Melissa Lazuka Photography: Blog en-us (C) Melissa Lazuka Photography (Melissa Lazuka Photography) Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:30:00 GMT Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:30:00 GMT Melissa Lazuka Photography: Blog 120 80 Family Portrait Session/Cleveland/FineArt/BlackandWhite/Photography  

Cleveland Family Photography

Capturing Connection and Love


Family Portrait Sessions are $450 for a one hour session. 75 high resolution digital images are included. Contact me at to book a session! 

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) . cleveland ohio photography cleveland photography family photography fine art family photography Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:30:22 GMT
MelissaLazuka/FineArt/FamilySessions/HeadlandsBeach/MentorOhio/FamilyPhotography Family Portrait Sessions at Headlands Beach

Fine Art Sessions

Capturing Connection and Love Between Families

Family Sessions are $450 for a one hour session.  75 high resolution images are included hand edited in black and white and color. 

Message me at to book a beach session for any season. 

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:15:42 GMT
High School Senior Portrait Session/Fine Art/Creek Session Fine Art High School Senior Session By the Creek

High School Senior Portrait sessions are $450 for a one hour session. Included are 75 high resolution images hand edited in color and black and white. Contact me at to book a session. 

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:06:52 GMT
From the Masters, Ernst Haas Studying Ernst Haas, I was blown away by his color work and reflections. The way he used color was complex and thoughtful and that made me pause and think more about how I use it in my images. I love how he describes photography in these quotes:

"The best pictures differentiate themselves by nuances…a tiny relationship – either a harmony or a disharmony – that creates a picture.”  

“You become things, you become an atmosphere, and if you become it, which means you incorporate it within you, you can also give it back. You can put this feeling into a picture. A painter can do it. And a musician can do it and I think a photographer can do that too and that I would call the dreaming with open eyes.” 

“Every work of art has its necessity; find out your very own. Ask yourself if you would do it if nobody would ever see it, if you would never be compensated for it, if nobody ever wanted it. If you come to a clear ‘yes’ in spite of it, then go ahead and don’t doubt it anymore.”  

Please follow my dear friend Maria to see her take on this month's artist. I love what she captured! 



(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Thu, 10 Mar 2016 01:12:32 GMT
Free Lensing Circle January  

After a beautiful unusually warm November and December, mid January we were finally hit with snow, at least 25 inches stormed down on us. Some of these photos were free lensed the morning the storm hit. A few more, in the days after as my kids enjoyed the huge amounts of white surrounding us. I can appreciate the beauty of the snow more when I photograph it, so I try to do it often. Otherwise I am just complaining I am COLD, because it is so very COLD out! brr....

now please follow the circle around to visit my friend Cynthia's gorgeous work

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Mon, 25 Jan 2016 13:48:19 GMT
January How the first 2 weeks of January feel.




(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Sun, 17 Jan 2016 15:43:21 GMT
New Fine Art Site I have been working hard on a new fine art site and if you enjoy following my work, please feel free to take a look. It is a work in progress.

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Sun, 17 Jan 2016 00:53:07 GMT
From the Masters William Eggleston  

This past month, our "From the Masters" group studied William Eggleston. To be honest, I did not know who he was. When I looked up his name I was immediately struck by his use of color. It was used in such a painterly, rich, intuitive way, so that every day boring scenes, ones you and I walk by every single day, came to life. I was particularly inspired because I took the wonderful color theory class by my friend Roxanne Bryant this past spring and I could actually see how Eggleston used a warm and cool palette, and how the colors worked so perfectly together. The thing is, Eggleston makes it look easy. In actuality, when I tried to go around and find everyday, very boring, and truly ugly surroundings and make them look like a painting, it was quite hard. Normally I am shooting landscapes and my children.  For these I took my camera into our town and even tried a few different ugly settings such as my garage (gasp). It was challenging. My favorite part of this month was working on my color and seeing how different colors worked together and then attempting to look at my surroundings with a painterly eye. I love rich colors so I bumped up my saturation and even changed the colors in some of these images to work well together.  


Now please follow the circle around and check out my lovely friend Antonieta's post this month! 



