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How to take an Amazing Selfie with Your iPhone

How to take an Amazing Selfie with Your iPhone

Selfies are big right now. Not only are they are fun to take, they’re also an exciting way to mark memorable moments. To get the most out of your selfie, use these tips to take great shots and capture each moment exactly how you want it to be seen. Try switching up your photographing techniques on your iPhone with these tips and see what amazing selfies you can come up with.

#1 Let Lighting Do All the Work

One of the most important elements of a good selfie is lighting. Lighting allows your face to look amazing no matter where you are. Good light sources such as lamps or even sunlight are a big part of creating professional looking photos without special effects.

#2 Choose an Exciting Background

Backgrounds enhance the imagery of your selfie. Are you on vacation and want to show off the scenery and what you’re up to? Include your surroundings in the background of your selfie to communicate more – let the selfie tell the story.

#3 Show a Smile

Everyone loves to see a selfie with a smile. Smiles brighten up a selfie. They set the mood and set the tone, so flash your pearly whites!

#4 Let Filters and Effects Enhance Your Photos

Filters can dramatically change the mood of your photo, so have fun experimenting with the filters that come on your iPhone. Filters alter the colour of your image, the contrast, and add cool overall effects that will make your selfie stand out.

#5 Tell a Story

While a selfie might seem limited, it really isn’t. You’d be surprised how much a visual image communicates to viewers. You can artfully express where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. Take time to plan out and frame the picture properly. Let your creative juices flow…don’t be afraid to try several “scenarios” so you can choose your favourite to share.

Olivia and Mik (1)

#6 Avoid Photo Bombers

Photo bombers can be annoying, or funny. A photo bomber sneaks into the shot, inserting themselves into your selfie. Though the results can be funny, sometimes it’s just not what you’re trying to achieve. Take a minute to check the background to be sure the image bomber-free.

Use these Tips Wisely

These tips are an overall guide to taking great selfies, but they do not by any means need to be followed all the time. Find ways to have fun taking selfies and enjoy the process. If you’re having fun, your photos will reflect that excitement to your viewers. There’s nothing like a great selfie!

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An interview with Ann Caddey – Unlock Your Inner Artist

An interview with Ann Caddey – Unlock Your Inner Artist

Having coffee and a chat about creativity with Ann Caddey, artist and art teacher from ‘The Drawing Room.’

Are you ready to let your creative side out?

I recently met with Ann Caddey, an amazing artist from Newcastle, NSW, to discuss creativity and,as an art teacher, how we could all access our creative side. I actually first met Ann 3 years ago in a little diner in Chelsea, New York. We were in a group of fellow Aussies drinking cheap wine and eating burgers…and we laughed all night. Since then, I have admired Ann’s beautiful, vibrant nature, her love of art, her positivity and joyful vibe.

Ann was an art teacher for 30 years, and now continues to teach in her own business – a relaxed drawing boudoir called – ‘The Drawing Room’.

The thing I really love about Ann is her take on creativity and art – she believes it is for everyone. Not just to be intellectualised and admired by academia or explored by those with Fine Arts degrees. It is a form of self-expression for EVERYONE! As such, ‘The Drawing Room’ attracts a broad group of participants from art students honing their skills to mums and dads that just want to get out of the house and have fun over a glass of wine and a sketchpad!

When we met recently, Ann spoke of creativity and shared her ideas and insights into embracing the process of creating as an outlet for self-expression. 

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I would really like to thank all those people who have taken the time to show support for the 3 Angels Nepal project and trip that I participated in recently. After travelling to Nepal and learning more about the terrible issue of sex-trafficking of women and girls, it is just so heartening to know that so many people care about this issue, want to know more and how they can help!

I returned from Nepal about three weeks ago now and I’ve tried many times to write about the journey; but I keep struggling to process my thoughts and feelings about the whole experience.

When I arrived home, I was so happy to see my husband, Craig, and our kids. I also felt a bit disconnected. My head was still back in Nepal with the boys and girls from the childrens’ homes, the rescued girls at the Safe Haven home and the dedicated 3 Angels Nepal staff and volunteers.


