Recommended by 100%
Karen · Married on 09/12/2018
After viewing many photographers' work, I was drawn to Melanie's because of the distinctive style she gave each couples' photos. We didn't have a cookie-cutter wedding and we didn't want cookie-cutter photos. We wanted our unique experience to show through. Melanie understood that and also added some great suggestions. She listened to what we wanted, used that as a starting point and added her expertise to really make our photos ones that we're proud of! We also appreciated her artistic flair, and the fact that she grew up in Santa Fe came in handy when part of our request was to do some scenic shots in the area. Her calm and kind demeanor made our photo session fun and relaxing, and I have had so many compliments on the quality of our photos! I would recommend Melanie to anyone who needs professional photos taken.Sent on 10/01/2018
Chris · Married on 09/09/2018
Melanie West was Amazing
Melanie West did an amazing job photographing our wedding. She captured lots of great moments with pictures that were bright, colorful, and sharp. We hired her for 6 hours which included a little time before the wedding, the wedding itself, and most of the reception. Our wedding and reception were inside LaFonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe. Immediately after the wedding she took photos of us with our families and the wedding party inside the hotel and during the spare 20 minutes we had before the reception started Melanie took us outside for pictures. She knew some great places where we could stand with beautiful backgrounds. One of my favorite pictures from the whole day was taken outside the hotel around the corner. One of my other favorite pictures was a picture of my wife and I walking up the aisle seconds after being declared husband and wife. We both had big smiles and looked at Melanie at the same time and she captured the moment perfectly. That moment when we approached her while walking and smiling and looking straight at her only existed for a second or two and she nailed it. Melanie stayed a little longer than her contracted time and had started to leave. I was standing next to my paraplegic friend in his wheelchair and some of my other friends and Melanie graciously unpacked her camera , waited for us to pose, and took one last picture of the group of guys. It turned out to be another one of my favorites.Sent on 11/16/2018
Cait · Married on 09/02/2018
Melanie was a delight to work with you. Professional, responsive, creative, kind, and easygoing. She was adaptable and created a great collections of photos that we will treasure. Highly recommend her.Sent on 09/25/2018
Jamie · Married on 05/01/2018
Melanie was wonderful to work with -- from the moment we first spoke on the phone, to the day of the wedding, to receiving the photographs. She was very patient and answered all of our questions. She captured our wedding perfectly and put both us and our guests at ease during the entire photo session. We absolutely love our photos and our friends and family do, too. We highly recommend Melanie for her professionalism, artistry, and care.Sent on 05/27/2018
Adeline · Married on 12/31/2017
I can't say enough positive things about Melanie! We don't live in Santa Fe so our initial contact with her was based solely from reviews and recommendations. Over the phone she understood exactly what we wished for in our photos and also gave some great advice that we used and were so happy with the results! She was also very accommodating on our date, time and location of our ceremony. She arrived on time and got to know my groom and I before the ceremony which I think was important because she really captured us and our story quite well. She also worked well with our officiant and I think that helped a lot too. Melanie was very relaxed and I felt very comfortable with her and she offered great suggestions. My husband also felt comfortable with her which helped him relax and she was able to capture some great shots of him ( because its not all about the bride- ha ha). Honestly I loved her so much I feel like we will continue to be friends and we look forward to seeing her when we travel back to Santa Fe. The end result of all of the above was some great, quality photos that we will cherish for a lifetime.Sent on 03/06/2018
Taylor · Married on 09/23/2017
Melanie was fantastic! She was so friendly and warm that she made our special day even more wonderful. Our families loved her and she was so great about suggesting different photo variations and poses it made everything so easy. The photos were beautiful and we will treasure them forever.Sent on 11/17/2017
Julia · Married on 05/27/2017
We were planning our Santa Fe wedding from out of state and checked out Melanie's work on her website and were amazed at the uniqueness and artistry. However, talking with her absolutely sealed our choice. We had a very private wedding with six family members in attendance. Melanie was both professional and, at the same time, made us so comfortable she was part of our small group. Everyone felt we had the perfect photographer even before we got our photos. We plan on contacting her on return trips to Santa Fe and could not recommend her more highly.Sent on 02/20/2018
Rebecca · Married on 05/20/2017
Melanie made our wedding day so special. We treasure the photos, which tell the story of our special day. She is so artistic and creative and the photos capture her skill as a photographer. She is affordable and was able to work with us within our budget, was organized and committed to capturing the important photo groupings we had previously selected. We could not be more happy with Melanie West and highly recommend her for your wedding or other event photos.Sent on 02/13/2018
Kerry Lee · Married on 08/10/2016
