Maternity Photography

Welcome! I’m so excited to capture your growing family!

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About Me

Nikki Schell

Most days, you can find me jamming out to new tunes in my home office, dancing in my chair, and sitting cross-legged with my shoes kicked off. I am a woman who always has her bags packed, a storyteller, a lover of fashion, a wannabe singer, a fruity drink fanatic, and a fan of being barefoot. We only have one life. I believe in making it count, being true to myself, staying level-headed in moments of panic, and always being ready to kick back in the sand. I love dogs, sea turtles, and elephants, eating avocados and mac n cheese, and watching ice hockey and Clemson football.

My photography style is light-filled, joyful, and authentic. I will do anything to make you laugh, and I promise to make you feel comfortable. I make it simple for you, keep it light, and focus on the adorable candid moments that naturally occur between two people who are madly in love. Years down the road, I want you to look back at your photographs and have all those memories come flooding back! The joy, bliss, happiness, love, laughter, and light that showcase your growing family is what I will focus on capturing, so you have amazing photographs.

Arlington VA Wedding Photographer, Nikki Schell Photography

DC Maternity Photos

Maternity Sessions

Collection I

Web Resolution Images
Print Resolution Images
Online Gallery of Images
Printing Rights
80 Images

These sessions are perfect for couples who want multiple locations that are not walking distance and an outfit change (or 2). These sessions usually last 1.5-2 hours.


Collection II

Web Resolution Images
Print Resolution Images
Online Gallery of Images
Printing Rights
40 Images

These sessions are perfect for couples who want multiple locations within walking distance and an outfit change. These sessions usually last 45 minutes – 1.25 hours.


Special Sessions

These sessions go above and beyond.
Styled Sessions – Hair, Make up & Florals (add $500)
Multi-Location – Up to 4 hours together ($1400)
Mini Sessions – Seasonally available

If you’d like me to meet you in a destination outside of DC/MD/VA for your session where I don’t already have plans to visit, just let me know and I can get you a custom travel quote.

Session Locations

The location of your photography session is up to you – but I’m happy to guide you!

The first thing to decide is the feeling you’re looking for with these images! Are you going fancy and formal? Cozy and cute? Every day and natural? Where you choose to do your session will impact the overall feeling of the final images.

Also, try to consider whether you’d like to feature something specific like classic DC monuments or the great beautiful Chesapeake bay in your session. Many of the growing families I capture want to showcase the DC/MD/VA area’s beauty to give their out-of-town friends a preview of where they live.

There are many great options around the region, and I’m always up for exploring a new spot together.

Spend some time brainstorming unique locations that you might have special access to that most people don’t. For example, maybe you, or someone in your personal or professional network, can secure permission to a location that would otherwise be off-limits, like a beautiful private estate, country club, or resort. Maybe it’s a family farm, upscale hotel, or a brewery.

If a location seems out of reach: you never know until you ask! My couples have secured permission to some pretty amazing places in the past. I have some great go-to locations around town that we can always hit, too.

Here are just a few possible locations for your session! In this area, many locations require permission – so be mindful that we may have to pick a date/time when the location gives permission!

  • National Mall (DC – permission needed)
  • Georgetown Waterfront (DC)
  • Franciscan Monastery (DC – permission needed)
  • Washington National Cathedral (DC – permission needed + fee)
  • Meridian Hill Park (DC)
  • John F. Kennedy Center (DC – permission needed)
  • Old Town Alexandria (VA)
  • Bear’s Den Overlook (VA)
  • Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (VA – permission needed)
  • Scotts Run Nature Preserve (VA)
  • Green Spring Gardens (VA – permission needed)
  • Manassass Battlefield (VA – permission needed)
  • Wineries (VA – Stone Tower, Bluemont, Bull Run – permission needed + fee)
  • Holmes Run Stream Valley Park (VA)
  • Great Falls (MD or VA)
  • Glenview Mansion (MD – permission needed)
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation (MD – permission needed)
  • Downtown Annapolis (MD)
  • Brookside Gardens (MD – permission needed)
  • Centennial Park (MD)
  • Your home!

More Information

Image Delivery

Your images will be sent as downloadable digital files in an online gallery. This gallery will allow you to print, save, and share the images from your session very easily! The images can be downloaded as web sized images or print sized images. The images will not have a watermark or logo on them, however, when posting on social media, I always appreciate receiving credit! It will take on average 3 weeks to receive your gallery!

If you are interested in professional prints or products, you can order high quality professional prints/frames/canvases through the online gallery and order albums directly through me!

Every image you receive will be edited in my unique style. This includes color-correction, exposure adjustment, selective black and white processing, clarity adjustments, tone mapping, and other corrections such as removing a pimple or stray hair. Be sure to check out my galleries to get a feel for my editing style. I do not deliver all of the images I shoot; I eliminate duplicate images, test-shots, out-of-focus shots, shots with unflattering expressions, and other images that may dilute the overall product quality.

What happens if there is bad weather?

The weather is a tough one!

However, if it's going to be over 90 degrees out, we typically reschedule unless you're comfortable with it (sweaty pics, never fun). If it's going to be under 30 degrees and we're shooting outside, we typically reschedule unless you're comfortable with it (freezing cold = running noses and red faces).

When it comes to rain, I do ask for flexibility and understanding on your part that I don't control the weather.

If your session is in the morning, and the forecast has over a 70% chance of rain, the evening beforehand we chat and plan to reschedule (so you and I don't have to wake up). If your session is in the morning and the forecast has less than a 70% chance of rain, we wait til the morning to make a decision (trust, I've had absolutely beautiful weather when it's told me there was a 50% chance of rain).

If your session is in the evening, we generally wait until the day of the session to decide whether to proceed or not.

And finally, if we do have to reschedule, the reschedule date must be within 3 months of the originally scheduled session (ie: the original date is June 10, reschedule date must be before September 10 / original date of November 15, reschedule must be before February 15).

Print Releases and Professional Products

While a print release is included in all portrait packages, I strongly advise my clients to order products (prints, canvases, and albums) through my professional lab. This ensures top-notch product quality that mainstream printing vendors cannot create. Album design is a specialty of mine! I design my clients' albums to tell the story of their relationship, preserving all the special moments, in what will be an heirloom for many years to come.

If you’re interested in printing and creating your own products, all packages come with a print release. A print release means the named clients have rights to print the images for personal use. They can print the images as many times as they want, post them on social media, and send images to their friends and family. A print release does not give clients rights to alter/edit the images (#nofilter) or use the images for a profit. I do not sell the copyright for my images.

How do we reserve you for our session?

Once you’ve decided that we’re the perfect photographer/couple match, you’ll send me a note saying you’d love to reserve me for your photo session! I’ll need your first and last names, phone numbers, email addresses, and a home address to write up the contract. The contract will be sent through my online system, along with an invoice outlining the payment schedule, and from there you’ll be able to digitally sign and pay the retainer fee. Once I sign the contract and have received the payment, you’ve reserved me!

How do we pay?

Payment will be made through my online system. You’ll receive an invoice outlining the payment schedule, and can pay online! If you need a payment plan or to pay by check, let me know!

All sessions require a 50% retainer fee. The remaining balance is due 1 week before the session.

How to Book

All dates are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Dates will be reserved by submitting a completed contract and a non-refundable 50% retainer. I am always available to field questions via email, phone, video chat, or in person! I can’t wait to work with you to make your photo session everything you’ve ever imagined!

Thank you!

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