We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Stiles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve never been a fan of working for other people. Once I started to really really get into photography, I could see it being a way to make a living while being my own boss. They always say “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life “.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My love of photography kind of began with my love of music. I’ve always loved all different kinds of music and going to concerts. Growing up in my teens and early 20’s I’d go see my friends’ bands play and I’d take pictures. I liked catching the different angles like the shots I’d see in Circus, Hit Parader and Rolling Stone. I really got into shooting live shows and that got me more into learning more about the camera and how it works. From there I started shooting cityscapes and landscapes and nature. I feel like my eye is always developing and my camera gives me a way to escape when I need to but also a way to communicate my feelings.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a sucker for a great bar and some live music. A couple of my favorite places are the Roadhouse in Vave Creek, Tailgaters in Glendale, and the Blooze Bar in Phoenix. There’s more but those are my favorites. For outdoor and daytime fun I will never get tired of the Grand Canyon. It’s simply breath taking.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My good friend Michael Smitty Smith of Zenergy Entertainment Group. Zenergy is an artist management and promotion company. Smitty recognized my talent and always believed in me by encouraging me to step outside my comfort zones, He started introducing me to photographers and people in the music industry who were happy to help me grow. There were times that I wanted to give up and throw the towel in, Smitty and the Zenergy artists and team kept me going and always to supported me. I know that I would not have been able to reach the levels I am at with out the support I receive and continue to receive from Smitty and Zenergy.
All photos copyright Optic Monkey Images