Melissa has worked extensively in the American West for National Geographic. She drove 20,000 miles writing a magazine story and book on public lands, as well as documenting and following herds of mustangs. Another driving trip took her through South America to chronicle life along the Pan American highway for a book titled The Long Road South. Before freelancing, Melissa worked as a staff photographer at the Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times newspapers. She has a Pulitzer Prize for a joint project documenting desegregation of the public schools in Louisville, Kentucky.
Farlow received a National Headliner Award as well as Pictures of the Year honors for single images, long term projects and a portfolio award while on the staff of the Pittsburgh Press. Her images are printed in over 70 books including Women in the Material World, Day in the Life series and a number of Geographic’s books including The Photographs, Best 100 Wildlife Photographs and in Women Photographers at National Geographic.
In the 1980s, Melissa taught photojournalism at the Missouri School of Journalism and earned her Master’s in Journalism. She mentors photographers for non-profits including The Photo Society and Girls Who Click. She has served more than 20 times as a Missouri Photo Workshop instructor, and she is a renowned faculty member at other workshops throughout the world.