Hi, I'm Melissa.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm an experienced family, newborn, maternity and personal branding photographer based in North London, capturing beautiful, connected images for relaxed families across London and beyond. I'm also a Mum to two gorgeous daughters.
My love of photography started with my love of travel. I loved visiting new places but have a notoriously bad memory, so I began taking photos as a way to transport me back to a time, a place, a landscape or a city. Since having children, my motivation is the same - although now the memories I'm preserving are precious ones of your family: the sound of your child's laughter, the touch of their hand, the smell of their hair. I've been in business for over 5 years and still love meeting new families and their little ones each day.
My family sessions are relaxed and stress free, with a mix of guided, natural positioning to ensure we get everyone in the frame in the best light, along with more unposed documentary moments. I will give you plenty of guidance before the shoot on the location, how to prepare and how to choose your wardrobe, and I'm always on hand with any questions or concerns you have throughout the process to ensure a smooth and easy experience for you.
I would be really honoured to capture your family. Please feel free to have a look around and contact me if you have any questions!
Random Facts About Me
- In my previous life I was a film producer so I'm influenced by the work of female auteurs like Jane Campion and Sofia Coppola
- I've travelled to 65 countries and even had an app to track them all at one point (sad I know)! I've also lived in Australia, the USA and Belgium at various times in my life.
- I was really into music at school and played no less than 4 instruments! They're currently gathering dust in the attic but I intend to bring them out soon to show my daughter, who also loves music.
- I'm half-Australian and my husband is from Sydney, so even though I'm a born and bred Londoner don't be surprised if you hear a slight Aussie intonation in my accent.
- I'm a qualified scuba diver and have completed over 50 dives in the Caribbean, Central America, Australia, the Mediterranean and Africa.
'Her Work Is Exceptional'
Leslie, North London
'Melissa succeeded in capturing so many wonderful photos of my son (and the rest of us) that it was incredibly difficult to narrow down the ones we wanted to print and frame. Her work is exceptional as evidenced by the photo wall from our session with Melissa that graces our front hallway. We will keep documenting our family with her!'
How long do your newborn sessions take?
I always allocate extra time for a newborn session and only ever take on one a day. I usually allow a maximum of 3 hours, but it might well be a lot less than this if baby is happy and we get the shots we need sooner. I realise having visitors around when you've got a small baby is a big ask, so there's no pressure and plenty of time for feeds and changes as needed.
Do I need to tidy my home?
As you'll be recoving from the birth and caring for a new baby, I don't like to put too much pressure on anyone during newborn shoots. If you're able to have a light tidy up and remove any clutter lying around, that's always useful, as these things can distract from the timeless nature of the images. But I'm always happy (with your permission) to move anything out of the way on the day.
What if my baby is unsettled?
It's completely normal for a tiny baby to need a lot of attention. This is exactly why I allow for plenty of time during my newborn sessions, so that we can take as long as needed. It's also why I only run my newborn sessions in the mornings, as this is when they tend to be their most settled.
What if my older child plays up?
With two children of my own, I well understand the complex nature of sibling relationships! The arrival of a baby brother or sister is a lot of a change for an older sibling and tricky behaviour is often a normal part of this. However having photographed lots of families in the past I won't be phased by anything that may arise. I have plenty of tactics on the day to help us get the shots we want.
I'm worried about how I'll look in the photos. Can you just focus on the baby?
It's natural to have a complex relationship with yourself and your body postpartum - I know I certainly did and still do! Making sure you feel your best is something we'll discuss before the shoot when we choose your wardrobe, and I'm an expert at finding flattering and comfortable angles and poses for you. While I will always get some photos with baby as the primary focus I do also feel passionately about making sure parents are in the frame with their little ones - if not for you, also for your children who will treasure these as they grow up.
I really do/don't want feeding photos
However you choose to feed your baby, whether or not you want photos of it is a very personal preference. If baby needs a feed on the day I'll check if you want photos of the moment or not. There's no pressure and it is entirely up to you, but if it's something you're really keen on, let me know beforehand and we can plan to take some shots of it.
What if my kids play up?
I'm a mother, and I get it - you want your kids to be on their best form on the day. But realistically, they may have their own plans! This is where my experience really counts - I've captured many families over the years and no matter what they're up to it won't phase me. I've experienced lots of different personalities (as well as two of my own!) so I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve to keep them engaged and entertained.
Can we have the shoot outdoors / in our garden?
As much as I love in-home photography, I understand some families prefer being outdoors so I do offer both. Sometimes a combination of outdoor and indoor shots is lovely, so doing some in a local park or your garden works well. However it does depend on the nature of the outdoor space and the light available, so it's something we can discuss in more detail when you book. If not, I have a number of outdoor locations that I can recommend.
How long are your family shoots?
My family shoots usually run for around 90-120 minutes, but may be slightly less than this depending on the family in question. I always make sure that we get a good mix of shots before I leave and never plan more than one family shoot a day, so I'll always have enough time for you.
What should we wear?
It's definitely worth thinking about this as soon as possible, as what you wear will be pretty crucial in determining the final feel of the photos. Once you're booked in I'll give you lots of guidance on this in my welcome and preparation/styling guides, and always encourage my families to discuss their wardrobe ideas with me too.
All content Copyright © 2019 Melissa Gray Peters Photography
Melissa Gray-Peters is a London newborn photographer, family photographer, maternity photographer and baby photographer. She offers organic, enchanting photography for relaxed families based in all areas of North London including Islington, Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Hampstead and Highgate, as well as South London, West London, East London and parts of Hertfordshire.