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The Experience

Maternity Photo Session – Maternity Photographer Wilmington NC

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful, special times of your life and capturing these moments is priceless.  Your maternity session will be customized to your style and personality.  Together we will create portraits that are beautiful, intimate and emotional. Maternity portraits are best captured around 32-36 weeks, when your belly is full and round but before you are uncomfortable.

Call to schedule your maternity session as soon as possible.

Mini Maternity vs. Portrait Session

Michelle offers mini maternity sessions for those who would like to capture their pregnancy with beautiful portraits but without the commitment of a full session.  This session is best for those who would rather save the larger investment for a newborn portrait session.

Newborn Photo Session

If you’re a new mom, everyone will tell you how quickly your baby will change. That’s because it’s true! Capturing these first precious days of life is something you will want to remember forever. Michelle will help you seize these moments with newborn photos taken in the comfort of your own home or at her Wilmington, NC studio. These memories are truly priceless, and will be treasured for a lifetime as precious works of art.

Newborn photography is best done in the first 10 days, while babies are sleeping deeply and curling up naturally into those adorable womblike poses. Babies that are a few months old are squirmy and rarely hold still long enough to capture the moment. Not to mention, colic and baby acne can flare up around this time. However, with a newborn, you rarely get that lack of cooperation. Because newborns sleep ninety percent of the time, Michelle has a much easier time posing them and photographing them.

While Michelle likes to keep her newborn sessions as clean and organic as possible, there are many beautiful wraps, headbands and blankets to choose from to compliment your style.

Babies and Families

Where does the time go? Your baby will change so much during that first year. In what seems like the blink of an eye, a tiny helpless bundle is transformed into an active and inquisitive toddler. Baby portrait sessions are a wonderful way to capture your child’s first milestones and blossoming personality. From quirky smiles and giggles to the excitement of sitting, crawling, and… walking!

Our custom portrait sessions are a unique and personalized experience. As a mother of three, Michelle knows the importance of preserving your family’s most precious moments.  Michelle strives to make baby photo sessions relaxed and enjoyable, while capturing a variety of posed and candid portraits. Babies are encouraged to move around, play, and have fun! With an eye for perfect moments and unique perspectives, Michelle creates baby and family portraits that are beautiful, genuine, and emotional.

Family and Children

Don’t leave your children to boring school portraits once a year! Family portrait photography is a wonderful way to capture your child’s milestones and blossoming personality. From quirky smiles and giggles, to the whimsy and curiosity of childhood. Professional photography is the perfect way to capture your family’s love as beautiful art.


It’s never too early to book! Sessions fill up quickly, and it’s always best to contact us as soon as possible for an appointment. We recommend planning your baby portraits around the following milestones:

• Newborn: Capturing the beginning of life
• 6 Months: Sitting, smiling, and starting to show their personality.
• 12 Months: Standing, cruising, or even taking first steps. We love ending sessions with a cake smash to celebrate their very first birthday.

Portrait Session Details

Newborn session typically last 2-3 hours depending on your baby.  Michelle likes to take her time to ensure that you and your baby are relaxed and enjoying the session.  We will plan to break for feedings or snuggling whenever necessary.  You can choose to have your portraits captured at our Wilmington, NC studio or at your home.

Portrait Sessions typically last 1-1.5 hours. You can choose to have your portraits captured at our Wilmington, NC studio, outdoors, or on-location.  During your initial consultation with Michelle you will have the opportunity to plan a portrait session that is perfect for your family.


Clothing is a key element for beautiful, timeless portraits. Michelle loves to photograph babies in a cute diaper cover, well-fitting favorite outfit, or a simple onesie. Clothes that have texture, like cable-knit sweaters, corduroy, lace, and ruffles photograph beautifully in baby portraits. As for Mommy and Daddy, Michelle recommends simple, classic apparel that reflects your style. Michelle loves neutrals, creams and soft pastel colors. Have fun with accessories and layers to add dimension to your portraits. During your portrait session consultation Michelle will be happy to help you choose the perfect outfits. You can also visit Michelle Leonard Photography’s Pinterest page for styling inspiration.

Photo Shoot Locations

Some suggested places to shoot photography around town include:

  • Wrightsville Beach, NC
  • Landfall – Wilmington, NC
  • Downtown Wilmington, NC
  • Airlie Gardens * – Wilmington, NC
  • Poplar Grove * – Wilmington, NC
  • The Arboretum – Wilmington, NC
  • Michelle Leonard Photography Studio – Wilmington, NC
  • In your home/other location of your choice

* These facilities charge a photography fee for sessions on their property