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2021 Year in Review

As I sat down to write this post I looked back at my 2020 post and thought about how excited we all were to start fresh in 2021. I’d say the year was not as intense as 2020 but it certainly wasn’t the good old days of 2019 lol! We moved at the end of June and I became a Miami Florida Photographer which is definitely a change. I traded rustic fields for beaches and I actually don’t mind that part :). I am not so on board with sweating in December though!

A Tribute

For me the punch to the gut was losing Betty White on NYE. I have been a HUGE Golden Girls fan since middle school when I used to watch reruns while playing hooky “sick” from school. In fact I’m just waiting on my new Florida license plates that say GLDNGRL. I couldn’t get it with an S, it was already taken lol! I even announced our move to Miami using the song Dorothy and Rose sing about Miami on the show!

My husband broke the news to me, knowing my love of Betty and the other girls he told me I needed to sit down that he had really bad news. I totally didn’t believe him till I picked up my phone & my best friend had texted me to tell me. Some very unladylike words came out of my mouth and then I cried. Yes, I cried.

I’m so happy she lived a beautiful life that touched so many people and she passed peacefully. She is now in the arms of the husband she loved till the day she died and like the memes that were being shared on my newsfeed she was welcomed back into the arms of the girls ????️. I celebrated her life with a slice of cheesecake and I plan to join the movement to donate $5 to a local no kill animal shelter in Betty’s name on her birthday January 17th, I hope you’ll do the same!

Now let’s look at pretty pictures of adorable babies and wonder which of them will be the next legend that everyone loves!

 Miami Florida Photographer
Look it’s me in action! Credit for this shot goes to the dad of that gorgeous baby!

Miami Newborn Photographer

Despite picking up and moving my business to a completely new state (hello Miami Florida photographer now!) and starting from scratch I still had 12 newborn sessions this year!

Coral Gables Newborn Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
Hollywood florida newborn photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
miami newborn photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Newborn Photographer
 Miami Florida newborn Photographer
vanlandingham newborn 128

Miami Maternity Photographer

Plus I photographed 8 gorgeous new mama’s to be at their maternity sessions! These ranged from outdoor winter to Florida summer and even a new favorite at a client’s home!!

 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer

Miami Family Photographer

Not to mention I got to see so many past clients for family sessions before I left Virginia! I can’t believe how big all these babies have gotten!

miami family photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
 Miami Florida Photographer
allen family field photos 114
allen family field photos 163 Edit
hur baby tysons corner family photographer 179
hur family spring session 171

Miami Mini Sessions

Plus I hosted mini sessions just so I could get everyone in before we moved! It was a crazy June for me lol!

south florida family photos
I photographed their wedding several years ago and now look at all those boys!!!
AP 2982
Another past wedding client, then maternity, then newborn with that little dude and now annual family photos!
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Photographed that little guy when he was born too!
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Past wedding client turned newborn and turned annual family photos!
carrillo spring mini 113
I met these guys when that little one was born and I’ve gotten to see them several times over the last year for photos!
longwell family mini 117
Another past wedding client turned newborn and this year family photos!
maxwell family mini 109
Newborn client turned family client!
thorsted family mini 120

Cherry Blossom Minis

Last but certainly not least I had the best turnout ever for Cherry Blossom minis in the Spring and I’m obsessed with the gorgeous colors of the blossoms! I’m thinking about a return trip to VA this year to host another round! Join my email list to get the details!

Bernfeld family cherry blossom minis 127
fulcher family cherry blossom minis 112
Genovese family cherry blossom minis 112
Granlund family cherry blossom minis 112
Greer family cherry blossom minis 100
hoffman family cherry blossom minis 118
LaBrot family cherry blossom minis 104
Lee family cherry blossom minis 102
McClave family cherry blossom minis 114
vitale family cherry blossom minis 128
Wang family cherry blossom minis 105

Hi there and thank you for stopping by! I’m Melissa, owner of Melissa Arlena Photography, a Charlottesville photographer specializing in young and growing families in the Richmond & Charlottesville area. If you are interested in talking with me more about booking a family session, let’s connect! Not quite ready, but know you want to keep me in your back pocket? No problem! Follow me on Instagram and let’s be friends!

Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond & Charlottesville Virginia Master newborn & maternity photographer. She offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style. Her clients love that not only do they get digital files from their session but artwork to display in their home. She is happy to design custom wall art galleries to show off your favorite photos! Be sure to check out the Nov 21 issue of Inspired magazine to see a feature on Melissa and her work!

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


Melissa Arlena is an award winning Charlottesville & Richmond VA Master newborn & maternity photographer. She offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style. Her clients love that not only do they get digital files from their session but artwork to display in their home. She is happy to design custom wall art galleries to show off your favorite photos! Be sure to check out the Nov 21 issue of Inspired magazine to see a feature on Melissa and her work!

Melissa serves the Richmond and Charlottesville area including: Short Pump | Crozet | Harrisonburg | Staunton | Lynchburg | Palmyra | Fredericksburg | Culpeper | Waynesboro

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    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.

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