st. louis child photographer » specializing in newborn, children, engagement, maternity & high school senior photography

  • Artist, Melanie Acker, captures the authenticity of childhood and love through photographs. Her images are full of emotion. Serving the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, she uses the ever changing seasons of the midwest as her "studio" to create timeless portraits. Take a visit to her website gallery to view more of her work or contact her to book your session!

stylish outfit for little boy photo session

. . . .working on gallery images for this family and I had to put this preview up!  How cute is this little guy with his chambray arm patches and burlap suspenders!!  And let’s not leave out those blue pants, LOVE!  They were the perfect pop of color.  Adding color to images through outfit selections is so important this time of year as everything begin to turn brown.  His mom did good!!



unique DIY Halloween costume for girl and boy

If you are like me, when Halloween comes around each year you start scrambling to find a costume. I’m always trying to think of something we can DIY because lets be honest, those store bought ones are expensive and poorly made!  Plus, my mom always made our costumes and I think that is part of the fun. . . . except for the time she made me dress like a hobo.  This “girly” girl did NOT like that one. It’s kind of a family joke now.

So, last year I came up with the idea of an American Girl Doll costume for my daughter and an IPad for my son.  They both enjoy those things and anything you can make using a box you have lying around the house is a winner in my book!  I had no idea what a hit these costumes would be!!  Well, I knew my kids would love them, but we would go up to a house to trick-or-treat and they would say things like, “we’ve been waiting for the girl in the American Girl costume to get here . . .everyone’s been telling us about it.”  Needless to say my children got WAY more candy than they needed because for some reason when people think your costume is cute they give you fist fulls of candy!

So all that being said I thought I’d put up a few pictures in case there is anyone like me, wracking their brain to come up with a unique, inexpensive Halloween costumes.  Here are a few that are fun, and not creepy.  Hope it helps.

American Girl Doll:  Box painted red; holes cut for face and arms; I put foam at the top of box for her head to rest on; the white edges are white duct tape (I found mine at Home Depot) and the stars were painting on using a star stencil and her name & 8+ letters were stickers from Target

IPad Costume: Box painted white with all sides cut out except at the top to create a “suspender” to sit on shoulder; then paint black square for the “screen”; print off pics of all your kids fav apps and glue on; I sprayed a sealer (from home depot) over the top because it was raining on Halloween and I didn’t want it to smear; then print off apple logo and glue to the back; I drew the round button and the bottom free hand.


She won . . . again!!

We updated her portfolio this summer as she prepared to represent Missouri in the competition in Florida for the National competition.  She needed new pictures to submit with her state crown.  Below are just a couple of the images we took.  And I can’t say I’m really surprised, BUT she won!  Mani is as beautiful on inside as she is on the outside.  Meet our 2014 America’s U.S. Ambassador Miss queen!!

High School Senior Portraits

This is a high school senior portrait session that I realized should have made it to the blog!  So better late than never, right?  We had a beautiful, fall day that was perfect for shooting outdoors.  We are so lucky in St. Louis to have all the gorgeous seasons. . . .making the best “background” for photography sessions.

Sydnee is SO stunning and I absolutely LOVE photographing red heads!  They always bring a little “sass” to the session which I love.  She also did a great job styling her outfit choices.  It was so hard to narrow down just a few images to show.

Bohemian jewelry line Photo Shoot

When Ann Katherine,  from AnnKat Designs, asked me if I would collaborate with her to photograph her new jewelry line I may have squealed!  I photographed Ann Katherine and Caleb’s St. Charles wedding so I knew her style and artistic eye well.  I also knew how well we work together so it was a perfect fit.  One of the great things about meeting new clients is when years later you actually call them “friends.”  I am blessed to say that about Ann Katheryn.  AnnKat Designs is now based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I cannot say enough good things about AnnKat Designs!  I have many of her pieces and every time I wear one of them out someone asks me where it is from.  My absolute FAV is the black druzy ring!!  You can see it below.  It literally never leaves my hand.  I think it’s my “second wedding ring” ha!  I also love the silver chevron necklace and my etched silver leaf necklace. The quality of the metals is fantastic and you simply cannot believe Ann Katherine’s attention to detail unless you see one of her designs in person.  I love that they have a bohemian feel, but are so much more unique than buying an accessory from Free People or Anthropologie.

They would make amazing Mother’s Day gifts, if you are looking for that “special something” to give this year.  I believe that her pieces would also be great bridesmaids gifts or a unique one of a kind piece for a bride herself.

