Missy Neely Photography: Blog https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Missy Neely Photography (Missy Neely Photography) Tue, 07 Feb 2023 14:50:00 GMT Tue, 07 Feb 2023 14:50:00 GMT https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u51356079-o952472872-50.jpg Missy Neely Photography: Blog https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/blog 93 120 Love, Roll, Lifetime https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/blog/2023/2/love-roll-lifetime DeniseEKnowles_Headshots_2022_SimpleRetouch_4881DeniseEKnowles_Headshots_2022_SimpleRetouch_4881
Denise Knowles, Author and Life Coach



Let Me Tell You About My Friend

When a client takes the time to tell someone they should do a photo session with me, it means more than they can ever imagine. Referrals have been the real backbone of MNP, and have even led to meeting some ladies who have become dear friends. 

Six years ago I received a message from my client, Delana, letting me know to expect a phone call from someone she’d referred to me. I was actually taking time away from photography to heal from a 2016 dog attack, and was a bit of a hermit crab holed up at home. Hesitantly, I came out of my shell and took the call. I never could have expected the pure LIGHT this person would bring to my life, and at that time it was very needed. Flash forward to today and she is not only an incredible client, she's also a kindred spirit.

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We’ve worked together on multiple projects: Headshots, business branding, images for her and her husband’s book, Love, Roll, Lifetime. We have also partnered on a photographic project following the natural hair journeys of women with locs, Queens Who Rock LOCS. I believe everyone comes into your life for a reason, and for seasons, and I’m hopeful there will be many, many seasons for this partnership and friendship. Our life experiences are extremely similar, and I'm so grateful to call her my friend. 

Denise_LoveRollLifetime_Logo_6623Love, Roll, Lifetime shoot, 2017

Rivergate Skate Center 

Madison, TN


Get to Know Denise Knowles

Denise Knowles is an author and life coach in Nashville, TN. I’ve listened to her journey and let me tell you, it’s beyond impressive. She is candid and open about her life struggles, and stepping into a new light. Family and community are as important to her as to me. 



  • Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you became an author and life coach? 

    • I was born the youngest of three and the only girl. Many may believe that is the best; to be the baby girl with two big brothers. For me it held a lot of responsibility.  I was born and raised in a small city in Tennessee. I had a lot of life experiences, but one thing that I could not shake. I always loved helping others. That is a great thing, but the hardest thing I learned was how to help myself. I had my share of toxic relationships, heartbreak and damn near losing my mind after divorce, facing the fact I was on my own left to raise three children. All alone. Those difficult times ended up being the best things that happened to me. I went through some “painful get to know ME” times. Long before I thought about coaching, and received my certification, YOU FIRST was created. I had to take the journey of REAL LIFE, so when the Life Coaching presented itself, there was a plan already in place for me, though I had no idea. I believe things happen in life, and while we are in the midst of it we cannot see how it serves us until we make it through it. My personal experiences help me to be the best coach I can be to serve each client and assist them in putting personal plans for the results they desire.



  • Tell us about your day job and what that means to you…

    • I am currently employed at a 95 organization called Street Works, under the leadership and direction of Executive Director, Sharon Hurt. I have evolved through a few positions, from being an Early Intervention Specialist case manager, to being an SPFRX Outreach Specialist focusing on addiction of prescription meds. Street Works is a non-profit organization that services an underserved population. Our clients have or are battling addiction, mental health issues, and have been diagnosed and living with HIV. We work daily to change the stigmas that’s surrounding HIV. 

  • HIV education is so vital. And this is another area where you and I are kindred souls. We are both the products of living within an addictive environment:

    • Working for an organization in the community has directly made a difference in my life. My mother battled mental illness, drug addiction, and was infected with HIV by her boyfriend that used drugs intravenously. My mother passed away at 58 years old and I’m sure you are wondering - did she pass away from HIV? No, she did not. My mother battled with addiction long before she was infected with HIV.  She transitioned from liver failure. I have worked many lots of jobs, in many different career areas. I am gifted to be able to have a career that allows me to honor my mom.  Being compassionate, stern, and understanding, working directly from my heart to do my part to make a difference in someone’s life that feels like others have thrown away. Whatever amount of time I have here with the Streetworks family, I’m so grateful for it. I am not sure how long my journey is here, I really have not thought about it; however, there is one thing I know. TEAMWORK makes STREET-WORKS

  • What inspired you to write your latest book, and what message do you hope readers take away from it?

    • Becoming an author was a gift to me. I realize I receive messages through people because of my love for people and vice versa. Shortly after my second husband and I married, we were on a skate trip - yes, I said skate trip. Actually it was the same one we met at, the first time, two years prior. A dear friend of ours named Nikki saw us, she took each of us by the hand. She smiled with tears in her eyes and said, I can’t wait to read the book. That was in 2007. We launched Love Roll Lifetime in February 2019.

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  • How do you approach the process of coaching your clients, and what are some common challenges they come to you with?

    • In my opinion, conversation is the foundation and the groundwork. We start with talking and a simple assessment; however, each session is catered to the individual. Some have lost their sense of self, some want a divorce, some want a serious relationship, and some desire better communication at work.

