Maegan Dougherty Photography – Northern NJ Photographer » Northern NJ Birth and Family Photographer

As a NJ birth photographer, I document all kinds of births. Each one is uniquely beautiful and special.

Whether a home or hospital birth, with or without interventions, vaginal or surgical, I want every birthing person and partner to experience these feelings that come to my mind when I see the photos from this birth.


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This birthing mother and her family were supported through pregnancy, birth and postpartum by the midwives of Seventh Moon Homebirth. They help facilitate all those good words I wrote above.

Thank you for visiting my website. If you’re new here, I’m a NJ birth photographer and family documentary photographer. I love spending time with families in New Jersey and New York City, capturing both the most ordinary and the most extraordinary of your days!

Are you expecting a baby?

I hope you will look at more of my birth photography blog posts, and visit me on Instagram. If you are planning to book a birth photographer, or if you have any questions about pregnancy, birth, or newborn photography in New Jersey, I would love to help you. Please contact me!

This NJ pregnancy photo session last year was so special. I am excited to share it, along with some news. I’m now offering a one hour family photo shoot! It’s perfect for times when you want a glimpse into the way your family life is right now, but don’t quite need the 2-3 hours of my standard documentary session. Same fun, totally relaxed, real life vibe. Lower price point of $700. “Mini sessions” can sometimes feel rushed. I’ve found that one hour allows time for natural, undirected moments to happen. Also, it’s perfect for a pregnancy/maternity session, in combination with birth and newborn photography. (I still LOVE to be with families for 2-3 hours, so keep booking those, too!!!)

I love that Grandma and Grandpa were visiting here. How sweet is Grandma kissing her little grandson’s leg? And it’s so nice to see these photos today, with the signs of spring starting. My kids and I are thrilled for warmer weather and afternoons at the park.

Think about what your life will be like over the next few months. How will it be different from this time last year? What routines and traditions are you looking forward to doing again? Let’s photograph some of them. I’d love to spend an hour (or more!) with your family.

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It’s so much fun to look back. Here is the same family at a park about two years earlier!

Would you like to see another NJ pregnancy photo session? Here’s one, with an important message in the text.

Today I’m sharing a beautiful NJ birth from a few years back. This blog post has been in my drafts for a long time. I can’t let it stay there for a minute longer! Birth doesn’t always turn out like we hope it will. When it doesn’t, it’s even more important that we’ve chosen providers who will help guide us through the options, support us in making empowered decisions, advocate for us, and protect the wishes that are important to us during such a vulnerable time.

Pictured here are midwives Roxie Mitchell of Midwives of New Jersey and Judith Hagan of Babycatcher Midwifery, and doula and placenta encapsulation specialist Thalla-Marie Choxi.


Interested in birth photography?

I hope you’ll visit this page, and then I’d love to hear from you!

I started a list of things I want to do with my family in 2018, because I wanted a place to put “fly a kite at Liberty State Park.” Maybe in the spring!

I’ve photographed this family in their Jersey City home and neighborhood for the past few years. I LOVE our family photo sessions. We decided on a change of scenery for this year. I suggested noticing where they were going on the weekends and also thinking about if there were places they’d been wanting to check out. They went to a Birthday party at Liberty State Park and thought it would be fun to go back. So we did. It was awesome. And this is how we spent the hour. So fun, right?!

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Here is this family’s photo shoot from a previous year, around their Jersey City neighborhood.

I love these pictures so much!  This is my family! I admit, I don’t have my own family photographed as often as I recommend other people do. It’s for some of the same reasons other people don’t schedule family photo shoots. If only knowing something would be a good idea would get us to do it, right? So this day was long overdue, and very special. We went with my friend Emily Wilson and her family to a Sussex County, NJ tree farm with plans to have a good time, pick our Christmas trees, and get some Dougherty family photos.

I’ve been photographing families in New Jersey and NYC for over a decade. My tips for how to have a successful family photo shoot have evolved quite a bit over time. My clients receive a page about what to expect and how to prepare, and as I’ve changed it over time, I show up to a lot more messy houses and kids in pajamas. And that’s perfect. My “what to wear” has become less about fashion and more about humanity. Our emotions and how we process them…that’s what matters most when we’re being photographed. So if you’re thinking about hiring a family photographer, here are four tips for you.

Four Family Photography Tips:

  1. Hire a photographer you connect with. I’m lucky to have a very close friend who is a photographer, but it’s okay if you don’t. Find a photographer you feel like you want to be friends with. One whose work you look at and feel a connection to. One you feel like you can be yourself around. Sometimes an e-mail exchange and a look at her website is all you need. Maybe you’re in a Facebook group together, live in the same town, or follow her on social media, and feel like you have a lot in common, or you like what she says, or you just get a good vibe.
  2. Do some emotional work beforehand. My kids are crazy about Daddy. They love me, too, and we have great relationships, and I know this, but sometimes I do feel a little left out. I knew they wouldn’t be by my side or hugging me the whole time Emily was photographing us. I had done some emotional work about this, and talked to Emily about it. So I was able to comfortably watch my kids run ahead with Daddy sometimes and enjoy the natural interactions we had, without repeatedly asking them for hugs. If you have concerns about the way you are going to be feeling during your shoot, or about the way the pictures will make you feel, talk to your photographer about them. Sometimes speaking your concerns and having them validated is all you need.
  3. Do something you know your family will enjoy. I love photographing families at home and encourage all families to be photographed at home at least once (if not annually)! Our last shoot with Emily was at home, and I treasure those photos. I don’t usually pick locations for my clients, but Emily happens to be great at that, and since she knows what my family enjoys, I was happy to go with her recommendation. If you’re going to be at home, think of a couple activities you like to do together. If you want outdoor photos not at your home, consider somewhere special to you. Often, the more simple, the better. Park down the street? Perfect.
  4. Do it! If you’re waiting to lose weight or get new clothes or until spring or whatever, stop waiting. Kids grow and change so fast, and adults don’t change as fast as we sometimes want to. Even if you have trouble embracing who you are right now, don’t let that stop you from documenting it. This is me, at my weight and with my minimalist wardrobe. The way my kids know me. The way I’ve been living my life.

I’m glad I followed my own advice, because I LOVE these photos of my family!!! Thank you, Emily!!!

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If you’re considering having your family photographed, go back and read the text of this post if you skipped it, and then let’s talk about it! Contact me your favorite way. Can’t wait to connect with you!



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Want to see more of my family?

Camping in the Poconos

Hiking at Teaneck Creek Conservancy