2019 Year in Review | Lifestyle Newborn Sessions Northern Virginia

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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    Miami newborn photographer

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    I'm Melissa! Luxury maternity and lifestyle newborn photographer in Charlottesville, sail boater, lover of Lilly Pulitzer, and obsessed with true crime and interior design. I'm so glad you found me!


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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.



    Melissa Arlena Photography captures newborns, maternity, and families.

    Charlottesville and richomond, va

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