Self-taught photographer opens full-service studio

Becoming a photographer has always been a dream for Luling’s Melissa Perret. With the help and inspiration of her fiancee, Brennen Friloux, and the opening of their photography business – These Are The Moments Photography – that dream has finally come true.

“Photography is something that I’ve been interested in pursuing since I was in high school, but life led me in another direction,” Perret said. “So, I worked in the business industry at various jobs as an administrative assistant and a part-time real estate agent for several years.”

Perret, 23, says that working in the fast-paced business world gave her the knowledge she needed to open their business, but she always knew it was not what she was really destined to do.

“Most of my learning has been hands-on, with lots of self-study and a few classes here and there” she said. “I’ve trained closely with photographer Christopher Mathews of Christopher’s Photography in Metairie, who has a master’s degree in photography and has taught in photography schools across the nation.”

And while their photography styles differ a bit, Mathews was able to give Perret the instruction she needed to improve her natural ability to take photos.

“Christopher is an amazing traditional photographer” she said. “He’s taken me under his wing and has taught me incredible ways to add key lighting and posing to my photojournalistic/candid style of creating images.”

Perret says Mathews and her family and friends have been supported her in opening this business. But she points out that her biggest inspiration of all was her fiancee.

“Brennen has known of my love for photography for a long time and would always tell me that dreams are made to come true,” she said. “He initiated the whole business by asking Christopher to help me along the way,  constructing my studio piece by piece with his own hands, helping in all the major decision making and pushing me to open this business and not wait another day.”

Perret says they each play a major part in the business.
“I may be the photographer, but it takes much more to run a successful photography business,” Perret continued. “I take the photos, do the editing, the design, the ordering, and the business portion, while he focuses on advertising, constructing sets and keeping up the equipment.

“This business is really a love story for us and that’s why we decided to name it after a verse in our wedding song.”

Perret says that they cover all areas of photography – from portraits, events and high school seniors to photographic business logos and much more  – all using a professional candid style.

“We are the ones to call when your looking for pictures that will give you an instant emotion when you look at them,” she said. “Our passion is capturing personality and expression – the details that make life so worth living.”

These Are The Moments photography offers a variety of photo sessions, including traveling to clients homes to shoot in the most natural settings. They strongly recommend outdoor sessions because it gives them a chance to get creative and people are often more natural in the environment.

“I take pictures that tell a story with the natural art that is created by everyday life,” said Perret. “That’s why I enjoy going to people’s homes and taking quality images painted with light and vibrant colors of simple things like children playing in their backyard – because those are the moments people want to document.”

Owning their own business has really given them the flexibility to do more with life.

“The best part about opening the studio is that it has allowed me to make a career out of doing what I really love.” she said. “Brennen and I also enjoy buying houses, fixing them up and selling them, and we are also real estate partners, so now we have more time to do all the things we enjoy together and spend more time as a family.”

Perret says that the sky is the limit for These Are The Moments Photography and hopes to broaden her business to one day include photo restoration and more stock products like invitations, gifts and keepsakes.

“I offer these products now, but I will really be pushing them in the near future.” she said. “We are offering a grand opening special, with half off your session fee for appointments booked before the end of August.”

Anyone interested in more information on These Are The Moments Photography packages and session prices can visit or call 504-914-8141.


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