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Meet Melissa Montoya

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Montoya.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’m originally from Peru. My family and I moved to San Diego, CA when I was a baby. Even though, I was very young, I think coming from a different cultural background always made me an observer and curious to learn about other people’s backgrounds. This sparked many travels in my life as well as different dwellings. I’ve lived in Boston, Paris, NYC and Peru (again). I have made my way back home though, San Diego that is, and I love it here!

Please tell us about your art.
Ever since I was little, I loved taking photos and going through family photo albums (over and over and over again). My grandfather was a photographer; he passed away before I was born, but in a way, it’s like I get to connect with him when I take photos. I love taking portraits and landscapes; it’s like having a silent dialogue with my subjects. Portraits are something I respect very much, because it is a second in time you can never repeat, but only preserve. I’m always looking for that raw + real moment. That is what I want to share with others, as I continue on this visual journey.

I also started Frank + Mel photography as an outlet to my family album nostalgia. I want families to have something tangible to look back on and remember certain moments in their lives. The candid laughs between takes, the resemblance of children to their parents, the shy smiles couples give one another as they become more comfortable with a camera in front of them. I want them to remember how they felt and who they were at that time.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
I wish I would have taken myself more seriously as a photographer earlier on in life. I think as an artist, we all struggle with acceptance and whether we are “good enough,” whether our art is “good enough”. I say, if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for everyone. Always continue to challenge yourself and learn as much as you can. Don’t let fear and self doubt keep you from pursuing your passion. You are your only obstacle.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My personal work can be seen by visiting: or Instagram: @MeliM20

I am currently displaying some of my work at Fall Brewing in San Diego until mid March.

My commercial work can be seen by visiting: or Instagram: @FrankAndMel

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Melissa Montoya Photography

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