Second Ave Photography LLC » Internationally published Northern Virginia photographer specializing in natural newborn, children + family, and breastfeeding portraits.

First of all, I have to tell you how happy I am to be able to offer Preemie Prints sessions as a Northern Virginia volunteer NICU graduate photographer. Even though I joined a couple of years ago, people have really started to take me up on my offer this year. This beautiful girl actually has almost the same story as my own – she was premature due to pre-eclampsia at 33 weeks. She spent 17 days in the NICU and today is a happy and thriving 11 month old.

Working with Preemie Prints allows me to offer my photography services completely for free to families with babies in the NICU or recent NICU graduates. For more information on these sessions, please email blaire@secondavephotography.com

I was so happy to be able to offer a FREE Preemie Prints session to this family as a Northern Virginia volunteer NICU graduate photographer.  I was so happy to be able to offer a FREE Preemie Prints session to this family as a Northern Virginia volunteer NICU graduate photographer.

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Super fun family AND adorable new puppy? This group covered it all. We were even able to get a gorgeous silhouette at the very end! Mama wanted a laid back session that highlights about much fun this family has together, and I was thrilled to be the Fairfax VA family photographer to do that for her.

If you or someone you know is looking for a Fairfax VA family photographer, I would love your referral. I am happy to travel to all parts of the Washington-DC metro area as long as I have Sirius XM playing 90s on 90, which is basically all the time. I specialize in lifestyle newborn sessions, children and family portraits, and breastfeeding portraits!

Super fun family AND adorable new puppy, even a gorgeous silhouette at the very end! I was thrilled to be their Fairfax VA family photographer.Super fun family AND adorable new puppy, even a gorgeous silhouette at the very end! I was thrilled to be their Fairfax VA family photographer.Super fun family AND adorable new puppy, even a gorgeous silhouette at the very end! I was thrilled to be their Fairfax VA family photographer.Super fun family AND adorable new puppy, even a gorgeous silhouette at the very end! I was thrilled to be their Fairfax VA family photographer.

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Alright, I am jumping to the blog and sharing all of my results from the Shoot & Share contest with you.

Their website is having some weird technical glitch where I can only view my photos as a guest and not as myself, so please excuse the lower quality as I totally took screenshots so I could keep the little badges in the upper right corners 😜 but it also shows you how many photos were submitted in that particular catgeory which is nice.

I went “all in” this year and submitted 50 photos across a number of categories. In total, there were 332,768 photos submitted by more than 10,000 photographers in 156 countries. So honestly, the fact that all of mine didn’t just get bumped out in round one is kind of amazing! 😂 During the voting process, you were shown 4 photos across random categories and you chose your favorite. In order to move forward, your photo (no matter its category) had to beat 3 other photos (no matter their categories) more than once.

Here is how I did: I had 19 photos place in the Top 30% or better; of them, three placed as “finalists” (top 3.5%) and TWO landed in the Top 100 of their categories. I am still struggling to find the words to describe how this makes me feel. I am humbled, grateful. Surprised, even. Here is what I learned: the majority of these photos are either from passion projects, personal, or giving back locally. Only 6 are from paid sessions. I am super proud of that. I have been invited to be part of some of the most intimate moments of your lives and have been able to share some of mine with you. I hope to be able to do even more in 2017. Also, you all really like my black and white conversion 😍

Anyway. I am sharing those 19 that placed with you today.

Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.

Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.

Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.

Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.

Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.Shoot & Share 2017 Results by Northern Virginia Photographer. 19 photos in the top 30% or higher; 3 finalists; 2 Top 100.

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I met this local mom on Instagram, and one day she shared that her 3 year old daughter nurses her baby dolls. I was thrilled when she accepted my offer to photograph them together breastfeeding their babies!

In mom’s own words:

I believe that breast-feeding is a very natural, beautiful thing that happens between a mother and her child. I breastfed my first until she 14 months old and was pretty determined to not give her formula. With my daughter, the first 4 months were hard because I had a LOT of problems with clogged milk ducts. I became a master at getting rid of them. When my son came, I was (and am determined) to breast feed him until he is, at least, a year old. He’s 10 months old. When he was 6 months old, I lost about 1000oz of frozen milk (it completely thawed unbeknownst to me). It was devastating. However, I’m thankful that I, so far, have not needed my frozen stash to keep going. With both of my children, I was worried if they were getting enough (like so, so worried) and, yet, with time that passed and we got into a rhythm and it just worked for us. Both gained weight – at WAY different intervals (daughter was 10th percentile and son got up to 90th percentile at one point), their newborn jaundice away and we learned what life was like with an infant (and then what life was like with a child and an infant). I love love breast-feeding. I am thankful that I am blessed enough to be able to do it and that I have a husband that is so supportive for me to be able to do it. I want to encourage women (especially women in the early stages of having a newborn) – you CAN do this. It IS hard but you are not alone with your worries or your concerns or whatever it is that is making this hard. There are so many woman out there who have gone before you… if you are nervous or worried, reach out. You can do this! And there is so much support out there to help you! Just ask.:)

It’s time to start planning for the 2017 Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project! You can be a previous participant or someone new; you can be nursing an infant or a toddler (or older!); you can breastfeed traditionally, use donor milk, or pump. There are no limits. These sessions are about YOU and where you are on your journey and empowering yourself and other mothers through beautiful imagery.

Please reach out to me blaire@secondavephotography.com with a little bit about your story, and let’s plan your PBAP session!

Northern Virginia breastfeeding photographer captures mother and young daughter breastfeeding their babies. Quiet moments of bonding beautifully captured.Northern Virginia breastfeeding photographer captures mother and young daughter breastfeeding their babies. Quiet moments of bonding beautifully captured.

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As it’s the time of year when I start fundraising for the March for Babies, I have been really fortunate to have several *free* Preemie Prints sessions being a Northern Virginia Volunteer NICU Graduate photographer. Introducing the fabulous D family. These identical twins shared a placenta; because of this, E had intrauterine growth restriction and a few other complications while in the womb. Mom was admitted to the hospital a month prior to their birth for daily monitoring and had an emergency c section at 33 weeks (same as me!). N was 4lbs1oz and E was 3lbs3oz. Both had normal preemie complications. They had the Cpap only for a couple of days had to be under the lights multiple times. But really they were there to learn to eat, grow, and control the bradys. Both girls were in the NICU for a total of 29 days. They did well enough that after 2 weeks, they were transferred to a hospital closer to home.

I would love to share with you Mom’s beautifully written words of her NICU experience, as it truly spoke to my heart and I hope it speaks to you if you were or are in this position:

I have sat down to write this several times now. It is difficult to put into words how I am feeling. My twin girls are 7 months now. They are happy, healthy, and home! Our hearts are so full. I remember being in the hospital while on bedrest, for a month prior to delivery, reading other’s success stories and thinking “will that ever be us?” Time seemed to stand still. All I could focus on was getting through the next hour and keeping my babies safe. Once they arrived, I knew the NICU was going to be an emotional rollercoaster. And it was. But the lows made the highs all the sweeter. I found it more difficult after my babies finally came home. I was on autopilot just doing what I had to while caring for my twins in the NICU and my family at home. I looked back at my NICU experience and struggled with feelings of guilt, grief, and sadness. What I hope to let others know is that if you too feel or have felt this way, there is healing. I can now see the blessings that came at such a difficult time in mine and my family’s life. At the end of each exhausting day, find the positives. Whether it was a kind nurse, another milestone met, or just knowing you have your sweet little one/s here. This trial will pass and you will be stronger for having gone through it.

Northern Virginia Volunteer NICU Graduate Photographer offering FREE sessions for babies in the NICU and recent NICU graduates.Northern Virginia Volunteer NICU Graduate Photographer offering FREE sessions for babies in the NICU and recent NICU graduates.Northern Virginia Volunteer NICU Graduate Photographer offering FREE sessions for babies in the NICU and recent NICU graduates.

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