Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Family Lifestyle: DeWalds

I had such a blast with the DeWald family during their Maryland Zoo in Baltimore family lifestyle session. We got to spend so much time exploring and checking out incredible animals from fighting rhinos to cheetahs to endangered tree frogs. Keep reading to see this fun family in action at the zoo along with all the amazing animals.

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Family Lifestyle photographer

Why Rhinehart Photography?

Ted shares, “I’ve been following Lisa on social media for a while now, and all of her pictures are incredible. I wanted to get Melinda a really special gift for Christmas.  I knew a photo session would be perfect.  I looked at a lot of different photographers, but Lisa’s pictures were so unique…”

He continues, “I found myself revisiting her website and Instagram over and over again, so much so that it became obvious that we should choose Lisa as our photographer. I love her unique perspective and wanted more than just a traditional posed family photo session.”

Melinda adds, “I was incredibly excited to receive the photo session as a gift, particularly after meeting to discuss ideas with Lisa. I love zoos and the photos that come from zoos, but they are always pictures of the rest of the family or me in selfies. I thought Lisa could capture our family’s joy. The sneak peek showed us that she totally did!

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Family Lifestyle photographer

Why the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore?

Melinda says, “Because Ted and I are both teachers, our summers are full of trips. Zoos have traditionally been the first big event of every summer for us. We choose a different zoo nearby and take a day trip to go visit and mark the beginning of summer break – an entire season of trips and adventures.”

kids looking at cheetahs at Maryland zoo

cheetah yawning at zoo

A Fit Family

Ted shares, “We’re both really physically active. We LOVE to exercise, we take nutrition pretty seriously, and run around every day helping students (seriously, as teachers I feel like we log miles around our classrooms!) and chasing after our kids.” 

I love this photo of the whole family running through the zoo!

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Family Lifestyle photographer family running

Spotting Giraffes

Melinda smiles, “Before our kids were born, zoos were some of our favorite date days as a couple. The last trip we took before kids when I was pregnant with Caleb, we went to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. I LOVE giraffes and we were able to feed a giraffe that day.”

Melinda continues with a funny story: “When Caleb was really little, a giraffe licked his hand. Ted convinced Caleb when he was older that it licked his face instead – which it did not.  If you ask Caleb now, he will for sure have the memory of the giraffe licking his face *in his own mind*, haha!

authentic candid central pa md photographer family looking at zoo animals smiling

giraffe at maryland zoo

Lemur Lane

Lemur Lane in the African Journey was so fun to check out! The ring-tailed lemurs were super active.

dad looking up at ring tailed lemur on lemur lane African journey Maryland zoo Baltimore

boy making crazy face through leaves at Maryland zoo

Clearing Monkey-Mind with “Ian-Speed”

Melinda shares, “One of the things we’re thankful for about Ian is that he forces us to slow down and pay attention to all the things around us.”

Ted adds, “We laugh that he’s always moving at “Ian-Speed” when we’re often in much more of a hurry.”

Melinda smiles, “The zoo lets us go at whatever speed he wants. We can take our time and appreciate all the details of what’s in front of us, or we can sprint forward just for the fun of it.”

On dad’s shoulders, Ian is so tall!!  If any of you do yoga you probably understand the idea of “monkey mind,” I thought that was especially fitting here 😉

dad carrying son on shoulders looking at outdoor animal exhibits Maryland zoo creative artistic central pa photographer

chimpanzee exhibit maryland zoo

Capturing Their Real Family

Ted & Melinda say, “We just love being around each other all the time. We’re more together: we laugh more, enjoy life more, and just do more than any of us on our own.

Ted shares, “So much of our lives are filled with genuine smiles, laughter, and jokes, that I really wanted to be captured! We can get pretty goofy, and I wanted that spirit of fun and play.”

Melinda shares, “We wanted Lisa to capture our real energy. We love each other so much. We are fun and playful. We like being together and wanted that captured in photographs.”

black and white phot of family pointing in different directions smiling at Maryland zoo

mom and sons looking at zoo animal exhibit creative artistic family photographer pa

Monkeying Around

Ted shares, “We’re always on the lookout for something to make the other laugh or smile. It’s almost constant. Statues, signs, weird things that we notice. I’m pretty much up for doing anything silly if I know it’s going to get someone in our family to smile.”

dad imitating monkey at Maryland zoo in Baltimore photographer family lifestyle

two boys laughing at Maryland zoo in Baltimore best central pa md family photographer

parents imitating monkey poses statues at Maryland zoo

Big Brother, Caleb

Ted & Melinda share, “Caleb is empathetic and kind, constantly looking out for not just his little brother, Ian, but for everyone around him. He’s got an amazing imagination and sense of humor. Caleb loves to laugh and make others laugh too.”

