5+ years
the bigs

Family photographer in northern virginia


Get ready for adventure

The kids are growing and gaining independence with each passing day.  Which means there’s more to explore and experience together downtown or in the burbs of Northern Virginia! 

Grown ups are encouraged to let their inner child out to play !!!

What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekend?  

“Take family photos!”, says no one. What if taking pictures didn’t take any time but gave it back? What if you didn’t have to plan outfits or get ready, what if you just did what you were going to and I tag along with a camera?

I’m guessing their smiles would be genuine and the memories made would be real. You might even use our shoot as a reason to do something you’ve really wanted to do.

We don’t have to go far or make big plans. We just need to create space for your family to slow down and spend time doing what you love most right now.

Can I give you a pass for a fun day?

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Home is an adventure too!

We can go on a bike ride, plant vegetables in the garden or set up a sprinkler – nothing says we have to go far or do something outside the ordinary.


Fresh 48 Sessions are also available!


Wanna swap home for the hospital? No problem, I’m happy to meet you for a brief session in those early hours!

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Working with Mel was the easiest process! 

Mel helped my youngest daughter become more comfortable by being silly and telling jokes to her. Mel is fabulous at connecting with a wide age range of children….Our time together flew by!

– Liz W


I’m Mel.

And I know how you feel.


I’ve got you! s

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The session fee to book is $350 and packages with files begin at $499.

Once your proofs are returned to you, select from one of the following package offerings to receive high-resolution files and print products

Package #1

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Perfect for the family that wants to start living with artwork at home and in the office.

Image files

All the high resolution files


A 40 page 7×7 linen bound album

Wall Art

A wall installation for your home, designed to change as they do. Choose from 1 of 4 options

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Desk displays

2 desk displays, each with 12 archival prints to rotate

Package #2

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Perfect for families who want to create their own displays.

Image files

All the high-resolution files


A 30-page 7×7 linen-bound album

Package #3

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Perfect for the family that just needs a handful of awesome to keep and to share.

Image files

15 of your favorite high-resolution files

Things that don’t need to be perfect to capture beautiful family memories

1. Your home.  This is your safe space and sanctuary so it’s the perfect setting.  I promise not to focus on dust bunnies, bathrooms, or dishes and we can move things around or shove stuff into a closet if we need to:  trust me when I say there’s no judgment from me! (Wanna see my house? LOL4)

2. The weather!  Rain or shine, window light is all we need.

3. Your outfits.  This is your real and amazing family, not a Kardashian Christmas shoot!

Looking for advice on how to dress for the occasion?

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Once you invest in your first shoot, I will offer a membership that makes planning your next sessions more accessible and exciting! Take the first step for details. I offer payment plans and my services can be added to your shower registry as a trusted babycito provider!

As your children grow up they will gain their own lives and interests: school, sports, and other activities will make “downtime” as a family harder to create. I hope I’ll see you at least once a year as the kids get big but here’s my pro tip: if you need to use “family photos” as a vehicle for creating more adventure or togetherness, let’s do just that.

Not at all! It could be as simple and special as decorating your Christmas tree or learning to ride a bike in the cul de sac. You can also use our shoot as an opportunity to try something new like camping in the backyard or attending the kite festival on the National Mall. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure about ideas, I can help design something that feels approachable and enjoyable for everyone.

Because we work within the context of your lived life, we’ll intuitively include all family members of all abilities. Just tell me what you need so that everyone can participate fully and enjoy themselves entirely.

I know some amazing family photographers who do this very thing waaaay better than I can so I will refer you to someone great.

I know that documentary style family photos aren’t going to be for everyone – but I really do love surprising you. You have no idea how photo-worthy your everyday life is right now or the power these photos will have as you parent and as they grow. I hope you’ll take a chance.

If you’re not there yet, follow me on IG (@melzwphotog). Even if you never hire me, I’m always sharing things to make modern parenting better. P.S. – No one has a designer house and if you have laundry somewhere on your floor right now, you are one of us!

Mel Worthington’s gift is different.

She sees. She feels. She captures elements that you did not even realize were there in the frame when the photo was taken. The real-life moments that we would have missed had (she) not been there. The results were stunning in their beauty, but also in their accuracy about who we *really* are as a family.

Emy T.

keep childhood in the picture


When all is said and done and the children are grown and living their own adult lives, we might look back wistfully upon our own youth and theirs. But its not the youth we’ll miss.

We will miss the small versions of them not because we want to go back to the hard work of raising them but because our lives were intertwined once.

We’ll want a window into that life together. Not because we want it back, because we want to know it happened and that it was good and we were present to it.

And they’ll want a window into that too. We take a lot of pictures with our phones but we’re absent from that capture. Worse, we disconnect from what’s happening by choosing to operate a camera. We can only be on one side of the lens.

Let me take on that burden and responsibility. Be in this life while its exists. Experience things together, make memories, feel it all. Just reach out now, I’ve got you.


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