Mel Haynes, Jr.
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.
Thank you very much for visiting my site. If you have any questions, need references, or just want to talk shop, I would very much love to hear from you.