I went to Nepal with fellow Novocastrians Belinda Bow (3 Angels Nepal Ambassador/Green Chilli Marketing), Robyn Raymond (3 Angels Nepal Ambassador) and Daniel Bracken (Native Media). My job was to do the still photography for a documentary they are making about the sex-trafficking of Nepali women to India and the amazing work of 3 Angels Nepal.

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About a year ago, I was in a goal setting/planning workshop with business coach, Heidi Alexandra Pollard and other Leading Ladies, when I stated that one of my dreams was, “to go to a third-world country to do a photography project that will have a positive impact in the world and help other people in some way.”

About four weeks ago, the universe answered and that dream of mine began to come to life. Belinda Bow, from Green Chilli Marketing and Ambassador for 3 Angels Nepal, called and asked me if I wanted to come to Nepal to do the still photography for a documentary she was organising to be filmed there.

The documentary is being made for a non-profit organisation called 3 Angels Nepal. It aims to bring awareness to the world of the horrendous sex-trafficking of women and children from remote Nepalese villages to across the border to India.

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Captured love!

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Let me capture 

Your love for you…


Valentine’s Day is almost upon us once again and this time I’m offering a great gift alternative to roses and chocolates. I’m a hopeless romatic and I love photographing people, especially women to make them feel beautiful and shine!

So in honour of Valentine’s Day and sharing the love, I’ve created two special loved-up photo packages for you to choose from that will give you beautiful, bespoke photographs for your loved one.



Create a memento of your love on Valentine’s Day with the Lovebirds’ photo shoot.

Bring along your special someone for a fun and flirty photo shoot at my studio. You will get two beautiful, mounted photographs of you both that you can gift to each other! 

The package includes:

  • A photo shoot with Melissa Histon at her studio
  • Two 8″ x 10″ mounted fine art photographic prints

Special Valentine’s Price $259 (save $199)

*An alternative location or hair and makeup services can be quoted upon request.



Show your special lady how beautiful she really is with an indulgent, bespoke photo shoot.

Your sweetheart will arrive at my studio where she will relax and enjoy champagne and strawberries before the serious pampering begins. A full hair and makeup session is up next and will have your lady looking picture-perfect for my camera.

 From here, I’ll work with your beloved to create a beautiful piece of artwork that you can cherish forever.

 The package includes:

  • A Bespoke photo shoot with Melissa Histon at her studio
  • Champagne and strawberries for your special lady while she is pampered
  • Hair and makeup for your sweetheart
  • Three 8″ x 10″ mounted bespoke fine art portraits

 Special Valentines Price $559 (save $299)

*An alternative location can be quoted upon request.

Hurry, these special Valentine’s Day packages are only available until 14th February 2014.

Email to purchse your photo shoot gift-voucher, which you will receive via email.

Photo shoots must take place before 31st March 2014. To book your photo shoot, call 0405 405 245 or email

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Five tips to help you get amazing professional portraits!

So you’re a smart, confident businessperson making your mark on the world. Do the photos that you use for social media, website and marketing material reflect that? I have noticed a broad variation in the quality of profile pictures that people are using for their social media; some look stylish, modern and professional, others not so much.

 I recently posted on Facebook a selection of corporate portraits that I took of Heidi Alexandra Pollard, CEO of UQPower. The reaction was really positive and so it got me analysing what is was about Heidi’s shoot (and other shoots I have done) that worked well to produce the great shots.


CEO UQ Power, Heidi Alexandra Pollard Heidi Alexandra Pollard, CEO of UQPower

Heidi needed to update her professional portraits as the ones she had been using were a few years old. As a person who values authenticity, Heidi wanted to make sure that her professional images reflect who she really is and what she really looks like. So it was time for us to hit the studio again to produce a suite of images she could use professionally as needed.

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Let’s get more creative!

This New Year, I want to be more creative! I’m not alone either. I have noticed on social media, in the last week or so, other people either making New Year’s resolutions to spend more time exploring their own creativity or just having a bit of ‘me’ time with a paint brush.

And that is just AWESOME! I say go for it!

I love being creative and want to strengthen my own ‘creative muscle’ …because, well, it makes my heart sing! It can make your heart sing too!

