• Welcome to Melissa Stewardson Photography, as featured on People.com! Now booking for 2018

    Celebrity photographer as featured on People.com


    Awarded as one of the best newborn photographers in Orange County, by Expertise in 2016 and 2018
    Best Newborn
    Photographers in
    Santa Ana

    Melissa Stewardson Photography, located in Orange County, CA and established in 2012 specializes in custom portraits of maternity, newborns, children and families. Experiencing a photo session with me should be fun and relaxing. I know what you're thinking...did she say fun and relaxing?! Am I crazy?! I don't think so. My goal for each session is to shoot photos that look natural and highlight the personalities and vibrancy of the people in them. While, I will shoot some traditional poses, I feel some of the best photos come during candid play or general foolishness! Time flies by so fast so let me capture your family memories today! I can't wait to get to know you and show you what I see through my lens!

    {Melissa Stewardson Photography is fully insured}

Studio Reveal // Orange County, CA Newborn Photographer

Although my studio has been up and running since December, it has taken me a couple months to get it completely decorated and perfected! Today I am beyond excited to reveal the new MSP studio!

Before building my dream studio, I worked out of my master bedroom (I know…I was insane!) in our old home. It took many hours and lots of energy to set up and take down for each session. By the end of the day I was exhausted. Fast forward a couple years and my family and I were ready to move. On our wish list was an extra bedroom/room with a northern facing window (I am natural light) where I could set up a permanent studio. That turned out to be harder to find than we thought. Long story short we ended up finding a home we loved, but ahem, no extra room for a studio. So, my awesome husband and I decided we could add on a room – HOORAY! It was a pretty daunting task to have plans drawn and plan each detail from the ground up. I was so lucky to have other photographer friends as sounding boards to help me along the way.

Construction started in October and was completed in early December. I was able to start working out of the studio in mid December and it was amazing!! Over the past couple of months my husband and I have been working tirelessly to make my vision come to life. Lots of shopping, drilling, hammering, organizing and wall decorating went into the final product and to say I am in LOVE is an understatement! It’s not a super large space, 240 sq. ft. total, but it’s mine and it’s permanent! The size has proven to be perfect for me. Enough space to work, hold a family, all my props and tools. I was even lucky enough to host The Simply Fresh newborn workshop in January. And the extra thick insulation we had installed keeps the heat in so well.

So look below and check it out!

My very talented sister of Driftwood Studios 2015 makes handmade wooden signs and she made this custom sign for me. LOVE IT! Check her out on Instagram!


Closet organizer from Home Depot and installed by my hubby and I. Cube storage units from Ikea.

2016-03-02_0002.jpgFrames from The Organic Bloom. I am a proud distributor of these beautiful frames. Bonnet and Headband hanging organizer (probably not the official title..haha) from IKEA. I also love having a couple sets of blocks around for siblings to play with while they aren’t getting photographed.2016-03-02_0003.jpg
2016-03-02_0004.jpgParent/Family seating area. Torquoise love seat from World Market, vintage camera pillow covers from The Pillow Factory.2016-03-02_0005.jpg

Extra pacifiers, hand sanitizer, diapers, wipes, lotion, baby combs, etc. – all essentials for a newborn photography studio!


I couldn’t resist getting M, S, P mugs from Anthropologie for my coffee station! Cute arrow water bottle holder and snack jar are from Home Goods. Small bowls and gold candle from Target. And you can kinda see my little spoon. It’s special to me as my mom picked it up on a trip to London. 🙂


I really like having my backdrop fabric and blankets hanging vertically. Not only does it look pretty, it’s easy to grab and re-stock when I am done using it. I made the vintage ladder out of some reclaimed wood from my dad.

Yellow storage cabinets are from Target.

2016-03-02_0011.jpgLet’s talk about flooring. I went with a grayish tile that looks like hard wood, with dark gray grout. It’s easy clean up when baby’s have accidents and I can use it as a back drop for prop shots…bonus!


One component I knew I wanted before I even started the planning was a barn door entrance. This beautiful door was hand crafted by my contractor and I just love it!

2016-03-02_0010.jpgWhile working with the architect I made sure there would be a wall long enough for my 107″ Savage paper rolls. Having them permanently up on the wall is so great. I hardly ever have to use my stand anymore.

I bought the Fotodiox Triple Roller Paper Drive Set with Wall Mount Support for Mounting 3 Paper Background Rolls from Amazon. It holds 3 rolls, and I just need to order some more rolls when my smaller 53″ ones run out.2016-03-02_0015.jpg2016-03-02_0019


Canvases from Canvas HQ and Artsy Couture. And special appearance by our dog, Charli.


I never want to take this space for granted. So blessed and grateful to have been able to build this baby! I also want to publicly thank my husband for supporting me every step of the way throughout the process. He never once questioned my decisions and was always willing to help with anything. I had a vision and he backed me 100% of the way and that meant the world to me!


Priscilla Meza Dugandzic - March 3, 2016 - 6:10 am

Love, love, love it!! Congrats!!

Ngoc Nguyen - March 3, 2016 - 7:18 am


Steve Bush - March 3, 2016 - 6:28 pm

Looks great!

Beautiful Liliana //Orange County Newborn Photographer

Lilana was definitely one of the most gorgeous newborn babies I have ever photographed! She was also so good to me throughout her session. She slept almost the whole time and went into the poses perfectly. It was one of the sessions where I just could’ve photographed her forever. And her sweet parents were also a dream to work with. Check out all the great shots we got.

Hosting the Simply Fresh Newborn Workshop! // Orange County newborn photographer

I was so excited to have the opportunity to host the Simply Fresh Newborn Workshop last month in my brand new studio! Robin Hansen of Picsy Photography and Stefanie Schaefer of Lemonade Stand Photography are the amazing instructors and they flew all the way from Chicago to teach the workshop. Although I have previously taken the workshop, they were gracious enough to let me take a few shots throughout the day. Of course I jumped at the chance to learn new techniques, angles and posing advice. I never want to stop learning or evolving my photography skills. One of my favorite things about hosting the workshop was getting to meet some new photographers in my area and create new partnerships and friends! And if you are thinking about taking a newborn workshop, I HIGHLY recommend Simply Fresh! It’ll be the best investment you ever make for your business.

(All edited photographs of the posed babies were posed by Robin and Stephanie. All edits completed my me).
Thanks again Stephanie and Robin!


New MSP hair and make-up team // Orange County Photographer

I am very excited to be adding some new members to the Melissa Stewardson Photography team!! Please welcome the awesome hair and make-up duo, Leigh Kerr and Tonia Lonigro! Take the stress out of getting ready before your photo session and get pampered by these two. They simultaneously do your hair and make-up at the same time so it’s quick and relaxing. And, the best part…your hair and make-up will LAST the whole session and photograph beautifully. This service is perfect for new moms for their newborn session, or before a maternity or family session.

F a c e b o o k