2020 Community Connections - Ashley Melsa Photography: Most rewarding thing is repeat clients, best is birth sessions

Jess Bengtson
Blake Melsa baseball photo

How long have you been a photographer? Also, if different, how long have you been "getting paid" for photography?

    I have been a photographer for 13 years starting with my own family & close friends. Getting paid I would say going on 6 or 7 years, when my family and friends were like "We need to pay you something".

What kind of equipment do you use for photo shoots - both indoors and outdoors?

    I prefer natural light session, I love looking for a new "spot" each year in our beautiful town.

    I also, try to take my camera to my sons sporting events and capture images of the games for the parents & kids to enjoy.

Do you have a studio? If so, where is it located and what are your hours of operation?

    I do not have a studio. I however do home sessions, birth session, hospital sessions, and do take them in my own home as well. I typically sign up by appointment.

Do you like to take photos indoors or outdoors better, and why?

    Outdoors, I love the beauty of our town, the nature, we are blessed with season change here in Minnesota its so fun to highlight each season.

    Along with the family memories that are made with each session are so much more fun when someone jumps in a puddle, or rolls down the hill.

What is your favorite style of photography? - family, senior, wedding, nature, etc.

    Ugh i love them all, I feel that the most rewarding thing about begin a photographer is repeat clients being able to be there for their life story year after year. Watching them fall in love, to the wedding, to the belly shots, newborn sessions, and yearly after that. How absolutely amazing!

    But, If I had to choose just one it would be birth photography being a mom and a nurse something about a birth that makes my heart burst with happiness.

How did you get into photography?

    I started taking pictures of my son, then just for fun of others, I guess it just grew from there.

Are you certified or do you have a license in photography?

    I do not, all self taught and online tutorials.

Where is your favorite spot in Crookston to take photos?

    I have so many I look for a new spot every year. I love the "downtown" look, yet also love the tree changing of castle park.

Name a memorable photo shoot - best and worst

    Best: Birth sessions hands down they are amazing!

    Worst: The wedding that ended with the groom throwing his ring at the bride during the wedding party dance. (they are divorced now).

What location is on your "bucket list" to take photos? (i.e. Hawaii, Caribbean, mountains, etc.)

    I have done Florida, Mexico, and many towns around our area. I would love to do Hawaii, Alaska, or Paris. So many places on my bucket list, they are all "one-day & someday" for now.