I’m not from Marietta so while looking around at locations for a portrait session I stumbled across Green Meadows Preserve. I arrived at the session early to take a look around and was blown away by the beauty they had cultivated there at the preserve. The sunlight was dancing through the trees, the butterflies were bouncing from wild flower to wild flower, I even crossed paths with their bee hives labeled “honey bees hard at work.” Yes, this was the perfect location for Merida’s one year portrait session – absolutely dreamy!

Tony and Mara arrived with both kiddos in tow, TJ was so excited about his sister’s cake and baby Merida looking like an absolute princess in tulle! They even brought family and friends along to celebrate the occasion and spend time with us at the preserve. Walking through the trails we found a beautiful spot where the trees formed a canopy before the meadows opened up.

This beautiful baby girl is just as sweet as can be! Very curious about my camera and content with mama near by, Merida smiled along as I played Disney soundtracks from my phone. I was eating up every second with this precious doll!

Mara had brought along the most perfect details to round off Merida’s costume as her namesake from Brave. I have a feeling this Merida is going to be as strong and courageous as the Scottish princess!

When it comes to portrait sessions the more people involved the better! What a fabulous opportunity to get some family shots! I hope that years from now they will look back at these photos with fond memories of celebrating Merida’s first birthday as a family. I remember the mixed emotions of my daughter turning one – so excited for her future as her personality was blossoming yet still so bittersweet that a year had flown by in a blink of an eye. Mara and Tony, I know the feeling well!

 Lots of baby lovins to go around and she was loving it!

Lots of baby lovins to go around and she was loving it!

And at long last it was time for TJ’s favorite part – smash cake time! He had been guarding the cake, biding his time until his sister was ready to share! But first Merida took her time scoping out her cake and its delicious icing.

TJ was so sweet handing his baby sister bits of cake and sharing. Just when they couldn’t be any cuter, Merida started sucking her icing covered thumb and my heart melted.

Mercaldo family, thank you so much for spending a beautiful Saturday morning with me and letting me delight in your sweet children. It was an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait until I see you again!



Merida’s One!! – Marietta, Georgia


 "I can say with most certainty that she was the best decision we have made for our special day!"

Alyssa and Aaron

"It feels as if you’ve been friends forever. Not only do you get the most breath taking photos ever, but you also get an experience that you cherish forever."


"She is extremely personable and so talented. I highly recommend Araka Walker for her beautiful work and personality!"

Alison and Brandon