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.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas From My Family to Yours

At this time of year, my heart is filled with gratitude for the many blessings I enjoy daily. One has only to watch the news to realize how many things we have to be thankful for. I especially am thankful for my belief in Jesus Christ and His atonement, which offers me forgiveness despite my many shortcomings. I owe all my happiness and all my blessings to Him and my Heavenly Father. I hope that during this Christmas season, we can all remember the real reason we celebrate--because a holy baby was born who would forever change the world and offer us all the hope of eternal life.

Merry Christmas!
Love, Melissa

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Photography Class

I am really excited to be offering my first photography class! It will be held on Saturday, January 28th. The time is still TBD, but will probably be at 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. and will last 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If you have a DSLR camera but leave it in auto all the time, this class is for you! We will talk about ISO, aperture and shutter speed and how they all relate. We'll go over white balance, composition, and flash (when to use it, when not to use it). I'll also answer any photograpy-related questions you have. If you are interested, contact me soon, as space is limited! The cost is $59, and well worth it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

White Chocolate Candy Cane Drops--The Perfect Christmas Cookie

These are the best cookies ever. Seriously. And they are perfect for Christmas. I make them every year and give them out (or just eat a ton myself). If you want to impress your friends and neighbors, these are the cookies to make.

8 oz. white chocolate baking squares or 8 oz. white chocolate chips. (Try to use chocolate with cocoa butter, as this will make the most tender cookies).
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup crushed peppermint candy canes

Chop 4 oz. of the white chocolate (not necessary if using chips) and set aside. In a small saucepan, cook the remaining 4 oz. chocolate over low heat until melted. Cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium or high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in melted white chocolate. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in the rest by hand. Stir in the remaining 4 oz. white chocolate or chocolate chips and crushed candy canes. Drop by rounded teaspoons two inches apart onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Or you can use stoneware with no paper. Bake 8-10 minutes (longer on stoneware) at 375 degrees or until lightly browned around the edges. Transfer to wire rack and cool. Makes about 50. Store cookies in layers between waxed paper in an airtight container.

Note: I have found that it is best not to have the candy canes pulverized into powder, but to just try to get them into small pieces.