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Melody Joy Paine

Lifestyle Photographer
Family Filmmaker

“When you show up exactly as you are, imperfections and all, that is when you are able to share your gifts with people who need you. If you keep hiding until you are perfect, that beautiful light that you have in your heart can’t reach those who need to hear what you have to say.”

My Mission
The art of lifestyle photography and filmmaking helps families preserve the sparks of joy in their ordinary, everyday moments even in the midst of life’s imperfections. Through the passing of my brother and a battle with postpartum depression, I realized it’s the little things that mean the most when they are gone to loss or time. My mission is to use my art to help families bottle up these treasures so they don’t get lost in a foggy memory.

Suggested Introduction
Melody Joy has a bachelor’s in biology. She also studied health professions and neuroscience, intent on becoming a neurologist to help patients with multiple sclerosis live a better quality of life. After college, she worked as a research assistant at Boston Children’s hospital and support staff for The Global Tracheostomy Collaborative. When she suddenly lost her mother-in-law and brother, her life turned upside-down. Because she saw how precious time with loved ones is, she decided against pursuing medical school and committed to being a stay-at-home mom. While raising three little ones, she fell in love with photography. In 2016 she started a professional portrait business, Melody Joy Photography & Design. Her life-long perfectionism made her miserable when taking pictures of her own family, and trying to constantly chase picture-perfect images was depleting her desire to continue. Photography had started as a place of healing for her own grief, so she started volunteering for bereavement sessions. Through that difficult work, she found her purpose again. It completely changed her approach to business and to preserving memories for her own family. Instead of trying to capture Pinterest-worthy portraits, she embraced imperfection to capture the ordinary, everyday moments that mean the most when they are gone to time or loss. She learned filmmaking so she could emotionally connect clients and viewers to stories of love and connection in a way that photos can’t quite touch. From this mission, her business Imperfect Joy was born and a companion podcast called “The Image of Joy”.

Discussion Topics

  • Photography & filmmaking
  • Finding joy in the ordinary moments
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Grief
  • Authenticity & vulnerability
  • Chasing your passion

Example Questions to Ask

“What lessons did you learn from bereavement photography?”

“How has the work you have done for clients helped you be more present in your own life?”

“How does authenticity and vulnerability relate to lifestyle photography & films?”

“What do you do with photos and films to keep them safe, accessible, and preserved for future generations?”

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