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Wellesley Square

Melissa James

Sunrise in the distance Orange sky with dark clouds in the upper portion 12 of the image Land in darkness

Slow Down

Artist Statement

Melissa James is a photographer who uses her lens as an outlet from the uncertainty and anxiety of the pandemic. Photography, for her, came as a much needed gentle reminder to slow down and simply enjoy the view. In the pre-pandemic hustle and bustle, Melissa's days were filled with never ending to-do lists, and meetings, leaving little room for reflection. However, the pandemic, with its challenges and opportunities, allowed her to rediscover the beauty in slowing down. Sunrises, in particular, transformed into moments of serenity and gratitude. The pandemic granted her the gift of being more present, savoring connections, and looking forward to the promise of each new sunrise. Melissa found solace in the sun rays glistening over her beloved City of Boston. In her approach, she captures the city's essence in its raw, unfiltered form, letting the natural beauty speak for itself without filters. Melissa once believed that designing your career was the ultimate form of self-expression, a path led by curiosity. Art, however, offers an equally important means of expression, allowing her to capture the essence of her heart's desires without inhibitions or self-doubt. Each photograph reflects a unique sentiment and meaning, open to interpretation by those who connect with them on a heart level. If these images speak to your soul, Melissa welcomes you to reach out and share in the beauty she finds through her lens.
Melissa James is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and author. Melissa is the Founder and CEO of The Tech Connection whose mission is to help companies make meaningful connections that empower and engage diverse talent in the tech industry for their open job opportunites. The Tech Connection has a strong track record of building high-performing diverse teams for elite companies such as Google, Teradata, the New England Venture Capitalist Association, HubSpot, Wayfair, Carbonite, DataXu, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and more. Melissa is also the author of When Are You Going To Get A Real Career: A Guide to Designing a Career You Would Be Proud Of!”, a roadmap for millennials starting out in their career and for the experienced executive crafting their next move. Shared stories and experiences provide insightful knowledge and steps for anyone navigating different aspects of their career. She most recently co-founded Hack.Diversity, an intern-to-hire program for Black and Latino students from typically overlooked community colleges and four-year universities to get their first internship at a top tech company. At the root of her work is a passion for community service. On top of running her business, Melissa is the founder of the Black Tech Boston Meetup, a platform created to celebrate the impact of technology within African-American communities. She currently serves on the advisory board for MassVentures, Innovation Studio, and the UMass Advisory Board for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She recently received the U.S. Presidential Service Award, the UMass Distinguished Young Alumni Award, BostonInno’s 50 on Fire Award, the Mosaic Award from the MA Technology Leadership Council, the 2015 Pursuer award from the African Youth Excellence organization for her relentless commitment to the community. Melissa was born and raised in Boston, MA. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Pine Manor College and graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.