Beauty of the Boomers

I enjoyed reading about Cindy Joseph, makeup artist turned model and her success after 50.  She was discovered as a model after she let her hair go gray and I think she’s just beautiful!

Just as beautiful is her attitude. She really believes she was discovered because of her confidence and attitude and these only came with age. I remember when I thought the world ended after 40. Now I see so many accomplished women just beginning their new lives and careers at 40 and even 50. It so inspires me and makes me believe that even though I’ve loved my life so far, the best may be yet to come.

Maybe this is why the 40+ is becoming one of my favorite demographics. So much confidence, so much fun with these women!

http://www.boombycindyjoseph.com/

 

 

Starting Off With My 2016 Seniors!

I’m so happy to be photographing my 2016 seniors – and feeling pretty relieved that this is my bump year – I just sent one kid off to college and have one year of perceived rest before my next one becomes a senior (I know it’s perceived because junior year is full of pressure too!)

This guy was so easy to photograph and I loved how the outfit changes really changed the attitude of the shots.

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I also like how the August drought has made some trees look almost fall-like already – maybe not good for the grass, but adds some nice variety to location shooting.

The fall will be gone in a blink of an eye, so anyone interested in senior shoots before the weather turns cold, please contact me at info@melissamaillett.com

Here are some shots from spring’s sessions. All were taken close to Vienna – so lucky to live in an area with such diverse locations for fun shots.

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Athlete Photo Shoot

When I put the call out there for someone to be my “guinea pig” for trying out an athlete portrait shoot, I was so happy Joann graciously volunteered, but a little nervous that I would do justice to her incredibly sculpted body.
As I am often in the company of beautiful women who are serious about their fitness, I want to try to help them celebrate the fruits of their labor.  Even though, I realize that no matter what we do, our body may never look like this.  After all, Joann is a certified exercise instructor and the co-owner of Grass Roots Fitness, which is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary in the business of  helping women achieve fitness, strength and health.  She may look fierce but she is firmly directed in helping all shapes and sizes of women feel better through fitness and healthy eating.
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Those of you who have taken her outdoor boot camp classes or cardio fusion and strengthclasses know her as a gentle but firm drill sargent when it comes to directing exercises. And she has convinced me more than once to meet at 6:00 am at the Lincoln Memorial to run the steps and do burpees in front of the reflecting pool. So she must have some magic in her!
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I tried to shoot as fast as I could while Joann held these incredible poses. Although I may have been tempted to direct her to hold the pose…just a little bit longer...(payback perhaps?)
I was also happy to capture Joann’s signature “leap of joy” near the end of the shoot.
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And here are some in black-and-white. I like how the helps focus on the those incredible muscles.
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Thanks again Joann, and for anyone is interested in learning more her company…it’s

 

 

End of the Year Musings…

It’s hard to imagine that another year has flown by.  Even my kids noticed and commented that the time is passing quickly; when I was a child, it seemed to take forever from one Christmas to the next one…maybe time is really speeding up?

The passing of a year is yet another reminder that the value of my work is capturing moments that are vanishing too fleetingly.  I am thankful that I have caught my family in pictures at various times throughout the year, although I wish I had taken even more.  I realized mid-December that we had not yet had a family photo taken.  As much as I love my candids, my lazy vacation mood shots, my artsy one-child-in-the-snow shots, I had not one shot of all of us together.

We did manage to have a relative take a quick one of us as we went to cut down our tree, but I wish I had planned more…I wish I made that effort that I have helped so many other families accomplish this year.

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Maybe I didn’t do it.  But I did enjoy helping others capture memories this year.  What I love about my photography business is that I get to help build and preserve memories for others.  And this year I helped create memories for parents of high school seniors, weddings, families, events and newborns.

And when I photograph a family, a special event or even a portrait, I love that I often get to meet a new people and have fun with their family dynamics. I share in their special moments, and I give them all an excuse to squeeze a little closer together, laugh a little and make a memory.

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Thanks to all of you who have brought me into your lives for that brief moment!

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And welcome to my youngest model….

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Happy Holidays to all and looking forward to a great (but hopefully not so fast) 2015

Moms Really Do Run This Town (Vienna/Oakton)!

