Welcome! I'm so glad you found me! I'm MeIissa Gilmore, lifestyle photographer serving Hampton Roads and the Outer Banks, specializing in portraiture of babies, teens, families, couples and maternity. My desire to grow my business flourished after having my firstborn child a few years ago - I just wanted to capture every beautiful moment of his life. I use my skills as a designer and my love for art to create images that tell a story and expose the unique and candid moments that will last a lifetime.
A little bit about me! I was born and raised in Virginia Beach and graduated from Longwood University (Go Lancers!) in 2010 with a degree in Communications and a minor in Graphic Design. Having grown up in Hampton Roads and spending weekends and summers in the Outer Banks at my parent’s cottage, I have grown to love all the natural and inspiring beauty of these areas.
Post college, to feed my creative drive, I have been working as a graphic designer where I've built and managed brands from the ground up. Studying photography for years and using it in my professional work gave me a strong foundation to start my own photography business. I always dreamed of becoming a photographer and with the wonderful support from my husband, Brian, and our families, my dream became a reality with the creation of Melissa Kay Photography and Design.
My husband, Brian, and I were married in June 2012 in the Outer Banks. Brian and I met during our college years while playing in a sand soccer tournament at Virginia Beach. We started dating a couple years later and got engaged out on a jet ski in Duck, NC - "sunset cruise" I should say. As a professional basketball player at the time, Brian moved to Europe where I later left my job to be with him and travel the world - what an amazing and memorable time in our lives! Fast forward a few years and we are now back in Virginia Beach, married and blessed with 2 of the most precious babies on earth (yes, I am very biased!). I'm so blessed to call him my hubby and best friend. We have our sweet, fun son, Connor who is full of personality, and our adorable, precious daughter, Taylor Kate.
Our children are the brightest lights in my world. They make me the most responsible and yet the craziest person all at the same time. As a mom - I love. I cry. I try my best. I struggle. I get back up. I get excited. I stress out. My family is my WHOLE world. I know now that while I have always loved photography, becoming a wife and a mom brought whole new layers of passion for taking photographs! So many amazing moments to capture - the love, the expectation, the joy, the wonder of life!
I have so much to be thankful for - including my parents who have always been my biggest fans - from those loud voices on the sidelines, to supporting my personal and professional choices. Their marriage (of 32 years!!) and their love for each other inspires me to be a better wife and mom and the values they instilled in me shape who I am today. I am also so thankful to Jesus my savior and I thank Him everyday for the many blessings in my life!
It is my passion to use my talents and skills to capture the precious moments in your life, create images for you to treasure, and to tell your story for generations to come. I strive to make my work vibrant, creative and unique. Contact me to book your session today - I would love to hear from you!