Step 1

booking your session


In order to reserve your date, I'll send over an online contract, quote and questionnaire to get to know you better. I only take on 4-6 sessions per month so I have flexibility to be ready when baby decides to come or if we need to reschedule an outdoor maternity session for weather.


Maternity sessions take place on weekday evenings 1-2 hours before sunset. Newborn sessions take place around 10am on weekday mornings.


You'll be able to pay the $300 booking fee* online and that will secure your spot on my calendar.

* Booking fee is not applied to final purchase & does not include any digital files or products. Those are purchased in Step 4 when you choose your collection.

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Alternate Step 1


join the membership


If you are already planning to need more than 1 session like maternity & newborn or even maternity, newborn, 6 month sitter and 1st birthday you definitely want to join my VIP Membership!


You pay $600 to join and get up to 4 sessions over 15 months. (Savings of $500 vs booking individually) Then you will pick a collection for each session after you see your photos. Plus you get bonuses like:


  • $100 off your collection purchase after each session!
  • 25 complimentary birth announcements!
  • PREMIER ACCESS to fall booking calendar!
  • No additional fees for extended family, Saturdays, or peak seasons!
  • No expiration to your online galleries as long as you are an active Club member!
  • VIP invites to my special events (Motherhood Event, Mini Sessions, etc)!
Step 2


planning your session


Now that you're booked it's time to have some fun with planning! I'll send over my Client Dashboard, the Portrait Planning Guide, and my Product & Style Guide. A few days before our actual session I'll send a quick email with tips for preparing baby the day of our session.


These guides will help you plan what to wear and start thinking about how you want to see your images in your home after our session! Feel free to reach out to me at any time if you need extra help or have any questions.


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Step 3

during your session


Now it's time to have fun! I'm going to help you with posing and getting your kiddos to smile. Your job is to relax and go with the flow! My sessions are about capturing your family interacting with each other naturally. All you have to do is play with your baby or kids and spouse, focus on them so I can focus on you!

  • Maternity sessions are usually around 45 min long. I find this is long enough to get plenty of images but not too long where your spouse and the kids aren't having fun anymore.
  • I schedule up to 90 min for a newborn session. This gives us plenty of time for milk top-offs if they are fussy or need extra soothing. I love it when the baby is awake for part of our session so no worries about making the baby sleep the whole time.

Don't worry I won't make you smile in front of my camera that whole time, I'll give you plenty of breaks so everyone, toddlers especially, stay fresh!

Step 4


The fun part!


Don't worry, you don't have to pick a collection until after you see your photos. Two weeks after your session your slideshow will be ready! You'll have 24 hours to view it over and over from the comfort of your home and choose your collection to purchase. No high pressure sales here!


You'll notice each collection includes digital files and a beautiful heirloom product to display your new photos.

The Collections

collection a

- A complete set of high-resolution digital files (60+) with print release

- Downloadable custom slideshow

- 8x8 linen heirloom book with 20 of your favorite images


collection b


- Viewable custom slideshow



collection c

- 15 high resolution digital files with print release

- Viewable custom slideshow

- 5 Gift Prints 8x10 or smaller


Collection pricing is subject to change at any time but will be locked in at booking.

Products cannot be deducted from the collection price.

Q & A

Q: Can I buy just the digitals?

A: I do not offer digital only packages. The collections above are what I offer and they include digital files. If you do not want printed products for yourself I recommend giving them as gifts for family for the holidays!


Q: can we add on wall art to our purchase?

A: Yes of course! I love designing wall art displays for my clients. Just send me a photo of the wall you need artwork for and I can put together some sample designs for you.



A: Yes you can start a payment plan as soon as you book so everything is paid for when your session occurs and you earn bonus products! I do not offer post-session payment plans.


Q: can I upgrade my collection purchase later?

A: Yes you can purchase my bottom collection and if you change your mind you can upgrade it to a higher collection within your gallery!

Step 5



Now comes the fun part, adding on heirloom quality products meant to last for generations. I personally love the print boxes, albums and of course wall art galleries!


Plus you’ll get complimentary wall gallery design services with your session. Just send me photos of 2-3 blank walls in your home and I'll design a gallery for each one.


These are digital so no need to put any holes in the wall until we are happy with the design. The beauty of using your photos is you get to see the photos to scale and exactly what they will look like on your wall.

The Products

Wall galleries


Have an empty space on the wall you want to fill but not sure what size frames to pick or what arrangement? I offer custom design services for my clients at no charge. Send me a photo of your wall and I can show you exactly how your final gallery will look with images from your session.


I offer 7 different collections to choose from. These are made to fit any space and can even be broken up to add art to several walls.


Wall Galleries start at $1500

Layflat albums


These premium albums are printed on high-end matte photo paper with thick, lay-flat pages. Layout and design options are limited only by your imagination and can be further customized with your choice of linen covers and custom foiled letters.


10 spreads (20 pages) are included in the price below. Additional spreads (1 spread = 2 pages) can be added for $50 each.


8x8" / $1200

10x10" / $1400

12x12” / $1600

custom framing


I've tried everything from gallery wraps to acrylic/metal prints but my house is covered in framed prints for a reason. They are super easy to swap out for updated photos! Plus there are so many great frame options now that fit your style and decor. I offer white, gold, silver, and several wood tones since those complement my style of photography best.


Custom Framed Prints start at $255

Hardcover Books


The perfect book for everyday moments like maternity sessions and family portraits. The highest quality press print available lay-flat binding, and linen covers help your stories live on. These lovely lay-flat press printed books are printed with fine art ink printing and available in a variety of linen cover options.


10 spreads (20 pages) are included in the price below. Additional spreads (1 spread = 2 pages) can be added for $20 each.


8x8" / $525

10x10" / $625

matted folio box


If you are anything like me you've saved a few things from those first few months with your baby. Things like their hospital bracelet or their first Easter dress. This box is perfect for keeping those along with a few of your favorite photos from your session. This 8x10 linen box holds 10 matted 5x7 images, I encourage clients to give a few photos to grandparents too!


8x10" / $1000

print boxes


These fabric boxes are carefully handcrafted to the highest standard. Made with high-quality linen, they will maintain their beauty and quality for years to come. Each box includes 4x6 prints of your entire gallery. Available in 8 colors – White, Cream, Oatmeal, Mint, Navy, Heather Gray, Charcoal, and Black. Foil embossing also included.


Glass and gold print boxes are also available. Each box includes 4x6
or 5x7 prints of your entire gallery.


4x6" / $300

5x7" / $350

loose fine art prints


These true fine art prints meet gallery and museum standards for longevity & archival performance. Printed on 100% cotton fine art Museum Etching paper (350gsm). These archival prints feature substantial thickness and weight and gorgeous texture for a tactile feel. Every print is covered by our Lifetime Guarantee from fading or yellowing.


5x7 / $50

8x10 / $110

11x14 / $225

birth announcements


You birthed that beautiful baby and now it's time to share it with the world! Instead of trying to figure out where to order from and how to upload your photos all while cluster feeding that baby let me take care of it for you. You can choose from several designs and a set of 25 will be printed on super fancy thick paper and of course include white envelopes so they are ready to mail.


Pack of 25 5x7 flat double thick cards / $165

your next step


reply back to me to book your session!

Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


Melissa serves Charlottesville, Richmond, Staunton, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, Culpeper, Gordonsville and beyond.



Melissa Arlena Photography captures newborns, maternity, and families.

Charlottesville and richmond, va

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