Dear potential client,
I am not the greatest photographer in the world. But I am the most honest one you’ll ever meet.
My mission is to create images that look like stills – I want it to feel like you walked in on a private moment in which my subject was at their most powerful, most vulnerable, and most comfortable.
My photography is my love letter to the Universe. It is only fitting, then, that my words to you be in a similar format – because alignment is important to me.
In fact, alignment is so important to me that I have – in the past – ended up broke and without a home, all because I refused to put my work out there unless it felt like it was 100% aligned with my truth. Some may find that strange – but you, dear reader, may understand.
Because if you are like a lot of my clients – you also find it important to do things right. You also treat your passion, whatever that is, with honour and respect – and anything less than this just will not do.
But do you want to know what’s funny? People like you and I give the world our best – but forgot to do the same for ourselves. Of all the people I’ve met who were truth-speakers, change-makers, and next-level creators – 100% of them were plagued by the pandemic of Not Enough Syndrome.
Even this letter took me weeks, if not months, to put out there. But as I type this, I remember once again that a world without my truth is a world lacking in an ingredient only I can provide.
And the same goes for you. That’s what inspired me, really. I got over my fear of not being and doing enough – at least with this page – because I realised that someone out there needed my work to be able to go further, do more, and speak their truth just a little louder. And denying you this would be nothing more than selfish.
You see, not standing in your truth is what’s really selfish. You may have fooled yourself into thinking that hiding or shrinking yourself creates more space for those you deem worthy – but that’s a lie that we tell ourselves when we are afraid to truly shine without a mask.
Good news then: because I am a mask-destroyer.
My name is Melissa de Blok, and I break down walls, dig deep, and use vulnerability as a tool to help people reconnect with themselves. I do this for my clients with unique introspective photography experiences, and lead by example by expressing my thoughts and feelings on my blog, my newsletters, and my Instagram – even the bits that fill me with fear and shame.
I believe that the photography industry today is over-saturated with people who care more about aesthetics and protocol than truth, so I work with people on their raw truth in an effort to combat this. My clients and I both understand that making impact externally means turning inward – so I hope to contribute to society in my own little way, by elevating incredible people who don’t fully realise just how amazing they are.
When you look at your photos, do they look and feel like you at your most powerful?
I’m tired of genuine people looking at their current photos and not seeing themselves. I’m especially heartbroken by the people I’ve met, who feel disconnected from their sense of power and confidence – or think they don’t look good in photos.
I can make you the best and most honest photo you’ve ever seen of yourself – in fact most of my clients don’t feel like they look good in photos until I’ve photographed them – but it’s going to require you getting vulnerable with me. You see, it always baffled me when photographers claimed to capture the “real you”. How can they capture that when they don’t know who that is?
Unless you’re a pretty vanilla person with very few interests and goals – which my clients usually are not – then you probably have many different sides to you that are begging to be celebrated. Some of those sides may even be hidden to you – after all, isn’t that why you’re reading this? Because you want to reconnect with something you know is within you – but you’re not sure where and how to retrieve it.
Well, you’re in luck. I’m pretty much the expert at losing myself. Whether it’s relationships, childhood trauma, constant travel, moving from place to place, mourning, breakups, work, passion, obsession, or a combination – I’ve been there, done that. But I’ve landed on my feet every single time. In fact, I even created a system of 22 tools to help me stay balanced. A practical form of self-love, in a world that yells important goals at you, but forgets to tell you the steps.
Verily: self-love is a verb.
I now use my experience, my tools, and my photography to help clients fall in love with their truth, by reconnecting them with where they’ve come from, where they are, and where they’re going.
The most commonly heard phrase out of my clients’ lips is that I helped them love themselves. What does that look like for you? What would a healthier level of respect and honouring of yourself do for your life? How would it impact how you wake up in the morning? How would it impact how you show up in the world?
My clients don’t come to me for pretty photos. They come to me for a deeper reason. I’ve known since I was a little girl that I would be a catalyst, and I’m proud to say that that’s exactly why people seek me out – a catalyst for the next step, the next level, the next phase.
That doesn’t mean you won’t get pretty photos if you work with me, of course. It just means that that’s not the biggest benefit of working with me. Whether you want to call it “shadow work” (which always tickles me, because I work with literal light), or something else – I bring stuff out of people that they didn’t expect. It’s just who I am.
You probably want to know the finer details. Maybe a part of you is getting restless – one part of you loving the experience of reading this, fully in the moment – while the other part wants this to go into practical details.
Don’t worry: I’m the same way. One foot grounded in reality, with the other some place magical. 😉
I’ll make this quick:
- I don’t believe in the very popular photography business model that I like to call “the hostage situation” – where a photographer will charge you a deceptively low session fee… but then you end up loving the photos, and buying about 50 of them at £100 each. That’s not my style. Your images belong to you – so I’ll give you every single usable image from our session, fully retouched, for a flat fee – this averages out at about 10-40 images per hour depending on the package. I’ll let you do the comparative math.
- I don’t like the idea of discomfort in my photos, my environment, or my life in general. As a result, I prioritise your comfort from the word go – before, during, and after (which means I give you images that YOU feel you look nice in -no awkward poses, weird angles, uncomfortable expressions).
- If you are unhappy and feel our images aren’t usable, I’ll gift you another session and shoot until you’re happy. Please note: by “unusable” I mean just that, so the initial images will not be available to you if you decide to
- My packages start at £2200, with my biggest package valued at £22,000. Instalment plans are available, as are discounts of up to £4,000 when paying upfront or combining packages.
- None of my pricing includes travel or accommodation outside London, but I am available internationally (either when flown over or during my travels).
- I offer 5 packages, and am available up to 2 years in advance.
- I no longer shoot weddings – sorry.
- No one looks bad in photos. You just didn’t hire the right photographer. Also, contrary to popular belief, children and pets are not at all difficult to photograph (but only if their space and state is respected).
- I’m currently working on a project where I photograph and interview marginalised witches and followers of (mostly Western) mystery schools. If this is you, please get in touch.
An honest note on not being “ready”
I have spent many years of my life saying that I’ll do a particular thing once I’ve reached a certain place (mentally, emotionally, financially, physically) in my life. It’s taken me a lot of heartache to discover that I would’ve reached that place faster if I had done the particular thing I kept delaying first. As George Clooney’s character says in this wonderful clip – you have to do the thing you’re afraid to do before you have the courage to do it. The courage shows up afterwards.
Everything is a muscle – your courage and level of readiness included. If your current path isn’t working for you, the only way to shift your results is to make a shift in your process. If you want small shifts in your results, then small shifts in your process will work – but if you desire large shifts in your results, then why are you choosing to wait for some sign of permission?
Truly, we are never ready. Ever. So I always ask my clients to get honest: either commit to making a shift in a big way, or say the truth – that not being ready is either an excuse to avoid showing up fully, or because I am simply not for you (which doesn’t offend me in the slightest, as I am not for everyone).
Of course, I understand financial obstacles – perhaps I am not an option right now – but there is power to be found in decisiveness.
If all this resonates, you have 3 choices:
Working with you is like seeing yourself for the first time in a film that you didn’t realise was being made about you.
Susan Heyward, NYC