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Pictures of son spur business for photographer

July 29, 2018

Shane, from left, Saybin, Cash, AJ and Danielle Messinger are the winners of The Herald-Dispatch's Hunt for the Herd contest.

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — It all started with her newborn son.

Melissa Rosic would take photos of her son when she was home with him at a young age, which she ended up finding a lot of enjoyment in.

“I have an art degree, so I’ve always been interested in art, and I’m a creative person,” Rosic said. “After my son was born I really got into it. It started with him, mainly.”

After showing off some of her photos of her son, Rosic would get requests from others asking her to do the same for their kids, leading to requests building on top of each other. Once it began taking up a good portion of her time, Rosic would eventually be able to pursue photography full-time, and has opened up a studio in Fairmont.

“It was a hobby that turned into a business,” Rosic said. “I actually started out going to people’s homes. It started out with people that I knew, like so-and-so knows this person who wants pictures, and it started to get to the point where people I didn’t know wanted to hire me, so I ended up renting a space and stopped shooting in my home.

“That’s where I really feel like it took off, having that public spot for people to go to.”

Rosic now works from her studio, Melissa Rosic Photography on Adams Street in Fairmont, where she specializes in posing photos of infants, kids and families either in studio or out in the elements.

“Like many people, I kind of dove in on everything,” Rosic said. “I shot a couple weddings, some couples and I just finally found that I was more comfortable with families and kids.”

Rosic normally sticks to these family-style shoots just as her preference, but may do shoots for other individuals, as well. Working with young children is something she both enjoys and has experience in from her time just being a mother. This comes in handy, as some shoots can last several hours.

“I’m not your sort of typical ‘Sit there and look pretty’ kind of photographer,” Rosic said. “I like for them to play and get that natural smile, just a little more casual.

“When I leave a session I’m tired because I just played tag with them for 20 minutes.”

Depending on the client, Rosic may spend time in the studio posing her subject, or go outdoors for some creative backgrounds and sights.

“Most of my family sessions are out in the field or out in town or at a park,” Rosic said. “That’s my preference. I think you have more room to move around, and the location is part of the shoot. I prefer outside for families”

Because hersession s require so much time with preparation shooting, Rosic is available by appointment only, which also gives her a chance to learn about a client and brainstorm ideas and poses for the shoot beforehand.

“Usually at a family session I try to get what people call ‘Grandma’s picture,’” Rosic said. “Everybody looking at the camera, sitting nice and pretty, sit them down on a blanket trying to get everybody to look at me for a few photos.

“After that I like for them to just interact, I like for them to play with the kids, ‘Let’s sing a song,’ tickles; Just photograph them being in the moment, having fun with each other. I’m just there to witness and capture those memories for them.”

The rate Rosic charges for photoshoots varies, but said it normally comes to around $300 to $500 per session. Rosic said her clients normally get an average of 50 files out of a photography session, which include several different poses, backgrounds and angles.

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