Today we’d like to introduce you to Niesha Fuentes.
Niesha, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Phew! Where do I start? My senior year of college at Sam Houston State University, I gave birth to a stillborn baby boy named Carmelo (“Melo”). At the time, my husband then fiancé and I were distraught and grieving. About a year or so, I got pregnant with my rainbow baby, but I was still battling traumatic and postpartum depression. I tried to enjoy my new baby but still missed my first one. Over time, it became more and more difficult to remember his face, touch, and the small details of his profile that made him so unique.
And then one day, two years after my stillbirth… it just hit me. I had photographs and physical prints to help me remember everything about his pregnancy and birth. I relived his moments through those photos. So while I was searching for therapeutic ways to cope, painting, refurbishing furniture, blogging, and photography was the only thing that stuck.
Now, I work hard each day to celebrate his memory and legacy through photography. I took one of the biggest leaps of my life and put every ounce of love for my son into starting a photography business in his memory. Melo and Me Photography… my savior in the midst of the storm, and I find comfort and peace in knowing that I’m a stakeholder in an industry that preserves life’s greatest paramount of visual images —memories.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As all entrepreneurs would tell you, it has not. My family and I are transplants from a very rural town, so I’d say the biggest obstacle has been marketing and brand awareness. Struggling with depression and trying to manage emotions while taking care of your family is also a challenge, but I’m learning how to manage my time wisely.
My advice to other young women (I am young myself), who are just starting their journey would be to just keep breathing. Take it a day at a time, because as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Trust yourself and the process and take time to develop a business and marketing plan then follow through with it.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Melo and Me Photography – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
So, I am a professional full-service photographer serving the North Houston and Greater Montgomery County areas. I specialize in lifestyle and portraits for seniors, families, and weddings. I am most known for my spunky, fun personality and senior experience.
As a photographer, I am most proud of how I make my clients feel. They feel valued and we really just have a lot of fun. It’s literally the same review and testimonial each time, “you are so funny”, “you made me feel so comfortable”, and “wow… that was awesome”, are just a few of the reviews I receive at the end of the creative process.
I think what sets me apart from other photographers, is that my clients are really taking part of an experience that begins with me analyzing what they want and need, and then providing them with heirlooms and finished artwork. The photos and physical products are an integral piece of what I do as well. I really want my clients to visualize, touch, and smell the memories from their artwork and remember exactly who they were at that time.
Who have you been inspired by?
The women who have inspired me the most in my life are my mom, my grandmother, Maya Angelou, and Phylicia Rashad.
My mom was a single parent of five children. I could write a novel about how much she has taught me. She always found a way to make ends meet, and taught me the value of education and independence. I got a taste of true responsibility at such a young age.
My grandmother is the matriarch of my family. Both of her parents were deceased by the time she was five years old. She was raised by one of her grandmothers, and I am so proud of her. She and my grandfather would give me books to read and always answer questions that I had. My Grammy’s so courageous and brave, and I think I gained a lot of my strength from her.
I always told myself I’d be a poet and a lawyer. I think I’m a poet somewhere deep inside but law school is still pending. Maya Angelou because she’d been through so much in her life and she still found a way to push through her obstacles. Her poetry moved me, pushed boundaries, and taught me how to value myself and art. Phylicia Rashad is just a captivating actress. Her role in the iconic television series was inspiring on so many different levels. Growing up there weren’t many positive role models for black women, so to see a television show depicting a successful female black attorney was life-changing for me.
- Website: https://meloandmephotography.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/meloandmephotography
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meloandmephotography
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/meloandme
Melo and Me Photography, Wedding HMUA: Twisted Couture, Senior Session MUA: The Vylet Rose, Senior Stylist: Tutu Cute by Jacqueline Smooke, Wedding Venue: Farmhouse, Naked Cake: Sweet-Treats Bakery, Wedding Dress: Shades of White, Place Settings: House of Hugh