I personally am striving to be more creative with my fine art photography collections and portraiture. How would you like to be more creative?

Creating something is a very personal experience; a journey. To see something you have imagined in your mind come to life can be very rewarding and joyful.

My lovely friend and Naturopath extraordinaire, Tammy Guest, has been getting creative… here she is with her own painting that now adorns a wall at her clinic, Inspirational Health!

If you have taken a creative ‘journey’, you will know that creating can also bring up ‘stuff’. Whether you have painted, photographed, scrapbooked, written, or even cooked a beautiful meal for someone – when you present your final ‘masterpiece’ you can feel a range of emotions – pride, joy, uncertainty or fear of ‘what if they don’t like it’ or ‘it didn’t turn out how I thought it would.’

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I’m loving Angels instead…

Merry Christmas 2013!


Merry Christmas to you! These two beautiful Christmas Angels bringing gifts of new life and renewal to the burnt bushland are local Newcastle sisters, Ainslie and Meredith Young. As fashion designers and creators of Young The Label, Ainslie and Meredith are always bringing new creations to life. We bring you good tidings and best wishes for a wonderful and prosperous 2014!

It has been a few years since I shot a ‘Christmas photo’ and sent out a Christmas greeting.  I always find the lead up to Christmas to be so busy that sending out Christmas cards keeps slipping to the bottom my ‘to do’ list. Poor excuse…I know…

But this year has been a wonderful year of growth and change and I made the decision stop using ‘being busy’ as an excuse and to share my love of Christmas by creating a Christmas photo to share!

So about three weeks ago, I headed to Redhead Road, Redhead (Newcastle NSW) with my two Christmas Angels, sisters Ainslie and Meredith Young, and makeup artist, Alix Hibberd. I picked this location specifically as only two months ago it was ravaged with bushfire and was left charred and burnt; however, the fire also left the most incredible black and vibrant red leaves and trees.

Angels, Ainslie and Meredith, have the most beautiful red hair and I could picture in my mind how beautiful this scene would look: red, the colour of Christmas, existing naturally in the bushland and the girls’ auburn locks.

So, Sunday evening about three weeks ago, Alix and I adorned Ainslie and Meredith with their angelic robes (Ainslie is wearing my Lisa Ho wedding dress), wings and haloes and we headed to Redhead Road for the shoot.  We arrived at about 6.30pm and traipsed through the bush, greeted by welcoming mosquitoes, until I found the perfect spot to photograph the angels.

 Ainslie and Meredith Young - my 2013 Christmas Angels!

Ainslie and Meredith were total professionals during the shoot and continued to smile beautifully while swatting greedy mozzies away!

If you have ever had a story in your head that you tried to write or envisioned a painting, drawing or photograph that you have tried to create, you will know that sometimes it takes a few tries before your final piece is just how you imagined!

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Every Photograph has a Story …

Every Photograph has a Story …

When I’m not shooting for my clients, I am working on creative projects just for the love of it! I am very grateful that other people like my creative photographs too and have been ordering them through my Facebook page.

So I have created an online gallery so I can share many of my favourite fine art photographs with you. They are also available to buy online if you really like one and want to hang it on your wall or give as a gift!

There is a story behind each of these images and so I thought that the best way to share these stories with you all would be to write about them here.  So here is the first ‘story behind the image’ for you all.

 I hope you enjoy these images and their history as much as I enjoy sharing them with you!


 Love is in The Trees!

I love these series of photographs.  I took them when I was in Sydney for the day taking photographs just for fun. I was standing under a tree and I looked up and saw these lovely heart shaped leaves. I had a moment inspired and started photographing them straight up into the sky. As I was shooting, a lady stopped next to me and said, ” What beautiful heart shaped leaves, my husband would love these, he is a heart surgeon!” and so we stood admiring them together. It was a sign… I now have this series of ‘heart leave’ artistic photographs that I sell as limited edition photographs! Love is in the air…or in the trees!


 You are always welcome to go to view the other photographs in my Gallery and Shop.  And if you have a favourite and would like to hear about how it’s history, please email me at


Mel xx

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If you need it Super Speedy

I want to let you know about a special photo shoot day just for people that need to update their professional head shot for social media and/or website, but don’t have the time for a full ‘personal branding ‘ photo shoot. This is a quick and easy photo session at my studio – you will be there no more than 30 minutes – and you will come away with a great head shot for you to use!

