Coffee with Melissa Mitchell from La lucia, Durban

Melissa, tell us about you, your family and what excites you in life.

Ive been married to my amazing hubby for almost 7 years now and we actually lived in the same road growing up so we have been friends for many years. We were lucky enough to get married on the romantic island of Mauritius and we have two handsome, energetic boys together. I have always loved taking photos and my passion for this grew after having my kids, so a few years ago I quit my full time corporate job to follow my dream of photography. Im a natural light photographer and specialize in family, newborn, maternity, children, birthday parties and cake smash photoshoots. As a family we love to spend time at the beach and are so lucky to have the beach only a few minutes away. I love to travel and explore new places and so we try go on family getaways when ever we can.

What do you do to stay a) healthy b) active c) practice self love?

a) Luckily Im a lover of most fruits and vegetable but my favorite healthy food is probably chickpeas… is that weird? Hahaha! Also there are so many amazing healthy recipe books at the moment that we are really spoilt for choice when it comes to making healthy meals for our families. b) Crossfit is an incredible workout and it helped me gain my strength and I always leave there feeling great. Ive also really taken a liking to running. Nothing better than being able to run where ever you are in the world and its a good way to explore new places while keeping fit. c) Its so important to take time out for ourselves and so I try go at least once a month to my local beauty spa to relax and be pampered.

Tell us a little about your photography journey??

Those that know me know that I always love to capture lifes greatest moments. As I mentioned previously, this love for taking photos grew when I had my first child, Brett. Like any mom I could not stop photographing him let alone looking at this beautiful miracle we had created. My sister then asked me to take a few photos of her and said I should put a logo on the photos for “fun”. Well this was the start of something magical. The next thing I know I had people messaging me, asking me to capture beautiful memories for them. This passion for photography then grew to a point where I was able to quit my full time job and pursue this professionally. This was a dream come true… being able to follow my dream whilst spending more time with my kids! I just love being around people, so one of the best things about being a photographer is being able to meet so many wonderful families, many of which have become great friends. My slogan is “One moment, will you capture it or let it slip away?” and this is so important as photographs are moments captured in time. Memories we can often not get back.

What advice do you have for new moms or moms in general based on your experience?

Follow your heart… I just found that everyone seems to have an opinion and it may not always be the right one. You know your family best so do what is best for you. Also as much as we make time for our children don’t forget about your hubby. Its not always easy to find the time but my hubby and I try do regular date nights or even a coffee date when possible. So important to have quality time together.

Are there any quotes you love?

You will never look back on life and think, “I spent too much time with my kids.” This quote really hit home when I chose to give up my full time career for a flexitime one so I could spend more time with my kids. Best decision I’ve ever made…

Where can our readers find you online?

My webpage is www.melissamitchell.co.za and my Instagram account is melissamitchell_photography

Any Final words?

Just live life to the fullest. Life is short so make sure you make everyday a special one. Go out and explore, be active, be kind to others, laugh lots, tell people today how much you love them and always believe in yourself… miracles do happen and dreams do come true!

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