Another High School Senior Portrait: A Senior I have watched grow up…


I always enjoy sharing pictures of high school seniors that I have photographed throughout the years and now am doing their high school senior portrait. Thanks to Kyle’s mom who scanned in these toddler pictures of him (yes, this was BEFORE I went digital!) I can compare this pensive toddler with the big blue eyes and precious dimple with the handsome young adult (who still has those eyes and that dimple!)


Kyle’s mom and I met in a playgroup and exercised with Jan Crerie of BodyGrace Fitness  while our kids played together in the nursery.  We lived in separate towns and our children did not grow up as friends but we get together to discuss our parallel lives and anguish about the time passing so quickly as they grow up and leave the next.

I’ve loved hearing about Kyle and all his accomplishments as he has grown, from swimming and diving to being an accomplished violinist. I had the added bonus of listening to Kyle perform live on the Vienna Town Green as I photographed him with his instrument.


Good luck with all you do Kyle. And good luck to his mom in watching him move on to greater experiences!


Refresh Those Headshots!

It’s time isn’t it?

headshots Melissa Maillett Photography

Does that profile image on your LinkedIn Page really still look like you?

Or that realtor image that shows up in all your marketing materials. Would your clients recognize you, or was that three hairstyles ago? If that’s the case it’s time to update your headshots.

Remember the saying “a picture Is worth A thousand words” – overused, but there’s a reason people say it. Your image often precedes an in-person interaction or a phone call discussion with a potential client or employer.

Don’t worry.  Headshots are not the stiff and fake/posey style they used to be. They can actually be fun now and, more importantly, reflect your personality.

A good set of headshots and portraits can help advance your career or create your personal brand.

When I shoot headshots I spend time discussing the type of image you hope to present. We determine whether the simple, plain background will work or you want an “environmental” or “Lifestyle” image. That depends on you and your needs. For more information on the different type of headshots click here. No matter what type of session, we will discuss preparation, outfits, makeup and grooming and even lighting and location.

I would love to help you present your best image, contact me for more information and schedule your session today!




Special Times Captured in Family Portraits

Just a few weeks ago, another “mother runner” member of the Oakton/Vienna Moms Run This Town chapter requested a family session. She was concerned it happen in the next week or so because their beloved old family cat had cancer and was not expected to have much time left.

2016-06-28_0001I squeezed in a weekday, midmorning session at their house where her beautiful little girls loved on the cat and we captured some cute shots of the family at play. The children were precious and the session was longer than usual because of all the hugs the girls gave me in between shots.

By the time Celia had a chance to select the images, the cat had passed away – a couple weeks later, this family made a sudden move for a job across the country to Arizona.

2016-06-28_0002I am saddened for the family’s loss of a precious pet, sorry that this family moved away, just when I was getting to know Celia and watching her build up from being a novice runner to a marathoner.

But I’m happy that this family has some images to remind them of their time in Vienna and the girls will remember how much they loved this first pet. I also am hoping that the images will help capture this fleeting special time in their daughters’ childhood.

Don’t wait to schedule your session. You never know what tomorrow may bring.

Senior Girls Rule! Senior Portrait Sessions Continue Despite the Rain

I don’t know what it is, but my senior girls have been toughing out the weather this rainy season.  Despite rain for almost one month straight, we’ve managed to get in most of our senior portrait sessions.


An added bonus to  all this wetness is that it makes for some nicely saturated greenery in the parks and gardens.  If you can catch it when the sun is out (especially in the “golden hour” right before sunset) the grass, leaves, and flowers practically glow with dewiness.  This is such a wonderful time of year to photograph outside. The newness and freshness of the flowers and trees literally shine (as do my soon to be graduating high school seniors).


So, please don’t be afraid of the weather! There’s still time to schedule a senior portrait session – remember, it’s your last chance to urge those high school seniors to have a portrait session before they go off into the big world of college and whatever else lies in store for them.


As the parent of college freshman, I can attest to the fact that they do come home from college vaguely different in a way that may not easy to describe. Each stage in life is important and has value to be captured in photos, but there’s just something about the anticipation of the graduating high schooler….don’t miss out on your opportunity. Contact me at or 703-850-7212 to schedule your portrait session.


What I remember about Mom


As I have a rare moment this Mother’s day morning to sit and peruse my facebook feed, I am happy to see so many posts about and pictures of friends with their mothers – and  I am startled to realize that it’s been 10 years that I haven’t had mine around me. I am startled not because it’s been so empty without her for those years, but because I know she has been with me these 10 years.

For better or for worse, my mother has imprinted into my being and has made me who I am today. Whether it’s that second thought given when I start to throw away a plate of half-eaten food, or my utter repulsion when passing a fast food restaurant, I am the result of her labor  – in more ways than one.

Although I may do some things to prove I am different, from a different generation and have a mind of my own, when my husband tells me I’m just like my mother, I don’t always take it as an insult.

I chose for this Mothers Day to dwell on what I remember about my mother versus how much I miss her.


This is what comes to mind:

Clean houses are overrated. Especially if it takes time to away from doing something more fun with your kids, like collecting shells at the beach and painting them on the patio, decorating Ukranian Easter Eggs, teaching them how to hook a rug or hand-sew bedspreads for dollhouses.

Handknit sweaters and mittens and socks are cozier than store-bought. But when it comes to down jackets and prom dresses, maybe it’s better to go to the store.

There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh-brewed coffee in the morning.

Meat “continues to cook after you take it away from the heat”

A few pieces of classic jewelry is more classy than revolving costume jewelry and more opulent items. I think she wore her little gold hoop earrings for over 60 years.

Always know where your food comes from. As one of the first natural or co-op food consumers, I remember flexing my muscles as I stirred the stiff, natural peanut butter on rock-hard whole wheat bread, while sneaking Fritos and bologna sandwiches on white bread at my friends’ houses.

Too much screen time is not healthy.  My brother and I were deprived of many of the 70s TV shows and limited to ONE show a week! And you can always tell if your kids were watching TV while you’re gone by putting your hand on the back of the TV to see if it is hot.

Hiking and getting outdoors is good for the spirit and the body. She gave me my first pair of hiking boots and I never went back to spending Sundays on the couch.

Even if you don’t believe in a specific God (or any God) you should still live by the golden rule of treating others as you wish to be treated. It’s that simple.

Always have at least one pet in the house.

You don’t need to go for the highest salary or job to be happy. Simply choose to want less and value your time not your money.

Most items of clothing, if you hold on to them long enough – will come back in style. And if it is LL Bean or Brooks Brothers purchased in the 60s or 70s, may have some “vintage” value and coveted by the younger generations.

Find a creative outlet (or many). For mom it was sewing, knitting, weaving, quilting, hand-dying fabric, spinning, beading…the list goes on and on. I guess for me it’s photography – although I still hopefully hold on to her looms, knitting needles, sewing machines and spinning wheels (yes, multiple ones) I still go for the camera.

A cancer diagnosis does not mean you should stop living. Try to enjoy and value every day you have. My kids were shocked to learn that their grandma had cancer for most of the time they knew her.  They remember instead the blueberries they picked, the picnics they went on, the beaches they walked, the games they played, the reading of books….and the unboundless love.

And that’s what I remember as well.  I love you Mom.