Family, Sakura Dreams, and 15 Imperfectly Perfect Years at The Melrish Studio

Hey everyone! So, here I am, writing to you from the Philippines. Took a break from the usual beach selfies (because let’s be honest, everyone’s already flooded their feeds with those) to share some thoughts that have been bubbling up as we celebrate Easter with the fam.

Speaking of family, that’s actually the main reason we’re here. You know how it is, right? Sometimes, you just gotta reconnect with your roots, soak up that warm (and maybe slightly chaotic) Filipino family energy. Plus, there’s the looming promise of epic karaoke nights, which, let me tell you, is a whole different level of entertainment here.

But amidst the lumpia (think savory spring rolls) and the lechon (roasted whole pig, a Filipino favorite!), there’s another thing keeping me on my toes – sakura season in Japan! We’re (yes, that many fingers crossed) hoping our Japan visa applications come through in time. Can you imagine? Capturing those beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom? Now that would be a dream come true.

Speaking of dreams, this whole trip kinda got me reflecting on our journey here at The Melrish Studio. Believe it or not, this year marks our 15th anniversary! Can you believe it? Feels like just yesterday we were two wide-eyed newbies with a camera and a whole lot of hope. Hope that we could turn our passion for capturing real moments into a successful business.

The First Photos of The Melrish Studio

Flashback to April 2009! This is one of the very first portraits we ever captured.

Below that, you’ll see some snaps from our May 2009 trip to Italy – gotta admit, traveling around Europe definitely upped our creative game when it comes to seeing everyday moments in a new light.

Speaking of seeing things differently, here’s a photo from our first ever wedding shoot that same year! It was for our awesome friends Aleks and Daniel. We were so nervous (and maybe a little under-caffeinated!), but seeing the joy on their faces made it all worth it.

Well, let me tell you, that journey wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. In fact, it started with a bit of a doozy. Our very first business partner, well, let’s just say he wasn’t exactly a team player. He waltzed off with our business loan, leaving us with a cool $175,000 in debt. Talk about a baptism by fire!

But you know what? That setback, as tough as it was, ended up teaching us some invaluable lessons. Like the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. We were lucky to have friends and family who believed in us, who saw the potential even when we were drowning in debt and self-doubt. They rallied behind us, offered support in whatever way they could, and that’s what kept us going.

Growing, Shrinking, and Capturing Life’s Imperfections

Looking back, it’s easy to see how much we’ve grown – and shrunk, if we’re being honest (thanks, 2020!). There were times when we were a fifteen-person team, and there were times, like during the pandemic, when we were less than 7. But through it all, we never lost sight of our core values – capturing real moments, even the messy, imperfect ones.

Because let’s face it, life isn’t a perfectly curated Instagram feed. It’s the laughter lines around your eyes, the way your kid smears chocolate cake all over their face, the tears of joy (or maybe frustration) at a milestone achieved. These are the moments that truly tell your story, and that’s what we strive to capture at The Melrish Studio.

Celebrating 15 Years of The Melrish Studio with You (and Exciting News!)

And as we celebrate Easter, a time of renewal and hope, it reminds us of just how much God has been faithful throughout our journey. There were times when things felt impossible, times when we questioned everything. But He was always there, guiding us, giving us the strength to keep going.

We’ve come a long way since the days of just shooting weddings and family portraits! Now, we’re like a full-blown creative agency, working with all sorts of cool clients across different industries. We help schools capture awesome portraits of their students, offer social media content creation and management (because who has the time these days, right?), and even consult on content creation strategies. Plus, we print these beautiful fine art photobooks that are perfect for preserving memories. We’re so grateful for all these opportunities that have come our way!

So, here’s to 15 years of The Melrish Studio! To the beautiful families we’ve had the privilege of capturing, to the friends who became family, and to the God who has seen us through it all. Here’s to messy moments, big dreams, and the never-ending adventure of life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go practice my karaoke skills. Apparently, my rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” is legendary (in my family, at least). Happy Easter, everyone!

P.S. Speaking of celebrating 15 years, we’ve got a ton of exciting offers and updates coming your way to mark this special occasion! So stay tuned for more announcements, and in the meantime, head over to our website or social media pages to see what we’ve been up to. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Melrish Perez

Melrish Perez

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About Melrish

Melon here! My husband and I founded The MelRish Studio in 2009. I’m a photographer, filmmaker, entrepreneur, traveler, wife, mom, and a follower of Christ. This blog is my musings about our adventures, growing our team, the events and brand stories that we tell, and the lessons we learn along the way.

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