This SUPER SPEEDY HEAD SHOT SESSION is being held on Thursday 21st November from 9.30am at my studio at Tingira Heights. To book, all you need to do is go to Melissa Histon Photography Facebook page and click on the BOOK NOW button or go to . On the day you have a choice of backdrop colours – white, black, grey and teal. There is also an additional option for ladies that would like their makeup done (this will take an extra 40 minutes).

You may have noticed more and more people with a head shot or profile pic to show their ‘best self’ on websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. I certainly have been getting busier and busier doing ‘personal branding’ photo shoots for business people to produce a suite of great corporate portraits with ‘wow factor’ they can use for social media and other websites and PR opportunities.

If you are a bit nervous about having a full photo shoot or are super busy and don’t have time for a full photo shoot, this could be a good opportunity for you to still great a great head shot!

Of course, if you would prefer a full ‘personal branding’ corporate portrait shoot, just let me know by emailing or calling 0405405245.

You can see some examples of my Corporate Portrait photography at

Have a fab day!

Mel xx

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Announcing Our Rebrand …


I know it has been a while since I touched base with you, but I wanted to tell you about some of the changes that have been happening in my business.

Firstly, I have changed my name…actually not my name but my business name. Last time you heard from me I was using the business name Living Doll Photography. Well, that name has now been put out to pasture.

 You see, I have moved away from photographing children and am now focussing on commercial photography, corporate portraits and bespoke portraiture. So I thought it best to re-brand as Melissa Histon Photography (it sounds a bit more ‘grown up’).

 And with this name change has come a brand new website to showcase the three areas of focus for Melissa Histon Photography…PLUS it has a new online SHOP where you can purchase my Fine Art Photographs.

 The website is easy to navigate and can give you a real feel for what you can expect when engaging me to look after your photography needs.

 The three areas the website profiles are Commercial, Corporate and Bespoke photography. So jump on over and take a look for yourself …

Orne levres rouges

The other really exciting project that has come to life with the new website is you can now purchase my Fine Art Photographic Prints online.

The only thing I love more than capturing beautiful images, is to be able to share them with others. People have often approached me to sell an image I have created, and so I was encouraged to share my work with others on a wider scale. All the Art Prints are limited edition, numbered and signed by me and come mounted.

 The images are available exclusively via the Melissa Histon Website and can be viewed via the link below:

 I hope you love the collection I have created as much as I do.

 Have a super-fab day!



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‘This is Life Blood’ – Heroines with Heart

‘This is Life Blood’ – Heroines with Heart

I’ve never met the gorgeous Melissa Histon. But the first words she wrote to me via email brought me to tears. Melissa’s story is epic.

Read it here …

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What Should I Wear for my Corporate Portrait Photo Shoot?

What to wearl

Over the last 12 months, I have had more and more clients come to me for professional portraits they can use for their social media profiles, websites and to submit to publications.

Let’s face it, we all want to look great, especially if we are publishing photographs of ourselves for the world to see.

One of the most common questions I am asked is, ‘what should I wear?’

Here are five things to consider when deciding what to wear for your professional photo shoot:

1.  What is your personal brand? You want your photographs to portray the essence of you. Are you professional, fashionable, cutting-edge, modern, classic, conservative, a rebel, sporty, healthy, attractive, funny, cool, creative, a trend-setter, young, old, stylish, an expert, a party girl, happy, angry, serious or fun? Consider how you want people to perceive you.

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A Picture tells a thousand words …

CorpPortraitMontageThe Internet and social media have given us all a tremendous opportunity – to determine what our personal brand identity is and to communicate that to the world!

 Why? Because as the old saying goes, “a picture tells a thousand words”. We are all visual creatures and we use what we see as a filter to make very quick assessments, and that includes the images we see on social media and the web.

 Last week I mentioned to a friend I was looking for a makeup artist for a particular photography job I have coming up. One of my friends recommended a makeup artist that she knew … and what do you think I did?

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