As a Certified Wedding Professional with my own wedding planning business based in Santa Barbara, CA, I found myself on the other side of the coin planning my own secret destination wedding in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I knew no vendors in this area and set to work researching. Long story short: Melanie West was phenomenal. She returned all correspondence in a timely manner, helped us come up with a plan that would maximize her time with us, she knows Santa Fe intimately, so when we said after our wedding we wanted to do a walking photo shoot and just walk around downtown Santa Fe and take some photos with the amazing architecture and colors, she was excited and said she knew exactly where to take us. She showed up on time (early, in fact), engaged with our guests and family in a delightful way (she was happy to be there) and worked swiftly and took charge of what needed to be done photograph-wise. She was absolute perfection. The images we received were just what we had hoped for. She got our requested group family photos, she got lots of "detail" shots (very important- florals, decor, venue, etc) and some very special and spontaneous moments. I wanted someone who would take photos photojournalistic style- to tell a story- and she did just that. Melanie's deposit schedule and pricing is extremely reasonable, too, and she is easy to work with. I cannot recommend her enough both as a professional wedding consultant and now... as a bride !Sent on 09/04/2016
Kerry Lee · Married on 08/10/2016
This is a second review because Wedding Wire won't let me edit my last one: the only correction I wish to make is that our wedding date was August 10th of 2016, and for some reason WeddingWire posted it as 2014. My review stays the same, however: As a Certified Wedding Professional, and owner of my own event planning business in Santa Barbara, CA, I found myself on the other side of the coin planning my own destination secret wedding elopement. Researching vendors in an area with which I am not familiar was daunting. Melanie was prompt to respond, highly professional, had very reasonable deposit and fee schedules, and I loved her work. She showed up on time (early, in fact), was a joy to work with - she works with people really well with her calm, centered presence, and it is evident she finds happiness in her work. She works stealthily and quickly. We loved our images and she was prompt to get them to us. Can't say enough wonderful things about her! As a professional wedding planner and a bride, I can highly recommend her!Sent on 09/05/2016
Jodi · Married on 04/22/2016
Melanie was amazing !! Melanie captured so much emotion in our pictures, so much of our wedding was a blur and seeing our pictures brought my husband and I back to the ceremony, to the center of the emotions felt on that day! Melanie was so kind and sincere about making us feel comfortable and getting the bestSent on 04/28/2016
memories possible. Our lighting was impeccable and she made sure is was the best time of day for quality and uniqueness! Thank you Melanie!
April · Married on 04/02/2016
My husband Kevin and I were so pleased with our experience working with Melanie. Kevin and I live in Chicago, and we were able to talk to Melanie on the phone and get a sense of her style and warmth through her website and through our conversation. We met her the first time about 45 minutes before our ceremony, and she made us feel comfortable. What drew me to Melanie initially was her journalistic style--the pictures on her website tell the story of the person in the moment, and given that our ceremony would be so small, that's what I wanted. Someone who would beautifully capture the gorgeous light of New Mexico and love of my family. Most of the ceremony was a blur to me, as much as I tried to stay in the moment, and it was so poignant to see the ceremony in the photographs as an observer. I was especially touched by the photos of my parents the first time they saw me decked out in my dress and flower crown--I couldn't help but cry! So much love and awe there that in my anxiety and excitement, I wasn't noticing. Our ceremony was intimate, only 14 people in attendance in all, and Melanie became a member of our family. Melanie was flexible with our schedule too--when we wanted an extra half hour, she obliged, and stayed to capture Kevin and I putting the finishing touches on dinner. Melanie exceeded our expectations. Thank you Melanie for being part of our ceremony, and we are so grateful to have your photography as part of our lives forever!Sent on 04/23/2016
User6502107 · 2+ years ago
Melanie was so awesome, I can't go on enough about her. My now-husband and I had a planned elopement in December 2015 in New Mexico. She happily agreed to photograph it for a very reasonable price. We are very awkward people in front of the camera, but Melanie managed to make us comfortable enough throughout the whole process that we actually had fun. The pictures turned out great, I can't believe how great we look in the New Mexican sunset. Also, I want to mention that she did almost all of our photos outdoors, as we requested, and it was very cold. Very, very cold, but she was so happy to be out there for us and help us capture exactly what we wanted of the day. Thank you, Melanie!Sent on 03/19/2016
User5544902 · 2+ years ago
We had such a lovely experience with Melanie. We choose her because her portfolio revealed her ability to capture unstaged/ unexpected moments. I must say we were not disappointed. We were absolutely thrilled with all the photos Melanie took. Our wedding party consisted of 6 children ages 7-18. Melanie was absolutely wonderful in working with everyone. She was also extremely accommodating and gracious.Sent on 10/21/2015
Adrian · Married on 09/28/2015
After a brief conversation with Ms. West over the phone we explained what we wanted and sent her some information. That's all it took to get some amazing photos of our elopement ceremony.Sent on 10/20/2015
Our photographs are beautiful and the experience with MS. West was equally as wonderful. She let me tell her what I was looking for without any issues. We received our photos promptly one week after the wedding. Her prices are very reasonable and she traveled to Los Cerrillos, NM for just the two of us. I honestly don't think we could have found a better photographer.
