Lifestyle Newborn and Family Photographer|Norfolk, Virginia bio picture

    I had my camera, a lot of borrowed camping equipment, a plane ticket and a feeling of adventure consuming me as I headed west to hike and photograph Bryce Canyon National Park. I had finally convinced my family and friends that I could do this alone and I would be okay...there was no need to send my brother along with me, no need to pack a firearm - just in case. The first night was difficult. The sun was rapidly setting as I pitched my tent. Grappling with lighting the camp stove for dinner almost broke me down but I managed and finally had something to eat. I slept fitfully that night as I always do in tents, and not having a knit hat for my head to keep it warm in the high elevation kept me awake most of the night. However, beautiful Bryce awaited me and my camera the next day. I loved hiking and taking pictures of the unusual landscape. I brought my sketch book with me and studied and sketched the famous Hoo Doos. When the weather turned bad the following day, I broke camp and headed south to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was so close, I had to go.

    That decision forever changed my life. It was there at the North Rim that I met my husband, Sam. At the time I didn't know how decisions had been made on his part, too, that brought him to that place where, against all odds, we met each other.

    Everyone has a unique story. As a photographer, I evolved from the love of photographing a landscape to the love of photographing people and their stories. It is soul food to me. I'm not just a photographer, I'm a photobiographer, too. Someone who writes your story with photographs.

    To find out more about my sessions and how I can tell your story through photographs contact me at 757.812.5322 or

    - Terri

Lately, it seems like I’ve been doing a lot of family sessions in the family’s neighborhood. It is a wonderful way to watch and take pictures of a family in and around a place that is meaningful to them. And we know, in this town of military families and frequency of moving, having images of a place you loved living is a wonderful way to keep the memories alive. Here is Wills and his parents, who live in my neighborhood on the other side of Hampton Boulevard. We walked around the roads that go along the river, then over to the library wetland park on a sunny morning. Wills had already been walking for a while so just at one year, he was fast! Little ones always seem to know where an off-limit or dangerous area is, especially little boys, and a lot of time was spent just rounding him up and keeping him away from the water’s edge.

We started out in their home first, with Wills and mommy reading one of his favorite books.

Mom and baby boy reading his favorite book

Peek-a-boo behind the chair.

Playing peek-a-boo and stacking toys in a little boy

Walking in the Larchmont neighborhood in Norfolk Virginia

This is one of my favorites.

Black and white image of a small family holding hands as they walk through Larchmont, Norfolk, Virginia.

Mom is feeding her hungry son a graham cracker as Dad holds him in his arms.

See, Wills was only one at the time of this session and look how confident he is strolling over the boardwalk!

One year old strolling over the boardwalk over the Lafayette River

Mom is helping her son stand up.

A series of park images that show how active a oner year old boy can be

I adore this picture of the family! They are all so wonderful.

Adorable family posing for their fall portrait

Little boy walking away with his father

Bye, Wills! He couldn’t be stopped.  :)


Terri Hughes of Simply Human Pictures is a family photographer based in Norfolk, Virginia. She specializes in the early childhood years, capturing the tender, funny, emotional, and beautiful moments from infancy to toddlerhood. She photographs families throughout the Hampton Roads area, including Williamsburg and Yorktown. Please contact Terri to learn more about her family sessions. or 757.812.5322. 

The McClure family LOVE their Norfolk neighborhood, Larchmont. They have lived there for several years and the family has grown from one to two children in that time. Because they are a Navy family there is always the possibility of a move so when Amy and I were planning the yearly Fall session, she hitched onto the idea of walking around the neighborhood and using Larchmont as the backdrop. And since they are neighbors of mine (we live on the same street and that’s how we came to work with each other to begin with), I knew all the places to go to hit the memory notes for them in years to come. Here are a few of my favorites from their session:

We started off just walking down the sidewalk in front of their home.

Norfolk Virginia Family Neighborhood Session

The cedar tree on the corner is so beautiful so we had to stop for some pictures in front of it.

Father holding daughter in their neighborhood photo session

Little miss wasn’t ready to get down and walk by herself while I was taking pictures so I had to be silly and get her laughing and smiling. I knew when she was warmed up to me, she would be ready to get down.

Little girl with hugs smiles being held by her dad

One of the big gathering places in our ‘hood is Triangle Park. It fronts up to the Lafayette River and is also a good dog park for the neighborhood pooches. John was happy to pose and be silly for me and also was really good with his little sister, helping her be less shy.

Black and white portrait of 4 year old boy sitting on park bench

Mother and daughter having fun together in their neighborhood

They really wanted to go through that gate but it was locked. I think this shot is so adorable.

