Leah O'Connell

families, Featured sessions

Featured: Socially Distant Lifestyle Family Session

backyard-family-photos-on-playground-charlottesville-virginia-photographer
I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

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As we discussed what it looked like to start safely photographing families again, we realized that after putting in place some specific guidelines, it would be possible to serve our community and continue our mission to inspire gratitude and express love for people by capturing personality-driven photos in a stress-free experience.

In our own families, we have seen this time at home as an opportunity to relish the moments that we often move quickly past. We have spent more time outside enjoying our little backyard, Saturday morning pancakes have become a more frequent event, and we lay our heads on our pillows at night thankful for the simple things. Above all, we have felt immense gratitude for family.

We want to capture the special bond of our families at Firefly Photography. This season of life has come with both pain and sweetness. But isn’t fullness of life when we can hold both in our hands and still laugh with unrestrained joy?

By following our COVID-19 safety guidelines, we can assure you that as we take necessary precautions during your session, we will capture the beauty, love, and joy of your family’s unique personality.


This sweet family reached out to us with the desire to freeze this moment in time to document their family of four. Two words come to mind when I think of this session: easy and natural.

What better way to prepare your kids for a photo session than by telling them “you are just going to have fun playing like you always do!” and it be true. We love this approach because it allows us to capture authentic interactions and loosens up the whole family.

In this particular session, the boys had a blast playing soccer and on their playground set. All the while, we got to be a “fly on the wall” and loved every minute of it.

After this family played for a bit and got used to the the camera, a few portraits on the porch were a breeze.

This featured lifestyle session was completed under our COVID-19 safety guidelines.

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Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.