details & investment


digital files + gorgeous artwork = happy clients

Life’s only going to be this way for so long

Let’s capture it

Time is moving quickly and you’ll never have this moment again. Your baby bump is about to be a real life baby. Your newborn will be walking in a year. Those adorable chubby faces slim down and eventually evolve into these tiny little adults that leave you saying,


“Holy cow! Where did my baby go?”


No crazy props or poses

Natural and joyful photographs

A chance to just be together as a family and have fun

I know that finding the right photographer is hard.

I also know you’ll regret it if you don’t document life’s special moments. Time moves fast. Even faster when you’re pregnant, sleep deprived, or have that newborn fog.


You think you’ll remember each moment, but one memory gets replaced with a new memory day in and day out. If you don’t have visual prompts, you’ll forget the best parts about this season of your life.


Even if your life isn’t Pinterest perfect, I can guarantee you’ll never regret carving out the time to get dressed up, focus on each other without any distractions, and capture these moments.

How it Works


when you inquire about a session here is what will happen...

get all the details


If you've taken a look around and love my photos then let's work together! Just fill out the contact form to get all the information about my collection options and see recent full galleries of my work.


You can choose to book just one session or join my membership and have everything documented from pregnancy to baby's 1st birthday. Most of my clients join the membership to take advantage of the savings. Keep scrolling to learn more!


Planning your session

Once you are booked you'll receive a Getting to Know You questionnaire so I can learn more about you and your family. This will help us plan the perfect session and get all the photos you've dreamed of!


You'll also receive access to my exclusive Client Dashboard with guides for preparing for your Maternity, Newborn or Family session. These include tips on what to wear and suggestions on places to shop!


Day of your session


It's time to relax and have fun! For newborn sessions I typically arrive around 10am on weekday mornings. We will shoot in the nursery and master bedroom but we can also use other areas of your home that have good light. Newborn sessions last anywhere from 45min-1.5 hours.


For maternity and family sessions we can also do these at your home or go to an outdoor location. Outdoor sessions start 1-2 hours before sunset and last 45 min.


Choose your collection

About 2 weeks after your session you'll receive your online slideshow where you can see all your photos from the comfort of your home and then pick your collection. Every collection includes a set amount of digital files plus a complimentary gift credit to get started displaying your favorite photos.


Once you've chosen your collection you'll have access to the gallery to download your favorites and spend your gift credit on gorgeous artwork. You can also share the gallery with friends and family!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Melissa is, hands down, the best photographer we have EVER worked with! She’s captured so many memories for us from our first baby’s maternity and newborn, to our most recent family session - now as a family of 5.

Taylor B • stafford, va

Maternity, Newborn & Family


creative fee is $300



what is included:

  • Maternity sessions are typically 45 minutes, the perfect amount of time to get what we need and not get tired
  • Newborn sessions are up to 1.5 hours, which gives us plenty of time for diaper changes and extra feedings
  • Family sessions are typically 45 minutes; enough time to capture what we need, but not too much that dad gets bored
  • Maternity & Family sessions are typically on location but we can also do an in home lifestyle session
  • Lifestyle Newborn sessions are done in the comfort of your home
  • You’ll have access to my client dashboard to help plan what you’ll wear and start thinking about how you want to display your new favorite photos in your home

In order to create a more personalized experience for my clients, I only accept 4-6 portrait bookings per month. Contact me today to get all the pricing info before you book!

Membership Pricing

You've got so many things on your plate that first year of your baby's life so let me make one thing easy for you! Join my membership and know that you've got a photographer to capture your maternity and newborn photos!

VIP Membership


membership fee is $600

(2-4 sessions included)



collections are purchased separately after each session

what is included:

  • Choice of 2-4 sessions over 15 months with no session fees, perfect for maternity and newborn
  • $100 each collection purchase
  • Everything in the single session column
  • VIP invitation to join my annual Motherhood event with no session fee
  • Complimentary set of 25 Birth Announcements
  • Savings of over $1000 vs booking individual single sessions


In order to create a more personalized experience for my client, I only accept 4-6 portrait bookings per month. Contact me today to get all the pricing info before you book!