Brother and sister look through a wooden gate to the river beyond

LIttle boys and their mamas are so sweet together. John hugged Amy and said “I just love you so much, Mommy.”

Little boy hugs his mom

Those eyes!

Toddler girl with big brown eyes

We are lucky to have beach access to the Lafayette River at the end of Hanover Avenue. The kids had a blast spending time down there.

Brother and sister on the Lafayette River Beach

Mother holding her daughter and brother holding his sister

John is such a wonderful big brother!

Big brother with his arms around his little sister

Children on their parents

Larchmont is a beautiful neighborhood and I’m so glad Amy wanted to capture how much they love living here. The heading home shot was one of my favorites.

Walking home from photo session

If you love the idea of having a photo session in your own neighborhood, contact me through the form on this website and we can begin to plan it together. 

xoxo Terri

Modern Newborn Photography

In-home newborn session with Mom holding baby in nurseryOver the last several years, newborn portrait photography has become a very popular photography genre. With the increasing amount of social media methods of sharing images, more and more people are seeing newborn photography every day and falling in love with the idea of having portraits made of their brand new baby. The birth of a baby is a very exciting time for a couple as they begin their family. After wedding photography, newborn photography can be considered the second most important time a couple will search for a professional photographer. Just think – this is the beginning of your family’s history in pictures!

There are two types of newborn photography:

Lifestyle – this type of newborn photography is usually done in the client’s home and the photographer will concentrate on taking images of the parents bonding with the baby. Usually, the photographer works with available light within the home so the images look very natural and unposed. The lifestyle photographer will also take images of the baby alone to include some detail shots of the newborn in the image gallery. Lifestyle newborn sessions can be very relaxing for you since you are in your own home. Having those images of your new family in your own environment will be true family heirlooms some day. Sessions are baby-led, which means the photographer works with the baby whether they are asleep or awake, posing them in gentle and organic poses. A few samples of this kind of newborn photography are included with this article as this is the type of photography I specialize in.

In Studio – The babies are usually lulled to sleep and arranged in different poses in props or on beanbag posers covered in blankets. They are adorned with adorable hats, headbands, crowns and other clothing items. Typically, this type of newborn photography is done in the photographer’s studio space with studio lighting and all the props belong to the photographer. However, there are some “posed with props” newborn photographers who will work at a client’s home, bringing all their items with them. The posed with props newborn photographer will most likely incorporate posed images of the parents holding the baby as well.

Here are some more baby-led, lifestyle images I took at a recent session:

Father holding tiny baby son in his hands newborn baby boy sleeping in his crib

I recommend scrolling through Pinterest to help you decide which look you like better. Once you have decided on the style you like, it will be easy to identify it when you start looking at newborn photographers’ websites.

Now the fun begins as you start your search.

Ask a Friend

The first step is to set a budget; then, begin your search by asking your friends who have had babies who they used. A referral from your friends should be the number one place you should start in your search. Your friends are like-minded with you and they have already had the experience that you are about to embark on. Many newborn photographers work within a circle of friends and will even offer a referral incentive if you hire them. At Simply Human Pictures, we love referrals and reward both the referred (new) client and the past client who sent the referral! Everybody wins!

If asking friends doesn’t work for you or if you are the very first one in your group to be expecting, these are the steps to take to start the search on your own:

Just Google It

Head to your computer or mobile device and begin an online search for local newborn photographers. You will want to make sure the photographer you consider has a website, Facebook page and possibly even blog. If a photographer that you are looking at only has a Facebook page, you may be risking the fact that they are not licensed or insured. A photographer who has a properly set up business has all the online marketing devices they need to attract potential clients which in turn helps their business grow and thrive. Review websites for the following items:

  • Portfolio – image galleries should showcase a good sampling of the photographer’s work. Look for consistency in image quality, composition and style.
  • Read all the information the photographer provides about how they work, their philosophy and who they are. You should get a good feel about whether you think you will like working with the photographer from the information they provide on their website.
  • If you like the work of the photographer, contact them to learn more about what they offer and how they work. You can begin your communication with an email to the photographer inquiring about their availability.
  • I recommend making sure you speak to the photographer over the phone after the initial email inquiry. It is the quickest way to determine if you like the photographer and get immediate answers from them while you interview them. This consultation is often required by photographers to make sure the fit is good for everyone.

baby-led posing for lifestyle newborn session

At this point, you should have a good idea of who you are interested in hiring as your newborn photographer and be well on your way to creating the images that will become your family heritage.

