Photographer Profile

My name is Melissa Howell and I specialize in custom portrait design for your home. You can visit my official photography website at to view more of my work and to contact me to set up a consultation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter is a-comin'....

As I type this, there is snow on the ground. Winter officially arrived yesterday with several inches of snow and a delayed start to school. But just a few days earlier, it was sunny and warm. Luckily, I had a photo session on one of those days. This cute family wore colorful scarves and hats and we had a great time in the setting sun.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Baby love

The day after Thanksgiving, I got to photograph a 3-week-old baby and his adorable cousin. My gosh, these are beautiful baby boys. I think you'll agree!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

O.K., so I don't do weddings, but...

I have done some weddings for family members and desperate friends-of-friends.
("My friend is getting married at noon today and her photographer just cancelled. Can you do it?"
"Um, o.k. Can I bring my kids?")

The following are some of my favorites, which should not just be sitting on my computer, unappreciated.

And, because I can't help myself, I must offer a brief word about wedding photography in general. You should expect to spend at least $750 (that is the MINIMUM) on a wedding photographer. $2000 would be better. Remember in photography that you get what you pay for, and your wedding is not a time to skimp on the pictures. You can skimp on the cake--it will be eaten. You can skimp on the flowers--they will die. But your wedding pictures will last forever (that is, if you hire a great photographer who uses the best printing materials!) Please, please, do not hire your brother Joe's friend who "really likes to take pictures" and will give you the cd. It's the difference between art and snapshots. The pictures from your wedding should look like they could be hung in a gallery, not stuffed in a sight-seeing album.

As a final note, since I don't do weddings, I am looking for some good photographers I can refer people to when they ask me about doing their wedding. If you live in the Denver area and would like to be considered, please e-mail me at melissabhowell at gmail dot com and direct me to samples of your work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It does not get any cuter than this

O.K. So I may be biased. This is my baby, afterall. But seriously, is there any way these pictures could be more adorable? I didn't think so! If you would like portraits like these, please let me know when booking your session. And if you're ever having a hard day and need a smile, all you have to do is come to this blog and look at my baby. There's no way not to be happy when her big blue eyes are twinkling in your direction!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I was working on my daughter's school pictures today (What? Me pay for school pictures? It would be a travesty! I am a professional photographer after all!) and I had fun playing around with these vintage treatments. I think they go really well with her super-cute dress and hat.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shake your bon bon!

I did a photoshoot with these two brothers down by a little creek. I had done portraits of the older one when he was much younger, and he was very uncooperative. This time, he was a little too cooperative (lots and lots of cheesy smiles). His younger brother took over the role of "I'm wholly uninterested in what this lady with the camera is trying to do, and I will not smile for anything." The only thing that would work is when his mom would say, "Shake your bon bon!" Then he'd do a one-second dance while smiling, and it was over. I had to be fast! I only got one genuine smile out of him the whole time, but I did get several sweet expressions that didn't involve teeth. Here are closeups of the two boys, plus my favorite portrait from the session.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Like mother, like daughter

I photographed a stunning family last week. I'm still in the process of proofing and editing, but I just wanted to post two of my favorite pictures. The mother and her daughter both have the most beautiful eyes. Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bath time!

Some kids love baths. Other hate them. My baby is in the former category. I am documenting her first year by taking pictures of her every month and then compiling them into an album. I decided to get some pictures of her in our big tub (no water, for those of you who are worried). She made the funniest faces which I turned into a montage. Click on the image to see it larger and to appreciate the full range of emotions!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Please help this family

Dear Friends, Matthew Budge, an extended member of my family, died last week of a very rare and deadly form of cancer. He was only 36 and leaves behind his wife and six young children. To help raise money for his family, I have set aside two special days for family portraits. Twenty-five dollars from each session will be donated to the Matthew and Crystal Budge Memorial Fund. The days I have set aside are Saturday, October 11th, and Saturday, October 18th. To accommodate as many people as possible, I will shorten sessions to half an hour, and also reduce the price of a session to $75.00. Operation Smile will receive $25.00 from your session as well. And, in keeping with Family Portrait Month, everyone who books a session in October will also receive a free 8x10. The sessions will be held at the South Platte Park (behind the Aspen Grove shopping center just off Santa Fe and Mineral).

If you would like to donate directly to the Budge Family, you may do so by going to their personal blog.

