I always say the idea for Helen Merz Photography started when my sister, Emily, announced she was pregnant with her first daughter back in 2015.

But that is not the full story. So, let's go back & start at the very beginning.

From an early age my parents documented everything! When I say everything, I mean like literally everything. We have so many photo albums & video tapes (now being digitized) that document everything from snow storms, picnics, play dates to capturing bigger moments like birthday parties & holidays.

When I tell people I have no memories of my childhood they often don't believe me. But it's a real thing. I have childhood amnesia. This is one of the many reasons I'm so thankful my parents documented so much of my childhood! I now have a reference of what I was like when I was really little.

As a middle schooler I took a disposable camera with me almost everywhere. Didn't you? No... Just me? I snapped pictures of activities while away for the summer at Camp Grove Point, MD. I snapped pictures at my 8th grade dinner dance & found that if you slammed the disposable camera down on your hand hard enough it double exposed the images. Super cool, I know!

Fast forward ⏩ to 2012 when I met my college bestie, Brittani, who introduced me to Nikon & dslrs. Naturally, I asked my Dad to get me a Nikon D 3200 for my birthday. This is when my hobby upleveled.

Apparently, I took a photography course while at Temple & used my Nikon D3200 to capture trips to Miami, Myrtle Beach, the Poconos, and Las Vegas. To photograph events like my nephew Tyler's 2nd birthday, my cousin Lauren's Prom, my cousin Steph's surprise Central Park engagement, my cousin Julianne's Bridal Shower, my nephew Jace's Christening. I even captured my sister-in-law's Maternity Session.

And then something extra special happened. My sister, Emily, announced she was pregnant with her first daughter in 2015. Of course we had to plan some sort of photoshoot for this amazing moment, right?

This is where I normally start my business story. It's kind of funny it's taken me this long to realize I've been heading down this path for a long time. Okay, okay, back to the story.

Emily announced, "WE'RE HAVING A GIRL!!"

After we found this out, I started planning Emily's Maternity Session. I went on Pinterest & scoured the internet looking for interesting parks to as a backdrop for our session. Washington Avenue Green was recently completed, so I knew the chances of someone else using this as their photography backdrop was slim. We set a date & the rest is history!

Since then, I've photographed so many amazing moments of my sister & her little adorable family. Photographs below are from 2016 to as recent as August 2021.

Keep scrolling for the finale!

Imagine for a minute that we're back at the beginning of 2020, the pandemic has just started & you're evaluating what life is all about while adapting to the newness of working 100% remote. It was a year that gave everyone space (like it or not) to reevaluate work, life, & what is absolutely essential to them.

It was the year I decided to never again shrink myself to ease someone else's insecurities. The year I realized that my ideas & visions are incredibly valuable. The year that I was done willingly offering my ideas to leaders who dismissed them or saved them to use for their own personal & career gains.

It was the year I realized that I wanted to serve people & give them something of value instead of helping corporations exploit customers for more of their hard earned money. This was the year I realized that if I didn't start my business now, I probably never would.

So, slowly & steadily, I put one foot in front of the other doing the next right thing for me & my clients. Over the past year, I gained an incredible client base & served so many of you.

Now, almost all the way through 2021, I so excited to announce that I've become a full-time business owner & left my corporate job in the dust.

I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.

I have so many fun things planned for you, your family, & those boss babes out there looking to follow my footsteps & build their own thing!

I am so very happy that you're along for this ride with me.

I'd like to thank each & every one of you for helping my HMP what it is today.