(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:05:30 GMT
Freelensing Circle October the day the leaves fell like a song

and I could barely catch you 

in the blur of burnt orange crimson red


I told you every now and then

there is a day that 

glimpses heaven

and you laughed running 


your small self passing through the crunching leaves

as they came down to the notes 

of Autumn

hardly believing this song would 

change so soon

hushed by white silence

Now please follow the circle around to my friend Heather. So much beauty in her post this month ♥

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Thu, 29 Oct 2015 18:03:12 GMT
From the Masters; Harry Callahan I was so thankful to be asked to participate as a guest photographer in this month's "From the Masters" circle. Each month this group of ladies studies a master of photography and gains inspiration to shoot and see in a way that is new to them. This month we studied Harry Callahan. I found his life so interesting and there were certain elements of his style that fascinated me; his use of light and dark, the way he saw lines and form, how he was known for both his color and black and white work which is unusual for that time period, and his experimentation with double exposure. Reading about his life, I especially loved reading that he looked at his photography as a "life's work" and that making art is almost a spiritual experience. This resonated with me. Sometimes I am in such a hurry to think that a project should be finished at some point, or have an ending and yet, to look at it as a life's work can give us peace of mind. The thought that we are always learning, creating, looking deeper, seeing in new ways. It is never ending and will last our lifetime. It made me realize that this is only the beginning of my project. What will next year bring? in 10 years? At the end of my life? I love that. He wrote:

My project could only be to photograph as I felt and desired; to regulate a pleasant form of living: to get up in the morning—free, to feel the trees, the grass, the water, sky or buildings, people—everything that affect us. This, I know, is not a definite project because life itself is not definite, but it could be the part of a lifetime project.

He was very inspired by Walt Whitman who wrote  "Leaves of Grass", which was his life work. I love what Walt Whitman says here. It really is how I hope someone will feel when they look at one of my images, like they are looking in the mirror by my side, seeing how I see and feel. I think it is what every artist hopes. 

"What I tell I tell for precisely what it is. What I experience or portray shall go from my composition. You shall stand by my side and look in the mirror with me.

Now please follow the circle around to my good friend Antonieta Esis here. I love how she experimented with double exposure this week. So wonderful.

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Tue, 20 Oct 2015 14:55:42 GMT
Free Lensing Circle September I went down to the creek behind our house one evening with my 10 year old son. In my mind I had pictures I was hoping to make imagined. I had been back there a week before and the light was so incredible. I imagined portraits in the drippy light with his sweet face. When we found ourselves there finally, I didn't have the heart to ask him to stand still for me, look at the camera. He was so busy building a little dam in the stream that I ended up focusing on the water and his hands.  These are free lensed double exposures. 



Now please follow the circle around to my talented friend Holly

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Mon, 28 Sep 2015 21:29:22 GMT
Free lensing Circle August  


Lately I have been inspired by one artist in particular, my daughter. I remember last summer she learned how to draw a flower; the first one drawn in the near dark with chalk outside. From then on that summer she drew endless pictures for me of flowers, people, rainbows. The pile overflowed and as she kept drawing, she got better and better at it. I hung up whatever I could, and she always glowed when she saw them on the wall. We would talk about them again and again. There were stories, long elaborate imaginative ones that she would make up about the pictures. This summer I see her in her room with clay, paint, watercolors, scissors. Mess, everywhere. She is deep into creating and brings me her art again. This time, her art is different. She still draws people and rainbows and flowers but now she mixes paint and clay on the paper. The stories she tells have become more imaginative, her art more adventurous. She is really fearless how she mixes mediums. I have told her that she is an artist countless times. Proudly she beams. Once she lamented she could not color in the lines like her friend. I told her I liked abstract art much better.  And so with my own art, I let myself experiment like her. I free lensed these and thought, what would happen if I tried to do triple exposures? What would it look like to freelens the moon, the front headlight of my car? What can I find that is beautiful in the yard I have photographed a million times. One time she drew me a picture and told me it was a picture of the wind. What does the wind look like? I love that art is about making the unimaginable, finding the forgotten hidden beauty, and really there is no right and wrong. Today I asked her how do you become an artist? She answered "momma, you just have to practice a lot.", as she stamped and colored her gazillionth picture of the summer.

Now please continue the circle around to my crazy talented friend Heather. I love her sweet sentiment this month and beautiful images to go with it.

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:33:32 GMT
Headlands Beach Family Session Preview I met this beautiful family on the beach. The word that kept coming to mind that night and as I later edited these photos was "dreamy". It really was just a perfect summer night to photograph this family's connection and love. 

