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The Stewart Family

This session is hands down one of my favorites. This family is seriously the sweetest ever, and I mean come on.. look at little miss Lexi it doesn’t get more precious than that! I hope to enjoy these as much as I do, and I can’t wait to get my hands on them again in June!



Trying this photography thing again.



If you have not followed me over the years, then you do not know that this little business I started years ago was merely a hobby I did with my mom. Growing up in a family that had avid hunters, I knew once hunting season started I would barely see the faces of my Dad, Sister, and James until late February. But that was ok, that just meant that me and my mom would travel to small towns like Wewa, Blountstown, and Apalach to capture nature at its finest. To be honest, at that point, my favorite thing to do was spend time with her. As we started to do it more, and she taught me more about her camera, I became completely obsessed with photography and wanted to know and learn everything about it. Everything we did for the first couple years were completely on film (as I am writing this now I am glancing over at the Minolta propped up as décor on my desk). Any who,  once I became a senior in high school (2008) is when I realized I needed to start building my credit if I wanted to become a true and responsible So I bought my first digital camera which was a sonyA3 I believe, and with that camera, I bet I took every cow in Wewa’s picture… heck, I was so proud of them I even used them as my desktop pictures. But never in a MILLION years did I think I would be able to turn my passion for photography into a. To be honest, I never even thought of taking pictures of people until one day one of my good friends ( Kayla Hitchcock I love ya, girl! ) asked me to take her and her now husband’s pictures. After that I posted them on facebook for her, and never looked back.

I am writing this so that if you don’t know me, you know now that photography started out as a true and pure passion of mine. I would go to bed and wake up thinking about photography. I loved every second of being a photographer.. until about a year a go.  Going in to this business I never knew what was going on “behind the scenes” I guess you could say. I never liked all the promoting you had to do, or constantly having to put my name out there in order for it to stick, but I knew that I HAD to do it if it was going to help me get to do what I loved- and that was taking pictures. Not only did I not like the marketing side, I also didn’t like the dirty side of photography.. it was almost like being back in high school. I never understood why other photographers would leave nasty comments on my blog saying I was not supposed to pose my client there.. or better yet.. why was I at a location someone else used prior. The thing was, I was not keeping up with every photographer in Bay County ( which was probably 7-10 at the time lol ), I was just doing me and not worrying about everyone one else. The only thing I could think of was that they were insecure with their own business, or they were simply just a bully in the photography industry. But after I dealt with that for awhile I ended up making a name for myself and for a good 2 – 2 1/2 years things were great. But once I got pregnant things started to change. I was lost, and not really sure where I wanted to go with my business. By this point photographers in Bay County had tripled which put me in even more of a rut because I didn’t know how to make my business stand out. I was at a stand still. I even renamed my business and tried giving my photos a new style that was not me to simply “stick out”. I tried everything. Here recently has been the worst.. I lost all interest in something I was so passionate about before. Few nights I just wanted to curl myself up in a ball and just cry ( sometimes I did). But now that has all changed. My beautiful, sweet, and saving grace (husband) said something to me during our romantic mother’s day dinner that has flipped my business and passion for my photography around. He simply said ” Melanie, stop looking at it as a paycheck and make it a hobby again. All I want you to worry about is taking care of our daughter and going back to school. If you look at it as a hobby again, everything will fall into place. If you make money that’s great, and if not then that’s ok too.” once he said that to me, I promise you it felt like 200lbs were lifted off my shoulders. And with that being said, I am so happy to say that I am back! IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BACK and not have to worry if I am making a certain amount each month. With all this stress being lifted, I have so many new and creative ideas that I am itching to try out. This truly starts a new chapter for Love, Gracelee Photography, and I am so excited to see where this goes.


I do want to give a BIG thank you to everyone who has encouraged me to stick it out when all I wanted to do was quit. Your words gave me the courage to pick this up as a hobby again.

May 22, 2014 - 2:56 pm

Susan Davis - Your photography skills are a gift from God sweetie, never let it go. Think of all the memories you have made for others stand still in time. And for throw back photoshoot, go to my facebook and look at the shoot you did for for me when I returned to Panama City in 2009… your an awesome photographer and an even more awesome person! I love you

Randle & Tiffany

This session was so much fun to do! I have known Randle for as long as I can remember. Our parents grew up together, so when Tiffany e-mailed me about being their photographer I was super excited! Tiffany is seriously one of the sweetest girls I have ever met ( you did good Randle! ) and you can totally see how much they love each other! I seriously cannot wait until their wedding in October! It is going to be so beautiful!



** The day we took these it looked like it was going to storm all day until right when we were about to leave. The sun came out a little bit under the line of clouds and it was seriously the prettiest sunset I have ever seen!



Michael & Katherine


There is not much that I can say about this couple other than how extremely amazing they are! I met Katherine a while back from mutual friends and was always drawn to her by her sweet personality. I am doing some mentoring sessions that require models so I asked Katherine if she wanted to be apart of it, and of course she said yes! This session was not actually planned until 2 nights prior, when she showed me this outfit and I was completely hooked! So before we did the stylized shoot, we hopped on the beach and took about 30 minutes of shooting time to capture these AMAZING images!! Thank you so much Katherine for EVERYTHING! Without you these sessions would have not turned out as perfect as they did. And we can’t forget Michael! THANK YOU for being such a good sport even when you were not able to go fishing that morning ;)!




































February 24, 2014 - 1:14 am

Pat Martina - Amazing, Mel you have such talent~~

February 24, 2014 - 1:26 am

Chris - Absolutely adorable !! Love all of them, great job!!

February 24, 2014 - 3:05 am

Ina Delorme - Beautiful pictures of a beautiful couple!!!

February 24, 2014 - 3:07 am

Ina Delorme - Beautiful pictures of a beautiful couple!!!!

February 24, 2014 - 9:33 pm

Katherine Mapp - Melanie, you have an amazing gift with your photography. We are blessed to be able to a part of your work. We had so much fun! Thank you times infinity + 1! Love you bunches sister from another mister! XO