Melissa evacuated her two dogs from Lava Hazard Zone 1 as soon as lava erupted in neighboring Leilani, Hawaii. The lava eruption collided with her personal project to photograph dogs every day during Year of the Dog, 2018-19. Her daily photographs provide an inside look at evacuating from a fast-moving lava breakout that destroyed over 700 homes and cherished coastline. Displayed in real time, the photos combine urgent Civil Defense messages, with lava near her house and before/after photos of her dogs affected by 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.
Melissa’s first Year of the Dog project was in 2006-07, photographing dogs daily for 385 days.