**I should also mention that the floral headpieces in all the images are also original designs by AnnKat Designs**

Here’s a little bit from Ann Katherine on her designs:

“As a designer, I live to create jewelry that is truly unique and soul-full. Every gemstone has it’s own healing properties and can be used to enrich one’s life. I hope that each and every piece sold is treasured, as a lot of energy and thought has gone in to creating them. I feel like what you wear should reflect who you are and should bring a positive feeling over you- I strive to make these kinds of pieces. All of my jewelry is made in small batches, with a detailed eye and loving heart.”

Senior portraits, Living Word High School

This is Evan, high school senior from the class of 2014 at Living Word High School in O’Fallon, Missouri. Even though I’m not great about taking time to blog sessions, I knew I had to get this one up immediately because Evan had something fantastic happen.  He reached 1,000 career points in basketball at the February 18th game over Trinity!  From what I understand that is the highest recorded score in CHS history, wow!  More impressive is how Evan responded . . . “All the credit goes to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I am nothing without Him.  And also, my amazing teammates. Thanks guys!”  What a great testimony.

I’ve been lucky to photography his sister’s senior portraits and then Evan’s and they have such an amazing family.  Congrats on this great accomplishment!!

And on a completely unrelated note . . . he had such great style!!!!

photographing brothers in St. Louis

Every year I love photographing these brothers.  They feel like family to me now.  I look forward to seeing how they’ve grown and catching up with their mom, but mostly I love  just playing with them and capturing their personalities in the process.  They are outgoing and fun and always keep me on my toes!  Check out these brothers and all their cuteness . .  . .

outdoor maternity photos in natural setting

It’s always a privilege to get to capture the stage in life where a new baby is on the way. So much change and anticipation on the horizon.  It is the most amazing journey and I loved being able to photography and go through it with these two.  The day of the session they were predicting rain ALL day.  It would stop and the sun would come and and then bam, it would pour rain!  After a few phone calls discussing the situation, we decided to take a chance and meet.  And we were so glad we did.  After waiting it out another 10 min the skies opened to sunshine and they rocked out the session!   The images have such a natural feel to them that I love.  And I was also excited that we got some pictures in the shallow creek as water/boating is something they enjoy.

Now their little newborn is here and I’ll have to post some of his cute newborn picture sometime soon!

One year old birthday party

This sweet one year old, Caroline, is SO loved!  She had family & friends from near and VERY far come together to celebrate her first year of life.  And it all took place in beautiful Lafayette Square Park in St. Louis.  Caroline’s mom thought of all the details, wonderful food, decorations and check out the beautiful cake below!  The ruffle icing was SO gorg.  It’s the prettiest “smash” cake for a one year old birthday that I’ve seen.  Thank you all for letting me capture the birthday party and your lovely family!

New Town at St. Charles sibling photography

This was one of those days where we just weren’t sure the rain was going to break for us to shoot.  Really it’s felt like the entire spring/summer has been this way.  Luckily I have families who are very flexible and great to work with.  And the weather gave us a break at just the right time to capture these great images!!  These kiddos were SO good.  There was lots of laughter and for as young as this sweet little girl is she didn’t even make me work for her grins, no kidding!  I don’t know that I’ve ever had anyone her age sit right down in front of the camera ready to play, smile and have fun.  Loved this family!!  They just moved here from Utah and I think they are a fantastic addition to St. Charles.

outdoor maternity session

I knew as soon as I took this image I was going to love it.  In fact I think I said out load, “is it strange that I think I’m going to want to put this BIG in my office?!”  There is something so beautiful and timeless about a simple maternity image that capture the love of first time, expectant parents.  To me it is a peaceful calm before the storm. . . . .the wonderful storm of parenthood that is!  I cannot wait to meet the new little baby boy who will be here before we know it.

portraits for Missouri pageant finalist

Meet Missouri’s own top 12 finalist for the National American Miss pageant! It was so fun for me to capture some portraits for her upcoming competition in July.  I can’t wait to see how she does because I will NOT be the least bit surprised if she wins the whole thing!  You will see from the few images I posted of her outdoor photo session that she is a stunner BUT she has the sweetest, most radiant personality to match her outside beauty.  I wish I were a judge because she’d have my vote!

Her mom had picked out the cutest outfit.  It was classy, but “girly” and feminine . . . I felt like I was photographing a beautiful fairy in the woods.