Keep scrolling to see Caleb in action, and don’t worry he’s carrying an empty stroller up the stairs!

boy carrying stroller up stairs at Maryland zoo authentic candid family photographer central pa

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Family Lifestyle photographer boy pushing brother in stroller

boy smiling with zoo letters reflecting on ground creative family photographer md pa

Animal “Facts”

Ted shares, “I love making up “facts” about the animals we are seeing in the zoo together. I think part of the magic about zoos is that you’re seeing all these incredibly beautiful and strange animals, and you’re not quite sure about them. I love that open-ended imaginative nature of our zoo visits.”

family vacation photographer Baltimore md family looking at lion exhibit together

black and white photo of mom holding son laughing making funny faces at Maryland zoo family photographer

Our Favorite Place

Ted says, “Zoos are special to us, one of our favorite places. We love them because they are filled with small experiences of unexpected awesome. The animals always bring a sense of wonder, and we’re constantly looking out for what’s next and what’s around the bend.”

He continues, “We also just get to be together while we look out for what happens next. Zoos are also this reminder of just how much more there is to know and learn, and how small we are in this big world. I love hearing Caleb rattle off all the facts that he knows about the creatures we’re seeing while I tell him “facts” of my own, haha!”

Check out the rhino “face-off” below!

Maryland zoo architecture walkways trees son looking at Rhino battle

two rhinos battling at Maryland zoo exhibit creative photographer Baltimore central pa


Melinda smiles, “Ted has shared with me on several occasions that the best thing he could do as a father is show our kids how much he loves their mother.  He does that so well, and he is my favorite. Always. I am so thankful for us.”

couple holding hands smiling at each other walking through zoo Maryland zoo family photographer

flock of pink flamingos walking in water and standing in grass at Baltimore zoo exhibit

The Best Parents

Ted shares, “The amazing things that Melinda and I get to experience together are not accidents, but because she loves and cares for us so much. We go on big adventures to zoos, parks, beaches, and other big destinations, but also the small everyday ordinary adventures of just living life are magical. She makes every moment big and small special and fun.”

Melinda shares, “Ted never lets us doubt his love. He reminds his kids and me often how much he loves us, that he is proud of us, and that he is thankful for us. He is strong – look at those muscles – but not just physically. He holds our family together so well. Ted is also funny and is the first to laugh at a joke that one of us tells and reminds us that we are funny too.” 

If you look closely you can see their faces framing the flamingos below:

couple silhouetted in front of flamingo exhibit at Maryland zoo creative artistic family photographer central pa md

black and white photo of couple touching forehead smiling at each other love photographer md pa

Ian’s Time to Shine

Ted & Melinda say, “Ian has a sense of joy and happiness in every moment. He’s constantly smiling and laughing. He’s wonderfully himself at all times, and not looking to anyone else for the way he should be acting or reacting to a situation.”

parents walking with son pushing stroller at Maryland zoo smiling and laughing fun joyful family lifestyle photographer

boy laughing and smiling at camera behind held by mom Maryland zoo photographer

black and white photo of dad holding son who smiling at camera trees in background Maryland zoo Baltimore family photographer

boy climbing into slide on playground at Maryland zoo family lifestyle photographer

black and white photo of mom kissing son on cheek at Maryland zoo joyful creative lifestyle photographer

Exploring All the Animals

I love these photos of Ian and Caleb checking out the endangered tree frogs! Look at the wonder in their eyes. 🙂

boy looking at endangered tree frog exhibit face reflected into glass creative artistic unique family photographer central pa md Baltimore

boy looking into endangered tree frog exhibit Maryland zoo trip photographer

Lisa Felt Like Family!!

Melinda smiles, “We loved working with Lisa! She let us be us!”  

Ted adds, “I was nervous at first because so many of the families and pictures on Lisa’s site looked so creative and beautiful and cool, and I wasn’t sure how we’d fit in. But after our first brainstorming session with her, I knew she’d get it. Our day trip with Lisa was genuinely so much fun. She felt like part of our family on our trip with us and not just a photographer.

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Family Lifestyle photographer family smiling at camera

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Family Lifestyle photographer parents holding sons hands having fun

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Family Lifestyle Session Slideshow

See even more photos from the DeWald family’s zoo lifestyle session set to music in the slideshow below!

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