Best Locations for Family Photoshoot near McLean, VA

December 29, 2022

There are a number of great locations in and around McLean, Virginia that could be suitable for a family photoshoot. Some ideas might include:

  1. Great Falls National Park: This beautiful park is located just a few miles from McLean and offers a variety of stunning backdrops for family photos, including cascading waterfalls, rocky cliffs, and lush forests.

  2. Tysons Corner: This bustling commercial district is known for its modern architecture and vibrant atmosphere, making it a great location for family photos with a more urban feel.

  3. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens: Located in nearby Vienna, Virginia, these beautifully landscaped gardens offer a variety of serene and natural settings for family photos, including meadows, forests, and formal gardens.

  4. Old Town Alexandria: This historic neighborhood just outside of Washington, D.C. is known for its charming cobblestone streets and colorful colonial-style houses, making it a great location for family photos with a vintage feel.

  5. Riverbend Park: Located along the Potomac River in Fairfax County, this park offers a variety of outdoor settings for family photos, including wetlands, meadows, and forests.

  6. Scott's Run Nature Preserve: This is a gem of a park. It's just southeast of Great Falls Park with trails leading to the water. 

  7. McLean Central Park: The park offers a variety of outdoor settings that could be suitable for family photos, including open grassy areas, trees and wooded areas, and paved walkways. The park also has a number of amenities such as gazebo and bridge which could provide additional, interesting backgrounds and compositions.

  8. Lake Fairfax Park in Reston VA: It is a popular location for family pictures due to its natural beauty and various scenic areas. The park features a 40-acre lake, a carousel, a water park and a number of walking trails, which provide a range of backgrounds and settings for family photos.

These are just a few ideas, and there are many other locations in and around McLean that could also be suitable for a family photoshoot. Ultimately, the best location will depend on the preferences and style of the family, as well as the time of year and the weather.


5 reasons why you should hire a proffesional newborn photographer

December 27, 2022

There are several reasons why you might consider hiring a newborn photographer.

1. Professional equipment and expertise: Newborn photographers have the right equipment and expertise to safely and creatively photograph newborns.They know how to handle and pose newborns in a way that is safe and comfortable for the baby, and they have the technical skills to capture beautiful and   flattering images.

2. Convenience: Hiring a newborn photographer can be a convenient way to capture beautiful photos of your newborn without having to worry about setting up your own equipment and trying to take the photos yourself. This can be especially helpful if you are feeling overwhelmed or tired in the early days of parenthood.

3. Customized photo sessions: Most newborn photographers offer customized photo sessions, which means you can choose the location, props, and other details of your session to suit your preferences and style. This can be a great way to create truly unique and personalized images of your newborn.

4. Keepsake photos: The photos taken by a newborn photographer can serve as a beautiful and enduring keepsake of this special time in your life. These images will be something you can look back on with fondness and nostalgia for years to come, and they will be a treasured part of your family's history.

5. Safety: A professional newborn photographer will be trained in handling newborns safely and will take all necessary precautions to ensure the well-being of your baby during the photo session.

Overall, hiring a newborn photographer can be a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of your new baby and capture memories that you can look back on for years to come.


Newborn Session Guide/Preparation

December 15, 2022

When should I call to schedule my Newborn session?

 A few months before your baby is born! It is so important to plan ahead. Capturing your newborn within the first two weeks of life, while they are still sleepy and curled up, can make all the difference in your newborn portraits. Since we never really know when your little one will arrive, I will pencil you in on my calendar to hold a spot for you. When your baby is born I will move your appointment accordingly.If your baby came early or if your baby is already born, no worries! I always do my best to squeeze newborns into my schedule.

When is the best time to photograph my Newborn?

Newborns are best photographed within the first 2 weeks (ideally 7-10 days) of life, when they are still sleepy and can be curled up into the beautiful poses that are so well known for. 

What should Baby wear? 

 I love to photograph newborns swaddled in wraps and snuggled up tight in buckets and baskets. I also have a beautiful collection of newborn hats, wraps, bows and headbands and cute clothing that coordinate beautifully with the blankets and props that I will use to style your images.

Lovely Light/Only In home Sessions

I ask that you open all of the blinds and curtains in your home prior to my arrival. This enables me to find the best source of natural light in your home, so that I can set up my “mini studio” in the best possible location. Nothing flatters like natural light, so I prefer to use it whenever possible. Go ahead and turn off all the lights and lamps in the rooms as well. It might seem dark but my camera can do magical things that the light will ruin later on! For this reason, sessions are normally done mid-morning to late-afternoon when window lighting is as its best. When I arrive, I’ll walk through your home looking for the best light and that is where I’ll do a majority of the shoot. I’ll also bring additional lighting equipment to help out when needed.


