From an early age, Melodie Elaine Estes had a deep love for photography.
Her father was a semi-professional photographer, winning an award for a photo he took of a cathedral from behind the iron work of a porch.
“It was just life for (my father) to be taking photos or movies of us,” Estes said. “He always had a camera with him.”
Estes, along with her two sisters and one brother, all have become aficionados of photography in one way or another.
But she didn’t see photography as a business for many years. For 38 years, Estes was a nurse, wife and mother. Taking photos was just a hobby.
But after her husband passed away, she was encouraged to display her work. She began a side business, Creative Lens Art By Melodie, in 2010.
As part of the Fuquay-Varina Arts Council, Estes has 15 different photographs on display at Magnolia House Custom Framing through the end of this month. She has had her work on display before – at other locations around town as well as some being used by the Alston Ridge neighborhood on Hwy 55.
Some of her photos have been used by the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce as well.
Estes said she draws inspiration from all around her.
One photo on display depicts a field of sunflowers. Estes took the shot nearly two years ago when she was near Charlotte.
“It was just incredible to see all those sunflowers,” she said.
Another photo on display is of a lotus blossom at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.
“It was just beautiful,” Estes said. “I’ve always had a love of beauty.”
But Estes’ photos don’t just showcase the beauty of nature. She also likes to take photos of people in the community.
“I love candid photography,” she said.
The start of Estes’ professional photography was a little nerve wracking until she got this piece of advice – professional photographers have to throw away a lot of photos.
She realized it was okay to take a bunch of shots if it meant getting a few extraordinary ones. Now, she is happy to share her passion with others.
“Learn how to shoot with automatic cameras,” she said. “Keep your camera with you and keep your eyes open.”
When Estes was 12, she learned she needed glasses. And she finally saw details for the first time in her life.
“I didn’t realize what I was missing,” she said.
It was then that she learned to appreciate things lost on others. And she had a renewed respect for the perspective her father taught her.
For more on Estes’ work, visit http://creativelensartbymelodie.smugmug.com or visit her blog at http://joyful2bee.wordpress.com.
Contact Kelly Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.