Outside of shoots, you’ll likely find me being scaled by my energetic 3 year old son.  Photo credit: Lucy Baber

Outside of shoots, you’ll likely find me being scaled by my energetic 3 year old son.

Photo credit: Lucy Baber

But less about me, more about what I do, how I work, and how we can work together to create an amazing, fun, and beautiful story-telling photography session for you and your family!

My goal as a photographer is to capture a tiny window of time that documents your story as a family.  "In-between" moments during sessions are my favorite to capture and always are the ones that come out the best, because they show your true connections as a family.  In the unposed, I'll photograph the perfect moment of that sparkle in your child's eye, as they tell a silly joke or explore something new. Or capture that exact way that only they can snuggle up to you and that familiar, warm smile on your face that you know so well but never get to document, as your baby giggles. These are the kinds of images that I want to document for you and that make me so excited to do what I do as a photographer.  I adore capturing the details to tell your family’s story. It’s the tiniest details that leave the largest imprint.


When should I contact you? 

Great question!  The sooner the better!  

ambler family photographers_ desiree hoelzle photography_0059.jpg

For newborn sessions, please reach out as early as you can to put your due date range on my calendar. Depending on the month, I may be able to take a last minute session on, but often my calendar fills up. I like to be able to take the pressure off of mothers in any way possible and leave it very flexible for scheduling AFTER the baby is born.  Meaning you book with me, you notify me when the baby has arrived, and we pick a day that works well between our schedules.  I won't make you pick a date in advance because...well, birth is unpredictable!  So booking with me puts your due date on my calendar as a place holder and we schedule within baby's first 1-3 weeks ideally. I will certainly work with newborns older than 3 weeks old though and adore at-home baby sessions for milestones.

If you're looking for a family, maternity, or fresh 48 session, typically families contact me about a month in advance, so try to get in contact me with as soon as you're thinking of it.  Maternity sessions ideally take place around the 34 week mark, give or take, while the bump is obvious but you're still feeling comfortable enough for a shoot!

For birth photography, I love the opportunity to get to know parents to ensure we are a good match, as I know just how crucial it is to have someone you feel entirely comfortable with at your baby's birth.  So please reach out sooner than later, as I would love to be able to meet you before we sign a contract!  


What is your style?

I shoot my full sessions in a primarily lifestyle manner.  Meaning that my images aren't all, "everyone look at me and smile!" portrait shots.  Do I take a few of those? Yes of course! But the majority of my work is focused on capturing real moments based in the natural connections I witness while working with families.  I prefer to "go with the flow" in a session, following the cues of the little ones.  I'm drawn toward candid moments and details that you may not typically think of as important in a photo session, but that will one day help to define this window of time in your family's life.  My goal as a photographer, both in shooting and in editing is to create an image that feels like a memory.  

Check out my portfolio to get a sense of the types of images I'm drawn toward shooting and my editing style. I hand-edit all of my own work to fit my particular editing style, which has been called "vintage-y" and "emotive" by clients in the past. I love to edit my work in a way which evokes a nostalgic feeling for myself and that I hope your children will one day feel the same way about.  

elkins park family photographer_ desiree hoelzle photography_0011.jpg

I really want family photos taken, but I just don't think my 20-month old (or fill-in-the-age) will cooperate.  

I'll let you in on a secret...I don't want them to "cooperate" or to act like an adult does.  I want them to act like themselves at 20 months old. Because that's what I'm documenting!  That is exactly what lifestyle photography is all about. A lifestyle family session with me (and a newborn session with older brothers or sisters too!) will include running, giggling, hanging onto your leg, resting their head on your shoulder, exploring their surroundings, and being all around curious.  I encourage natural interactions with their siblings and you or other family involved in the shoot, which is when they're their most genuine self and their personalities shine through on camera. I always do try to get a handful of more traditional portrait type shots of them looking at the camera of course too.  For these shots I'll get down on their level and engage them, play peek a boo behind the camera and work to earn their smiles.  


If you don't have a studio, where do you do your sessions?

What are some of your favorite local places? Do you have a spot your family loves to be together? Are there certain colors you’re going for? Do you want lots of green space? Or vibrant colors? Or specific beach towns? Would you rather a cozy, at-home session? How about at a greenhouse? (Spoiler alert: I do family photography all over the Philadelphia area and have lots of fun suggestions for shoots!).

