Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Fresh fun family Photography For The modern mom

There are so many choices for family photographers in Northern Va it can be overwhelming. You want Relaxed, Natural & Joyful photos of your family. But you also need someone who will guide you through what to wear and how to act in front of the camera. I've got you covered!


We'll be a perfect fit if ....

  • You want more than just looking at the camera photos, you want the moments in between captured
  • You want the experience to be fun for everyone and create great memories
  • You want a photographer who will be there to capture your family photos year after year

Read more DC newborn photography reviews

Client Love

Melissa was amazing and
our pictures are beautiful.

We had another photographer lined up to do maternity pictures and that fell through and I was so impressed with how quickly Melissa responded and we were able to set up a shoot. I was nervous because the baby had a rough night but Melissa worked incredibly fast while the baby slept. She even posed our dog to get some great pics of him and the baby. We got our pictures so quickly and they were absolutely beautiful. I'd highly recommend Melissa to anyone and look forward for another opportunity for her to photograph our family.

- Kristin in Alexandria

Great experience and great outcome, we highly recommend her.

We had a great experience doing a newborn shoot with Melissa. She was relaxed and easy on the day - she shot a really wide variety, caught some hilarious and oh-so-sweet photos of my toddler, and captured our family as we are. (She wore a mask the entire time, was careful about hand hygiene, kept appropriate distance, etc). She interacted beautifully with my toddler and he had the best time - you can tell she's a mom herself, she just gets it. The photos came out light and bright and airy, exactly what we wanted.

- Rachel in Reston

Our experience with Melissa was nothing short of amazing!!!

In the current Covid pandemic, she made us feel super safe, took every precaution, and still delivered beautiful images we will always cherish! She is so easy to work with and goes above and beyond to make sure you get exactly what you want. We love her and highly recommend her!!

- Taylor in Fredericksburg

She brought cautious normalcy to us during a chaotic time and we are beyond appreciative of her work.

I messaged Melissa and inquired about her policies during the Covid outbreak. She eased my mind immediately and took all safety precautions while visiting our home. The entire session went smoothly. Melissa has a great personality and was very patient as we moved our little guy around for pics. She asked about must have shots we wanted, in addition to using her own expertise. The images she captured are family pictures and baby pictures we will treasure forever. We love them all and have enjoyed sharing them with our friends and family across the country who haven’t been able to visit during the quarantine.

- Autumn in Alexandria

I am so happy that I found Melissa for our newborn photographs.

I did a lot of research before choosing a photographer and found that many in the area were very expensive or not responsive. When I found Melissa’s website I loved the light and airy feel of her photos (which is not easy to capture in a townhouse in Old Town). I reached out and not only was she responsive but it was very clear that she has a passion for newborn photography. I was not disappointed! The photos she took are absolutely perfect and so beautiful. I cannot recommend Melissa’s services enough and I am already looking forward to using her again for future family photos.

- Victoria in Alexandria


What to Expect


View Photo Galleries

It all starts by checking out my 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 fun and relaxed, natural photos of your family.


Review Pricing

Learn more about The Family Experience 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 Capri Sun & cue the confetti!! We are a match made in heaven! Now it's time to secure your date on my calendar. I typically book family sessions 1-2 months out. I only take on 6-8 sessions per month so book early to get your spot!


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 can start planning!


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.


Let's Decorate

Before your family 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 Family Photos

All family photo sessions are done on location typically 1-2 hours before sunset during the week in the Fredericksburg/Stafford area. 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.


Online Gallery

Your images will be ready 2 weeks after your photo session and will be presented in an online slideshow. You can view your photos and decide on your collection purchase from the comfort of your couch!


The Collections

Family Photo Pricing

On-location family photo sessions full of laughter and fun capturing your family just as they are.

Collections BEGIN AT $750

  • Digital Files are available for purchase in each collection plus a print credit to get started displaying your favorite photos
  • 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 perfect as you imagined
  • Add on a gorgeous Heirloom Print Box, Keepsake Baby Albums, and Custom Wall Art to enjoy for years to come
Northern Virginia Family Photographer

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. Complimentary design services are available 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

award winning photographer as seen on

The Experience

northern virginia family photographer

We often think about professional photography for the big moments in our lives, getting married, or having a baby. But I believe we need to think about it every year to document how quickly our kids are growing up. I've never had a client tell me they regretted updating their family photos but I've had tons tell me they wish they had done it more often. As a Northern Va family photographer, it's my job to encourage you to make family portraits a priority this year!


When you hire me as your family photographer you get someone who has 3 kiddos of her own and knows exactly what moments you want captured. The ones that truly show off your family's personality!


Over the last 12 years I've photographed hundreds of families. In that time I've learned to work quickly and keep things fun. Dads love that I come in with a plan and get things done while Moms loves the variety of final images and the in-between moments captured!




From the moment you hire me, we will start prepping for your session. This includes tips and advice on what to wear from me plus my Pinterest boards full of ideas to help you coordinate the entire family.


I'll be sending you my Family Session 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 view the slideshow and make your collection purchase. I love when parents 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 family album 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 Fredericksburg Va family photographer, I want you to have beautiful images to display in your home along with digital files to share with family and friends.

Northern Virginia Family Photographer
Maternity, Newborn & Familyinquiries

Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Frequently Asked Questions

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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