OneQuestion: Gina Meola

Gina Meola Photography

The OneQuestion guest series continues today with one of my favorite photographers in the Phoenix area, Gina Meola. The first time we were introduced was at one of our First Friday events down at New City Studio. She hugged me instead of shaking my hand. I was surprised because no one has ever really hugged me the second they met me, but that’s Gina. She’s a hugger. Her smile and laugh are infectious. And she’s passionate about what she does. I am so blessed to have her guest blog for me this week. And stay tuned, I believe she’s presenting a lot more of her work at an upcoming First Friday gallery related to her answer below! Thank you so much Gina!

What do you have a passion to photograph? What would make you forego much-needed sleep

because you just can’t help but get out and take more pictures?

Follow Gina Meola: Twitter | Website

My husband and I are international wedding photographers. People pay us to travel. We shoot incredible couples in expensive gowns and high end venues on sunny beaches and fabulous cities… What a dream. I truly cherish the relationships with our clients who allow us to enter their love story and live out our passions.

But what keeps me up at night, at least without coffee or bloodshot eyes, are not designer shoes and gourmet cakes. They are faces and stories of people worlds away.

My first serious interaction with photography happened while living in Thailand with an AIDS relief organization. I had traveled extensively prior, but never had I lived next to slums surrounded by the poverty-stricken orphaned and dying. My heart was ravaged and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I started building friendships with, and photographing the people I worked with. They were sick, and hurting, and afraid – but they were beautiful.

It wasn’t long before I began sharing these stories and images, and people from around the world were walking through this journey with me.

When an image not only evokes emotion, but inspires action, you’ve done a service. You are using your gifts to defend and care for those who cannot do it themselves. This became a fundamental value of our business when we decided it (the business) was a means, or vehicle to something much greater than ourselves. How that will play out over the next few years is in God’s hands 🙂

Thanks, Mike!! XOXO

  • http://www.doephotog.com A.Barlow

    Nice write up man. Had to follow her 🙂

  • http://www.avestyles.com Alex Evjen

    Love this! I can’t wait to see more photos from Gina at First Friday. WOOP!

  • http://ginameolablog.com Gina Meola

    Thank you, Mike, for such sweet words and letting me share!! You are theeee best!

  • http://goldenhourstudios.com Jesse

    Beautiful post, Gina. I have a feeling this is the one that made Mike cry 🙂

  • http://hdrexposedphotography.com Dave DiCello

    Very nice write up here! And an outstanding shot!!

  • http://www.adamolsonphotography.com Adam Olson

    Awesome guest Mike! Great words Gina, your work is stunning!

  • Susan

    Gina is the real deal. Throughout her life, I heard her words, felt her heart and watched her choices in building and executing “the plan” to reach her goal of serving the un-served in her totally sacrificial way that glorified God, and God alone.Her father and I were crushed to know she’d been thrown into the pits of human depravity, suffering and dispair–all that we shielded her from as a child–but knowing that she understood, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” We are asked to serve each other as Christ on earth; this is what that looks like. ILY, Mom

  • jina

    Gina, I loved what you wrote. What a message to use your gifts to not only inspire but move them to action. I wish you nothing but success. Thanks for sharing your heart! Oh, and that kid’s eyes are ridiculous and beautifully telling.

  • Pingback: Guest Post for Mike Olbinski « Gina Meola Photography Blog | Arizona-Based International Photographer()

  • http://www.chrisfrailey.com Chris Frailey

    Excellent post Gina. Very heartfelt.

  • http://www.curtfleenor.com Curt Fleenor

    Inspiring and touching post Gina!

  • Coral

    Beautiful post.

  • Babbo

    I can truly attest to the fact that every written word is true and that Gina has a heart for the hurting, broken-hearted people of this world. She has the gift of compassion and is willing to help whenever and wherever she can. I feel she is truly an amazing photographer, can capture the essence of the moment behind the lens; but is also a wonderful caring human being who has so much to give. An excellent response to a thought provoking question.

  • Ankle

    Gina truely is the real deal. Her emotions are on her sleeve. She observes scenes, captures them for the emotion they communicate, then adds a bit of herself. That’s why her photography is so effective. She’s a blessing to the world.

  • Bella

    Gina is special. I knew that the first time I met her. I guess if I had to sum her up in a couple of words they would be “beauty and truth”. She has the ability to communicate both to the world with elegance. It all comes from within her.

  • Zia

    Giina is a class of her own. She has always shown elegance and grace and those of you who dont know her can see that through her god given talent with her photography. She is a blessing to all of who she meets.

  • Adele O’Brien

    Miss Gina is definately in a class of her own- she is one classy woman and her photography not only shows that but what a loving caring person she is. the Lord has truly blest you Gina with more than one talent. Only one thing I thought I was the only one you hugged!!!! Love you

    Adele

  • http://jennyrain.com Jenny

    I have followed Gina for awhile now, but I had NO idea her philosophy behind her photography – that last paragraph WOW. Makes me admire and respect her all the more. Incredible.