I have several favorite outdoor locations that I shoot in depending on your area.  If you want your shoot in a particular spot that requires a permit, I am more than happy to obtain the permit as the photographer, but all fees must be paid by the client.  That being said, I do have a membership to some awesome locations that I am happy to bring guests in with, where photography is allowed.  While I am located in Montgomery County, PA, I work in all of the surrounding Philadelphia areas, including Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, and Chester counties, and will also travel to certain areas of NJ or Delaware. In the summer, I frequently offer family photography at the Jersey Shore as well. I'm happy to travel to areas outside of this region, please contact me

philadelphia family photographer_ desiree hoelzle photography_0040.jpg

While all my newborn sessions are shot in-home, I also do in-home family, maternity, and breastfeeding sessions as well.  These are some of my favorite sessions as the kids just love to get snuggly with their parents and show off their toys.  They get to just be themselves in the comfort of their own home and their joy just sparks, which I love to document.  I have done simple documentary and lifestyle in-home sessions as well as milestone sessions (think cake smash), especially in the colder months.  For newborn sessions, if the weather is nice, I'm happy to take photos outside of your home as well!

Fresh 48 sessions are done in the place where you birth your baby (hospital, birth center, or home).  Obviously same goes for birth photography as well! 


What is a Fresh48 session?

Fresh 48 shoots are becoming increasingly popular as more documentary or lifestyle approaches are being explored with families.  For a Fresh 48, I come to the birthplace of your baby AFTER the delivery happens.  It's not birth photography by any means, but it's meant to document the details of the first few days of baby's life earthside.  I'm not on-call in a true drop-everything-and-get-to-the-hospital-now sort of way like a birth photographer is, but I do have your due date on my calendar and I appreciate being kept in the loop as soon as your little one arrives (add me to your group text announcing it!).  As a Philadelphia Fresh 48 photographer, I will shoot in Philly-area hospitals, birth centers, or homes for these sessions. 


Bucks County Maternity Photographers _ Desiree Hoelzle Photography

What should I wear for my family/newborn session?

Typically speaking, I want you and your family to look like a polished version of yourselves.  Take this as an opportunity to buy yourself something new that you feel FANTASTIC in and that speaks to you and use that as a general rule for all the family.  Neutral colors do work really well, as do longer flowy fabrics.  As a general rule, don't be too "matchy-matchy" but try to follow the idea that everyone is in warm or cool tones.  For fall, think warmer, earthier colors and tones.  

The few suggestions that I strongly recommend based on experience are: no neon or florescent tones (it's really trendy in kids' clothes particularly right now), no graphic T shirts or anything with wording or large logos, avoid short skirts that won't allow for you or little girls to fully play or be seated in any photos comfortably without undies or diapers showing (if a baby or toddler, bloomers are often a good option for little dresses!).  Also try to avoid too many varying patterns.  For mothers, I adore long flowing skirts or dresses that are fluid and move well.  Honestly, I love it when mothers build family outfits around theirs!  You go ahead and be the bold pattern or deep hue you want to incorporate, Mama!

For newborns, I often work with them in just a diaper and a swaddle.  Plain white fitted one-pieces are great to have on hand as well, but I'm happy to photograph the little one in a special outfit if you have one on hand!  For newborn shoots, I do typically ask parents to consider wearing neutral or pale colors. 


How long will it take to receive my images?

I'll spend several hours on your images after your session takes place, reviewing the images, selecting the best, and then editing those images. Clients receive their gallery typically within about 1-2 weeks, but at peak seasons (usually late summer and mid-late fall) it may take up to 3 weeks.  You'll receive a password-protected gallery full of your beautiful images that you'll be able to share with others with a link and password.  Once received, you'll have one week to review and make your decision on which images or prints you would like to order.  Once a gallery is inactive, it's a $20 reactivation fee.  


Do you only have digital images?  Can I print my pictures myself?

I offer both digital downloads through an online gallery service, in addition to professional prints.  Full session galleries have at least 50 digital images to review, all fully edited and high resolution formatting for your own printing needs.  It is then up to you whether you purchase per image digitally or as a print, a package, or your entire gallery (packages always comes at a discount compared to per image).  All digital image purchases come with a personal print release meaning that you are free to print or post your images to your personal social media accounts (please give photo credit when posting images!). If you order prints through me, they are available in glossy and matte finishes and are printed through a professional service with beautiful finishes.  I take the time to crop and size them properly before placing the order and then inspect them before shipping them off to you.  

Do you offer mini sessions?

For individual mini sessions, I offer 30 minute milestone sessions for babies (think documenting the adorableness of your 8 month old or a first birthday session). I offer specific seasonal mini sessions which may vary by year. But over the last few years, I have offered Mommy & Me Minis (mothers and children only), Full family spring minis, Jersey Shore Minis, Sunflower Field Minis, Fall Minis, and Christmas Tree Farm Mini Sessions. I make announcements for my minis on my social media accounts (scroll down to like/follow me!). They often fill up quickly!