Photos by Monica Duhe, The Duhe Photo.

Why children’s heirloom photography is a Southern staple

There is something so impeccably Southern about children’s heirloom photography. As the name implies, these photos are fine art works that become part of the family legacy. They also allow future generations to get a glimpse of what family members looked like as young children.

Heirloom photographer Monica Duhe of The Duhé Photo says this unique portrait-style photography became Southern staple because it captures the purity and innocence of a child with sweet vignette details.

“It’s a modern twist on a classic Southern tradition that you can cherish for years to come,” Duhe says. “We love to pass things down in the South, and these portraits serve as a reminder of those chubby cheeks and glowing eyes that you know and love.”

Duhe started the business because she wanted to have heirloom pictures taken of her daughter, as well as a desire to master the technique. “It began with friends and family, but soon became something more,” she says.

“I’ve always loved the black and white photos because they capture children with such elegance and nostalgia,” she explains. “There’s just something about capturing those big personalities at such a young age.” 

If you’re thinking about having portraits done for your family, Duhe offers this advice concerning commonly asked questions:

What’s the best age: “There is no one-size-fits-all answer because it really depends on each child’s personality. We want to ensure we capture them young enough to naturally be expressive and playful. This is typically at 6+ months—but any age you want to capture is perfect.”

How to prepare: “It’s important to plan the timing of the session around the child’s nap and/or feeding time. We have plenty of toys to help them feel comfortable, and we always build time in to get the best shots.”

What to wear: “The traditional heirloom outfits look best because they’re classic and timeless—just like the portrait. For boys, a white or light colored shirt, Peter Pan/rounded collar or white button down. For girls, a smocked, light-colored or solid white dress. There’s no need to worry about shoes.”