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If you live in the Vienna/Oakton area you may have noticed that the W&O Trail has gotten a bit busy in the last year or so…and you may have noticed that the numbers of one specific gender (female) has been increasing…maybe you have been greeted cheerfully by these women on the trail, or given a little smile of encouragement,  or noticed women encouraging others as they run or walk on the trail or around town.  If so, then you have been witness to the recent phenomenon that is the Vienna/Oakton chapter of the nationwide organization, Momsrunthistown.com

Hard to believe, but it’s only been about five years since I was peer-pressured by my then 5th grade daughter to run a 5k race with her “Girls On the Run” group at school.  Never having been an athlete growing up, I convinced myself I could run one, maybe two laps around the high-school track at a time; and then I trained hard to make it to the 5k race.

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The sense of accomplishment after finishing gave me a thrill and I thought that just maybe I could do more.  I discovered that a small group of friends were meeting early mornings at the caboose in Vienna a few days a week and they convinced me that I could join them and wouldn’t hold them back.  A big draw for me was to socialize with these women and grab a cup of coffee after the run.  A motivator was that they would be there waiting for me these mornings and I needed to drag myself out of bed or let them down.

Fast-forward to 2014 and I am still meeting those women 3 days each week for a run and catch-up on our lives.  And since that first 5k, I consecutively ran a 10k, 10 mile, half marathon, and on the verge of Hurricane Sandy a couple of years ago, I completed the Marine Corps Marathon.  I attribute this accomplishment to my husband challenging me to do it (because anything boys can do…) and great friends who helped encourage me to train through an extremely hot summer!

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Soon after this race, I noticed that the parking spaces at the caboose were filling up in those early mornings that I went out to run, and someone mentioned that I might be interested in joining the  Group, Moms Run This Town, a free nationwide running/walking group for women.  I joined and my facebook pages and life hasn’t been the same since!

Never have I experienced a more encouraging and inspiring group of women.  The amount of positive energy and support emanating from this group is amazing. There is not a fact or tip about a running style, injury, stretch, race, nutrition, clothing, and more that these women don’t know and won’t share.  I can relate to these women’s posts, as they tentatively photograph and share a picture of their “flat mama” (running attire and shoes laid out on the floor -sort of a selfie without the person) before their first 5k, marathon or even ultra-marathon, and then the next day see a post of their smiling face holding a medal as they completed something that they thought was impossible.

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As I delve more into the arena of photographing women, my goal is to present an image of outer beauty and strength that equals inner beauty and strength.  My style is not to overuse photoshop or glamour filters on my subjects but to shoot naturally beautiful portraits that honors the individualism of us all.  Because of this desire, I have taken special notice of organizations that support and nurture this individualism and beauty in women. I love the idea that everyone is different in size, strength, and body type – but we’re all beautiful, and MRTT supports each woman as they are.

I recently met with Sarah Talley, who founded the group and is one of four current chapter leaders and requested to be a Community Partner for the Vienna/Oakton Chapter.  Sarah’s story is impressive on it’s own.  When she moved to Vienna from Singapore only 3 years ago, she was looking for women to run with so she started the Vienna/Oakton chapter of MRTT, and today there are more than 1,000 members!  The creation of this local chapter, in turn spurred the establishment of these groups in Gainesville, Herndon/Reston, McLean/Tysons, Falls Church/Annandale,
Woodbridge/Manassas, Fairfax/Chantilly, Ashburn, as well as a Moms Tour de Town
cycling group.

I invited Sarah and the other Chapter Leaders, Sarah Thomas Foote, Lynn Collins, and Beth Graham, to come and meet me for a min-photo session at the primary MRTT meeting spot of the Vienna Caboose, and we all had a fun time despite the stormy weather.  Here’s a fun, little video I made with more of the shots. https://vimeo.com/104714350  I got a kick out of how the attempt to take “serious” shots were unsuccessful and how easily they struck their “Charlies Angel” pose.  And had to get a picture of the ubiquitous setting of the running watch. But the ones that seem most natural, of course, were the ones in which they were running!

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Since MRTT is a FREE nationwide group, they rely on the support of Community Partners and I have committed Melissa Maillett Photography to be a Community Partner and support a healthy lifestyle among women in the area.  I look forward to participating with this great group and encourage other local businesses to support this great group.

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For more information about this great group, here is a link http://www.viennaconnection.com/news/2014/jan/29/vienna-oakton-moms-run-town/.