Melissa Schelling is a disaster survivor from the 2018 Hawaii lava flow. Forced to evacuate her home forever, she photographed every day of the experience and fulfilled her obligation to create a solo exhibition 5 months later. The Lava Evacuation photos helped other evacuees deal with the trauma, and APNews printed her evacuation story.
A life long photographer, she worked 10 years as a professional in Washington DC. In 1987 she pioneered a new style of wedding photography that smashed the tradition of staged wedding photos and marketed this style as “Photojournalism without the grit.” By 1990 Melissa was a Washingtonian Magazine Top 10 Wedding Photographer, and Washingtonian used her wedding photo for their annual wedding article.
In 1983 she completed a year and a half of intensive study at the Maine Photographic Workshops.
She got her first camera at age 6 as a gift to celebrate her first art show at the Royal Ontario Museum 1964 Children’s Exhibition.