Photography creating still images

I am an artist at heart. I have been since as long as I can remember. There have always been visions and ideas forming in my mind and I have always wanted to bring them out in some form or another. As a kid, I was exposed ( pun totally intended ) to photography by my father, who did a lot of photography and even made it a career as a wedding photographer. I remember the smells of developer and fixer and the weird red lights in a room in our house. I remember cameras being brought home and I remember learning about it without even knowing what it was. All I remember was it smelled like vinegar and wondered what it tasted like. Not a great start, I know, but those are my early experiences that have pushed me into the world I live in today.

I first really got serious as a photographer when I bought my first film camera. I knew the basics, but was not really sure how to make an F-Stop into something that wasn’t totally blown out or completely black. I was living in Colorado Springs, CO at the time and didn’t really know of any resources to help me out and learn my craft. I tend to learn everything from reading, doing, and failing, but being a poor college student, I really didn’t have much to spend on experimenting with ruined rolls of film. Fast forward a few moons and I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D70. It was a magical device that not only allowed me to try, fail, repeat, but it also forced me to get out and do more. I had no excuses and so I started the serious journey.

I got a present. It was for a Lighting and Portrait class at the Denver Darkroom. I was terrified. I was going to be in the same room with people way better than me, knew more than me, and probably way more talented than me. Thats right, I assume people taking a class are going to know everything and I wont. Don’t ask….anyway that weekend class changed everything for me. For the first time, I looked in that viewfinder and saw images that I actually liked and looked professional. On top of that, I met some good people, and something sparked in an unused portion of my head and cue a visual montage played to the Karate Kid soundtrack.

With inspiration as fuel, imagination as ammo, I worked hard to master my craft so that I could work on making my ideas. I worked with other photographers, took classes, and became better and more confident in my abilities. With these skills and experience, I was able to apply my style to my clients. I landed a position in a modeling agency in Denver as a photographer where I built up portfolios for up and coming models as well as editorial work for clients.

My work at the modeling agency led me to work with other photographers and talent and eventually led me to meet a makeup artist, Marguerite who, over time, I became great friends with and was lucky enough to marry her in 2012. I think she likes the wife role over the makeup artist role though.

My social medias are where I post my latest projects. Check them out if you want to see my recent work

Feel free to contact me by email at mel@melhaynesjr.com

The Violinist Preview Image

The Player

Model Xanthine Alkaloid is a musician on top of being a model so I incorporated her violin into this dark concept. The idea was done with little time for prepration so we didn't have much to work with, but I liked how it turned out. I went low tech for this shoot by utilizing fluorescent shop lights that were hand held

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The Wait Preview Image

The Wait

A crappy motel in Littleton, CO sets the stage for this series of photos. I wanted a really run down room so I picked a placed called the Essex Model. The problem was, it was just too bare. The idea behind this series was a take on the "motel fetish" idea. This character sits alone in her room waiting for something. Wether it be a secret lover, a distant memory to flood back in her mind, or just something that she dreamt of one night, these photos are a glimpse into this woman's passing of time in this motel room.

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Casey In Paris Preview Image

Casey In Paris

This was another one of those random shoots that had no inspiration other than I was asked to just show up and shoot something. We were driving around and saw this tower and we decided it would be fun to use it. It was the middle of the night and I just had my lights and a battery pack and Casey just climbed up. Sometimes photos are no more than just inspiration fueled by bordom at night.

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Circus Players Preview Image

The Circus Players

The accordion probably weighed as much as her, but she strapped it on and worked it. I approached Natasha with this vintage circus theme when I saw her list it as some projects she was interested in doing. She made the circus tent background and I brought in some fake hay and we just went to it. My lighting scheme was set up to mimic the feel of a night setting so I made sure to drop my WB temp and added some subtle filters in photoshop.

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Andrea Preview Image

Andrea

This series started out with a very annoying opening message to me. Andria contacted me and said she had a cancellation and wanted to know if I was interested in doing something...that day. I panic enough when working on a shoot that I prepared for, but this was new. I agreed to do it anyway and luckily Andria turned out to be a really cool person to work with and for just showing up at the studio with no ideas or direction, I think these turned out well.

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Louisa Preview Image

Louisa - The Light

I am not a fan of white backgrounds or bright images. They bug me. Louisa and I planned to just hang out and talk about our project ideas, but decided to go to the studio instead. No plan in mind, no ideas, she just brought socks.....anyway we had to eat first and she told me she liked a photo that she saw on GQ or something so I pulled it up on my iphone and just stared at her. I thought she was crazy. She knows perfectly well that that type of shot is way opposite of what I do, but I was game.

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Louisa Preview Image

Louisa - Skulls

The studio I rented at the time was doing some construction work and I went behind the cyc wall to see this magical spot. Another scenerio where I wasn't sure what to do, but with Louisa on my side, I always get something amazing. She bought a hair crimper? that night and I had no idea what that meant until I saw her walk out. Always full of tricks, that girl.

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Ashoton Preview Image

Ashton

An example of the variety of looks that were available at the studio we rented at the time. This was a great space, but had its drawbacks. Ashton was referred to me by a fellow photographer. She was great to work with. I remember being very impressionable at the time and was told by no circumstances to give a client all the photos and limit the selection. I felt weird about that rule and I think it backfired on me with Ashton. At least thats how I remember it. If I ever hear from her, I would give her everything.

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Sideshow Preview Image

Sideshow

I got a chance to shoot my friend Adrienne at a haunted house called The 13th Floor in Denver. I was once again walking into a shoot not knowing what I was going to do or where I was shooting. I had my trusty Alien Bee lights, some modifiers and just my brain to make these crazy characters come to life.

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ASiEL

I shot a music video for ASiEL and he needed some promotional photos to go with the launch of this video and song. ASiEL is a unique person and on top of being very talented in his music and dance, he has amazing style and imagination. Being able to capture that in these photos was tough, but I liked how they turned out.

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