Hey! We are James and Jo Melia. We are family, portrait and brand photographers and teach in a simple way, how to take photographs you can be proud of. We run online courses, write e books, offer 1-1 coaching and have helped many small businesses, photography enthusiasts, and beginners to get out of their Automatic camera settings and into Manual.
When it comes down to the bare bones of it , the thing we’re really here for and our purpose for doing this, is to show you all kinds of humanity in our photographs, your beautiful vulnerabilities and inner strengths.
Whether that is a flicker of hair in the wind, an honest and powerful straight forward portrait or just a wander down the road together. It all tells your story. It’s a mix of who you really are, a journey to find who you could be, and a little inspiration muddled in.
Our philosophy is to show you your strength, even when you sometimes feel vulnerable and wavering. It’s to give you a helping hand towards the kind of life you want and to give you the pictures that show you how incredible you are.
We’re human and our favourite thing of all in our busy life with three children and our chocolate labrador Chief, is to find the humour in a world full of noise and movement.
Having a laugh and not taking ourselves too seriously is the secret (not so secret) behind our portraits. Being super down to earth and having a great understanding for all of our human ways makes having photographs with us an experience we really want you to enjoy and remember.
We’re humble about life and always grateful for the chances we are given to make a little difference where we can.
If you have any questions? have any ideas you want to put to us, want to work with us? or just need a bit more info about what we do and say 'Hey!' Email us - email@example.com
Hey, I’m Jo, one of the Melia’s. I take photographs everyday (a lot of them) and am one half of our little team. I am forever grateful and in awe of my James, my sons Ashton and Logan and now our little Margot.
My day starts at 5am with a lengthy life purpose chat with James, Margot our two year old daughter, and a strong coffee with oat milk. The middle part is filled with raising our two almost pre teen boys out of their beds and helping them to speak in full sentences! I do my very best to prepare them all for a big life full of adventures, to be resilient and kind, practice gratitude and to be mindful. There’s always some work to be done in the midst, but I LOVE it and it’s very much a part of life for me. They kind go together. The day usually ends with a plan to drink more water and then fall asleep five minutes into a tv series I’ve wanted to catch up on all week.
I love anything Linen and have an issue with digestive biscuits. I’m more thoughtful about not wasting things and like the odd ethical/organic brand. I love to sing when i’m working and washing up.
I’m attracted to the kinds of people who love BIG and wear their hearts on their sleeves and equally to those who quietly inspire. In serious moments, I would love most in this life of mine to connect with as many likeminded people as possible and help to build up anyone who needs a hand. So that’s me, not in a nutshell because it’s just not big enough, but its a start.
Holds breath and hits publish...
I'm not the best at writing, I've been put off by it my whole life and you know what? it's no excuse. I was told in school at the tender age of 14 that I was dyslexic and from then on I've always shy'd away from it. Now at the not so tender age of 36, I've got a beautiful wife who is amazing at writing, so I don’t need to do it so much!
I'm not 100% sure how to start this, how to properly tell you about me and all my loves & fears, I guess there's only one way down
I'm fairly sarcastic and like to have a bit of a laugh. Sometimes, well not sometimes, but all the time I worry that it's not going to be taken how it's written, please take what I write with a pinch of salt.
I'm not sure when a mid-life (crisis) starts but recently after years of saying I wouldn't, I've developed a love for lycra and going out on my road bike. At the time of writing this, I'm 3 months into a year of not drinking any alcohol, I'm a terrible cook but I think, a great kitchen dancer. I like to see the beauty in anything and like to show that person. I've really struggled with my mental health, feeling guilty, overwhelmed, anxious and generally just shit at times. My wife understands much more of me than I'd like to let on. I want to try everything, to the point that I get overwhelmed and don't try anything.
My little girl Margot is the best thing to ever happen to me, yes she is a little sh*t at times, but she's mine and I love her little ways.
There are two boys in my life, Ash & Logan who are my (step) boys and make me laugh in an unintended way every day. They eat too much sugar and sometimes take life a little too seriously, it’s something I'm trying to work on.
There have been a lot of times in my life up until this point where I've felt vulnerable and I can already see it the same on my children's faces now as they face their different life challenges.
But you always come out of the other end, you have to. And it's something that I want to share with our photography, it's to show your strength in vulnerable moments, because we all have our personal battle however big or small. All I want is for people to open up to us, just a little, just for a second or two while the shutter clicks, and we'll show you your strength.
I want to create a feeling with light, not an image that is technically correct.
Frequently asked questions -
Where are you located?
We live in a small village in West Yorkshire called Ripponden and are pretty much in-between Leeds and Manchester. We prefer the quiet life in the moorlands rather than the hustle of the city but always happy to travel though, so just ask.
What's it like to have a shoot with us?
We're pretty relaxed with everyone we shoot. It's more important that you enjoy your experience with us, either with your family or on your own, so we won't be making you feel all awkward. Our plan is usually to hang out and have a quick coffee, get more comfortable and then maybe go for a short walk and take photo's. The rest is easy!
The cameras that we use and love.
Sony A7iii, 50mm 1.4 Ziess, 35mm 1.4 Ziess, Leica Q, Nikon F3HP, Nikkor 35mm f2 Mamiya 645 AFD, Mamiya 80mm 2.8, Mamiya 150mm 3.5