Internship Review By Melissa Stuckey

We will never forget the fall of 2017. We were looking ahead to the following year & saw a full calendar, a baby on the way, & we desperately wanted to grow our business! You can imagine how overwhelmed & nervous we felt!

It was that October that we felt the nudge to seek an intern – one who could become part of our family, come along with us on road trips, step into our office, & be with us on wedding days! Melissa did all of that & more for us, with a smile on her face, usually with Kerr in one arm & Scout at her heals. She joyfully joined our team just a few weeks after our baby was born & for SO many reasons, we owe the smooth transition of our family welcoming Kerr & our business blossoming to her love & care!

We asked Melissa if she could answer a few questions for us on how she grew during her internship with us. She is a gem & reading her answers made us cry (Ok, JP cried – but still!) …

Melissa, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for loving & embracing us as family! You are so dear to us & we are forever grateful the Lord gave you to us for 2018! We can’t wait to see how you grow your business this upcoming year & just remember, you ALWAYS have us as your number one fans. We love you so, so much!!

Love, The Rainsfords

1. What brings you joy in photography?

For me, my joy starts with getting to know people and their stories. From that love for people – it all comes full circle with photography. I love getting to not only meet them and hear their story but capture it so they can remember and retell it for years to come! Its just really humbling to be able to come alongside people and be entrusted with such sacred moments.

2. What made you apply our internship?

For months I had been mulling over what was next for me with photography. I wanted to grow and my business to grow but had so many questions and struggled to have confidence as a photographer. It was truly the Lord’s perfect timing that showed me Rainsford Photography’s Instagram post about needing an intern and nudged me to just apply. (I didn’t even tell my husband at first because I just did it and was like we’ll see how this goes! ha) I loved the intentionality I saw from The Rainsfords and wanted to be a part of it. (Even if it just meant being friends!!)

3. What are some lessons/valuable takeaways from your time with us?

Where to start! Lessons – This business is hard. It isn’t just pretty pictures on Instagram or running in fields for hours. Its hard because there is a lot of behind the scenes work to do all the time to sustain & grow a business. More personally, its hard because it is challenging to truly be genuine & real – to give selflessly and sacrificially during each session, wedding, and truly loving the people in front of your camera. Not just taking pictures and leaving. But seeing them. I guess that is the most valuable lesson and takeaway, that even in the hard it is so worth it and I’ve fallen in love with the whole process of photography. Not just the outcome.

4. Any favorite memories or funny moments from working with us?

Favorite memories – I know there have been a lot of funny moments. Right now what jumps out is the intentional conversations during car rides to and from weddings, seeing JP & Ryland talk to people and their families and love them well, all of us breaking it down on the dance floor during the reception! 

Of course, holding sweet Kerr and Scout sitting at my feet while I was getting office work in!

5. What’s next for you?

For me! I am hitting the ground running this fall and next year with sessions, wedding, and tons of business plans. Its really humbling to be here now. I know people say that a lot. But seriously for years I questioned and struggled to even introduce myself as a photographer. I didn’t have confidence or put in the hard work into having the equipment and good business practices. In no way have I arrived, but this past year has grown me deeply to love photography and own it. 

All that to say, It’s by grace alone that I can be here now and I’m super thankful. 

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