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Remember the scene in Sex and the City the movie when Louise from St. Louis gives Carrie her Love charm? That’s Melissa Diep. She’s in love with Love. She’s the kind of gal who wears her heart on her sleeve and cries a little when her brides and grooms take their First Look. She loves the thrill of photographing the magic that exists between her couples, the innocence of a sleeping newborn, and the simplicity of a family in their own backyard.

Melissa is always on the hunt for the new and interesting in her hometown of Chicago, by way of Saigon, Vietnam. It is because of her family’s hardships and tenacity during their flight from the communist North––spending 10 days on a cramped fishing boat, then living in a refugee camp in Thailand for nearly two years––that have shaped who Melissa is today as a woman, wife, mother and photographer.

Armed with only a handful of pictures from her early childhood––one single baby photo and just a few as an infant in her family’s camp––it’s easy to understand why Melissa employs a photojournalistic approach behind the lens. She aims to deliver photo memories with stunning visual impact; natural and unscripted while telling your story effortlessly.

Melissa’s upbringing motivates her to live fully and to appreciate the grand, the small, and the in between. In her everyday, Melissa rocks girly dresses with blazers on photo shoots and drinks Vietnamese coffee. She believes in finding beauty in unexpected places, always doing her hair and lusting over shiny red Minis (regrettably, but dutifully, she upgraded hers to a more baby-friendly vehicle).

Melissa lives in Chicago with The Giant and Little G, also affectionately known as her husband and one year old son, of whom she religiously takes one 100 photos a day.

© 2015 Melissa Diep Photography