Monday Muse: Melissa Oholendt
I’m fan girling big time over this week’s Monday Muse - Melissa Oholendt. For real. I ADORE her. From the minute I found her on Instagram, I’ve been a big fan. From her amazing (I mean AMAZING) photography to her interior inspiration and DIY projects, to the funniest photo captions (that truly make me LOL) and her (and her husband Matt) journey to becoming parents - this gal is just downright awesome. I may have fan girled on her husband the first time I met him while working one night at The Foundry Home Goods - True Story. I realized it was him and was all - your OHOHouse’s husband. Yep. I said that. No shame. *smackshead. He took it in stride and when I actually got to meet her IRL a few months later, she hugged me like we’d been long lost friends. So let’s get to know Melissa a bit more and you can see why she’s truly the best.
How did you get started as a photographer? Did you always have a passion for photography?
I would love to say that yes, I totally always knew I would be a photographer but the answer is that my passion was born out of need for a creative outlet and quite honestly, took me by surprise! When I first picked up a camera with the intent to create something, I was working in finance at a super type-A, task-driven position that fit my strengths perfectly but needed a little dose of creative freedom to balance the left-brain heavy career. What began as a hobby turned into a snowball that would eventually allow me to fulfill both my love of analytics and organization and my need for beauty and artistic creation and ten years later, here we are. Older, wiser, definitely a little weaker in the knee joints.
How did you decide weddings were what you wanted to focus on?
Weddings were such a natural fit for me! Not only am I a hopeless romantic but I have a heart-pounding obsession with pretty things and nothing is prettier than a happy bride.
Has there been a specific moment that made you think "yep, I've made it because I've done ...
Last year I was recognized as one of 74 Best Photographers in the WORLD by Brides Magazine and if that's not a pinch-me-how-did-that-even-happen moment in life? I don't know what is.
Whats one bucket list photo you want to capture?
A self-timer photo of my entire family of 4 generations together this summer - this will be the first time we've all gotten together since the babies were born and I CANNOT WAIT. <3
Your Oho House account is FILLED with so much gorgeous home inspiration (and lets not forget the amazing captions you create!) - what inspired you to create that account and where do you get your inspiration from for your home?
Oh gosh, you are SO kind. Years (and years and years) ago, I initially started college with the intention of becoming an interior designer so I've loved interiors for as long as I can remember (just ask my mom who tried to talk me out of painting my childhood bedroom a deep navy). Initially, I started Instagram the way we all did, with the intent to document life (so please don't scroll back to 2013, k?) but as we (my wonderful, amazingly patient and receptive-to-my-hair-brained ideas husband, Matt) found such a passion for transforming rooms to align better with how we live (and, let's be honest - to be beautiful), the life documenting turned into documenting those changes (with life thrown in) and DIY projects became a fun outlet (and therapeutic when things would go awry, too). There is an amazing community of people who love DIY house projects and interiors on instagram and it's been really fun to find my place in that community.
You've also created a website , Oho Interiors, that offers online design help. What prompted you to start offering design services? Do you see yourself transitioning from weddings to this? Or will you do both?
This is the ten million dollar question!
Truth be told, 2019 will be my last year in the photography industry but I don't know what life beyond that looks like. All I know is that I truly believe that a home is a powerful place of rest, togetherness and love and if I can have a small part in helping someone create that in their own home? It would be an honor.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
"Dear Year 2000 Melissa. You will marry Matt Oholendt so chill, ok?"
Favorite Wedding Venue to Photograph: I LOVE my local MN venues but a certain winery in the Santa Ynez Valley has my heart (there is magic there, I am convinced) - Sunstone Vineyard & Winery!
Foodie (All about those new restaurants) or Stay home and cook (give me all the recipes/creations): Two years ago I would have said FOODIE ALL THE WAY but our daughter's 7pm bedtime has given me a new appreciation for staying home and cooking! (PS - Chrissy Teigen's Cravings cookbook might be one of my favorites. Not a bad recipe to be had yet!)
Go to Paint Color: Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore
Describe your home style in 3 words: Cozy. Elevated. Layered.
Favorite Justin Timberlake Song: ALL OF THEM. How can you pick just one? (Ok, ok. Blue Ocean Floor. By a hair.)
Thanks so much Melissa! We’re so excited to see where Oho Interiors takes you. To stay up to date on all the great stuff Melissa is working on, follow here @Oho_house on instagram.