What to Expect


View Photo Galleries

It all starts by checking out my Newborn, Maternity and Family galleries. Make sure that the images you see are what you are looking for in your own photo session! I don't use props or pose babies in baskets. My style can be described as Lifestyle which is casual and relaxed, natural photos of your new little family.


Review Pricing

Learn more about The Maternity & Newborn Experiences below. If that sounds like what you are looking for Contact Me today for full collection pricing. Please be sure all decision-makers are involved so everyone is comfortable with booking me!


Save the Date

Pop the apple cider & cue the confetti!! We are a match made in heaven! Now it's time to secure your date on my calendar. I typically book maternity photo sessions when you are 32-36 weeks, with newborn photo sessions taking place 7-21 days after birth.


Book Now

You've submitted the Contact Form, reviewed the pricing and are ready to move forward! Next I will send over a quote, contract and Getting to Know You questionnaire. You can pay your retainer online and we are ready for baby!


Review Tips

Once booked I'll be sending you my Tips & Advice email to review to prepare for the perfect photo session. It includes ideas on what to wear for everyone so you look stylish and coordinated. Right before your session I'll send out last minute tips on preparing your home and your baby for a smooth session.


Let's Decorate

Before your newborn session I like to ask my clients to walk around their home and think about where they want to see their photos. Is it a beautiful album on a coffee table, a print box on the bookcase or a wall gallery over the stairs? When we plan it out ahead of time we can be sure to get exactly the photos we need!


Your Maternity Photos

All maternity photo sessions are done on location typically 1-2 hours before sunset during the week. We can go to a favorite spot of yours or I can recommend some options based on your style! Sessions typically last about 45 minutes.


Your Newborn Session

I like to make it easy on my clients so I will come to you! Lifestyle newborn photo sessions take place in your home typically in the nursery, living room and master bedroom depending on the light. Most photo sessions are usually an hour long and our focus is on your new little family. Your job is to stare adoringly at this little person you made and my job is to capture it!


Gallery Download

Prepare yourself for tears! I have yet to have a client that didn't cry over photos of her new baby. Your images will be ready 2 weeks after your photo session and will be uploaded in an online gallery. You can download them all right to your computer, phone or tablet. Plus you can order professional prints and products in your gallery from the comfort of your couch!


The Collections

fredericksburg maternity photographer

Maternity Photo Pricing

On location outdoor maternity photo sessions to fit your style, whether it's the beach, a field or downtown area



Newborn Photo Pricing

At-home lifestyle photo sessions so you can relax and not worry about leaving home with a newborn



Family Photo


On location outdoor maternity photo sessions to fit your style, whether it's the beach, a field or downtown area



  • 30-50+ Digital Files included in all collections
  • Advice, tips, and examples of what to wear for you and everyone in the family
  • Guidance during your session so you feel confident and look beautiful & natural
  • Editing to carefully enhance only the best images from your session so they are just as beautiful as you imagined
  • Complimentary design services to create the perfect products that fit your life & style to display your beautiful portraits. Think of me as a trusted friend by your side to help you make any decisions along the way
  • Add on a gorgeous Heirloom Print Box, Keepsake Baby Albums, and Custom Wall Art to enjoy for years to come

Sessions are typically scheduled 4-6 weeks in advance. In order to create a more personalized experience for my client, I only accept 6-8 portrait bookings per month.

award winning photographer as seen on

The Experience

northern virginia newborn photographer


There are big moments in your life that deserve professional photography and having a baby is definitely one of them! I can't tell you how often I hear from clients that they are so glad they had a session because that tiny baby grew so quickly. In fact, they are shocked at how different their baby looks just 6 weeks after they are born. As a Northern Virginia newborn photographer it's my job to capture all those tiny features so you never forget how small they once were.


When you hire me as your newborn photographer you get someone who has been there done that three times now, lol!


I know how excited you are as you approach your due date and how overwhelmed yet completely blessed you will feel during those first weeks as a new parent.


So my job is to prepare you ahead of time as much as possible and reassure you on the day of our session that you guys are doing everything right.


From the moment you hire me, we will start prepping for your session. This includes tips and advice on what to wear from me and access to my online stylist to help you coordinate the entire family.


I'll be sending you my Maternity and Newborn Tips so you know exactly what to expect on the day of your session. Once that day comes I'll walk you through our session and give you plenty of direction on what to do, it's easy I promise!


After your session, I'll get to work editing your gorgeous photos and getting your gallery ready as soon as possible. I know how excited you will be to see your photos!


I know traveling and schedules can be tough so you get to see your photos from the comfort of your own couch. I'll send over the gallery link and you can download directly from it to your computer, phone or tablet. I love when couples make a date night of it and enjoy a glass of wine as they look through their photos!


You can decide on your favorites together and order prints, wall art, and even a baby book right from your gallery. I love designing gallery walls for my clients that include photos from their session plus personal photos they might have. I can take all of the guesswork out of what size to order and how to arrange them!


As your Northern Virginia newborn photographer, I want you to have beautiful images to display in your home along with digital files to share with family and friends on social media. Don't forget to send out the link to your gallery to your family so they can see the portraits we captured of you!

northern virginia newborn photographer
Maternity, Newborn & Familyinquiries

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you travel?

Yes! I’m based out of the Stafford/Fredericksburg area but I travel anywhere from DC to Richmond locally. I’m frequently in Alexandria, VA for newborn photo sessions. I’m also happy to fly to other locations in the US. Travel fees do apply.

What happens if the baby gets fussy or hungry during our photo session?

I’m a mom of three myself and I totally understand that babies need breaks.


I’m happy to take breaks as needed for top-offs to make baby happy.


A warm full belly is usually all we need to get those adorable sleepy photos!

Do you use props or sets at your photo sessions?

My newborn pictures are natural and organic images of your baby.


I like to keep things very simple and clean so I don’t provide any sets or props.


I’m thrilled to include things like family heirlooms such as a baby blanket or special stuffed animal in the photos though.


Plus if you have a little girl I’m a total sucker for a beautiful headband!

When do you typically photograph newborns?

I like to schedule our newborn session when your baby is around 10 days old.


Ideally anywhere from 7-14 is preferred. I definitely understand that some parents can’t schedule for that time frame especially if they have dealt with a NICU stay.


So please don’t worry and know no matter how old your baby is we can create some beautiful photos for you!

What can we do with the digital images included in our collection?

All of my collections include digital files and a print release.


This means that you can post them on Facebook or Instagram, share them through email to family and print them wherever you please in whatever size you please.


Keep in mind though that when ordering prints through me you will be getting quality prints that match your files exactly.


If you print elsewhere on your own I cannot guarantee they will be correct.

When will I see my pictures?

Your full gallery will be ready within 2 weeks!

What time of day will my photo session be?

With maternity sessions, we typically shoot weekdays in late afternoon/early evening so we get that beautiful glowy sunset light!


For newborn sessions, I find babies are better in the morning when everyone is fresh so those are scheduled around 10 am on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. (Please note that weekends are not available as I’m spending time with my family on our sailboat then)

Are parents and siblings included in the photos?

Of course! My goal is to capture your new family not just your baby.

We will work together to get adorable sibling photos and know that yes it may take bribes but that is ok!


We stuffed Vanilla Wafers around my youngest to get my oldest to interact with him during our newborn session. You gotta do what you gotta do!

I'm a Virginia born and raised photographer, DIYer, and educator sharing life, love and all my latest projects with you!

xoxo, Melissa Arlena

diyer, sailor, mother, dog lover, military wife


based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia