About Maisi Julian Photography:

Welcome to my blog! Thanks for stopping by. I am a Family photographer in Alexandria, Virginia specializing in children and newborns. My style is edgy, modern, sophisticated & fun. I enjoy finding outdoor locations to shoot kids (well, you know what I mean!) in the northern VA and Washington, D.C. area. In addition to photography, I love all things related to design, food, and crafty stuff! So I'll be posting lots of different photos and topics here. Please leave a comment, and check out my website for more info!

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  • Archive: ‘Lifestyle Portraits’

    National Capitol Family Portraits, Washington, DC

    Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

    It was a chilly day, but we had a great time capturing some fun family moments at the Capitol in Washington, DC.  These kids were so funny and fun to photograph!














    Old Town Alexandria Children’s Photographer

    Friday, June 1st, 2012

    I call this one “Refreshing”

    Reminds me of the beautiful quote:

    “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

    This photograph pretty much sums up my son at five:  he can’t just take a sip.  He has to get his whole wet!

    Black & White water fountain little boy



    Taking Portraits of Your Own Children

    Saturday, May 5th, 2012

    Both of my children were born in April.  So every year near their birthdays I try to do a “real” photo shoot with them.    Taking pictures of your own kids is NOT easy!   This particular shoot was full of lots of yelling, screaming and pouting. . .and that was just from ME!!!!!

    Our own kids know how to push our buttons, and they get bored easily when we take pictures of them.   It can be difficult to get them to smile naturally for us or listen to directions.

    In fact, after I was finished taking these, I went home and didn’t even look at the pictures for a few days because I was convinced nothing came out.   But I did manage to get some cute shots that I think capture my kids’ personalities.  And it *looks* like we had a blast, full of balloons, smiles, and laughs!  (P.S., most of the smiles were a result of lots of potty humor and bribery).   Hopefully my kids will remember this as a fun day, not one where I was yelling, “Stand still, stop touching your sister. . .hug your brother. . .no, not that hard!!” (Don’t worry, I don’t ever yell at my clients’ kids 🙂 ).

    One thing is for sure, my kiddos really do love each other!  Even if there was A LOT of bickering and teasing going on during the photo shoot, these pictures will help me remember the love and affection they feel for one another.

    So here are my TOP SIX ways to get photos of your own kids (I was going to do five, but couldn’t edit it down!):

    1) SET UP the camera settings and your location BEFORE you bring your kids over to take the picture.  Move clutter from the background if you’re inside, set up a chair or pick a good spot outside,  turn your flash on or off, focus, etc. so that your kids aren’t waiting for you to set up the shot.  Time is of the essence!!

    2) DON’T “SAY CHEESE!”  Try to think of funny things that you know will make your kids laugh.  For my kids at this session, I sang “Old McDonald had a fart. . .with a stink, stink here. . .etc.”  They were shocked that I said it and it made them giggle.  Of course, they probably went to school and sang it to their friends (and then their friends went home and told their parents).  But hey, at least I got them to laugh!  Think of a silly song you can make up for your kids and then surprise them with it!

    3)  BRIBE.  Buy them a little present at the dollar store and wrap it.  If you really want to get a good picture, ask them to help you out and tell you that it means a lot to you.  And tell them if they really try their best, they can have a special treat or little present.

    4)  BE SILLY and let them be silly!  mix up running around/having fun shots with “posed” shots.  Kids need to move around!  Try to capture them moving as well as posing/smiling.

    5)  THINK OF A LOVED ONE and tell them that the picture is for them.  Sometimes if I tell me kids that the picture is for Grammie or Daddy, they instantly think of that person and I get a great smile from them!

    6) LET THEM BE IN CHARGE for part of the shoot.  Ask them where they think they could sit, or how they could pose.   Involving them makes them want to participate more.  The shot of my son sitting on the tree stump was totally his idea, and I just love it!

    Do you have any ideas that help you when photographing your kids?  Please share!  I’m always looking for new ideas!


    brother sister portrait


    kids running with balloons

    brother sister holding hands

    brother sister portrait

    child portrait

    boy photograph

    little boy portrait

    boy girl portrait

    boy laughing portrait

    boy girl balloons portrait





    Baby and Big Sister Portraits {Alexandria, VA}

    Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

    I had the pleasure of photographing this baby girl when she was just a few days old.  Now she is already six months!  She is so beautiful with those sparkly brown eyes.   And her big sister is pretty gorgeous, too!

    baby girl portrait

    baby girl black and white portrait

    baby with mother portrait

    little girl in chair

    little girl at gate

    little girl blowing dandelion


    baby with daddy

    mother baby black and white










    What To Wear For a Family Photo Session

    Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

    What to wear for your family photo session?  This is definitely a FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION, so I thought I would show a few outfit ideas to give you an idea of what looks good (in my opinion) in photographs.  I’m going to do this post in parts over the next few weeks.  Here are a couple of family outfit ideas that I love:

    Outfit ideas for family photo shoot The most important thing to keep in mind is to BE COMFORTABLE.  You, and especially your kids, will not feel like having your picture taken if you feel uncomfortable!  If it’s scratchy, tight, or feels unnatural to you or your kiddos, don’t wear it (or make them wear it!).   And remember, we will be sitting, standing, maybe even running and jumping.  So wear clothing that you don’t mind getting a little dirty (unless you are looking for really formal portraits).   In Old Town Alexandria, I love to do shots where you sit on the brick sidewalk or stairs, so plan to get a little bit dirty!

    A couple rules of thumb:

    • No writing or pictures on shirts.  It detracts from the face, and that’s what we want to focus on in your portraits!
    • Don’t wear short skirts, esp. little girls!  If you sit in a short skirt, the camera can see up the skirt!
    • Think about shoes:  in full-body length shots and up-close shots that might show your feet, you don’t want to have Spider Man or Elmo showing on shoes (unless you specifically want that in the picture.  If your little boy loves his Spider Man shoes or your little girl has scuffed up glittery red shoes that you specifically want to document, I love to do that!  But if the shoes are not important to them or you, then neutral is best).
    • Ladies, think about getting a manicure since I love to do photos that show hands!
    • Clothes shouldn’t match.  The “white shirt with khakis” look is not really in style now.  I’ve done shoots where everyone wears jeans and a black or white t-shirt, and that can be nice.  But I generally think it looks better when everyone is dressed in complimentary colors instead of matching exactly.
    • Solid colors are great.  Pattern is fine, but bold patterns tend to date a picture quickly since patterns go in and out of style.
    • White can be difficult, especially if it’s around the face.  If you really want to wear white, just let me know in advance.

    Let me know if you have any questions or ideas about what YOU think looks good in photos!

    More to come!

    Old Town Alexandria Family Fun

    Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

    We had a great time in Old Town doing this family portrait session.  The daddy is leaving for a deployment in Afghanistan, so I was thrilled that they asked me to take some family pictures before he leaves.  His sons could not be any cuter.   I hope being able to look at these photographs makes his time there a little better.  What a beautiful family!! Don’t you agree?  Remember:  Maisi Julian Photography offers a 10% discount to all active duty military families.  Thank you for your service!

    father son portrait black & white

    Summer Fun {Alexandria, VA Family Portraits}

    Thursday, August 11th, 2011

    Dad throwing daughter in the air

    You can’t tell from these family photographs that it was 100 degrees outside and felt like a sauna!  We were all dripping by the end of the photo shoot, but it didn’t stop us from having a blast.  We went down to a little stream to throw rocks and cool off.  I love doing candid shots as well as traditional, posed family portraits.  This was my favorite shot from the session.  I just love the glee on the little girl’s face as her daddy gets ready to toss her up into the air!  I love black and white, and usually I feel that black and white captures emotion better because you are seeing just the play of light dark/highlight and shadow.  But this one looks so amazing in color!  Love that vibrant green.  Here are some more from this family’s portrait session:

    family portrait, Alexandria

    mom and daughters

    Dad & Daugher photograph

    BW photograph mom and daughter

    Little Girl sitting by stream