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The Mindful Photographer

Each of you has a vitality, a life force, an energy that can be translated through you into creative expression. Practiced mindfully, photography has the tremendous potential to help you become more fully present to yourself and the lives around you. With each click of the shutter, you are invited into a deeper connection with the world,   encouraging you to return to a pace that gives you time to notice the little things - a practice out of which grows healing and learning.

I am passionate about exploring how photography will improve your health and wellbeing and enhance your ability to learn and flourish. I bring therapeutic photography, exhibits, and workshops into education, healthcare, and natural environments to positively impact people's lives on Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, New York, and overseas.

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About Melissa

Imagine yourself, a photographer takes an interest in you, photographs you, relates to you, and you to them. Photographs can be made with healing intention, used to change people, so that neither the photographer or the person being photographed is the same again. 

~ John Diamond, M.D.

I am a therapeutic photographer, teacher, and curator living on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. I began my career assisting the late John Diamond, M.D., a pioneer in the field of holistic healing, who used his experience in medicine, psychiatry, complementary medicine, applied kinesiology, and acupuncture theory to explore how photography and art could help sufferers overcome problems relating to body, mind, and spirit. 


Inspired by the work of Dr. Diamond, as well as my studies in the USA, Australia, and the U.K. (where I am originally from) in education, arts & health, mindful & therapeutic photography, my approach emphasizes the social, therapeutic, and spiritual value of art making, at the same time helping others share their creative gifts as a form of outreach to the wider community. 

As an outreach coordinator, photography teacher, and staff photographer for the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School, I work with students looking to create positive change for themselves and others, such as Island Autism, Penikese Island School, Polly Hill Arboretum, and Island Elderly Housing. During the summer, I join Vineyard Havens as a family liaison and photographer to support their mission of gifting families facing cancer vacations on the island.

My fine art photographs, represented by Blue Fathom Gallery, are meditational expressions that, as Lyanda Lynn Haupt writes in "Rooted," are open to the truth that something can be made sacred by the attention we grant it. I intentionally focus on developing a sense of wellbeing and kinship through the lens, as well as intuitive and psychic abilities, catalyzing what Joseph Campbell calls "the song of the imagination," something that can relate you to your nature and to the natural world of which you're a part. 

I also photograph for the MV Times, nonprofits, collectives, and families to give attention to the everyday activities that shape our lives. From those moments that reveal something of the human heart and personality to activism, I focus my energy and camera to create positive experiences for those I work with.

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New Work

These galleries give you a glimpse into some of my more recent photographs. Please visit my portfolios found in the menu if you are interested in viewing some of my commissioned work.

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In these troubled times, finding and making beauty are essential acts of survival. 

~ Trebbe Johnson

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We are all creative and need our constructive powers for our own and others' benefit. Each of us needs to meet daily with some facet of this growing capacity, and everyone - no matter their background or circumstances - has the potential to rekindle their creativity.

Photography has many layers, and can offer an antidote to the stresses of everyday life, helping us to slow down and find serenity by creating images that encourage us to give closer attention not only to the world around us but also to the quality of our responses to it.

If you are interested in reigniting your creativity, or bringing a program into your organization, I will design a curriculum around your needs and interests, meeting you where you are, and guiding you in the directions you are drawn to, always with your wellbeing in mind. At the same time I will encourage you to confidently and creatively share your gifts with and for others. 

For the past fifteen years, I've worked with children, adults, and the elderly, including individuals experiencing learning differences, disabilities, dementia, illness, autism, trauma, and mental health challenges.

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HOME: About

Exhibits: The Art in Gathering

"If we could look at the world in a loving way, then the world would rise up before us full of invitation, possibility, and depth. The loving eye sees through and beyond the image and affects the deepest change."

~ John O'Donohue

For me, an exhibit is an offering to the community, a way for the artist to share their journey of finding out what's inside them, and it for to be gratefully received by the viewer for the mutual benefit of all. It's about designing an intentional space that brings a personal dimension into community, healthcare, and natural environments. Each photograph is personally handprinted and framed by me with your particular space in mind, and workshops inspired by exhibits are available to further integrate art and aesthetic experiences into peoples lives. 

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Oak Bluffs Library, June 2023

Blue Fathom Gallery

Main Street, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

Year-Round Representation

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Student Photo Exhibit

Oak Bluffs Library, March 2023

MV Center for Living, April 5 2023

We Belong Beautifully to Nature

Select pieces touring Island Elderly Housing

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Photo Engagement Project

West Tisbury Library

Justice for Africa's Children

September 20th, 2022 @ 3pm - 4.30pm

866 United Nations Plaza, New York

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Seeing Spirit in A Fading Landscape


Select pieces touring Island Elderly Housing

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"Keep the sense of wonder in your heart... These pictures capture a beauty we can all appreciate and learn from.

Geordie Gude, "Learning to Look" exhibit

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"The creativity is off the charts! Individually each photo is awesome, as a collection its breathtaking. I love the composition, expertly yet intuitively composed and displayed, and to spend time with each photo is such a delight. I just want to admire the photos forever. My eyes are so happy. Thank you!

Visitor, "Learning to Look" exhibit

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"Remarkable photos - creative, full of life and activity, imagination, and fun! The energy is palpable. What a wonderful opportunity for the young artists!

Richard Tripp, "Learning to Look" exhibit

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Upcoming Exhibits

Oak Bluffs Library, Martha's Vineyard / Learning to Look Student Photo Exhibit, March 11 - 31, 2023

Oak Bluffs Library, Martha's Vineyard / Lightwork Photo Residency & Exhibit, June, 2023

Blue Fathom Gallery, Martha's Vineyard  / Opening May, 2023 (Permanent Display)

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Reach Out

PO Box 4422, Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard, MA 02568


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