you’ll never have this version of them again

And good riddance

to things like tantrums, diapers and Cheerios jammed between the back seats of your car. 

photographer in dc 200
But what about the good stuff? 

The chub on their wrists, the funny things they do, the mess they made that honestly made you chuckle before you realized you would have to clean it up?

photographer in dc 201
dc newborn photographer 003


I’m Mel.

and I’m here to help busy, working parents lean into the brief but beautiful mess of raising our kids.

Instead of disrupting your precious weekend with the kind of photo shoot that requires haircuts, a wardrobe specialist, a sunny day or a long car ride, I’ll join your family at home or wherever life is happening to capture this unique phase of childhood before it makes way for the next.

It’s both a heartbreak and a relief that nothing except our love remains constant as kids grow. Parenting and adulting is hard…  what if we could lean into our shared family joy just a teeeeeensy bit more?  

mel worthington photographer 002
mel worthington photographer 003


Mel is extremely creative and her photos are beautiful and captivating.

Mel captured our most cherished family memories over the years. I have learned so much about photo journalism and the joy in perfectly imperfect portraits!

January G

Let’s play a game…

Let’s play “Four Truths and a Lie”!
Can you find the lie about me in the 5 statements below?

Dance class is how I embrace my inner weird while leaning into joy and liberation. I love movement but you’ll never find me on a treadmill – exercise should feed our spirit!

You found it! Cantaloupe is an insidious fruit that completely ruins fruit salad! 2

Right-o! I earned an MFA in Design from the Dept of Photography and Film at VCU, which is still one of the best public art schools around. I’ll always think of my self as a resident of RVA.

Right again! I was awarded a Professional Fellowship grant by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2006 for a piece from a series I was exhibiting called, “Catch” which explored a very entertaining visual relationship between dating, fly fishing and how we mask to get what we want. It was a huge honor!

I’m not sure I should be proud but its true. When folks talk about red lipstick I’m like, hold up – are we talking coral red, blue red or purple red here? Warm, cool or that all evasive neutral tone? Like a true child of the 80’s I do my best to “collect them all”!

The big reveal

at home newborn photography 003



The story behind it

2. Cantaloupe

Did you guess #2?  Because the truth is that cantaloupe is an insidious fruit that completely ruins fruit salad! 2



The story behind it


candid baby photography northern v



taking family photos should be fun

taking family photos should be fun

mel worthington photographer 400

*watch out – the kids might ask when I’m coming back

it’s going by fast over here…

mel worthington photographer 005
mel worthington photographer 006

Features Q Partners Y

color logo with background (4)
heartful magazine badge heartful magazine spring 2024 yellow
artifact uprising

keepin’ it real

Traditional approaches to family photography take childhood out of the frame: kids are dressed in clothes they would never choose from themselves and are bribed to “behave” while their toys wait in the car for the session to end.

The results make for nice holiday cards but I wonder if, later down the line, we wish we had more photos together of the lives we really lived.  Photos that centered their childhood while keeping our love, presence and guidance in the frame.
This is it, this right now.  I can’t wait to show you how beautiful it is!

We know that this generation will be far more visually literate than any other.  If a picture says a thousand words, what do you want them to know about you, about them and about their early life in your care?


washington dc family photographer 003