A Brief History
Melody Thamar Saunders, born in Phoenix, Az, grew up in Los Angeles, CA, where she attended Art Center College Of Design in Pasadena, after which she began her freelance career in photography.
She started launching her career with clients such as New West and Big Beautiful Woman magazines, the LA Times, Billboard, Variety, The Breeze (The magazine of the California Yacht Club, where Melody was the photographer for all of their events for many years until moving to Oregon), Domino's Pizza, IBM, ISWM, Axis, and Currents (The in-house magazine for the Marina City Club in Marina Del Rey , where Melody was the staff photographer) as well as photographing headshots for the many actors that form the mecca of Hollywood..
Melody worked with such clients as Renta-Yenta, photographing celebrity and other parties of amazing magnitude, such as following an eighteen piece marching band marching through the LA airport welcoming a gentleman home from Europe. Oleson Lighting had a midsummer nights Christmas, complete with elephants and acrobats. She photographed A Bob Hope TV Special in Frank Lloyd Wrights' Ennis-Brown house. Another fantastic Renta Yenta event followed a 50th birthday party from LA, where the guests boarded a double decker English bus, equipped with food, drink, and music, headed to the LA Airport, where a violinst serenaded the guests as they got off the bus. A plane took them to a San Francisco mansion for a night of dinner, dancing, dress-up photo booths and more. On the return to LA Airport a stiltwalker with long stemmed red roses greeted the birthday gal.
During this time, Melody and her dad, Dick Saunderrs Orchestras, formed a team by the name of Toot and Shoot, where music and photography came together. They are still doing this.
Lila and Toby of Renta Yenta were my favorite people to work with. Their events were as fun and creative as they were.
I was also lucky enough to work with David Mirisch Enterprises. The Mirisch family were producers of many films, and David used sports and Hollywood celebrities to do fundraising events all over the world. I met and photographed many celebrities while with him. I am proud to say I am back working with David as an Oregon Associate bringing celebrities to Oregon for Benefits, Fundraising, Parades, Openings, and more.
Melody has photographed many interesting people. Here are some of note ~ Richard Simmons, Pat Boone, Dick Clark, Gary Larsen, Dinah Shore, John Carradine, Florence Henderson, Lyle Azado, Terry Porter, Jerome Kearsey, Mr. Blackwell, Grace-Lee Whitney, Matt Groening, Michael Curry, Will Vinton, Gus Van Sant, Bill Plymton, Ed McMahon, Hal Linden, Barry Morse, Norman Corwin, Prince Muhammad of Jordan, Chuck Jones, Martin Sheen. Dr George Fishbeck, Anthony Quinn, Ray Bolger, and Dick Van Dyke.
The others, Melody says, might not have well known names, but to her, everyone is interesting and that is the reason photography is such a great profession to be in.
" Do what you love ~ Love what you do "
Since moving to Portland, OR, Melody has found much creativity as a photographer. She started out working with a fabulous agency WE Entertainment, photographing wonderful actors and meeting great clients who have stayed as longtime friends. Melody has continued to be part of amazing agencies and organizationes such as PATA, OMPA, AIA, Take 2, and others.
She was the photographer for the Portland Creative Conference started by Will Vinton and others for the 15 years it existed.
Melody is also involved with the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, photographing their Annual Awards Dinners for the past several years.
She has a varied clientele such as fundraisres, start-ups, theatrical agencies, musical organizations, businesses, portraits for people and pets, parties, events, and public relations.
Melody is currently working and living in Lake Oswego, OR, with Korki the mini schnauzer, Drama the standard poodle, Major and Minor, the sheep, and Lee and Dick, her wonderful parents.
A Slice Of Life At The Marina City Club
Redefing Success - Women's Unique Paths by Nancy Johnson
From Rage To Courage by Michel Monnot
Merely Players: The Scripts by Barry Morse ( Edited by Tony Wynn and Robert Wood)
Birds Have Feelings Too ~ Written by Lynora Saunders ~ Photographed by Melody Saunders
A Bone On MY Pillow by Melody Saunders
Adopting Joy by Colleen Kettenhofen
The Longest Trek by Grace-Lee Whitney
Dump Your Therapist, Stick Out Your Tongue by Melody Saunders
It's Funny About Fitness ~ Written by Lynora Saunders ~ Cartoons by Dick Saunders ~ Photographs by Melody Saunders