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Meet Melissa Winkelmann of Flo Marie Photography in Spring

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Winkelmann.

Melissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My photography journey all started after I became a mom. It’s something that I’ve always been interested in but it never really crossed my mind that I could actually have the skill set to be a photographer. After I had my first child, I searched for a way to express my creativity. I needed some sort of creative outlet that was all my own. I also wanted to find a way to connect with people on deeper level. It started with a mom blog, then I thought about creating a store on Etsy, however, that all fell flat. It wasn’t something I was completely passionate about. About two years ago, I purchased my first DSLR camera. From the moment I took my first picture with it, I knew it was something I wanted to do long term.

With the support of my family and friends, I was able to practice and have been growing as a photographer ever since. I decided to take a leap of faith and establish my business in such a highly saturated industry. It has been such a learning experience! I created Flo Marie Photography in honor of my mother who passed away from cancer in 2006. She was the photographer of our family, the keeper of any and all photos. There was not a moment in my childhood where those precious years went undocumented. So I like to think that I am continuing her love of preserving family moments, many milestones and years of growth in this photo album of life.

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?
I think there is a certain level of fear and vulnerability when starting something new. Through this process of growing my business, I’ve discovered how it’s important to face those fears in order to feel empowerment from it. Of course, there are feelings of self-doubt that constantly flow through my mind. Am I good enough? What will people think? Is this the right choice for me? How can I stand out as a photographer? However, I’m able to find the confidence within myself to push those questions aside and just GO FOR IT! Nothing is ever easy. There are many challenges along the way. I’ve found that I learn something from every session that I do. A few struggles I’ve faced in the process is learning everything from scratch, getting out of my comfort zone and finding balance with all the different pieces of my life. It’s definitely a juggling act! I think eventually, I will develop a system that works for my business and will give me a sense of mastery in a skill that gives me so much joy.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Flo Marie Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Flo Marie Photography is all about honoring people for who they are, where they are and the beauty that surrounds them. My goal as a photographer is to capture connection and emotion with my clients because every person is special and unique in their own way. I think I have a very Montessori approach to photography. The Montessori philosophy is a very important part of my household and is something I try to incorporate in my business which I think sets me apart from other photographers. I try not to do many posed shots and the general stand here and say cheese. Although those are nice, the beauty lies within candid images complete with emotion and unexpected moments. Some of my favorite photos as a kid are the ones where I’m not even looking at the camera at all. Children engaged in meaningful play, a family interacting with each other as if the camera isn’t even there, the loving embrace between people who care deeply for each other and so much more. Those are the images I live for and hope to create for each and everyone of my clients.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I look forward to growing my business, meeting new clients and new experiences. I’m still a fairly new photographer trying to find my way, so right now it’s about growth, practice and mastering the art of photography. In the future, I hope to have a my own studio/office space. I would like a place where clients can come, share their story and expectations for their session. I also want to look into providing print packages instead of just digital images for my clients. There is still a lot to learn but I’m excited for what the future may hold.

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