What a wonderful day! Thank you Ms. West
Amanda · Married on 09/19/2015
Melanie was fantastic. From the first time we had coffee together I knew she was going to be great. She's easy to get a long with and everyone feels comfortable around her. We had a lot of kids around and she worked great with them and everyone else. I did all the decorations my self and we had a beautiful venue that I wanted to make sure was captured and she did it beautifully. We have been extremely happy with our photos. I'm so glad we went with Melanie!! She asked us to write a list of photos that we wanted so we didn't forget any. This is something I didn't do and thought we'd get them all. My advice to any bride is to make that list! It was my own fault I didn't and there are a few photos I wish I had. Melanie would of did any photo we wanted.Sent on 04/28/2016
Thank you Melanie for capturing our day just like we wanted!!
User5269105 · 2+ years ago
Dear Melanie, July 15, 2015Sent on 07/17/2015
I wanted to take a moment to Thank you Melanie West for the beautiful job you did of our ceremony on 6.26.15. You capture the cast of characters of our friends and family at this event with your camera From the 3 year old Jaiden, to stone face 27 year old son from NYC, the sense of timing and your picture perfect lens framed the mild to the outrageous perfectly.
Melanie, you were professional, friendly, and wonderful to work with to document this event in our lives. We did not just get a few great pictures but a large baker’s dozen to enlarge and frame for our walls. The black and white photos from your antique camera are the most precious gems of all. The detail and texture from the photo of us against the Santa Fe skies were flawless.
Thank you again for all you have done to make our ceremony live on for years.
A. K. Storm
Christine · Married on 05/24/2015
Melanie West photographed our wedding May 2015. Melanie is a sweet, kind and easy going person. On our first meeting I was impressed with the professionalism and reasonable prices Melanie offered for her level of expertise and experience. Additionally, I could tell that Melanie was sincere about taking pictures that would be what we wanted. For example she would ask who we would want in our group photos, if black and white was ok, if there were any special arrangements we might like in the photos. She was eager to please and followed through with this on our wedding day. We also loved the fact that the photos would be ours to keep on a disk and use as we pleased (most photographers do not let you do this). I want to add that I'm the type of person that doesn't like being photographed, but somehow with her I felt comfortable and calm. Planning any wedding is stressful, but Melanie seemed to make the photography end of things easy, comfortable, and she takes amazing photos. I would highly recommend her I feel so lucky to have found her.Sent on 08/06/2015
User5596630 · 2+ years ago
We had a wonderful experience with Melanie. She worked with us beforehand to get a sense of what we wanted for our day, and she was able to recommend some great locations for shots around downtown Santa Fe. She also made us feel extremely comfortable. My wife is very outgoing and photogenic, but I am definitely not, and Melanie managed to capture the best in both of us. She was unobtrusive while still not missing any of our moments. We were very happy and very impressed.Sent on 11/08/2015
Melanie is a professional, but she's also an artist, and this really comes through in our photos. They're beautiful. We can't recommend her more highly.
Alex · Married on 10/28/2014
Melanie is a true professional who takes great pride and pleasure in her work. She is a lot of fun to be around, which is important for people who are not too comfortable facing the camera.Sent on 12/15/2014
She was guiding us through the process so subtly and so skillfully. We had a small elopement ceremony in late October '14 at Hacienda Doña Andrea in Los Cerillos, 30 miles away from Santa Fe. We were very happy with the photos and we really enjoyed Melanie's company. We couldn't thank her enough for the understanding and the pictures. Fantastic experience.
