2019 Year in Review

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

2019 was a huge year for me! Not only did I get to photograph 40 new babies I had baby #3 of my very own! We welcomed Grace Susan 4 weeks early on February 27. It has been so much fun photographing my own baby along with all my client’s newborns this year. We’ve bonded over the recall of the Rock n Play and talked about how to get more than 2 hours of sleep a night. I’ve avoided the baby fever most newborn photographers get from cuddling babies because I can come home and cuddle my own!


Even though I’m based in Fredericksburg Virginia I travel from DC to Richmond. Last year I did at home lifestyle newborn sessions in Alexandria, Herndon, Springfield, Lorton, Woodbridge, Arlington, Fairfax, Dumfries, Manassas and Stafford to name a few. I’ve lived and worked all over Northern Virginia so it’s fun to go to these different cities and drive past an old apartment or job site. It definitely takes me down memory lane!


I’ve become a bit of a toddler whisperer over the year learning how best to entice 2-3-year-olds into photos with their new siblings. It’s a lot like convincing groomsmen to stick around for bridal party photos. Thank goodness I had 10 years of practice in that before switching from weddings to newborns! In fact, I’ve put together several IGTV videos to prep parents on how their newborn session will go with a sibling. You can check them out here: Siblings in Newborn Sessions


You’ll notice quite a few furry siblings in this round-up of 2019 photos. I realized that if you have a dog then I’m definitely going to pick an image featuring your baby and your dog as one of my year-end favorites! I loved capturing all the pups in the nursery hanging out and for the especially chill ones, we were able to get some great photos of baby and puppy. A tip from our own newborn session I’ve been passing along is this. Don’t lock your dogs up or away from the session if you want them to be in any photos. While it definitely seems easier to put them in another room or outside till we need them it will actually ramp them up more. Let them get through the excitement of having someone new who comes with her own smells wear off and things will go much more smoothly. I have two dogs of my own so I’ve been licked, jumped on and had my equipment bag sniffed within an inch of its life. Your dog is totally fine!

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

Now enjoy some of my favorite images from 2019!

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I'm Melissa

Welcome to my blog! I'm Melissa Arlena a Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Sit back, relax and check out my latest work along with tips and advice for preparing for your maternity or newborn session. I'm so excited you are here!

Areas I serve

DC, Alexandria, Falls Church, Arlington, Fairfax, Springfield, Lorton, Woodbridge, Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania & Richmond area.


Maternity and Newborn Photography

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