caitlin-tj-sparkly-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-melissa-arlena-photography

            Guys I owe you a huge apology…… I have been holding out on you a FABULOUS sparkly fall Stevenson Ridge wedding I did back in October 2013.  Yes you read that right 2013 :(.  Don’t worry Caitlin and TJ got their images about 4 weeks after to wedding so I didn’t hold out on them.  So the reason for the hold out was that I was going to re-do my website and I was saving their wedding for the re-launch.  Oh and then I had a baby and my website re-design took a back burner.  By the time I finally got the site refreshed last year I thought I had already blogged their wedding, whoops!!!

            But I’m sharing it now and you are going to be blown away by how fabulous it was!  Caitlin and her Mom are amazing and created a beautiful and elegant style to the day.  Caitlin even managed to include leopard print (her favorite) into the scheme.  Yes you read that right, leopard print!  I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure if you could make leopard print wedding pretty but Caitlin totally NAILED it!  It was subtle and elegant but gave a fun pop to her reception tables that screamed Caitlin all the way.  Her ruffled wedding cake was love at first sight for me, one of the best I’ve seen Kristin from Fat Girl Cakes make!  Plus with florals by Amanda Veronee it was perfection all around!

            Caitlin is such a warm soul, the kid of person you meet and want to instantly be friends with.  Her bubble personality makes you feel comfortable and at ease.  TJ is one of those guys that is a bit rough around the edges, a man’s man but when it comes to Caitlin he is loving and sweet just like women like their man to be ;).  I feel like it’s a Southern gentleman trait, they open car doors, call you ma’am, bring you flowers, write you songs and are right at home in a bar fight.

            Caitlin and TJ picked Stevenson Ridge for their festivities and it was the perfect backdrop!  Ironically even though it was October we had a heat wave that weekend and it was about 85-90 degrees.  I remember being worried about Caitlin being too hot in her gorgeous dress but she was a trooper and looked beautiful all day long!  I’m going to let you look through the photos now and check out the captions for some of my favorite memories from the day!

            Caitlin and TJ I’m so sorry I am just now blogging this, I was being totally selfish saving it for my relaunch and then baby brain took over apparently.  You guys are adorable and I hope to get you in front of my camera again soon!  I wish you all the happiness in the world for a long and loving marriage, you guys are amazing and I love keeping up with you on Facebook!

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-109
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-111
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-114
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-139
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-180
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-153
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-143
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-158
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-148
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-225
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-230
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-233
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-162-Edit

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-422

            So originally I had this shot planned for the guys but the girls did it on their own so the guys lost out ;)!

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-266
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-311
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-329
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-410
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-569
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-339
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-430
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-549
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-554

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-447

            I love photos of the brides right before they walk down the aisle, the excitement and anticipation with the added fear of oh my god I’m about to get married!

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-457
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-487
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-491
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-496
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-495
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-509
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-511
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-512
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-528
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-533

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-614

            This bridal party was AWESOME, so much fun and willing to do whatever I asked!

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-594
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-624
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-631
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-636
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-626
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-628
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-643
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-657
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1039
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-364

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-380

            What did I tell you leopard print, elegant and subtle, who knew!

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-359
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1050
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-405
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-413
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-394
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-371
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-346
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1046
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1040
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1036
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1038
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1043
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1035
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1042
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-738
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-769
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-818

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-822

            Ok this had to be one of the funniest Father of the Bride speeches I’ve ever heard! I probably am not going to get this story 100% right but apparently Caitlin’s dad’s credit card was stolen while wedding planning was going on and he was actually relieved because the their spent less then his wife and daughter did! Hence the mother-daughter high five! LOL! Best story ever!

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-837
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-852
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-862

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-870

            I love Caitlin’s reaction to the moment TJ surprised her by getting up with his band and singing a song dedicated to her!

            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-873
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-890
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-982
            caitlin-tj-elegant-fall-stevenson-ridge-wedding-1032

            To see more of Caitlin & TJ’s sparkly fall wedding at Stevenson Ridge in Fredericksburg, Virginia check out the slideshow below! (Click here if you don’t see the slideshow below)

            The following wedding vendors contributed to Caitlin & TJ’s Stevenson Ridge wedding:

            Ceremony & Reception Venue: Stevenson Ridge

            Photography: Melissa Arlena Photography

            Florist: Amanda Veronee Florals

            DJ: Eric Herod

            Hair & Makeup: GoGo Gorgeous

            Catering: Caroline Street Catering

            Cake: Fat Girl Cakes

            Are you getting married soon or expecting a new baby? I’d love to work with you.  Contact me now to see if your date is available!

            Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterestBook Your Session

            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-168

            So the question is does Melissa ever do somewhat dark and moody photos?  Yes she does but only with Amanda Veronee as her subject ;)!  The snow outside reminded me that I shot this with Amanda 2 years ago but never blogged it.  So since there is once again snow outside my window I thought now would be the perfect time to share it with everyone.  For any brides let me just tell you this is not my normal bridal portrait style, this was more of a hey it’s going to snow and I want to play with some film stocks and do something different.  My typical style is more light and airy and happy :).

            Amanda was a trooper driving over to my house in the snow and modeling for me, I’m sure the neighbors thought I was nuts especially since we had just moved in, lol! I pulled this cloak out of my closet for Amanda to wear so as not to freeze and she brought the amazing fur stole.  I think the fur totally made the look!

            Since this was 2 years ago I’m foggy on the details but I believe this was 35mm black and white, a few color shots and medium format for the rest of the color with some digital mixed in.  Like I said it was a play session hence all the different types of film, why yes I did have 3 cameras for this shoot, lol!

