As part of this special instalment of Guests’ Corner, I chatted to Melissa Gundry, owner and photographer at Honeybee Photography.
Melissa Gundry is the brilliantly talented owner-photographer behind Honeybee Photography. Honeybee Photography is the place where she showcases her passion, which is evident in every image that she captures.
She describes herself as a “natural light kinda girl, working to afford her flash”… And while her main focus is on photographing people and capturing life’s special moments, I feel Melissa is capable of photographing anything.
Melissa offers incredible talent, precision, thoughtfulness, kindness and above all, truly beautiful, elegant photo results.
Her photography prowess varies widely, meaning she can assist you with all your photo shoot needs. This can include: a matric farewell, family/couple shoot, graduation, travel shoot, birthday celebration – or even for a blog/wesbite!
Melissa is absolutely wonderful to work with, shows extreme professionalism and respect and makes you feel totally at ease during her photography session(s).
Note: Melissa is responsible for the professional bio photos and portrait images seen on my blog’s About page, as well as those used for my social media handles/profiles too.
From my own experience, I can certainly recommend her both personally and professionally… And happily, she is always keen to photograph new people or collaborate with her fellow creatives.
Please do check Melissa’s work out and make contact with her; you certainly won’t regret it!
1) Who or what inspired you to go into photography?
I had no idea what I wanted to do growing up. Photography was always there at the back of my mind – but I thought I could do better.
I wouldn’t say it was a person who inspired me but rather my passion for creating beautiful images and storytelling.
2) What inspired you to call your photography business ‘Honeybee Photography’?
The day I was gifted my first DSLR, a Canon 450D, I was eager to test it out. I found myself in the garden, capturing the tiny detail of the dew drops on the grass and the glittering green body of a dragonfly, as it landed on a leaf.
Now for those who don’t know, Melissa means ‘honeybee’ in Greek. This first experience with a DSLR camera, coupled with the meaning of my name, meant it was only natural that I’d go with Honeybee Photography! I like to think it holds meaning for me, where I started. And I think you can agree it has a nice ring to it!
3) What do you love most about travel and photography as a shared experience… Like when you recently visited the UK and enjoyed adventuring and taking some incredible photos over there?
For me, it’s documenting those special moments in one’s life. I grew up in a house full of photo albums… I have the need to show others my experiences and memories and share my happiness with them. What I capture has meaning to me even if it doesn’t to someone else – and I’ll always look back on them with joy.
I brought so many special memories back with me from the UK and I was able to share them all through what I captured.
4) Which came first: a love of travel – or a love of the lens?
That’s a tricky one! I think they manifested around the same time. As I mentioned, I grew up with photo albums – and several of our family albums have photos from our time in Ireland when I was younger… Photos of snow-laden fields and cathedrals with glass-stained windows. I think these albums, and the memories of another world beyond South Africa, instilled a desire within me to see what else is out there.
I’d sit in the evenings on Pinterest creating boards of places I wanted to travel, pinning images of turquoise oceans or a serene lake sitting below snow-capped mountains. I realised I didn’t just want to be in these places – but I wanted to be behind the lens of these beautiful photos and create some myself!
5) Do you feel that your camera allows you to see the world differently – particularly when you travel about? And if so, how?
Definitely. I feel that I notice a lot more. I don’t just see the scene, I see all the endless opportunities and angles.
I don’t just see a field during sunset… I see a field, which is lit up gold, the sky turning a pastel pink and purple, creating this soft glow over everything. And I want to not just capture the whole scene – but to capture the details too.
I feel the camera gives me an appreciation for the beauty of an empty field and all it possesses despite this… I don’t think many can say they feel that.
When I was in the UK, I visited a lookout point. From where the car was parked, I could see rolling hills and a tiny village at the bottom of the hill. I didn’t just take photos from this point because there is always a better angle. This is what is so brilliant about travel: the endless possibilities!
6) What are your top three destinations in South Africa?
- Jeffreys Bay
7) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
Give me an island paradise with clear blue waters, please!
8) Name three places anywhere in the world you would love to visit for the first time – or even just re-visit.
1. England again!
9) What advice would you give to someone starting out in photography, be it portrait or travel-related?
The best advice I can give is to learn manual mode and shoot in RAW. I’m most grateful for learning those. Those who shoot in manual had to learn the skill and you’ll feel a sense of achievement and pride in yourself for having learned it.
I also say if you can’t afford a course, watch YouTube. There are enough educational videos and you can be entirely self-taught and successful… These days, it’s all about social media and finding something, which sets you apart from the crowd.
Find what you enjoy – and stick to it, work at it, perfect it. Do it because it gives you joy – not because everyone else is doing it!
10) If time and money were not an issue, would you ever create a website or online portfolio (other than social media) for showcasing your work?
Yes, I’d love to! My favourite thing to do is to scroll through websites and browse wedding albums or portrait sessions by my favourite photographers. It’s just that in this age of social media, I can comfortably do that on Instagram or Facebook.
So when I do have the time and money, I’ll have a website – but for now, while I grow and learn, you’ll find me on social media!
To see Melissa’s incredible work, you can visit and follow her Facebook page or Instagram feed.
Thank you very much, Melissa, for appearing in this special guest travel segment – and again for the amazing professional photos you did for Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust.
Photo credit: Honeybee Photography – Melissa Gundry.
Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.