Not your average kiwi.
Adventure loving and full of life Melissa grew up in a small lake side town on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. A town of 40 people. Where wake boarding in summer and snowboarding in winter was her norm. Her childhood consisted of dirt bikes, the outdoors and road trip adventures. Deciding to leave behind a corporate career in her mid-twenties Melissa took that leap of faith and now has a lifestyle that resembles her childhood and dreams.
Graduating from Brisbane College of Photography and Art, it wasn’t long until Melissa’s first assisting position came with Australia’s top fashion photographer, Georges Antoni. Melissa then freelanced with other top photographers in Australia such as Simon Leikas, David Mandelberg, Juli Balla, Jake Terry and Daren MacDonald in order to gain experience with different aesthetic’s before her next goal, New York. Leaving Sydney Melissa moved to New York where she assisted photographers such as Craig McDean, Ethan James Green, Zoey Grossman, Yulia Gorbachenko, Benny Horne, Emma Summerton, Tyler Kohlhoff, Bibi Borthwick, Ramon & Melanie, Hart & Leshkina and Cliff Watts.
During this time Melissa has consulted in lighting for clients such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Tiffany & Co, Tommy Hilfiger, Helmut Lang, Victoria Secret, Nike, Adidas, Puma, Athleta, Apple Music, Netflix, Disney allowing her to work along names such as Bella Hadid, Travis Scott, Peso Pluma, Kaytranada, Teyanna Taylor, Gwen Steffani, Hailey Bieber, Lebron James, the ‘Kardashians’, Jennifer Hudson, Harrison Ford, Dakota Fanning, Nicholas Cage and Danny Devito to name a few. Her lighting work within the scope of magazines includes the likes of Vogue US/Mexico/Singapore, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair, ELLE, WSJ and LVH.
Mid 2022 Melissa relocated to Los Angeles where she has since been embracing the Californian, Venice Beach lifestyle. Any moment she can she will be skateboarding, training in MMA, doing calisthenics and taking photographs of good energy people. Her aesthetic represents her lifestyle, her love for street culture and people chasing their passions and sharing those positive vibrations.
Melissa has worked on many high end large budget projects as a Lighting Consultant for others, yet 98% of the photography work within her portfolio is created with no budget or equipment, just her skills understanding natural light whilst going for a low key walk with talent and seeing what can be captured. With a goal to be shooting her own campaigns with large equipment budgets, Melissa is spreading her wings in fashion photography and expression and with her extensive experience as a Lighting Director is definitely one to look out for.