My name is Melanie Heaney, and I am a photographer, specializing in figure skating. I have been involved in the sport professionally since 2007, and I have followed the sport closely since 1992. I photograph local, regional, and national events in the US for my own business, and I also photograph national and international events as a member of the media. 

I have decided to finally do something with the “blog” section on my website, which has been undisturbed for the past three years.

In the three years since I set up my website and never updated it again, a lot has changed! I had a baby, who has since grown into a toddler (maybe even a preschooler now?!), I moved with my family from Oakland to Cleveland, and I had an unexpected year and a half without much work at all, due to a global pandemic.

This blog is probably something I should have started while I had more free time, and it was something that I thought about, but I was also trying to raise a tiny child in a pandemic, so I’ve cut myself some slack. At any rate, here I am now.

When I first got into figure skating photography and journalism in 2007, I had a couple of mentors that helped me along the way. Fortunately, they always gave me good advice, because there aren’t a lot of resources available for someone trying to navigate a path in skating media. It took many years before I felt like I carved a comfortable niche for myself, and it took even longer before I was able to quit my other multiple jobs and focus on skating photography full time. I hope to give some tips and tell stories about my experiences that might help others who are just getting started.

Family Photo on a Swiss mountain train, a few days before the 2019-20 Grand Prix Final in Torino, Italy

I’ll also share some travel stories and advice, since blending skating photography with travel is one of the things that I love most about my job. I try to do one event outside North America each year, and I sometimes extend an event trip into a vacation with my family.

In a few short months, I’ll be spending about four weeks in Beijing for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, my first as a credentialed photographer. We’ll be insulated in an Olympic bubble, so I won’t get to experience Beijing as a traveler, but I should still have good stories and experiences from the Olympics to share.

Having a very informal family business when you have a small child is also its own set of challenges and stories, so I can also discuss topics like adapting your infant’s breastfeeding schedule to Zamboni breaks, how we decide when we need a grandma to travel with us vs when we decide to wing it, and how I ever got anything done at home once the kiddo developed mobility.

And I may also dive into the techniques of photographing a very fast sport and organizing tens of thousands of photos from each event.

I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for post topics, and feel free to reach out on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook (@mheaneyphoto) if you think blog comments are lame. (But please feel free to comment, I don’t think blog comments are lame.)