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My Favorite Personal Photos of 2020 | Charlottesville Photographer



2020. What a year. While most of us are looking back in it in disdain and hoping we soon forget everything that dumpster fire of a year held for us, there are many moments I hope to not soon forget. Lots of photographers struggle with taking personal photos of their family. In 2020, I finally felt like I managed both my personal photos and business photos well.

From March through May, my business completely closed. I took that time to really refocus on my family and adjust to a new pandemic lifestyle – aka being home all the time with my husband and two daughters, ages 3 and 5. Although the days were long and we often didn’t have much more to do than reread the same favorite books we owned, watch reruns of Peppa Pig, and go on the same daily walk, it was a time that I cherished. I thought fall of 2020 would be me sending both of my girls off to school for the first time. I thought it would mean I’d really take my business to the next level and get a lot more time to work on it. Of course, God plans were different – and they were absolutely beautiful. I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Although I didn’t take a crazy amount of personal photos in 2020, but last year did give me extra time to document my family that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have done had it been a “normal” year. I shared some of these on my Facebook page or Instagram, but a lot of them I just kept private until now.

These are a few of my favorites. Enjoy.

My Favorite Personal Photos of 2020

two girls in white dresses with hearts

the girls in the studio for a Valentine’s Day mini session, just barely pre-pandemic!

little girl with crown on and stars in the background little girl holding a number 3 balloon and dancing

Documenting the girls 3rd and 5th birthdays was a highlight for me.

I had this shoot already planned, but it was extra special since we had to cancel their birthday party.

little girl on pink background with flower crown on her head

I had Stella pose as a “newborn” in the studio because I was bored and missed having newborn sessions

We spent a lot of time at home and going on walks around our neighborhood at the start of the pandemic


We took a camping trip to a really remote area to escape the house and monotony of daily life at home.


Easter 2020: I had gotten the girls these Easter dresses before the pandemic.

I still put them in them even though we didn’t go anywhere or do anything.

Spring at home in a pandemic. We discovered chalk paint and spent many hours on our deck outside.

My daily 2020 attire, in the house, bored.

The girls did virtual ballet classes online in my office.

The start of school looked much different. This is my studio space , now a school room. Claire does kindergarten here still.

Halloween, carving pumpkins.

My favorite images from our fall family session.

This family image is my favorite of the entire year. I am extremely proud to have successfully taken our own family photos with a tripod.

This is one of my favorite locations too, only a few minutes from our house. It was our Christmas card photo.

The girls being silly for my promo photo for Christmas mini sessions. 


And there you have it – 2020 in photos! I am always grateful to have my camera in hand to document personal photos. Last year was a year like none other, but being able to make some art out our crazy year helped me cope. I am glad I can see so much good through these photos and the memories we made together as a family.

Northern Virginia Family Photographer

The reason I got into photographing families was because of what you see here – my very own family. Images of your family can look just like this too. Contact me to discuss scheduling an in-home lifestyle or trinational portrait session so you can hold onto some memories like this forever too.

xo Melissa

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