Introducing Melissa Hollingsworth
In this month we celebrate World Photography Day, and on the Worthwhile Blog, we are featuring Melissa Hollingsworth, the owner, creative director, and photographer behind Worthwhile Media.
Melissa and her family have just moved to Charlotte and they are excited about making introductions and finding community in the Queen City.
With all those things going on, we thought this might be a great time to interview her here on the blog to help you get to know her and her talent.
It all started with film production, actually. Ever since I realized I didn’t want to be a whale trainer, I knew I wanted to make movies.
In high school, I took a darkroom photography class, and at about that same time my grandpa, a photographer in his own right, bought me my first film camera and I followed in his footsteps, capturing images on film and looking forward to the day I’d see my name on the big screen.
I then got a degree in filmmaking with an emphasis on cinematography and documentary storytelling. I got into film production because I wanted to reach my audience with the truth that is often only accessible through the lens of a story.
I loved working on films, but we moved overseas after having my first child and that life slowly faded away. The desire to tell stories and speak truth never did though. After a bit of wandering, both physically and figuratively, I realized I could continue to have an impact through photography, and that’s when Worthwhile Media was born.
At Worthwhile Media, we help entrepreneurs and businesses connect to their clients and customers through images that make an impact—helping you create your “visual voice.” If you have a story to tell (which you do), then Worthwhile Media wants to be the one to help you tell it.
But there’s more.
From the beginning, I’ve wanted the media we create to truly be worthwhile. We believe that everybody has a story to tell, but the sad truth is, some of the best stories never get told due to a lack of resources or funding.
I’m so excited because we are getting ready to launch The Worthwhile Grant Program. Now, when you choose to work with Worthwhile Media, you are choosing to raise up the voice of a non-profit or cause that might otherwise remain unseen and unheard.
By choosing us to help tell your story, you can provide a platform for those fighting the good fight to tell theirs.
I think it has to do with my perspective, my level of organization when it comes to a session, and my speed. To me, a photograph’s merit isn’t just based on how technically excellent it is, but it’s about what that photograph makes me feel, and how much I want to share it with others.
Within every photograph, there is a story and stories have a way of reaching into the hearts and minds of an audience when normal words fail. They affect us in ways that make us open to new thoughts and ideas. I believe it’s these stories that can change the world and this is a perspective I bring to every shoot.
I think I also take for granted how organized and on top of things you have to be to pull off the shoots that I do, but my clients tell me all the time how organized I am—like it isn’t something they’ve seen from other photographers. I think my background in film production plays into this. There are so many moving parts to a big production and everything needs to be in place beforehand or else it just won’t work. I think I probably spend a lot more time on pre-production (getting ready for a shoot) than I do on a full-day photoshoot, and from what I’ve heard, there aren’t a lot of other photographers doing this level of prep.
As for speed, it turns out I work really fast, like a lot faster than most other photographers! I suppose it’s all that prep that allows me to do so. I want my clients to get the most value for the hard-earned money that they are choosing to spend with me and so I work hard to create as much varied content in a limited amount of time as I can.
People don’t just want a lot of pictures – they want a lot of different pictures and that can be hard to do sometimes. I’ve had clients and other photographers express shock over how many images I’m able to create in a day. Based on the quality they see, they would have thought it took a lot longer than that.
Any time I get to climb a mountain or chase a waterfall with a client, I’m happy! Some of my favorite shoots have been sunrise sessions that start in the dark at the base of a mountain. But really, I think the best thing about being a storyteller is that you never have to tell the same story twice. I love when a client brings me something I’ve never done before. That’s how I ended up working with a jewelry store for over two years! If there is something new to learn, I’m usually up for figuring it out.
I love a good challenge and get excited when a client brings me a problem to solve.
Well, if you are in the Charlotte area I’d love to hear from you! Whether you need help with your content, want to chat business, or just need someone to vent to about the entrepreneur/mom-life struggle, I’d love to connect. Feel free to reach out either through our website or find us on Instagram and send us a message.
If you are ready to hire a full-time photographer or just want to taste what it might be like to work with a pro in a single session, reach out to Worthwhile Media. We’d love to tell you more about how subscription-based photography can help you reach your audience, boost your brand, and bring customers and clients to your doorstep.
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Worthwhile Media is a full-service branding agency focused on custom content creation through effective storytelling in the mediums of photography, video, and the written word. Offering subscription-based services and single photography sessions, they provide images and content for web, print, social media, and public relations. From headshots and banner reels to seasonal marketing campaigns, Worthwhile Media is available to meet all your content creation needs. Reach out today to schedule your free discovery consultation.