hello. my name is milena


this is my story… And why I want to capture yours.

Memories By The Smile was born in 2011, shortly after I married my favorite man ever (he used to call me ‘Smiles’). It didn’t take long for me to discover a passion for documentary photography, and especially for birth. I began documenting births shortly after my first purchase of a “real” camera. And then I discovered the world of maternity care and how broken it is in our country. As a woman planning to give birth some day, I knew I needed to be able to advocate for the women whose births I was witnessing. So I trained and became a doula in 2012.

I loved working with women and helping them greet and excel in motherhood, but soon it was my turn to become a mother. I took all I had learned and all I had witnessed and gave birth at home to my beautiful little girl, then a couple of years later, to my beautiful little boy. Those births were some of the most intense and emotion-filled experiences of my life and they have truly changed everything. My own experiences fuel my desire to document for families and advocate for and with them.

As an artist, families are still my most favorite subjects, but especially the interactions with the women in those families. We are the tenderness and the strength and the safe place and the routine makers. We are the magic that births and moves our families, and I find that mystery absolutely irresistible.

A few more random facts:

  • My husband is a hiphop artist, and you should check out his music (IG & twitter: @tracethekidmusic)

  • I work from home and care full time for 2 of the ca-YUTEST kids you have ever seen in your life

  • Motherhood = I. NEED. COFFEE. I can share my incredible secret recipe for my divine daily mocha if you ask nicely!

  • I try to be Keto, but I fail a lot

  • I am pretty crunchy but I don't raise chickens or have a backyard garden yet... but I do believe that prayer on top of essential oils can fix most things, along with elderberry syrup and coconut oil.

  • I plan to homeschool my tiny humans when the time comes and I need all the mom friends I can find! Some of my favorite friends are my clients!

  • I recently became an admin in a local facebook group dedicated to helping moms learn to use their DSLR cameras. I would love to help you if you need it, just reach out!

What to Expect From Working With Me

  1. Phone Call

    I will answer your preliminary questions including discussing investment information, and we will schedule your complimentary in person consultation.

  2. In Person Consultation

    We sit down at your home one week prior to your session and plan session attire, important images, and gallery ideas for your walls.

  3. Photo Session

    The big day! We will photograph the images we discussed for your walls during your consultation and have SO. MUCH. FUN! This is the easy part for you- all you have to do is show up ready to have fun and be yourself.

  4. Ordering Session

    Roughly 2 weeks after your session, we sit down again in your home and I reveal the magic we created in your session and help you choose where to display them!