Twins are so much fun! These boys were no exception. I had a blast photographing this sweet family. I’ve always thought that it would be great to have twins. And if they were anything like these two, I’d be blessed. They were so relaxed and comfortable with me being there. I think they liked my tripod more than they liked me, but I’ll take what I can get…:) “D” family, it was such a pleasure meeting you guys. I will see you soon for your session premiere. Enjoy our sneak peek!



“E” Family sneak peek. What a great family. Full of energy and love. This mom and dad know how to work together as a team which was actually one of my favorite things to watch during this session. With a one, a three and a five year old, I’m sure you need that. And these two definitely have it. These boys made us work for our pictures. But I think we still got some cute ones. They were super sweet and were excited to get out and run a little despite the cold…ah to be that young again. “E” family , it was so great meeting you. I hope you enjoy your sneak peek! See you soon for your premiere night!



It’s that time of year…time to decorate the house and put up the tree. It’s no secret that I love taking photos. But what I love more than taking photos, is taking holiday photos. It’s such an awesome time of year. Everyone is excited and it makes for some great photos. And how about the magic of the holidays. For me the magic is illuminated in those little twinkling lights on my tree. But the big question I often hear is how do you take the photos of the lights on the tree? Here’s a quick guide to how I take these photos.

1. TURN OFF YOUR FLASH! This is very important. We are going to be shooting without it!

2. Turn down the lights and don’t use any overhead lights

3. Set your ISO low to avoid any graniness in your image

4. Set your aperture high F/11-F/16 (play around with wih this to find the style you like0

5. Choose a slow shutter speed (2 seconds works well for me)

6. Use your tripod and your timer to prevent camera shake (Camera shake happens at slow shutter speeds and ceates a motion blur you do not want)

7. Set the camera on our timer and click the shutter.

*If you don’t have a tripod, you can use a book or table to stabilize the camera.


Here’s an example:


But don’t stop here. Get creative. Here’s an example of a photo I took with a low aperture. This is called shooting wide open. I focussed on the foreground to make sure that my background (the tree) was nice and blurred. Photographers call this yummy blur Bokeh. I love the way the tree looks this way.  The settings for this photo were

ISO 100

Aperture 4.0 (If you can shoot wider, go for it but for the purposes of this tutorial I am sticking with a more standard aperture)

Shutter Speed: Half a Second


How about family photos in front of the tree? 

Have fun with this! This is your family and you are one of a kind. Let that shine through in your photos. Maybe dress the family in pajamas or if you are doing a Christmas thank you card, let the kids pose with their favorite gifts from Santa.

Consider what you wear. Don’t blend into the tree. Wear pale or bold colors to pop. My clients know that I advise against match matchy. You are all individuals, stand out, don’t blend into the background.  Choose a color and coordinate everyone’s clothing around it. Make sure to break up similar or same colors like I did here.


If you want a more artsy look, put your family 5-6 feet infront of the tree and focus on them so that the tree is blurry and the lights make the shape of the tree. It’s super fun.

Survival Tips (Based on experience, trust me) 🙂

1. Set up your scene and camera before you introduce kids, pets and husbands into the mix

2. Use your timer so that you avoid camera shake and so that you get in the picture

3. Practice

4. Have fun!


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A little change of pace from the usual. My awesome family – to be loves Halloween! Every year my fiance Clint and I, Clint’s aunt and uncle and his mom and stepdad decorate my future mother and father in law’s backyard with a fun theme and watch scary movies while enjoying the fire and some yummy food and drink. The best part of it all is getting together a few weeks before to decorate. We go all out! This year I was a bit busy and didn’t get a chance to decorate with them. That definitely made me sad. But they did such a great job I had to show it off here!  This year’s theme was the graveyard! Great job guys. Love you!

The scary movie we watched was “Exit Humanity“. Actually surprisingly a no name movie that was very good. It was a zombie movie and followed the experiences of a confederate soldier. – So that’s why the guy at the end is dressed like that…:) My future mother in law created him and also found the movie.

Clint also did a great job carving our first pumpkin of the season. More of that to come!

Clint’s uncle Joe made the best tasing witch fingers I’ve ever had (chocolate covered pretzel rods)

And as always, Clint’s aunt Maria (The Sign Lady) did an awesome job with the annual banner. If you need any kind of banners, signs or lettering on your car, truck or boat, she is your lady. Check her out here.

It was a great night and the best part was that Clint’s stepdad was back with us after spending more than 3 months in the hospital. He did tell us he’d be home in time for our movie night. And he was right!

Gather your spouse, your little ones and your fur babies and schedule your holiday mini session today! With less than 90 days until the holiday season, the time is now to:

  • Get your beautiful family professionally photographed

  • Design the best card on the mantle this year

  • Find the perfect gift for the grandparents

Melissa makes it easy! We have limited bookings still available. Don’t wait! Book today!

Prints, products and digital collections sold separately.

**Holiday order deadline is November 30th.

Check out our custom holiday cards for 2013!

Please note, Melissa Grace Photography will be closed during the month of December.

Sitting here getting ready for a three day weekend and I just had to share this fun session. This sweet little girl wasn’t too excited about getting her photo taken. She preferred running the yard instead. Mom was a little worried that we wouldn’t get a few good shots. But I think we nailed it. My favorite shot is the first one. She was having so much fun with her parent…AND her parents were having so much fun too. Experiencing that love and happiness is one of the best parts of my job.

“O” family thank you for welcoming me into your home. I hope you love your sneak peek!

Enjoy your long weekend!




How cute is this family? What a fun family session this evening!


I had such a wonderful session with this family. I was on my way out of town but luckily I was able to get these photos in. I was so excited to meet them and I was in no way disappointed. From the moment I met them, they welcomed me and made me feel like I’d known them forever. I absolutely adored watching the kids play together. They’ve lived in Baltimore for less than a year but I can definitely say we are very lucky to have them here! The pictures will show you that they are a beautiful family. But from experience, I can tell you that they are just as pretty on the inside as they are on the out.

“B” family, thank you for inviting me to your home. It was wonderful to meet you. I hope you enjoy your sneak peek!



In December 2011 I was contacted by a soldier serving halfway across the world. She wanted to give a gift of a photo session to a fellow soldier that she had served with in Afghanistan. She even wrote the beautiful poignant words below to include with the gift. Fast forward to 2013, this soldier is finally home with his son. We got some awesome shots of these two playing together. My favorites are a toss up between the smiley shot at the fountain and the hide and seek photo. Is there anything that describes the innocence of childhood better than a photo of hide and seek? This little boy is adorable and one thing is for certain, he’s excited to have his dad home.

Elwood it was so great to meet you and your sweet son.

Elwood  and Lisa (wherever you are serving today) I hope that you love the sneak peek.



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