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Who is Melanie Ventures?!

The Woman, the myth, the legend..... #melanieventures

Hello first time reader, welcome to my blog! It is such an honor to be able to say, "hey!" to you. Out of all the blogs that swarm the inter-webs, somehow you managed to find yourself taking the time out of your day to read this one, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Where to start? - I guess introductions are probably the best place to start when it comes to getting to know someone on a more personal level...right?!

Hi! Hello! How art thou?! My name is Melanie. Ventures is not my last name, I wish it were, that'd be a pretty cool last name, but alas, it is just a screen name I have developed that has stuck with me over the years. The idea for the name came to me in college. While I was in photography school, a few of my classmates and I would go on these really fun photo adventures to both help our craft, but also just to spend time exploring the wonderful state of Ohio around us. When senior exit photo portfolios came around, we had to come up with a business name to go along with our portfolio exit interviews, and that's really when the name became more "official."

The word, "ventures" means:

ven·ture /ˈven(t)SHər/

noun plural noun: ventures

  1. a risky or daring journey or undertaking. "pioneering ventures into little-known waters"

Which, fit perfect for me, because at that time in my life, I was doing a lot of abandoned building photography and getting myself into "risky" photo projects and I really enjoyed jumping at any opportunity to explore a new place to try to capture cool content.

And I did....I really captured some cool content during my years of being a photo student. Maybe I'll share some of those old images with you guys at a later time!

Back to the portfolio exit interview....

I had made this wonderful portfolio of all of my favorite images filled with portraits and landscapes and who knows what else... I was so proud of that thing. My interview got picked apart by some pretty harsh "already in the field" established photographers. They said my business name, "Melanie Ventures," didn't really make sense and they also disliked like that my portfolio didn't showcase only one area of expertise. They said they wouldn't hire me because I had too many styles of photography rather than just being able to tell what I'm really good at. (For example, if I wanted to pursue being a wedding photographer, they just wanted to see my wedding photos.)

Needless to say, their opinions left me speechless. First, I really liked my business name. It wasn't just a surface level name for the project, it meant something deeper to me. Second, I was shocked at how they chose to critique me. Critiques are meant to help revise and rebuild your work to make it stronger. Rather than commending me on being a well rounded photographer, they instead chose to tell me how I would never get hired because I didn't showcase one clear photography niche in my portfolio.

Ironically, as the story goes on, I graduated from college and ended up with my first full-time photography job position. The best part? It was in a field of photography that I didn't have in my portfolio at all, a food photographer. The lesson to be learned here? Don't take criticism too strong to heart. If you know where your talents and gifting shine, the right employer is going to see that drive in you and will take a risk on you. I was so thankful I didn't let my exit interview outcome determine whether I would throw away my talent and change career paths or not. (I also never thought I'd turn out to be such a talented food photographer because I always kept my eyes towards shooting portraits and landscapes!)

Okay, I'll be honest, when I first began writing this blog post, I didn't plan to share all of these back stories with you. My intentions were to go in a completely different direction. However, I am a believer that if a story gets put on your heart to share, then there's someone out there who's meant to read it. With all of this being said, if any of these stories strike a heart chord in you, you'll have to personally reach out to me and let me know!

How does "Melanie Ventures" fit into your life now?

Well that's a great question! Ready for another story?

Once upon a time, I had an instagram account. Many of you may remember me, it was called, "@mel_costanzo." I had really racked up quite a following on that account and received some great virility because of my photography posts. I had been featured on some really big and famous accounts, as well as had created a story filter that went world wide and hit over a million shares!

Unfortunately, that account was disabled last fall and to this day, I still haven't been able to recover it. I will never know if someone reported me because they didn't agree with my views during the election year or if Facebook themselves took me down because of some views I had shared. It's truly unfortunate that we live in a society today where if your views oppose the narrative of the media, you are subject to cancel culture. So long story short, I lost absolutely everything. New connections I had made, brand deals I had sealed, memories I had made, photos I had shared, and filters that I had created that people really truly loved.

OH - and one other thing I lost..... my name! haha yes, it's true. I can no longer use my name as an instagram account because my disabled account was my name and even though it's not in use, it's still considered "used." Which is why you now know the true reason behind "Melanie Ventures," because it only seemed fitting that if I can't even have access to my own REAL name, I could at least have access to a name that was the next best thing. A name that could still authentically represent me but also encourage me to keep "venturing" out of my comfort zone.

I still adventure as much as I can these days to collect photo content. It's one of my most favorite hobbies to enjoy new places for the first time.

Whether it's a new local coffee shop or a completely new state I've never been to, there's just something so special about new sounds, sites, tastes and feels. This might sound weird, but even breathing in the air to a new place you've never been before - I don't know if it's the same for you, but it's truly exhilarating for me.

It's my happy place to be enjoying happy moments with happy people and the photos I take help capture the memories for me. When I post them, I get so excited to share these moments because I want to be able to inspire others to want to go out and make happy memories for themselves with their friends and family as well.

There's so much that this world has to offer and social media really makes it easier for us to be able to explore many of this world's most wonderful places. We have the power within us to choose whether we are going to count this day as a good day or bad day. I can say from personal experience, I used to gloat in self pity and bad days. It took having to change my mindset and "venture" out of my comfort zone to learn how to choose to create a "good day" for myself. I can also get more into this in some later blog posts.

But for now, that is about all you're going to get with this introductory post.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed your stay. I will be looking forward to your next visit in my later posts.

I feel like I don't want to leave you empty handed before we part. I have this idea to encourage you to make a list. 5 places. Pick 5 new places you would love to visit with a friend or loved one. Write them down and make it a goal to ask your friend or loved one to check off these places like a bucket list! Make some new memories and document your adventure. If you post it anywhere on social media, you can tag me in the comments. "@melanieventures" and you can use the hashtag #mvinspiredme (short for "melanie ventures inspired me") hahaha!

Okay, cool. I feel that was a pretty solid first blog post.

If you like what you read, please always feel free to share your feedback with me! I love your honesty and will always be thankful for your time. Your support means the world to me.

Hope you have a great one and I can't wait to learn about all your new ventures!


Melanie Ventures



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm so glad you've made it here and I hope you enjoy your time reading along with me!

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