Most of the images I’ll be shooting work best if the baby is in a deep sleep. To encourage this, I recommend that you do whatever it takes to make sure baby is pretty exhausted. Warm bath, some massage and tickles might do the trick! Please, do your best to keep your little one awake for at least 1 hour before the photoshoot. I think it will be worth it in the end!


A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session/30 min after the arrival to ensure a happy, sleepy (“milk drunk”) baby. I’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a model!


I recommend that you keep your home a bit warmer than normal during the session. Please turn the heat up 30 min before our session to ensure that it’s warm enough.(Like a toasty 80 degrees or so.) I do the same if the session is at my studio.
Newborns are used to being all bundled up,warm and cozy…and then I come in and take off all their clothes for those adorable naked baby shots. They tend not to like that too much! Pushing up the thermostat is guaranteed to make the session flow more smoothly and help them sleep better. We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters! I also use a space heater to help keep baby in a steady warmth if it’s needed. 

Loosen up
Please loosen your baby’s diaper and clothing at least 30 minutes before the session. This gives those little imprint marks time to disappear. (You baby will be naked with no diaper on in most of the shots, but I pose them so that all the “important parts” are not on display.)

Volume control

Please do whatever you can to keep the noise level to a minimum during the session. If you have other children that might create noise, try to find a sitter or family member to take them away from the home for a few hours. If you have a noisy pet, you may want to do the same. I have a white noise machine, but it doesn’t always block out all the noises.
If you have children and would like them to be included in some photos, I will be taking those shots first since older sibling (especially toddlers) don’t have that much of a patience to wait till the end of the session. Only those being photographed should be present to help maintain a calm environment.

Patience is key
Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something I can predict!  I take the baby’s lead ! Getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. In fact, I’d say that a good 50% of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t happen, within the time frame that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.

Poop happens
Please don’t panic if your baby decides to use my blankets (or me) as his/her own personal potty.This is natural and I expect it! Please don’t feel embarrassed or worry when this happens, because they all do it. I wash all of the baby props and blankets between each session with unscented baby detergent. (This is why I only schedule one newborn session per day!) 
I have a stack of towels, extra wipes and blankets available for when things get messy.

I’m pretty comfortable holding and posing newborns. Your baby is in safe hands, I promise! I’m Mommy myself :) Newborn safety and comfort is my number one priority!
So yes! Feel free to rest and leave the room for a bit if you’d like. I’ve had parents who’ve used this time to take a nap and even run out for a quick errand. All totally acceptable to me! Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience…and they aren’t used to the waiting game that is newborn photography.
They see their baby being fussy or having a difficult time getting settled and panic. I promise, I will take good images! Sometimes that best photos happen when baby doesn’t do what I want.
Just remember: Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommy’s!) It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way I’m going to get the shots I’m looking for.


Best time to take Maternity Photos

December 15, 2022

The best time to take maternity photos is typically between weeks 28 and 36 of pregnancy, when the belly is visibly round and the expectant mother is still feeling relatively comfortable. This can vary from person to person, so it's important to discuss timing with the photographer and consider the expectant mother's preferences. Some people prefer to take their maternity photos earlier in the pregnancy, while others prefer to wait until later. Ultimately, the best time to take maternity photos is when the expectant mother feels most comfortable and confident.

Best time to schedule Newborn Photos

December 13, 2022

It's a good idea to schedule newborn photography sessions while you are still pregnant. This will ensure that you have a spot reserved with the photographer of your choice, and you can plan the session for a time that is convenient for you and your partner. Many photographers recommend scheduling the session for when you are between 28-32 weeks pregnant, as this allows for some flexibility in case the baby arrives earlier or later than expected.

Also, the best time to take newborn photos is when the baby is between 7-10 days old. This is because at this age, babies are still very sleepy and are able to be easily positioned into the cute and curly poses that are typical of newborn photography. Additionally, they tend to have that characteristic "newborn" look, with their tiny features and smooth, unblemished skin. After the first two weeks, babies tend to become more alert and less willing to be posed, so it can be more difficult to get the photos you want. Additionally, newborns can sometimes develop baby acne or other skin conditions after the first two weeks, which can affect the appearance of the photos.