I’ve never met the gorgeous Melissa Histon. But the first words she wrote to me via email brought me to tears. Melissa’s story is epic.
A life threatening breast cancer diagnosis at just 35 inspired Melissa to check in with herself, question who she was and how was was living her life. As she puts it, ‘…faced with a life-threatening disease, I knew I desperately wanted to live a life on purpose, filled with joy! How could I live a happy, more joyful life?’
To imagine being married with four young children and to receive such a devastating blow – my mind boggles. Melissa’s story however is littered with weird and wonderful moments, gratitude and a newfound love and appreciation for her life. Her courage led her to share her story and you can read all about her fight with breast cancer here.
Melissa is also a successful creative photographer specialising in corporate branding portraits, commercial photography and bespoke portraiture that allows her clients to look and feel amazing. Her images are truly beautiful, unique and above all, lovingly captured.
Melissa’s spirit is captivating. Thrilled to share this beautiful, raw interview with you today.
So, first things first. What is your dream?
To live a life with my husband and family around me happy; having fun, travelling, creating and exhibiting my photography around the world!
What makes up your lifeblood?
Creativity and love.
Creativity – There is nothing better than creating a beautiful image, especially working with one of my clients so that they can see the beauty in themselves through my photography.
Love – Love is the basis for joy and happiness and all that yummy stuff that comes from those two splendid states of being!
What has been your biggest fear to date to overcome?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3.5 years ago. Being diagnosed and treated for a life threatening disease was certainly a fearful time for me. But my biggest fear was getting through my cancer treatment and not learning anything from the experience – to be living life the same way as I did pre-cancer. You see, before my cancer diagnosis I was a pretty stressed out, anxious person. I could very easily get sucked into negative thought patterns and feelings. I just KNEW that my breast cancer was a wakeup call to live my life differently. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t make the change and I would be ‘pre-cancer Mel’ forever. The awesome thing is I discovered kinesiology and meditation and they set me on the journey that changed my life forever.
Being healthy means that I…
…have a clear head, feel great physically and emotionally – I am alive and joyful!
To me, the word ‘healing’ means…
My body is finding equilibrium; my emotions, my body, my mind, my spirit are in-sync and balanced.
Where is your ultimate travel destination?
Peru to visit Machu Picchu at sunrise to meditate and photograph (though not at that same time)…LOL ?. The best thing is, I am doing that in September; a dream come true!
What DRIVES you?
There are a couple of things that drive me…
1. When I was in high-school I took photography as a subject at school, and I did pretty well at it. I came first in my class, but I never thought I was especially creative. I had a best-friend and she was the creative one. I always saw myself just as the ‘side-kick’ and that she had all the talent. I wanted to be a photographer but Dad told me it was not a career and that I shouldn’t pursue it as a profession. So now, there is something inside me that wants to prove them wrong – and also to prove myself wrong!
2. I never felt I was especially attractive, that all the girls were prettier than me. Now I love to work with women and photograph them so that they can see the beauty in themselves – that drives me! It is so cool to see a woman who sees her own image as a work of art!
Choosing love over fear means…
Living a life with full of happiness and joy – feeling great, being creative, seeing both the light in others and the light in myself.
I feel really creative when I…
I am creating a beautiful image with my camera just for the joy of it – no real purpose just to be creative for art’s sake.
If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be?
Little 14 year-old Melly, don’t compare yourself to other people. Love and cherish the person you are. You are a good, beautiful person inside and out. You can create your life however you want it to be, so always look for the good in yourself, the good in others and visualize how you want your life to be and go for it – you can do anything! …oh and meditate!
Can you share with us your secret indulgence?
A hotel suite, French champagne and my husband…
See examples of Melissa’s work at www.facebook.com/melissahistonphotography or www.melissahiston.com. Get Melissa to create fab photographs of you that showcase your personal brand to the world by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.