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Since I’m doing a bit of a business overhaul at the moment, I decided I would start my blog by introducing myself a little bit more. And since I am a Northern Virginia photographer, I wanted to focus a bit more on that part of my story first. If you want to get to know me on a more personal level, you can read a few facts about me below, head over to my About Me page or join my Facebook group, NOVA Moms: Supportive Parenting & Pregnancy in Fairfax County & Beyond. But first, I want to talk about my background as a Northern Virginia photographer and how I came to specialize in maternity sessions.
Just a bit of a back story, my photography experience dates back to my high school days in the early 2000s (yep that makes me feel old). Photography was one of my favorite classes, and I absolutely loved spending time in the darkroom. I always said that I wanted my own darkroom when I grew up. But here we are, in a digital world, where my darkroom is my computer. Anyway, there came a time when I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life as I started thinking about college. At the time, journalism ended up winning over photography. I guess I must’ve thought journalism was a better career choice. Who knows.
College sucked the fun out of writing for me, and because of an elective commercial photography class I took during my senior year, I rediscovered what I had kind of given up on four years prior. I learned how to shoot manual on a digital camera for the first time, which thankfully was way easier than film cameras. And my parents bought me my first DSLR as a graduation gift in 2009.
So here I was, newly graduated with a new DSLR and no interest in joining the workforce as a journalist. I ended up being a stay-at-home wife for a while as I worked to improve my photography skills. Funnily enough, one of the first sessions that I did was a maternity session for one of my best friends. At the time, I wasn’t really convinced I could make a living as a photographer so it was just a hobby for many years.
When I got pregnant in 2014 and started looking for my own photographer to capture my journey into motherhood, the itch to pursue photography as a business came back in full force. I was essentially one of the usual mom photographer stories because what mom doesn’t want to be able to take beautiful pictures of their own kid? I learned and I did my research, and I finally decided to officially open up for business when we were living in Germany of all places in 2017.
At the time, I had no desire to really niche down to anything specific. All I knew is that I didn’t want to do weddings or events. Any kind of portrait and I was game for it, and that’s how I ran my business for four years. At the end of 2020 I decided that I wanted to have some Mommy and Me photos done, and I bought matching dresses for myself and my daughter from a company that happens to design and sell maternity dresses. That dress I bought opened a can of worms for me. I bought more and more maternity dresses in 2021, and I was hooked!
Working with pregnant women during their maternity sessions in 2021, I realized just how much joy it brought me. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved working with all of my previous clients. But something about maternity sessions just brought out the fire in me. After my first maternity session using one of my new client closet dresses, I was absolutely beaming! I wanted more. When I really started giving more thought to niching to styled maternity sessions, I was very hesitant. But I was encouraged by colleagues to follow my dream, and I made the decision that 2022 was going to be my year to niche.
I remember what it was like to be pregnant. I know some of you may not agree, but I think a lot of us feel like crap for the majority of pregnancy. But it’s such an amazingly special time in your life, and you should remember it with fondness. Being a Northern Virginia photographer specializing in styled maternity sessions gives me the ability to help you do just that. It’s important to me to help other women like you to look and feel like a million bucks during your maternity session, and I believe that offering gorgeous dresses and including the option to add a professional hair and makeup artist to complete your look does just that.
Besides the fact that it makes me happy, I want your session to make YOU happy! You should feel like the powerhouse that you are growing another human being inside of you! Have you ever really thought about that? You are creating life! It’s one of the most amazing things, and it needs to be celebrated! That’s where I come in. Let me dress you up and make you feel like an absolute goddess in front of my camera. If you’re anything like me, you love to get dolled up for the right occasion, and momma, this is it!
Let me do the prep work and planning for you. I will be there for you 100% along the way, even if it isn’t photography related. I’m more than just a Northern Virginia photographer specializing in maternity sessions, I am a mom! Talk to me! About literally anything. Be comfortable with the idea that I am just another mom you’re chatting with about the weird stuff that happens to you when you’re pregnant (because we know a lot of this stuff isn’t talked about enough).
This is what I love to do, and what I’ve chosen to do with my life. I want to empower other women. I want to help other women see their own beauty. Because you deserve it!
So there’s some of my story about how I became a Northern Virginia photographer and why I decided to specialize in styled maternity sessions. Read on for a few interesting facts about me!
Yep, you read that right. My mom is the first and only person in her family to become an American citizen after moving away from Germany. My parents met in Germany because my dad was stationed there with the Army. I was born in Nürnberg, and we stayed in Germany until shortly after I turned 7 when we moved to Manassas. My sister and I would go visit every other summer and stay with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
I took German through middle school and high school so that I wouldn’t forget it and also to improve it because my German was that of a 7-year-old. I got a lot of crap from people about just wanting an easy A, but I was honestly worried about forgetting it. The first time we went back to visit, I was trying to tell my family about the summer reading program and couldn’t remember the word for something. I started crying and decided right then and there that I was NOT going to forget.
Emma is also learning how to speak German. She had the opportunity to go to a German Kindergarten (preschool) while we were stationed there and soaked it up like a sponge. We did the Muzzy language program together when I homeschooled her for Kindergarten, and she’s now in a German immersion program. It makes me happy to hear her speak German.
I love love love to read! Although I enjoyed reading as a kid, it wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I really started reading like a mad woman. I think my nose was always in a book for a few years. That was before we had our daughter, which explains why I had so much free time to read. My reading definitely slowed down A LOT after Emma was born, but I still try to get a little bit of reading in every day.
It helps that Emma is a bookworm too, and now that she’s in school, I use my 30 minutes sitting in the school parking lot before pickup to have some “forced” quiet time to read. She also spends a lot of her quiet time at home sitting on the couch and reading, so we’ve started reading our own books together. We also still read aloud together most nights before bedtime because there are so many great books that I want to share with her and read again myself.
Even though I’m an adult, I love the YA genre. Fantasy and sci-fi are my jam. I have started branching out more and hope to continue doing that, but I still stand by loving YA lol. I actually started a group on Facebook for moms in Northern Virginia that love to read, which is helping me find great new titles to add to my “to be read” list. If this resonates with you, come join my group Bookish Moms of Northern Virginia.
My husband and I actually met in elementary school. Sometimes when we interact you can tell that we’ve known each other so long lol. We frequently find ourselves thinking the same thing in certain situations. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve known each other for over 20 years.
Even though we met in our early double digits (exactly when we met is always up for debate because we disagree on that small detail), we didn’t start dating until junior year o
f high school. We were good friends for years and dated each others’ friends along the way. It’s really pretty funny to share so much history with him.
When he joined the Air Force, we had been dating for 2 years. His first duty station was in Alaska, at which point we decided to get married. We were both babies at only 20, but being on opposite coasts seemed unbearable back then. We’ve been through a lot since then, to include him going to South Korea for a year without us, but I wouldn’t change a thing about our journey.
Like I mentioned above, I’ve known my husband for decades now, and he joined the Air Force in 2006. After 16 years in the Air Force, we are now a Space Force family! I think that’s pretty cool. It’s still such a new baby branch of the military, and he is doing some really cool stuff (according to him, since I don’t have the security clearance or “need-to-know” to know about anything he does haha). Hopefully this new venture into the Space Force will keep us in Northern Virginia until he retires.
If you’re interested in checking out more of who I am and what I do, check out the links below:
For maternity blog content, check out these posts:
As a Northern VA maternity photographer and mom, I felt there was a need for a safe, supportive, and drama free space for moms and moms-to-be to come together and support one another through the crazy lives we live as moms. Come join us and chat all things motherhood, pregnancy, and more!