Father holding newborn daughter in her nursery

As a newborn and family photographer with six years of experience, Terri Hughes of Simply Human Pictures has become an expert in her field of Lifestyle Newborn Photography. She has had the honored pleasure of creating honest and lasting images for her clients as they begin their families and embark on the journey of parenthood. If you are looking for a newborn photographer and would like to learn more about her style and methods, please view her portfolio and contact her for more information:; 757-812-5322.


The stress of hiring a professional photographer for a session with your young children can be overwhelming when you aren’t really sure if the kiddos are going to cooperate. Meeting someone new can make a shy child feel a bit uncooperative especially when they see the intimidating camera equipment of the photographer. For any session with a young child, my first priority is to establish trust with them. I’ll quickly say hi and ask maybe one question, but then I’ll turn to the parents and have a conversation with them so the child can see that I am a trusted adult. After that, I’ll turn my attention back to the child and start talking and playing with them to help them feel more comfortable with me. This can take up to 15 minutes and I haven’t even taken one image of them. Soon though, they will trust me and I’ll know it is time to start taking the pictures.

I have a few games I play with the little ones so they get used to seeing the camera in front of my face. If a child is still resistant to working with me, I’ll ask the parents to let them go and play. Having a telephoto lens allows me to be far enough away from the child to take pictures of them as they are playing and they don’t even know I’m doing it.

The most important thing for parents to know is that even if the child cries or resists having pictures taken during the session, I am constantly watching and anticipating the in-between moments. I will take as long as I need to in order to establish that trust with a young child and because of that, the session will ultimately be successful!

For this session, the one year old was acting as a typical one year old does, which is to say, wary of the stranger (me). His brother, who is three, was acting like a typical toddler and not willing to cooperate. Whatever was suggested was met with a resounding “no.” I knew the one year old would be easier to start with so mom and I played with him and soon he was warming up and we were getting some cute portraits of him.

One year old at garden photo session

One year old on antique rocking horse

I knew in order to get the three year old on board, I’d have to put the camera down and start playing with him to gain his trust. Soon, he was allowing me to take pictures of him with his toy car. Showing him the portraits I was taking on the back of the camera charmed him and he was completely warmed up to me then.

Little boy with his toy car

Bringing a prop that most one year olds love like a rocking chair, gets them to think about something other than me taking their pictures.

One year old boy sitting in yellow rocking chair

And then it was time to let the two boys sit down and play together. Introducing a beloved song like “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” was a perfect way to engage them. The older boy enacted the song as his little brother watched closely at what he was doing.

Brothers singing itsy-bitsy spider

They were thoroughly warmed up by now and were enjoying each other.

brothers playing at a garden session

Tickling is always a fun activity.

Older brother tickling his younger brother

When we got to the part of the session where they were in their suits, they were having so much fun and were acting completely silly. They loved being dressed up in their suits.

two little boys dressed in suits

two brothers in business suits

Brother patting his younger brother on the head

One year old boy in a suit and tie

The session was a huge success and mom LOVED the pictures!


A professional photographer for 7 years, Terri Hughes, has immense experience working with young children and getting even the shyest child to warm up to her. Her patience and care with every child rewards parents with the most beautiful and honest portraits of their children. If you would like to experience a session with Terri, please contact her via the contact button above or by emailing her at 


When I was talking with Stefanie about what she wanted to do for Finley’s 10 month session of the baby plan she mentioned how Finley LOVED to be on the bicycle. It was one of her favorite things to do. I immediately saw the fun possibilities of doing this session at Norfolk Botanical Gardens Bike Night, which they have during the summertime.

Adding motion and scenic characteristics into a photo session is always interesting and though it isn’t easy chasing after a family of five on bicycles, I know we created some wonderful memories that night.

ten month old baby peeking out from driver

family of five getting ready to ride their bikes

family of five biking at botanical gardens

ten month old blond hair and blue eyes baby girl

smiling baby in her bicycle seat

older sister hugging her baby sister

baby exploring her environment at the botanical gardens

ten month old sticking out her tongue and smiling

black and white portrait of three sisters

blond hair and blue eyed baby girl

quiet moment between mother and baby

ten month old standing between her father

I love to work with families when they are doing their favorite things!


Terri Hughes is a Norfolk-based photographer who works with families in the Hampton Roads area. She loves to make sure every session she photographs is unique and personal for her subjects. Capturing a family having fun together is her favorite type of session. If you would like to have a photo session of your family doing one of its favorite activities, just click the contact button in the menu bar to get in touch with Terri and to start planning your session!