We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Baptiste and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“Please don’t forget to celebrate yourself. Celebrate your wins, celebrate your work, celebrate your growth, celebrate your recovery, celebrate your being. Celebrate yourself everyday even when you don’t think you deserve too.” – Joel Leon (Author).
This affirmation really does help me run my business. I think that oftentimes there is this misconception with being a creative entrepreneur that it’s all going to be glitz and glamour and unfortunately, that is not always the case. Then with the addition of being a person of color, then a black woman of color at that, immersed into a predominantly male industry can make you feel intimidated at times. Then the anxiety starts to come into play, and then you start to fill yourself up with what I’d like to call an “imposter syndrome”, whereas it’ll have you question the authenticity and value of your work. However, my brand and my content speak for itself. I am a strong believer in celebrating your accomplishments whether big or small because at the end of it all, you are the one who is out here doing your thing and making your dreams come true, all by running a business from the ground up. So, give yourself some credit because that isn’t easy and not everyone can and will do that. My experiences in this field have been eye opening to say the least. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all valued. These experiences created not only lessons in business, but life lessons overall to which I’ve used to channel more knowledge and awareness in my creative and business aspect of being a photographer. Which then brings me back to my affirmation of being able to celebrate my accomplishments as a proud business owner every chance I get.
“It’s not the photo itself that interests me, What I want is to capture a fraction of second of the real.” – Henry Cartier-Bresson (French Photographer).
This quote’s essence is the foundation of what helped create MelissaBStudios’ mission statement and what we stand for as a brand. The best part of photography for me is all the behind the scenes work that goes into capturing beautiful images. Working and collaborating with Designers, Stylists, Makeup Artists, Hair Stylists and Creative Directors to bring a concept to life makes it all worth it. Being a photographer, you are afforded to be in so many rooms and spaces where you are helping create part of someone’s history through photographs; basically, freezing time in a matter of seconds. That is not an easy task, and this daunting task isn’t for the weak, so it is truly rewarding and something that I enjoy doing.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey to becoming a Photographer is unorthodox, but not completely far-fetched. It certainly isn’t a traditional one. For starters, my educational background is in International Criminal Justice and Africana Studies. The love for creating and capturing photographs was derived from wanting to express myself through creativity while also helping others see themselves in a positive light. If you ask me what made me become a photographer? My simplest answer will be that my vision is to capture memorable photographs by being able to create a vibe on set that the person being photographed will always remember and cherish. Making that person being photographed feel beautiful by showing them the different sides of their beauty is something that I love. Shooting with MelissaBStudios is an experience! It’s not just about getting the shot. It’s about enjoying every second of every minute of being in front of the camera. Passion is energy. I feel that the power that comes from focusing on what excites you is the reason why MelissaBStudios thrives.
MelissaBStudios is ran by Haitian Photographer, Mélissa Baptiste. She gained an affinity for which later turned into a profound love for photography during her senior year of High School when she enrolled in a Digital Photography class. There, in class is when she learned the fundamental basis of photography. After her first year of College, Melissa took that leap of faith and invested into her own set of photography equipment. Immediately after investing in the photography equipment, she began taking pictures of any- and everything. At the end of 2016, Melissa took it a step further by extending her knowledge within her craft by attending photography workshops and taking business, film, and creative art classes. She took this passion of hers and turned it professionally. Being the business savvy woman that she is, this passion of hers quickly transitioned into her brand. MelissaBStudios is known for capturing the essence of individuals in beautiful portraits that conveys the person’s individuality and emotions, and that is because of Melissa and her unique eye. In the span of only six years MelissaBStudios created visual content for upcoming Artists, Designers, Stylist, Makeup Artist, Hair Companies, Startup Companies, Student led Organizations, Nonprofits, Politicians and many more. Though MelissaBStudios may be best known for portrait photography, her range diversifies as she covers all occasions.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being from New York City there’s many popular and low-key places to visit throughout the boroughs. For a week-long trip we’d have time to visit many places! Fun places to check out would be the museums, the parks, and the restaurants. Interesting things to check out would be the pop-up museum such as Color Factory, Arcadia Earth and ARTECHOUSE NYC. Exciting things to check out would be a Broadway Show, a comedy show and the New York summer concert festival because they’re always having great and talented people come out and perform. Also, an honorable mention to check out would be an Afrobeat or West Indian/Caribbean party. To experience the diverse culture that the city has to offer, those parties are a must! Fortunate for whomever, there is always something for you to do in New York City starting from just getting up to go sightseeing. Ironically, by doing that you will probably end up spending all hours outside without even realizing the time.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my parents, my family, my friends, and my clients; with their help, support and bookings is the reason why MelissaBStudios is and will continue to thrive. As a freelance business owner, nothing is guaranteed. However, MelissaBStudios has the best support system and clients! I truly appreciate everyone that does business with me and I’m so grateful for the trust that they instill and place in trusting MelissaBStudios to capture the special moments in their life. I am extremely thankful for all the support, all the referrals, returning clients and new clients; MelissaBStudios would not be where it is today without your support, big and/or small. Thank you.