Melissa evacuated her two dogs from Lava Hazard Zone 1 as soon as the lava erupted in neighboring Leilani, Hawaii. The lava eruption collided with her year long project to photograph dogs every day during Year of the Dog, 2018-19. "Year of the Dog: Lava Evacuation" is an insider look at evacuating from a fast-moving lava breakout that destroyed over 700 homes and cherished coastline. Melissa’s photographs are displayed in real time, combining urgent Civil Defense messages, with her images of lava near her house and daily photos of her dogs trying to cope with Lava Trauma.
Melissa Schelling is a life long photographer who worked 10 years as a full time professional in Washington DC. In 1987, she pioneered a new style of wedding photography that smashed the tradition of staged wedding photos, marketing it as “Photojournalism without the grit.” By 1990, Melissa was a Washingtonian Magazine Top 10 Wedding Photographer. Today, Wedding Photojournalism is widely used.
This is Melissa’s second Year of the Dog project. The first time, she photographed dogs daily for 385 days during Year of the Dog 2006-07.