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:54:49 GMT
Chasing Color  

I recently took an amazing class from Roxanne of Roxanne Bryant Photography.  I cannot express how art changing this was. I have been chasing color for the first time, like I have for so long chased light. I am seeing color and understanding it in such a beautiful way. It feels exciting, to learn something new, for something to finally "click". I am still learning, but these are some images that I have taken since that class, and a few black and white images as well, because she also helped us add depth to our black and whites through her editing course. I highly recommend it. I just adore her and her art. 

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Wed, 08 Jul 2015 23:55:31 GMT
Freelensing Circle June one thing i love about photography is that it can capture one single emotion. joy sadness delight happiness defeat freedom pure beauty. and a million others. if you do it right, you can hold one little piece of paper in your hand and it will take you somewhere in time. your memory. a place you have forgotten. a moment in time that you thought you might never feel again. the way you love someone. i think that's why i am always taking pictures. it's like capturing the smell of summer air, heavy wtth humidity and putting it into a clear mason jar. putting the lid on. saving it for later to open when you need that again. and then when you open the lid the feeling of summer floods your remember. that's what looking at a photograph is like. it's why i print my pictures lately. tuck them carefully into albums and slip them into books so that i can find them again. feel them again.


next up is the beautiful work of my friend Heather

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Wed, 24 Jun 2015 19:37:30 GMT
Mallory and Roxy This session was just dreamy. It was a sun drenched fall evening, perfect for a senior session with a gorgeous girl and her beautiful pony. Mallory's mom was actually our three sons' kindergarten teacher and she was just so sweet and warm to them. She made their first year of full day school wonderful and I had heard through the years about her daughter and her love of horses. As I worked with Mallory, I realized that not only did she have her mom's stunning blue eyes, but also her sweet disposition. ♥ ♥



(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:32:21 GMT
The L Family at their New Home I have photographed this family a few times already. I first met them when they asked me to do newborn photos for their little daughter Viola.  They have a really big beautiful family and they added to it again this year with Baby Julian. So this session was both a newborn and family session. The two hours I spent with them literally flew by. I tend to work quickly with ideas and try to keep the energy of the session flowing throughout and they all just went with it. You would think having this many kids to work with would have been hard, but they really made it easy for me. The two older girls were so helpful, the two middle boys, so easygoing, and the babies....just ridiculously cute. I mean the rolls on Baby Julian? He makes having a triple chin look good! ;)  Thank you L family for being so lovely and allowing me to document your family once again. xo

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(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:04:37 GMT
Courtney, Class of 2015 I loved the romantic, Romeo & Juliet vibe this session had. We met at Squire's Castle and everything just seemed to flow; the castle setting, the gorgeous girl who looked like a princess, her boyfriend of 2 years she brought along for a few shots, and her beautiful dresses and barefeet. All came together for a lovely photo session. Take a look and see how beautiful. ♥

(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:58:52 GMT
Wilson Family Light and love and beauty. This session was so full with it. Take a peek at what a mid morning summer session looks like......



(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Sat, 12 Jul 2014 15:51:38 GMT
Vyana's First Birthday  

For as long  as I have know my friend Rachna, she has always loved photography. She is a talented photographer out in California ( and was in town celebrating her daughter's first birthday with her family. She invited me to come, not to take photos, but to bring Lia and we could each meet each other's daughters. I remember back in high school sitting in Health class with Rachna and wondering together when we would ever meet our soul mates. Then we went to college together at OSU and became such good friends. As fate would have it we both moved out to LA in 1999 after graduation for different reasons. I got married in those next few years and had two baby boys out there. Rachna took the sweetest black and white film photos of me with those baby boys on the beaches of Marina Del Rey and Malibu. I still have a framed collage of them in my bedroom. Sometimes I stop and look at my 25 year old self with my sweet boys and sigh, thankful to have those memories of our young life out there. Rachna stayed in California and we moved back home and we lost touch on and off as old friends often do. We reconnected over photography and when I saw her again at this party, I had the same old familiar connection with her that I always have. How everything always remains the same with old friends, no matter how much time passes is so beautiful to me. I casually took some photos of her with her gorgeous little girl and soul mate ;) , and then some with her sister and mom and their girls. It was such a beautiful day. Lia talked all the way home about the party and it made me so happy to return the gift to Rachna of photographing her as a new mother like she did for me so many years again. xo





(Melissa Lazuka Photography) Sun, 06 Jul 2014 17:30:21 GMT