  • How do you incorporate your own personal experiences and insights into your writing and coaching practice

    • No matter what I am working on - coaching, writing an article, or my next program project, I reflect on people that helped me. I was a welfare to work, single mother of three. The things I experienced were not just for me. It was the tools necessary for me to be of service for the clients I serve.

  • Can you share a specific example of a time when your coaching made a significant impact on a client's life?

    • I have a client, a man between 20 and 25 years of age. In a relationship with his girlfriend for three years. After the first year, she made it clear she wanted him to block all of his friends, and she created a disconnect between him and his family. Basically, she told him them or her. People will make decisions, even when it breaks their own heart. Making sacrifices for the sake of the person they love. Diminishing their own being. I did the Mirror technique with him once a month. He realized the man looking at him in the mirror was not the soul inside. He was able to verbalize he was living off of sexual ties, and toxic behavior. He was able to realize that was not for him and moved out. 

  • How do you stay motivated and continue to grow as a coach and author?

    • I have a solid tribe. I stay connected spiritually. I have a great coach, and mentor. I also make sure I give myself time and self-evaluations. FUN IS A NECESSITY!!!

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  • What advice would you give to someone who is interested in pursuing a career as an author and life coach?

    • I would advise first, make sure YOU have a coach. There are so many areas for coaching. Be clear you are passionate about what type of coaching you want to do. Research someone in the field and educate yourself. As for being an author. It takes a lot of commitment to making it happen, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!!! You can do it. Reach out to people that have embarked on that journey and ask questions.


  • Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or events that you are currently working on? 

    • In partnership with my photographer and several other ladies, I will participate in the Queens Who Rock LOCS photo series, sharing our hair journeys. In the month of March, I will be a featured writer spotlighted for National Women’s month in the international on-line magazine “Off The Bench” Magazine(OTB), and debut the DUE Over Coach T’s. In May of 2023 I will host a women’s empowerment event, “Mimosas & Menopause, Comfortable Conversations, date TBA. In July 2023 I will be speaking, “DON’T FORGET THE GOOD STUFF”. More information coming soon.

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  • What has having professional photographs, specifically headshots and business branding photography, has done for your business?

    • This answer is actually in the question asked. Having professional photos is a strong marketing tool. It is a representation of you and your business. My photos have caught the eye of not just clients but other professionals. It can be the means to get you in the door for business opportunities.

Love Roll Lifetime BookLove Roll Lifetime Book Love Roll Lifetime BookLove Roll Lifetime Book

  • If someone is hesitant to do a photoshoot, whether personally or professionally, what advice would you give them? 

    • I am not sure about advice; I guess I would ask the question of why they feel the way they do. We sometimes hold on to things that no longer serve us, so I say let’s talk about it.


  • What has MNP done for your business?

    • MNP has done so much for not just my business, but for me personally as well. I no longer have to search and explain what I need, what I am looking to do, how I want it to look. Every time my book is purchased, the work of MNP set the mindset of the journey of my life. MNP is so much more than a business deal. I specialize in relationships, and what I have with MNP is just that - a SPECIALIZED RELATIONSHIP. Missy Neely, I need you to know how much I appreciate your gift, your craft and the care you allow to show up on every photo you take. The passion you have for the experience we receive is INEXPRESSIBLE!!! My gratitude is endless. 


MY gratitude is endless, Denise. You have not only been a wonderful client and supporter, you have become a dear friend and like family. Please keep being the amazing inspiration you are, and I cannot wait to make more magic with you!!!


*Denise is also an MNP Ambassador! When you book a session with her Ambassador code, you get 10% off session fee or print products!!!

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(Missy Neely Photography) Author Branding Business Coach Creative Headshots Life Photography portraits https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/blog/2023/2/love-roll-lifetime Tue, 07 Feb 2023 15:00:00 GMT
MNP Amelia Earhart Tribute Session https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/blog/2022/11/mnp-amelia-earhart-tribute-session AubreyThomas_Ameila2022_LOGO_6658_FINALcopyAubreyThomas_Ameila2022_LOGO_6658_FINALcopy

One of my earliest memories is of my Mom telling me about Amelia Earhart, and how she was her Shero. She would talk about how much she admired Amelia, for so many reasons. When Mom passed in November 2021 I knew I wanted to pay tribute to her with a photoshoot but wasn’t sure how. Then, in June of 2022, a client’s daughter posted that she’d received her Pilot license. At 17. And I instantly knew that an Amelia Earhart tribute shoot was how I would honor my Mom.

My Mom always told me that I could do anything. To go after my dreams. To work hard. And I know the main influence of that way of thinking on my Mom was Amelia. Amelia never defined herself by gender. She was as an adventurous soul who wanted to live out loud. She was light years ahead of her time, and that tenacity still resonates with so many today. I saw this same adventurous spirit in Aubrey Thomas, and we discussed her journey to becoming a Pilot.


Why did you want to be a Pilot?

