Welcome. I’m glad you came.

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You’re not basic. And neither is your love story. So let’s skip all that.

Melissa Cervantes Photography - Iowa + Midwest + Destination Wedding + Elopement Photographer - Kaylea + Cowan Hayes-213.jpg

 You’ve come to a place for hearts ablaze

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Hi, my name is…

Melissa. A lot of people call me Mel, that’s cool too.

I am a California native living in the great Midwest chasing lovers and trying my best to create badass art all over the planet. After 10 years of photographing anything and everything I could, I have found my niche in romantic and soulful wedding photography for the intrepid couple. Rooted in authentic documentary, with a background in photo-journalism, I'm all about telling the story of an entire day past pretty posed portraits. I long to get back to the basics: emotive color, actual people, raw emotion. And yeah, doing it all with an artist’s touch.

As a recent bride myself, I remember vividly all of the time, effort, nerves, investment and excitement that went into planning a wedding. As a wedding pro, I understand that when all is said and done, it is one day that cannot be relived and it’s my job to honor your time, effort and care by presenting you with the most heart warming gallery possible. I'm for the fiercely real, wild-hearted couple who's up for the unexpected and ready to let go and just embrace life. And by life, I don't mean perfection. Life is when things go wrong, when the weather changes, when you rip your dress and fall down and it's in this very messy life that you met the love of it. So let it all happen and let me document it.

I don’t promise your wedding photos will look like all the others. But I do promise that together we will make something altogether real and that it is my absolute mission to make you look like the best possible version of yourself on your wedding day.

If you wanna win my heart, I like Jesus, bears, coffee and conspiracy theories. And food. All the food. Writing about oneself is weird and I’d much rather learn about you. Make my wish come true and write me a note here.








They put a ring on it.



Things are getting pretty serious.



Don’t take it from me. Take it from the many couples I’ve had the chance to work with through the years.


I travel.

Travel is a huge part of my identity — I am trying to go to every country in the world but this year I’m only hitting #27. Here’s where I’m headed next. Reach out if you’re gonna be in the area and would like a discounted session or if you and your boo just wanna ELOPE.