Recipe for sweet success: Melissa’s journey as a busy mother, baker and content creator

Post by
Marisa Young
Recipe for sweet success: Melissa’s journey as a busy mother, baker and content creator

Meet Melissa, a mum of three from Queensland, Australia, who successfully balances family life with her creative endeavours. Her journey as a busy mum whilst juggling her love of baking, photography and being an active creator in our community is inspiring to us all.

We have relished watching Melissa grow as a community member and we are so proud of the content creator she has become. One of her early achievements in our community is winning our #cs_homehacks challenge, sponsored by the incredible Anja from Use Your Noodles. She was gifted a 1:1 mentoring session with Anja and she has gone from strength to strength ever since.

I cannot thank Anja enough for her guidance & encouragement, since my coaching call I have had the confidence to register a photography business & have already taken on clients!

It also gave Melissa the confidence to join our team of content creators. Melissa continues to consistently extend her creative skills with each project she takes on with Creatively Squared. Along with her work in product and lifestyle photography, she has now branched out into creating lifestyle videos and UGC for our big brand customers. Her life running a busy family household and her love for baking have seen Melissa thrive as a creator, producing authentic and relatable content for clients such as Fairy, Viva, and Dettol.

Keep scrolling to delve deeper into Melissa's world and discover the secret ingredients to her success as a content creator

Let’s chat with Melissa

Hey, I’m Melissa Jade! I started out as a cake and cookie artist and really enjoyed photographing my creations for social media. When COVID hit, I found myself with less work due to events being canceled, so I started a baking blog. And from there, I jumped headfirst into food and beverage photography.

It just started as a hobby but as my online community grew, I stumbled across Creatively Squared. I entered one of the online challenges and actually won a video call with one of my favourite food photographers, Anja from Use Your Noodles.

Melissa’s winning entry for #cs_homehacks g where she got creative with some pots from a homewares store to use as risers. Melissa cleverly mixed acrylic paint with a teaspoon of baking powder to give them a beautiful textured look. This was Melissa's first attempt at product photography too!

On this call I was shocked to hear that Anja liked my work and thought I had potential in the industry. It was because of that call that I am now doing something I was probably destined to do all along. I now run my own photography and videography business working with brands worldwide. I have since branched out and offer Recipe Development, Food Photography, Product Photography, Lifestyle Photography and a range of video services.

Lifestyle photography for Maltesers by Melissa. Source: Creatively Squared
Flatlay food photography for Fantastic Snacks by Melissa. Source: Creatively Squared

I mostly enjoy food and product photography but since working with Creatively Squared lifestyle photography is fast becoming something I really enjoy doing.

As for my personal aesthetic, in food photography, I favour a moody style. In product photography, I prefer a bright and creative approach. For lifestyle photography, I aim for a bright and natural look, avoiding overly posed shots.

Journey with Creatively Squared

I found Creatively Squared randomly on Instagram and decided to join to grow my community of photography friends.

I would say my first ever project with Creatively Squared was my hardest. It was for lifestyle content for Sunraysia. It was my first time really shooting lifestyle and products in the same shoot and my children were not used to being in front of the camera at that stage.

I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to give the project a try, I now shoot regular lifestyle content for some big Australian brands.

Lifestyle photography for Sunraysia by Melissa. Source: Creatively Squared

Tools of the trade

I use a Canon camera and a couple of good lenses. My faves are 50mm and 24-70mm. A tripod is a must for me especially for food and product photography.

All of my images are edited in Lightroom and Photoshop and my must-have for video editing is DaVinci Resolve.

Melissa shows her setup behind the scenes for her shoot with Reese’s.

When it comes to shooting locations, my fave location would have to be in my home, it's more relaxed and I can easily change the styling so it looks like a completely different room. I can also shoot food, product, and lifestyle all at home. Food photography is shot on the dining table I built myself, product photography is in my home studio and lifestyle photography is shot all around our home.


Melissa’s creative process

Whenever I have a photoshoot I usually plan a shot list, however sometimes (especially working with kids!) the best shots are the ones you wing. I am a one-person team but I will sometimes have help from my 4-year-old but most of the time she isn't actually helping, she is more of a cheerleader!

Personal Projects are my go-to to overcome a creative block. I am a very creative person and I sleep with a notebook next to my bed. When I wake up with random ideas I write them down, and then when I feel a little flat creatively, I look through my notebook and create something I've literally dreamt up already.

Lifestyle photography for PediaSure by Melissa featuring her daughter. Source: Creatively Squared
Lifestyle photography for Viva Paper Towel by Melissa. Source: Creatively Squared

Finding Inspiration

I look up to The Bite Shot, Use Your Noodles, Amanda Campeanu, and the hashtag #eatcaptureshare.

Top creative tip

Move around and capture different angles, sometimes the shots that are not planned are the ones that end up being the hero shot.

Lastly, what’s next for you?

I would love to improve on my interactions with my fellow creatives in the Creatively Squared community. I get so busy creating that I forget to share, reach out, and encourage others.

Thank you, Melissa, for being a loyal and inspiring creator in our community! We have loved watching your growth as a creator and witnessing your creative journey with us.

Follow Melissa's journey by visiting her website and following her on Instagram.

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