Lauren · Married on 10/25/2014
Planning a destination wedding can be a bit scary when selecting unknown vendors. We found Melanie West via a web search and liked the looks of her work. Even though we did not meet her until the actual ceremony, we could not have chosen anyone better! Melanie captured the whole experience for us. Her composition, use of light, and creativity have given us images that will forever help us to recall the specialness of our day. She was great at putting us all at ease and the images are stunning.Sent on 02/13/2015
Iris · Married on 06/13/2014
I had my destination wedding in Santa Fe. God bless Google for sending me to Melanie's site. I immediately loved her work, particularly her candid shots. Her ability to capture emotion in photos is amazing, and that was very evident when I saw my wedding photos. Looking through them brought all the feelings of excitement, love, and even nervousness I felt that day.Sent on 07/08/2014
It rained all day before my outdoor ceremony. I was on the verge of panicking, but I never reached that point because of Melanie. She has this wonderful, calming voice that kept me sane and positive. The chilly rain miraculously stopped for 30 minutes during my ceremony. The photos Melanie took looked as if it never rained a drop that day. They look so bright, sunny and full of warmth! The clouds and light rain came back after the ceremony as we were taking pictures. We stayed out and continued our session because I wanted some outdoor photos; I could see her camera getting wet, but Melanie never once asked if we could move inside to save her equipment. She stayed out in the rain with me to get my shots, and they were stunning with the dark clouds in the background. I love the mix of rain and sunshine in my photos. Not only that, but her photography composition is impeccable. Every picture was perfect.
I feel so lucky to have hired Melanie as my wedding photographer. She not only provided beautiful wedding photos that I will cherish forever, but the experience I had with her made my wedding day that much more memorable. She was not only professional, but also very personable, so lovely to work with, and just an all-around awesome person.
User4169216 · 2+ years ago
We really loved having Melanie take our wedding photos. She was professional and organized, but also very kind, personable, and easy to work with. She put everyone at ease and was especially good with the children at the wedding and getting smiling photos of them. We appreciated that she got a lot of great shots of the ceremony and candid photos of the afternoon without being intrusive at all. Most of all, we love the photographs! They are full of color and style that really capture our beautiful day in New Mexico. She gave us a mix of saturated colors, intense black and whites, and charming shots on film. Our family members agree with our assessment - they all appreciate the artistry. We definitely recommend her for your wedding!Sent on 06/11/2014
Melissa · Married on 08/31/2013
For all those meticulous brides and grooms out there that obsess about every detail of their wedding and can't bear the thought of something going wrong, I have some advice for you. Look no further when it comes to hiring your photographer. Melanie West is one of the most professional, organized, quality photographers in the business. And if these attributes weren't enough to convince you, she is one of the most pleasant people I have ever met as well.Sent on 07/31/2014
I was planning my wedding from Miami and always knew I wanted my wedding in northern New Mexico where I grew up. I discovered Melanie online and after our first phone call, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for. Melanie takes the time to learn all she can about the bride and groom to get a sense of context and then will follow-up with questions about what the bride and groom would like from their photographer. Melanie is a keen listener and once she has a sense of what her clients want, she ensures every attention to detail is covered.
For my husband and I, selecting the photographer was one of the most important aspects of our wedding. We chose a package where Melanie took photos of our rehearsal dinner and photos on the wedding day. It was such a joy to receive the link to our wedding photos because Melanie captured those special moments when neighbors were getting my parent's backyard set-up stringing white lights and lighting the farolitos. She captured my mother trying to hide the wine from my bridesmaids to keep everyone in check before the wedding. Melanie captured the emotion in my father's eyes as he led his only daughter (and now only child) down the aisle. Melanie took some incredible photos of my husband and I exchanging our vows, dancing in each other's arms and all those tender and joyous moments that followed. The smiling faces of all of our loved ones were all there in black and white and color. I couldn't have a higher opinion of Ms. Melanie West. Hire her!
Melanie · Married on 08/04/2012
Melanie is the consummate professional - timely, responsible, and incredibly friendly, from our first contact via email through post-wedding review of pictures. Now the best part: Melanie is an incredible photographer and artist, and captured what we felt was the true spirit of our wedding. The photos seemed to illuminate the best qualities of every one of our close friends and family members, as if she knew just how to catch us in our best light, the best angle, and at the very best moment. She also held a great space, i.e. she managed to get together and smiling naturally even the family members who can't stand being around each other - we were afraid of drama but she created such a comfortable atmosphere that everyone felt as ease. I highly recommend Melanie for her eye for capturing special moments, her documentary-but-artistic style of photography, and the beautiful, high quality images that we will enjoy for a long time to come. Her work is hanging on our walls now - we are very happy customers.Sent on 05/05/2013