Zoo Themed Newborn Session | Baby Photographers DC

Living near the National Zoo in Washington DC meant having a zoo themed nursery was a given for this mom. But I love how she took what can be an over the top theme and turned it into something elegant and subtle. From the leopard print rug to the pastel animal print on the wall to the potted plant in the corner it screams sophistication!

As one of the baby photographers in DC I see lots of nurseries and you don’t have to have an elaborate theme to make the space feel beautiful while still being comfy. In fact, sometimes the less is more approach works better because on their own babies have a lot of stuff. Take a quick walk around Buy Buy Baby as an expectant parent and you’ll wonder how on Earth something so tiny can require so many things!

When it comes to photographing a baby session in the nursery there is one thing I like to see in the space that really helps it look pulled together!

Artwork On the Walls

This makes a big difference in the nurseries that I photograph. There is something about all blank walls that make things feel unfinished. The good news is that there are tons of easy options in stores like Hobby Lobby, Target, and Homegoods. Or my favorite is ordering something custom from Etsy! Not every wall needs something on it but definitely dress up the space with something fun. Here are a few of my favs :

  • A Mirror – I love a nice mirror over the changing table
  • Framed Print – This can be a fun print that goes with your theme or even a photo from your maternity session
  • Wooden Signs – I LOVE seeing baby’s name above the crib and the wooden name signs are the cutest. You can even paint them to match your nursery colors!
  • Fun decorative element – I have a gold metal wreath hanging on a wall in Grace’s room because it is just pretty 🙂

Baby Photographers DC

Are you having a baby and looking for baby photographers in DC? Awesome! I’m Melissa Arlena a lifestyle newborn photographer in Northern Virginia and DC. Check out my Newborn portfolio to see more of my work and see if I’m just what you are looking for!

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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.

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