            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-111
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-122
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-163
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-172
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-234
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-180
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-184
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-241
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-186
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-257
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-261
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-255
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-206
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-207
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-209
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-214
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-221
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-223
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-224
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-231
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-269
            amanda-snowy-bridal-portraits-273

            Are you getting married soon or expecting a new baby? I’d love to work with you.  Contact me now to see if your date is available!

            Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterestBook Your Session

            fairfax virginia engagement session

            Two secrets I will share about Katie and Cliff’s Fairfax Virginia engagement session, the first is that my camera did not like Cliff’s shirt.  It was so weird but something about the checkered pattern did not agree and when I was first editing the photos his shirt turned blue with crazy purple splotches! I freaked out for a minute and then tried to remember what color his shirt looked like in person. A few clicks later in Lightroom and all was fixed and since I didn’t get an email saying “hey Melissa what gives I wore a blue shirt” I think I’m in the clear!  I believe the technical answer has something to do with Chromatic Aberration and if you are the type of person who likes to look that stuff up then go for it ;).

            Secret number 2 is that I coveted Katie’s boots so much I tracked them down and bought a pair for myself.  Which leads me to a bonus 3rd secret, if you are wearing something to your session with me that is super cute I will probably ask where you got it and go buy it for myself!  Shoes seem to be my weakness, I bought gold Sperry’s for myself after Paige wore them for her engagement session. So I ask that my clients keep wearing cute shoes and clothes and sharing where they purchased them so I can try to keep up with what’s in style! My wardrobe thanks you for it!

            I loved this engagement session and I loved it even more when I sent it over to Katie and got this as her reply “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! love them!!!!!!!!!!!!”.  We met up at Pohick Bay Park in Fairfax County for their session this past fall. I’m pretty sure everyone loves fall in Virginia so I will spare you the beautiful leaves and fabulous temperatures comments especially since I saw snow showers outside my window earlier today. I will tell you that Katie and Cliff are freaking adorable and totally stylish, hence me stealing Katie’s boots.  I’m pretty sure I asked about her jewelry too.  I loved Cliff’s bow tie and jacket, I can’t wait to see what he has picked out for his wedding attire in April.  They were perfect models, following simple directions and looking cute and in love just like I like my couples!

            Check out their adorable photos below and you might see I’ve already updated my website with some of my favorites!

            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-132
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-133
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-129
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-136
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-137
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-139
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-141
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-146
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-153
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-156
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-160
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-164
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-161
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-166
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-162
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-171
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-177
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-194
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-189
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-195
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-198
            katie-cliff-pohick-bay-virginia-engagement-session-201

            Are you getting married soon or expecting a new baby? I’d love to work with you.  Contact me now to see if your date is available!

            Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterestBook Your Session

            Yes you read that right I’m giving away free wedding albums! These are not cheap Shutterfly hard cover books either they are gorgeous 8×10 albums with linen covers and thick pages made from mounted photo paper. They are gorgeous! These albums will come with a base of 10 spreads to display all your beautiful wedding photos. You can see an example of these beautiful albums in the photo below!

            Here’s the catch because you know there is always a catch, you must be getting married in June 2015 and you must book at least 7 hours of coverage which is my base collection. I noticed my June calendar has a few open dates so I’d love to fill them and I’m not above offering a bribe I mean incentive to book! So if you are getting married in June 2015 or know someone who is and doesn’t have their photographer booked please share this post with them. I promise they will get amazing wedding photos just like all my other clients and they get the bonus of a FREE WEDDING ALBUM!!! It’s totally a win-win for them. Contact me today to claim this awesome prize!

            melissa-arlena-free-free-wedding-album

            Are you getting married soon or expecting a new baby? I’d love to work with you.  Contact me now to see if your date is available!

            Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterestBook Your Session

            Virginia Newborn Photographer

            virginia newborn photographer

            I love seeing new parents during those first two weeks with their little babies, they are so in love with this new tiny human! They are in the 2 week bliss where the baby is still sleeping a lot hence the reason most photographers like to photograph new babies during the first 14 days. Taylor and Conor were no exception, Noah was sleeping good for them and he slept like a champ for his session. It always makes me chuckle when I go back for the ordering session though and it’s a completely different story, one parent is usually back at work and they both look like they haven’t slept in weeks. The baby has revealed crazy sleep habits and no one quite knows what day it is exactly! Again Taylor and Conor were no exception except they got smart and started sleeping in shifts so they could both get some decent sleep and share in the baby duties. Kudos to them and excuse my jealousy for all the nights I slept in 2 hour increments along with the boys ;).

            I have loved working with this little family so much since Taylor contacted me in the fall for their maternity session! I was so excited to see their announcement on Instagram that Noah was here and get Taylor’s happy email later that night. Noah Davis had arrived weighing in at 7lbs 12ozs and 20 inches long!

            Noah was the perfect subject just like his parents for his session. He slept when we wanted him to sleep for some absolutely precious baby portraits and woke up towards the end for gorgeous photos with his mom and dad. Parents always ask me okay what do you want us to do as I pose them and I tell them they get to do the easiest thing in the world, just look at this tiny piece of perfection they have created. There is no posing needed.

            If you are looking for a Virginia Newborn Photographer, click here to learn more about my newborn sessions!

            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-100
            virginia newborn photographer
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-114
            virginia newborn photographer
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-111
            virginia newborn photographer
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-119
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-120
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-130
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-132
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-144
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-125
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-126
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-147
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-148
            virginia newborn photographer
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-157
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-158
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-160
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-163
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-167
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-174
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-177
            virginia newborn photographer
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-182
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-186
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-197
            virginia newborn photographer
            fredericksburg-va-newborn-photos-breen-192

            Are you getting married soon or expecting a new baby? I’d love to work with you.  Contact me now to see if your date is available!

            Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterestBook Your Session