Maryland Adoption Ceremony | Lydia Grace Alejandra

It happens in a moment–on a muggy, ordinary Monday afternoon–a life is changed forever. A child gets a family and a name.

I have photographed a number of incredible events and touching moments during the many weddings and portraits I’ve covered, but I must argue that this adoption ceremony may be one of the most beautiful events I’ve ever documented. With adoption, there is an outpouring of love that’s unlike anything else. It’s not a two-way promise or pledge…no conditions…just acceptance. Unearned, unconditional love.

The adoption ceremony is really the beginning of a lifetime with a family. I was so honored to be a part of Lydia’s first day with her parents and siblings and a whole extended group of family and friends. It was clear she had already tasted of love by the sweet care her foster mother had given her, and it was a joy to see a family of four become a family of five in the blink of an eye.

Here is the story of her first moments with her family.

Laya Aaron - What a beautiful experience to capture. Well done, Mary!

Lindsay (Young Married Mom) - Tearing up. Thank you for sharing this!

Erin - Tearing up as well. So beautiful!

Mae - What a beautiful day! I felt as if I was there with such great pics of the journey. Blessings to you & your beautiful family! Liam & Lilly were so cute!

Beth - Truly beautiful, Mary.

Beverly - Breathtaking photos. Thank you so much for sharing the story of the day! Sooooooo precious. Tissues please. ;) Precious family of 5. So happy for you.

Jeana & Paul Kelly - Your Mom & Dad would be proud!!

Caroline Sasnett - Beautiful! Everything about this is beautiful.

emmy bonja - These are gorgeous pictures and brought tears to my eyes. I especially like the ones that show Paul’s face as he watched Jennilee with Lydia! You all look so happy, and Lydia is a blessed girl indeed.

Rebecca (Mooney) Polok - What a fantastic story these pictures tell! I was moved to tears!

Ardell Fleeson - These are lovely. I am sitting here at my desk bawling and squalling. Becky Fleeson, my daughter-in-law, sent me these as we are soon to celebrate my special birthday, when my parents brougt me home from the adoption agency — in 1952!

We adopted children are blessed, blessed beyond measure.

God is good!

Congratulations on your lovely little family,

becky fleeson - These are amazing. I love the photo of Liam kissing Jennilee and Lilly studying Lydia. What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing the photos!

Liz - Amazing!! Mary, you have an incredible gift for capturing precious moments! :)

joey - WOW! Great moments Mary!!!

Milla - Oh Mary! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes… what an AMAZING opportunity and beautiful picture of adoption! You documented it so well.

Fairfax Newborn Photography | Baby Ben

Goodbye winter and hello spring. Finally! It’s been a busy past couple of months, though things have been sparse here on the blog. I’ll share more about my trip to Texas in a bit, but first I wanted to jump into spring with this sweet newborn session of baby Ben. What can I say? Newborns are cute in their tiny-fingers-and-toes way. And Ben is definitely one of those cuties with adoring parents and a very excited (doggy) sister.

Being a mom has definitely changed my perspective on newborn and baby sessions…I now know first-hand the crazy excitement/exhaustion/wonder/amazement/ that comes with being a new parent. Those first few weeks are especially an amazing time of adjustment–and yet they’re incredibly special, too. I was honored to photograph Ben and his proud parents (and of course Shelby the pup, too) during this wonderful time.

Here are a few favorites from their session.

Abbey - Haha! Yes Nancy – photographic evidence of Dan’s existence! You have a great daughter-in-law – she really worked her magic and created some great moments :)

Nancy - Wonderful!! Finally I get to see that Dan really does exist. Ben is adorable and the photos with Shelby foreshadow a great friendship in the future.

Hotel Le Meridien Wedding | Erin and Joe

As I edited the photos from Erin and Joe’s wedding in the last few weeks, I found myself smiling at my computer screen…a lot. It’s easy to see why, too. Erin and Joe’s wedding day was truly filled with joy–and no cold, wintry weather could take that away.

Surrounded by family and friends at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in DC, Erin and Joe exchanged vows and later celebrated at the snazzy Hotel Le Meridien in Arlington, VA. Their genuine love and affection is contagious, and all who call them friends are blessed. I so enjoyed capturing the joy of their day.

A big congratulations to Erin and Joe. Here are just a few of my favorite moments.

Dan Speicher - Beautiful work. Love that first shot!

Cours Dessin - Wonderful serie! well done.