Next Level Sports Camp

Next Level Sports Camp offers a unique experience for young athletes. The co-ed, week long, day camp, is located in Santa Barbara, CA. Set on a beautiful, private high school campus, the temperate weather sets the perfect scene for both indoor and outdoor activities. Often, to experience elite coaching, athletes have to commit to a single sport camp. But, Next Level provides experienced, high level coaching in a multi-sport environment. Each day, campers chose two of the offered six sports.  There, they can fine-tune their skills, while making friends and having fun. Offered sports include: Volleyball (indoor and sand), basketball, lacrosse, football, soccer, and baseball. Each morning, campers excitedly chose their first sport. After lunch, they finish they day out with a new one- or some choose to stick with one! Campers can be spontaneous, and decide as they go. Coach Koval (pictured below), who runs the camp, brings in guest speakers and takes time from each day to inspire campers with messages about teamwork, sportsmanship, and excelling as athletes. My first-hand experience shooting the campers, and sending my son for the day (thanks, Coach Koval!), provides all the information I need to enthusiastically recommend this camp! You can anticipate more locations in the future!

So, check it out, at, and stay in the loop by following @nextlevelsportscamp on social media.


For more photos from camp, check out

My best,

Melissa Eiser


Jolly Boy

Of all the work that I’ve created, teaming with Jolly Boy may be my greatest adventure, and most exciting endeavor. Working alongside Kami Marshall, creator of Jolly Boy, has been nothing short of inspiring. It’s been a privilege, to watch behind the scenes, as she develops and alters her products, with more versions than I can count.  No product lands in a consumers hands without rigorous testing, research and development. Seeing the care and commitment that goes into her merchandise, has led me to feel passionately supportive of her quality products and finely tuned aesthetics. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting JB’s styled models, as well as working in the studio to create merchandise images for print and the web.  And, I can’t speak to how excited I am for our upcoming work together! Congratulations to an incredible company, for their strong launch! I love being a part of Team Jolly Boy, and hope to see some of your kiddos sporting their products very soon!

You can check Jolly Boy out on all of your favorite social media platforms. IG: @teamjollyboy, Twitter: @jollyboy, and order your favorites at

A portion of all Jolly Boy sales goes toward sending kids to summer camp. JB Organic beanies are made in India, in partnership with WORK + SHELTER.  By supporting Jolly Boy, you are supporting women and kids across the globe!




To view more of my portfolio, visit

My best,

Melissa Eiser

The Power Family

Have you ever had a puppy, and thought, “I wish I could keep him this adorable and little forever!” Well, the Powers decided they wanted to capture this short phase, before their puppy got any bigger. When Ryan and Nicole asked me to do a shoot including Bodhi, their sweet lil pup, the perfect location came to mind. The couple is at home on the beach. And here, in Ventura, we have a beautiful boardwalk and pier, offering varied backdrops for a walking and shooting along the coast.


Catch the full gallery at

My best,

Melissa Eiser


Casey and JD, Engaged at Grant Park.

More than 30 years ago, Casey’s mother and father were married at Grant Park, a local landmark, here in Ventura, CA. When she and JD (who both live in Texas) came out for a week at the beach, JD knew just where to take Casey to pop the question. Up on the hill, right where her parents were wed, he asked Casey to be his bride. So, romantic, right!? A few days later, we revisited Grant Park for an engagement session to be remembered. Congratulations, to the happy couple! Can’t wait to hear all about their marital adventures, beginning with their wedding in Iceland!



Check out the full gallery, over at

My best,

Melissa Eiser

Sonny and Jen, a Santa Barbara Elopement

The Santa Barbara Courthouse boasts spectacular grounds and architecture, acting as perfect location for couples seeking an elopement that feels more like a wedding. Lush landscaping, winding staircases, and classic mission style buildings provided the perfect backdrop for Sonny and Jen’s wedding. With family present, they said “I do,” and I was lucky enough to be there to capture it all. 273A9774273A9796273A9794273A9448273A9387273A9365-Edit-2273A9293273A9333273A9324273A9428

To see the full gallery, visit

My best,

Melissa Eiser

Nicaragua, 2016. Fears of a traveling mother.

(Photo credit for above image goes to my beloved husband, Erik Eiser-

Our adventure began on a Tuesday evening, when Erik and I stayed up late debating- family vacation to Seattle and Vancouver, or Central America. Panama? Costa Rica? Nicaragua? Throughout all of our travels, Costa Rica had been my favorite destination, but that was before kids…

After having stayed back, while Erik (a surf photographer) traveled throughout Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico- chasing swell, I was really pushing for my opportunity to head south, and get tropical. 2am hit, and bam! Tickets booked to Nicaragua…one week away. So exciting, right!? …Then entered the panic. Did we really just book flights to a country with known cases of Zika virus, when I have a 21 pound two-year-old, and a fiercely independent four-year-old, who refuses to walk within ten feet of me? Is it okay for them to be doused in DEET? What about snakes, and spiders? Can I bring car seats? What if the rental car doesn’t have a latch system? What if we get sick from the water, and are nowhere near a hospital? Can we eat the fruit or vegetables, what if they’ve been washed in local water? (I have a history of stomach problems during travel, as in EVERY time I’ve left the country- even dysentery in Morocco, followed by my being hospitalized…then going back a couple years later, ha!). So, I’ve tried not to let it hold me back, but this is my kids! For the next week, my heart beat about twice its normal rate. And I cried, a little.

