Melissa Arlena

Behind the Camera

Oh Hello There!

Welcome, I'm Melissa or Mel for short! Most days you can find me camera in hand chasing my kids and dogs around for that perfect photo! Or I might be tackling my latest design or DIY project, you can bet either way I'm wearing something navy as it's my favorite color!


I’m mostly known for being the photographer with a sailboat hence the sailboat in my logo. I’m a military wife, Marine Corp to be exact and mom to three littles, Will, Rob & Grace! We live in Fredericksburg, Virginia but love traveling to New York City and Charleston, SC. We are on the hunt for some new places to see so send me a note if you know an awesome spot we should check out!


My journey to becoming a photographer, yeah it's not your typical I had my first baby, got a nice camera and fell in love story. Nope, I actually hated having my photo taken so much as a kid that I figured out if I was behind the camera I wouldn't have to be in front of it! The teenage years were pretty awkward for me, how about you?


So I learned how to shoot film, develop it and make prints in the darkroom all before I graduated high school. When I was planning my wedding I discovered the magical world of wedding photography and I fell head over heels in love! Then my clients started having babies and I realized what brings me the most joy is documenting all the chapters of my client's lives!


Keep scrolling to learn more about me......

Photographers in Fredericksburg Va

Our Sailing Life

When I’m not busy photographing adorable newborns you can catch me sailing the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay on our 40′ sailboat Apogee with my handsome husband David, and our crazy boys. Last year we introduced our brand new daughter to sailing!!! Why yes they do make infant-sized life jackets!


The boys have been sailing all their lives and are getting old enough to start helping out a bit and they love it! We can't wait to see what our little girl thinks of it all. Sailing was something we just kind of fell into and here we are 11 years and 3 boats later spending our summer vacations cruising the Bay for weeks on end!

Photographers in Fredericksburg Va

Melissa Arlena Photography is based in Fredericksburg, Va but serves all of Washington, DC and Northern Virginia including Alexandria, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Fairfax, Herndon, Lorton, Manassas, McLean, Quantico, Reston, Springfield, Stafford, Tysons Corner, Vienna, and Woodbridge. She offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.



based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia