At Home Photography Tips with Melissa Ferguson
Melissa Ferguson is a photographer located in Northern Virginia. She specializes in lifestyle, newborn and family photography.
When not capturing special moments in the lives of her clients, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband, and their two children, Camden and Bode. Being a stay at home mom and photographer has allowed her to do the things she loves, such as hiking mountains and exploring the outdoors. In addition to loving to explore the outdoors, the Ferguson family likes to plan cruises or stay home, singing and dancing along with Disney movies. You can find Melissa on IG (@melissa.ferguson) where she captures her day to day life and tons of adorable photos of her kids or on her website!
How has babywearing helped you as a photographer?
When photographing, as well as in everyday life, babywearing helps me accomplish tasks since holding babe is hands free! I’ve been able to take my son along for sessions and you wouldn’t even know he is there- he’s happy as can be inside the sling!
With children always on the move, how do you capture them?
Bribes… only half kidding. I embrace the motion and the craziness. When capturing my daughter there’s almost always food on her face, some crazy bed head and if she is sitting still it’s because a piece of chocolate was offered to her to do so. But I’m a huge believer in capturing the moment as is.
How important is lighting within your home, and what suggestions do you have when natural lighting isn’t available?
While a home with a million windows and beautiful natural light would be awesome, it’s not the case for most of us. I’ve had clients who were scared to have a session in home because they thought it was too dark. All you need is one window. Hang out near that window for the photos and I promise you will fool everyone into thinking your home is as bright as day. If hanging out near a window isn’t an option, you can resort to flash or turning an overhead light on- just be aware that overhead lighting casts a lot of orange/yellow onto the skin, be prepared to cool that photo down when you edit!
Do we really need a camera or can we get quality photos with our phone?
You can 100% document your favorite moments with a phone and still get amazing photos. With proper lighting, you would never know the difference when posting on social media! If a camera isn’t an option for you, please don’t let it stop you from taking ALL the photos of your babies.Here are two photos, exactly the same. Taken in a room that only has two windows, so not a whole bunch of light. I stood real close to the window to get some amazing light. On the left is a photo taken with my dslr camera. The right is taken with my cell phone.
What situations would we benefit from using a camera/dslr over a smartphone?
Only two come to mind. One being if you plan to start your own business. There are some amazing and affordable cameras out there. Second would just be if you’re going to print photos at a large scale. If you blow up a cellphone photo, you’re going to see pixelation- they just weren’t meant to be printed huge. But cellphone photos still work great to make smaller prints and memory books. I have made it a habit to make books every year to save all the photos just in case anything ever happens where they disappear. Print your photos, people! You won’t regret it when you look back on all of them. I fill my walls with our photos and it brings a smile to my face every single day when I see them.