But, I knew I needed to get over these fears. After all, travel is my passion! I immediately sent out emails and texts to all of our friends who have traveled to Central America with kids, to friends of friends, to people I’ve never met- just looking for any morsel of wisdom or confidence they might offer to boost my moral (which should be filled with stoke, right?!). Yet my veins pulsed with stress. Thankfully, each person I messaged, responded with overwhelming joy, as they reflected on their travel experiences in Nicaragua. “You will LOVE it!” they all exclaimed.

The number one question I asked was, “Do I bring carseats?” A resounding “Yes!” came from each parent who responded. (I had kind of hoped it would be no, because the thought of traveling through international airports with two kids and carseats was overwhelming).

We’ve traveled quite a bit with kids. Obviously, taking our car seats when we drive, but when flying, we’ve either relied on rental car seats- which freaked me out! Sometimes, they don’t have the right one for your kid. No history of past collisions, no instructions for installation, and the company is legally not allowed to help with install. If you don’t have access to youtube, you basically have to wing it. Or, we use the travel vest car seat we invested in for Remy (RideSafer Travel Vest)– its still too big for June.

Remy, 4yo, in his RideSafer vest- good for cars and planes.

In Colorado, we rented one for Remy when he was about a year old, and it had to be forward facing- which we weren’t prepared for/excited about, and it was clearly OLD. As in expired. But what else were we going to do? Go buy a new one? Nope. In Europe, we relied on public transit- but got to Spain, and again, Erik passionately wanted to explore and rent a car. I was, as always, nervous about rental car seats, but equally excited to adventure. June ended up forward facing, in an inappropriately fitting car seat. And, as you may have picked up on, I am obsessive about proper car seat use! Erik knows at this point, to just let me install seats, because if he does, I make him wait to put kids in while I re-do it.  For years, I felt terrified to share pics of my kids in these travel scenarios, as we lived with passion, exploring the world, because I feared mom-shaming. Would people call me selfish for putting the value of world-exploration before that of safety? But I’m gonna go ahead and get over that. Because, in my research I never found an article like this, and I know people out there, in my position, with tickets booked are scouring the internet looking for something to settle their spirits, so here it is…

Normal, throughout the world.  This shot was taken on our honeymoon in Bali, but saw the exact scenario in Nicaragua- often.

The thing is: When you’re traveling, you realize that somehow, the rest of the world gets by JUST FINE, with much less. More than fine. It’s their norm. Half the places we’ve visited, we see entire families riding on one motorcycle, (yes, four people on one bike), while the kids ride with no helmets…in the rain. Kids sit in their parents laps, unbuckled. It’s going to be okay. And the benefits of kids traveling!? In my opinion, they hugely outweigh living in fear. That’s another post in itself. So, this is the internal dialogue I have, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I travel. Welcome to my cluttered brain.

In the end, we brought our Diono Radian, in a travel bag, without base for rear-facing, and had June face forward- a compromise (in California, law states kids need to rear-face til age two, but recommended longer).  We checked it at the airport, along with our RideSafer Travel Vest. The truck we rented in Managua, was brand new with latch systems, so I was able to install our carseat just like at home. And I am so glad we brought our own. Driving throughout Nicaragua did get pretty intense- the drivers are very aggressive and roads were crowded, but I felt confident in knowing our kids were in properly fitting and installed seats. In the future, I won’t hesitate to check our car seat, because it really wasn’t a big deal.

As for the mosquitos, a quick survey of moms provided a common answer.   Avon Skin So Soft. And it worked wonders! I also read that the best way to prevent bites is protective clothing, and white deflects mosquitos. So, I purchased some longsleeve white shirts from H&M (clearanced, 2/$5), which the kids wore in areas that were likely to be home to more mosquitos- lakes, rainforests, in the evening. They were never bitten by mosquitos. Not once! Take that, Zika.

So, I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for years. I’m glad to have gotten it out of my system, so now I can write more about our INCREDIBLE experience traveling throughout Nicaragua. Normally, when I write, it’s for our extended family and a handful of friends. This is the first I’ve ever written with the consideration of other moms, accross the globe, who might be facing the same anxiety I do, when prepping for travel. I really want to encourage families to travel, and if I didn’t make it clear here, we had the time of our lives in Nicaragua- and as soon as we arrived, the stress melted away!

So, if you found this helpful, or have other questions you’d like addressed in future posts, feel free to comment.

Sending my best,

Melissa Eiser

The Mooney Family

It’s always an honor when people I admire request a portrait session. The Mooneys are overflowing with compassion. They’re real. They’re quick to smile, easy to love. My son, Remy, and daughter, June, adore sweet Layla- like anyone who meets her; and I consider Caroline to be my “unicorn.” The magical friend, who I never have to explain myself to, and with whom I can always pick up where I left off. She listens- really listens, and gets me. I met Shane before having kids.  When, in the middle of a chaotic party, we sat down at a table to make art, and traded works- both leaving, happy campers. These good people spark excitement in my heart, for our next generation of compassionate, honest, soulful contributors to society. So, like I said- this portrait session was an honor to be a part of. Thank you, sweet Mooneys for chosing Remy Roux Photo. I love you guys, and I’m so excited to get to know your latest edition- sweet Ruby Lou.

PS: This session was shot in my home. If you like what you see, and have interest in booking for a similar shoot, let’s chat! Contact info and more galleries on view at

My best,

Melissa Eiser