I became a pilot because I was always inspired by my dad and his love for aviation. Growing up, he and I would always go to airshows, and I always loved seeing the different aircraft. My dad would also tell me the stories of the times he used to fly, and I always thought that I wanted to do that one day, but I never knew how to get into it and I didn’t even think it was possible.

How long did it take you to obtain your Pilot license?

I begin flying when I was 15 years old in 2020. It took me two years to get my license because legally you have to be 17 in order to get a private pilots license. I got my license on June 1st of 2022, and I am about to get my second!

What does it mean to you being a Pilot?

Being a pilot is one of the most freeing and joyful feelings in the world. I love being able to go up and bring people who have never been able to experience something like it, and I just love the overall feeling I get from flying. Every time I see an airplane, touch the airplane for preflight, hit the mic to talk to ATC (air traffic control), it all just makes sense in my brain. Every time I am in the air, I know it’s where I belong, and I know I am in the right place. Every time I’m in the air, I can never stop smiling. Aviation has brought such a light to my life, bringing me an airplane cleaning business,  friends, and so many experiences flying different aircraft. I can’t wait for what the future holds!



We can’t wait to see what your future holds as well, Aubrey! 

This session meant so much to me, and to Aubrey. It started off as a sweet tribute to my Mom. Along the way, it became so much more. It reminded me that Amelia’s legacy isn’t about flying around the world. It isn’t her mysterious disappearance. Her legacy is that her adventurous spirit lives on to this day in the hearts of so many women. Women like Aubrey who go after their dreams, no matter the hard work or obstacles.

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“…now, and then, women should do for themselves what men have already done—occasionally what men have not done—thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action. Some such consideration was a contributing reason for my wanting to do what I so much wanted to do.”

~ Amelia Earhart


MNP would like to give tremendous thanks to Steve Bankston for loaning us the plane for the afternoon, and to Michael Franck with Elite Rotorcraft who allowed us to borrow their hanger at Lebanon Airport (M54). This was a group effort to pull this off and I'm so grateful!


(Missy Neely Photography) Amelia Earhart Creative photography fine art photography portraits senior portraits vintage photography https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/blog/2022/11/mnp-amelia-earhart-tribute-session Mon, 14 Nov 2022 21:23:10 GMT
The Magic That Is YOU https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/blog/2021/1/the-magic-that-is-you SelenaPolgardy_2020_BohemianSmoke_LogoFINAL_1489 copySelena MNP celebrates ten years in business this year. Ten years of meeting wonderful women, working with them, and taking their photographs. That’s amazing to me. My love of photography started out with a little point-and-shoot film camera, mainly taking photos of nature and our children. That hobby grew into a passion, and that passion led me to wanting to empower women. After getting my degree in photography, my passion became Missy Neely Photography. 


2020 brought many challenges. A few of those challenges made me realize just HOW important photographs are. Whether it’s every day candids of small moments, or milestone events in our life that we couldn’t imagine not documenting, looking back through photos always sends us down memory lane. And in our now digitalized world, with most of our images on our phones and laptops, we don’t realize just how much we need photos until that’s all we have. Those moments and milestones captured to remind us. To heal us. To pass along to family and friends. 


Digital photography has been a blessing - we can take twice as many photos without the wait, store them in a much more efficient way, and share with loved ones at the push of a button. But I do miss dropping off that film and the anticipation of getting the printed images back. I’m not in any way downing digital. But, I do still love flipping through a photo album and physically holding an image. I love getting a print to put in a frame. 


When I look back through images of important events in my life I realize that because I was the one always taking photos there aren’t that many of, well, ME. I have some photos of me modeling at nineteen, and group images with family. But I never celebrated ME. As women, we put everyone else ahead of ourselves. It’s in our nature. But what is wrong with celebrating ourselves? Our lives? Nothing. 


We Ladies are always in the formal portraits that celebrate engagements, weddings, and births.That’s how important photographs are. 


But what about the other milestones; Our birthdays, anniversaries, kids graduating, starting a new career, and the like? There’s even a “Burn the Dress” movement where women take photos of burning their wedding dress. That could certainly be cathartic! But how about celebrating with a session where you’re pampered, empowered, and feeling like a new person? When I look back I wish that I’d celebrated MYSELF more. That I’d gone and done a photo session to celebrate turning 30, turning 40. That I’d celebrated being an empty nester, opening my photography business. What I wouldn’t give to have a photo album to bring back those empowering memories.  


I’ve been very open about the fact that part of why I do what I do stems from knowing what it’s like to be made to feel worthless. I had people in my life that knocked my self-esteem so low that I didn’t think I was important. And I love seeing women walk into my studio unsure, and leave with a new-found confidence that stays with them for years to come. 


Start celebrating your moments and milestones this year with both digital images you can show off and share at the click of that button, but also with heirloom-quality printed images that you can pass down to loved ones or hang in your living room. 


What’s happening in your life this year that you’d like to celebrate and remember? Let’s celebrate the magic that is YOU. 


*MNP is taking every precaution to stay diligent with Covid restrictions. 





(Missy Neely Photography) magic photographs prints https://www.missyneelyphotography.com/blog/2021/1/the-magic-that-is-you Sun, 03 Jan 2021 22:29:22 GMT