Fiddle Leaf Photography
By Athena Raypold

A Self-Taught, Methodical Photographer

Now a published, CMPro photographer with her own business, Fiddle Leaf Photography, Kelly Marleau began her journey blogging while on maternity leave with her first child. A DIY home décor aficionado, Kelly wrote about her home projects and found herself in dire need of better photography. She bought the cheapest DSLR camera she could find, took an online course, joined Clickin Moms online community and became absolutely relentless in improving her photography. As Kelly practiced obsessively, taking up to 500 photos a day (most being photos of her daughter), people started to take notice of her talent.

I love first-time parents. I love the calmness of a session with first time parents and the quiet, and capturing that feeling of the first two weeks at home in images. - Kelly Marleau, owner
Fiddle Leaf Photography captures special moments between parents and newborns.
Photo by Fiddle Leaf Photography.

Family and Newborn Photography

Opening Fiddle Leaf Photography in October of 2013 started with families. Using families’ homes as the backdrop for her photography, Kelly aims to give clients photos not just of their family, but their homes. Because, to Kelly, the home is where clients are most comfortable, where she can document families, as they exist inside their homes, in their most authentic setting.

“I like shooting in people’s homes because they’re comfortable ... I can get more natural pictures in your home, when you’re surrounded by things you like, where we can take a break, where you can get a cup of coffee, and where we can just hang out and chat. I loved the documentary aspect of it. I just like families being families and interacting and capturing that. I love the newborns now that my life is chaotic,” Kelly says. “I love first-time parents. I love the calmness of a session with first-time parents and the quiet, and capturing that feeling of the first two weeks at home in images.”

And, for Kelly, it’s not just about the babies; it’s about the parents too. Parenting is a bit of a mystery at first, she says, and watching parents settle into their new roles is always interesting.

Fiddle Leaf Photography meets with parents to get a sense of their personality before taking photos of their newborns.
Photo by Fiddle Leaf Photography.

Breastfeeding Photography

Part of Fiddle Leaf’s niche is breastfeeding photography; capturing the intimacy of maternal relationships. Kelly connects to breastfeeding on a deeply emotional level, having had her own struggles with it. “Being a mom is hard. Maybe that’s why I love doing the breastfeeding photography so much. There’s always a story behind breastfeeding, whether it went fantastically with you and you planned that, and you knew you were going to do it and just loved it, or didn’t, which is most cases. I love that," says Kelly. "Because most people struggle with it, I love being able to show the beauty in it … Just like your newborn is going to be gone, breastfeeding is going to be gone.” Thus, capturing the fleeting aspects and deep emotions of early parenthood is central to Kelly’s documentary photography style.

Fiddle Leaf Photography specializes in doing breastfeeding photography.
Photo by Fiddle Leaf Photography.

It’s All About the Connection

As much as her photography is about capturing familial connections, it’s also about how Kelly connects to her clients. She goes to great lengths to get a sense of who her clients are and what they want in a session before going in. She gives them a questionnaire to complete online and then meets them in person, leaving her camera at home, for a coffee to get to know them and connect. “I make my best work when my heart’s in it,” she says. “And, my heart’s in it when I know the people.”

Fiddle Leaf Photography owner Kelly Marleau hard at work photographing newborns.
Photo by Katie Slivorski Photography.
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