Hey, I'm Melissa

My superpower is to freeze time and create memories that you’ll want to relive for years to come.


There’s a love that radiates when I’m taking your photos. I can feel your excitement and happiness when your husband puts his hands on your pregnant belly, when you’re holding your brand new baby, and when you’re hugging your littles...who won’t be that small for much longer.


Let’s slow down time so you can look back and remember how happy you were in that moment.


Why Melissa?


How many people say they’re a professional photographer, but don’t really know what they’re doing? A lot.


I’m an award winning photographer and this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been photographing families for 13 years, and I know you can’t redo these photos or get this moment back.


Here’s my highlight reel so you know you’re in safe hands:


I earned my Master Photographer Certification in Maternity and Newborn Photography with the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP). named me Best Newborn Photographer in Miami, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton.


I was the Featured Artist in the November 2021 issue of Inspired Magazine.


Even if your life isn’t Pinterest perfect, I can guarantee you’ll never regret carving out the time to get dressed up, focus on each other without any distractions, and capture these moments.



Q & A

Q: Have you been vaccinated?

A: Yes I have been vaccinated against COVID19 since March 2021. I also have my TDAP vaccine.


Q: How many images are in the gallery?

A: On average I deliver 50-75 edited images per session via an online digital gallery.


Q: do you offer digital files?

A: Yes! Each collection I offer includes a set number of digital files plus a print credit to also get products like fine art prints, books, albums, and wall art!


Q: What products do you think we should get?

A: I personally have all the digital files, a linen print box with 4x6 prints, wall art, and an album for each of my kid's newborn sessions. We have used all of them at different times and I think every client should get the same!

Q: Do you offer payment plans?

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: Do you offer gift certificates?

A: I do offer gift certificates but they must be for the full amount of my bottom collection and I ask that you be 100% sure the receiver wants my style of newborn photos. I'd hate for them to want posed photos and be disappointed in lifestyle.


Q: When should I book?

A: My schedule books up quickly. I suggest reserving your session date as soon as possible. Maternity sessions occur between 32-36 weeks and newborn sessions take place at 7-14 days. To reserve your preferred dates please book as soon as you know your due date.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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). The photos she took are absolutely perfect and so beautiful.

Victoria W • Alexandria, va

And on those rough days when absolutely nothing seems to be going right, seeing those happy moments on display completely changes my mood.

I know it can do that for you, too. But here’s the problem: you’re never getting this time back.


Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned parent, I want to document this moment for you so you can sit side-by-side on the couch one day, go back to the memory, and relive it together.


When I take your maternity photos, I see how crazy in love you and your husband are. When your baby kicks, I see how excited he is to become a new dad. Oh, and you really are glowing just like everyone says!

When I take your baby’s newborn photos, I know you feel like you still look pregnant and a photoshoot is the last thing you want to do, but your baby is only going to be this tiny for about 10 days. That baby is going to change so much so quickly. By the time you even get the photos delivered, you’ll wonder where your squishy little newborn went.


I don’t think I need to remind you, but I will anyway...this brand new teeny tiny baby will be walking in about a year.


When I take your family photos, I want your husband to leave saying, “That wasn’t bad at all.” And I want to know you’ll have another beautiful piece of art to hang in your home that flows with your style.


That’s why I have a membership option so you can make one decision and be ready to go.


From baby bumps to the cake smash to family photos on the beach, I want to be there.


No stuffy studio sessions. No crazy props or poses. Just joyful, natural, relaxed pictures of you and your family enjoying time together.


If you’re looking for your go-to photographer, contact me and I’ll get you signed up.


your next step


Inquire for availability & detailed pricing

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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