To schedule a session, please call Melissa Howell at 303-346-4597.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Big girls don't cry

But little girls do. Having three of my own, I know this fact all too well. I know what it's like to get all worked-up and dressed-up for picture day, only to have your child (or children) want no part of it. They can't understand why you would subject them to such an ordeal, and who is that lady with the camera anyway? The thing is, I think some of the "unhappy" pictures are some of the most precious. I remember reading a photography book and seeing a big picture of a little girl in her Sunday best, crying buckets of tears. The caption said that this was the only picture the photographer got of her. It made me realize that even really seasoned professional photographers can't always get kids to smile! But that's o.k! And here are some pictures to prove it.

This adorable not-quite-two-year-old was upset from the get-go because of her boots. The super-cute on-sale boots that her mother had been eyeing for this very purpose. But they were too big and too new, and she was having none of it.

This one would be great for the family Christmas card, don't you think? Notice the boots jettisoned in the left-hand corner.

This last one is actually one of my personal favorites from the session. You can just feel the love the little girl has for her Mommy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The winners!

Here are some pictures from the photo shoot I did today with one of the winners of the contest I had for a free photo session and 11x14 portrait. The family was beautiful, but the skies were looking threatening, and it was quite windy. Add to that one tired, sad boy and an inconsolable little girl, and what do you get? Well, you get lucky, after taking a LOT of pictures! It also helped that the dad was so good at getting the kids to laugh. It didn't rain, which was good, and the lighting was gorgeous, so I'm really happy with how the shoot turned out. This was a new location for me, and I think it's going to be my favorite from now on!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Christmas cards

I know, I know, it's not even Halloween yet. But certain things take time and planning! Like a great Christmas card. This year, I am offering some really great designs, from the chic and sophisticated to the fresh and scrappy. There is truly something for everybody's tastes! If you have something special in mind, I am also happy to design a one-of-a-kind Christmas card just for you! The cards range in size from 4x6 to 5x7, and several sizes in-between. I also offer folded cards, and 5x5 tri-folded cards (which are all the rage and so beautiful). Prices start at $1.50 per card.

Below are just a few samples of what is available. And I am offering a free set of 25 cards to the first person who books a session for October! (May not be combined with any other offer). So hurry and call today! (Click on the image to see the cards in more detail).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Movin', movin' movin

I apologize for my lack of posting here. It's just that we've been moving back into the house which I love and thought I would never see again! When we moved to California, we didn't sell our house for several reasons (not the least of which was that there was no way we could ever afford a house in California, so what was the point?) So we just rented out our brand new house and I mentally detached myself from it. Through a series of events, we have been able to move back into it, and I must admit that it feels a little strange, though in a good way. I'm sure I will get used to it, though!

This will come out in the newsletter next week, but I'm giving you a little sneak peek at what is to come in the month of October. It is Family Portrait Month, and the Professional Photographers of America sponsors Operation Smile by having participating photographers donate $25 from each session. Operation Smile is an organization that provides surgery to correct cleft palates for children in developing countries. It truly is a worthy cause, and you need a family Christmas picture anyway, right?

To sweeten the deal, the first person to book a session for October will get a FREE set of 25 Christmas cards! I'm very excited about the cards I'm offering this year and will post some samples soon! You can go to Blue Prints Photography for my contact information. Everyone else who books for October will get a free 8x10 portrait. The donation from your session can literally change the life of a child. What better Christmas present is there?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why be traditional?

On my website, I have samples of magazine-style birth announcements that are so fun and original. After I did the photo shoot of Josh and Jen, I thought, "Why not do a magazine-style wedding announcement?" So I did, and I think it's awesome, if I do say so myself. They love it, too, which is the best compliment of all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blue Prints Contest Winners!

Congratulations to Jenni C. and Michelle who referred her! You have both won a free photo session along with a free 11x14 print! I'll be in touch to set up your sessions!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Josh and Jenn

One of these people was a model for Abercrombie and Fitch. Can you tell which one? I didn't think so. This couple is GORGEOUS and they were so fun to work with! Josh was totally laid-back and joking around the whole time. He reminded me of my little brother. Jenn was the more serious of the two, but she was totally game for anything I suggested. After our two hours were up, we all wanted to do more! It was so fun! But Josh was starving, so they had to go look for "cheese on a stick." (Jenn's cute friend and assitant/camera guard extraordinaire was responsible for the "cheese on a stick" comment. Totally cracked me up).