single, childless woman, it’s fascinating to me to hear about the adjustments that a new mom goes through – and it astounds me how they handle it all.  Lucky for me, I’ve got a lot of pregnant friends and clients so there’s no shortage of these conversations!

Back from Photoshop World
March 30, 2010, 3:11 pm
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This year’s Photoshop World was the best yet.  Each year NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), the people who produce Photoshop World, come up with a theme for the conference and each year they outdo themselves.  This year was a KISS theme and as you can see from the keynote video, they didn’t disappoint.

A funny story about my keynote experience…I was staying at the Rosen Centre – across the street from the conference center but about a mile from the concourse where PSW was held.  I knew from previous conferences here that comfortable shoes are essential so I packed accordingly – a pair of versatile black dress sandals that are especially comfortable for lots of walking.  The morning of the keynote, I trekked the mile to the concourse feeling very confident in my footwear choice.  But as I reached for the door of the conference center, the entire back half of my right shoe FELL OFF.

I didn’t know what to do.  I could dash back to the hotel to put on another pair of shoes but I might be late for the keynote.  I could just go to the keynote and hope no one notices, then return to the hotel and skip the first session.  While I weighed my options, the most unlikely thing happened…the entire back half of my left shoe FELL OFF.  I’m not kidding you. 

I can only assume that my beloved comfy black sandals had reached their breaking point.  Maybe it was due to the long winter of unuse.  Maybe it was God giving me a little dose of humility in the form of rotten foam soles.  Whatever the case, I got a good laugh at myself.

In the end, I hobbled back to the hotel on the toes of my shoes (as that was all that was left) and spent the rest of day 1 of Photoshop World in black slacks and Sperry Top Siders.  Classy.

But back to the conference – it was awesome!  As always, I greatly enjoyed sessions by Joe McNally, Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and RC Concepcion.  But I was really blown away by Zach Arias.  I’ve enjoyed his work for about a year now but now I have a professional crush* on him.  More about what I learned at Photoshop World in days to come!

*Professional Crush – admiration for someone to the point that I would quit my job to work for him or her for little money, possibly even as a coffee maker.

Photo Nerd Conference
March 22, 2010, 9:00 am
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I’m off this week for a really great conference – Photoshop World!  I’ve been three years in a row now and every year I come away with a head full of new ideas, reenergized, and feeling very creative.  Not only is it a great educational opportunity, but there’s just something really pleasant about spending a week with fellow photo nerds.  And it’s the brainchild of my favorite photo guru, Scott Kelby.  If you’ve ever considered taking up photography or if you have a cool camera but have no idea what to do with it, Scott’s digital photography books (there are 3 volumes) are outstanding.  

This is me with Scott Kelby at the 2008 Photoshop World.  Look how happy I am!  I’m such a nerd! 

Melissa and Scott Kelby at PSW 2008


This year, I took a big step out of my comfort zone and entered three images in the Guru Awards.  These are annual awards in digital imaging presented at Photoshop World and the past winners’ work will just blow your mind.  I’m not at all expecting to win but I still entered for a really good reason – because I need to become more comfortable sharing my photos with my peers and opening myself up for criticism.  Here are my three entries (feel free to critique them!): 

Jamaica Pond, Boston

Balloon Festival, Foley, Alabama

Koi Pond

David, Lauren, & Cooper
March 15, 2010, 10:27 am
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My friends David and Lauren were in town last week with their new pup Cooper.  David and Lauren are getting married in a couple months and I couldn’t be happier for them.  I’ve known David for a few years now and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Lauren.  David’s a hometown boy and loves Pensacola so we knew these pictures would have to express the area. 

Talking about getting hitched at the courthouse.

Aren't they a great looking couple? Lauren is going to be a gorgeous bride!

I loved that David and Lauren wanted to include their “baby” Cooper in the photos.  Check out his popped collar…

David, Lauren, and Cooper

Too bad Cooper can’t be in the wedding.  That little guy would look pretty dapper in a tux, don’t you think?