I treated myself to a late birthday present this year. Something completely out of the norm, and totally me. I hired a professional photographer to spend some time with me 1-on-1 and teach me how to really use my camera. Best money I’ve ever spent, and I have a new friend.

It’s funny, Hyla (of Hyla Melloy Photography) & I have been part of the same community for the last 4-5 years. We are both Army wives, our husbands worked in neighboring buildings, we both have teens, love photography and have been at many of the same places, at the same time, over the years. And yet, we’ve never met until this past Wednesday.

We instantly clicked! We are the same, she & I. My mind goes fast. It jumps from A to Z to J, before circling back to B. Because. I don’t actually want to miss any steps, I just need to know where those steps are leading. Hyla bounced around with me. She easily followed my tangents, and effortlessly got us back on track. The end result? My camera is AMAZEBALLS!

I am head-over-heals in love with my camera. I finally understand aperature. I know how to make those amazing red boxes pop up, how to move my focal point, where my focal point is focusing, and how to make light and my flash work for me. Even better, I am so unbelievably proud, I now shoot in MANUAL!

I couldn’t have done it without Hyla. I owe her so much more than her hourly fee. I feel like a new woman, a newly minted photographer, and I’m ready to get out there & shoot all the things. For now I’m going to share a couple from our session. My main goal was to shoot Tess for her cosplays, so of course my model is Tess (again cosplaying as Deku). The edits are also guided by the aesthetic Tess wanted.

We are both over the moon happy with the photo’s and our new friend Hyla.

And one of me, hard at work, thanks to Hyla’s cell phone: