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September 20, 2017 12:42 AM Blog

It's here. The day I've been dreading since you were born but more so the past few weeks - The day I have to let you go. The older you got the more I knew you wouldn't stay. You knew there was more out there than just your little neighborhood. Wasn't it like five minutes ago when you were Josephine's age? When I had to kneel down to talk to you?  Now I have to tippy-toe to hug you. I look at you and still see this cute little blonde peanut with these beautiful blue eyes looking up at me - only now I am the one who has to look up. 2,051 miles... Really?  You couldn't like.... move to Delaware or something?  Ease me into this?  

All I can do now is hope I did my job right. Did I? I mean, it's great that you are confident and secure enough to leave. That's what I keep telling myself. Now that today has arrived, however, I wish I kept you locked up in the house and never let you out. I have never been so full of mixed emotions in my life. There's this part of me that is the cool mom - all supportive and wants you to spread your wings and fly and then there is the other part that is selfish and self centered and is only thinking about me and how I feel about all of this.  I am so happy for you but not happy for me. I am so excited of what adventure lies ahead but dread how empty I am going to feel. I can't wait to hear all about how great your doing but hoping I hear that you're homesick and want to come back. I admire the courage you have to leave but I wish you were too afraid to go. I am jealous that I didn't do it when I was your age, but even if given the chance to do it over again, I still probably wouldn't. 

Are you too old for me to ground you? Can I just turn back the hands on my clock about 15 years where you didn't want to leave my side and wanted to go to Nifty Fifties for an ice cream waffle for breakfast? If I made "slimy chicken" would you stay? How about if I buy you a ferret? How about a dolphin mural on your bedroom wall? Name it!!!! I know, I know... I gotta let you go. And of course, I will let you go but that doesn't mean it will be easy. One of the hardest parts about this is that, honestly, I know you're going to love it, I know you will be fine, and I know you probably won't move back. 

I'm so damn proud of you! Do you know that? I always have been. I have admired you for who you are for so long. You love hard, care deeply, and have stayed true and constant and have never veered away from that no matter what. Please don't let anything change that. 

Please be safe. Please make good choices. Please trust your gut. Please know I'm just a phone call away. Please know you can always come home. Please call me. Often.... Everyday.... Twice a day... Don't forget. 

Remember we are still under the same sun, the same moon, and the same stars. I am not sure when I go in for that last hug that my heart will let my arms let you go. I love you baby girl. More than you can imagine.

Love you more.




 
April 9, 2017 09:56 PM Blog

As the Easter Bunny approaches its last weekend at DFC, I sit here thinking.... about friends.

As I learned very early on in my career, the photography business is really cut throat and ugly. I have learned this first hand. However, a few years ago, I was invited into a Facebook group consisting of just local photographers. I found myself surrounded by a huge amount of talent but also a supported network I could never imagine belonging to. I have made such good friends who I affectionately call my "photografriends." Yes, we ARE each other's competition but have learned that you do not have to shame one another, undercut one another, bad mouth one another, or steal each other's clients in order to make money. We have learned that there are plenty of clients for everyone and encourage each other's successes! You want to know how minimal the pettiness and competitiveness is?? FOUR of these wonderful people shot the Easter Bunny with me this season. Without question! Just to help my business succeed and not for any personal gain! They also shoot with me for my sports organizations. And what is also wonderful is many of my photografriends bring their own family to visit the Easter Bunny and Santa! That speaks volumes to me.

I just wanted to give a HUGE HUGE shout out to each of you. Thank you, Shannon, Kevin, Megan, and Johnny for:

  • taking care of me, my clients, and my business. 
  • making the expansion of this part of my business seamless.
  • letting me cut a cord of being the only photographer knowing it is in great hands no matter who was there. 
  • for being my mentors and my cheerleaders!
  • showing me the meaning of the word friends!

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Here is a sample of all of our work! 


 
July 19, 2016 08:47 AM Blog

Special Rainbow Mommies and their Babies 

"Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope."

Every expectant mom always has times throughout their pregnancy when they get nervous. Especially a first-time mom. She will be nervous over every cramp or twinge. A rainbow mom has different fears. Depending on the type of loss we previously had, there are milestones we need to pass. Some (like me) need only to pass our first trimester. Some need to get past their anatomy scan, past 26 weeks, and even get home from the hospital and beyond that. As much as we try to enjoy our rainbow pregnancy, try to hold on to every movement, and try to glow that glow - every twinge, pain, or cramp you feel sends your butt racing for the phone. Panicking like a maniac because you can't find the heartbeat with your fetal doppler. Knowing damn well that your little one barely slept in your womb because if they didn't move, you were pushing on them to do so. These memories of neurosis makes me smile thinking how stupid I was, but it happened. And I am SURE I'm not alone.

I had the extreme pleasure of working with 7 amazing women. Our children are all different ages but we all have something in common... We are Rainbow Mommas. All of our stories are so unique and similar at the same time. Some of these women I am related to, some I grew up with, some I met later in my life, and some I met thanks to my angel babies. I thought it would be a fun idea to celebrate our journeys as well as bring awareness to those who are not aware of how important our angels are to us and that it is not something that should be silenced. We also wanted to let fellow rainbow parents that you aren't alone. We celebrate our angels each and every day. Our rainbow babies would not be here if they did not exist. Is it a sad topic? Sure it is! Are some days worse than others? Absolutely. But that is ok. Just because it's sad does not mean it didn't happen and it does not mean that we don't want to talk about it. As a newborn photographer, I meet rainbow babies and their parents on a weekly basis. The most frequent question I ask is, "How's your heart?" I ask that because when I think of my losses, I think about my heart and how it was broken, healed, and filled again. I have never had to explain to a Rainbow Mommy what I mean by that question. We just know. 

Here are Our Stories:

Red: Josephine & Me - "I am Danielle Foster. Josephine was sent to me by my 3 angel babies who I lost early in their pregnancies all in 2009 (February, June, September). The last one was an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in me losing one of my Fallopian tubes (salpingectomy). Shortly after that surgery (still in 2009), I was blessed to successfully carry my Joey. I ovulated on the side that DIDN'T have a tube which is when I learned the term -ovular transmigration. Yeah, it's a thing. An unbelievable thing that you have no idea the female body is capable of when you've had a salpingectomy. The miracle of how a child is conceived and all the hurdles that has to be cleared in order to become a baby is astonishing in itself, but to find out what a female's body does to compensate even further when something is missing is unthinkable and so overwhelming to wrap your head around. I am forever grateful to the babies I never met for this beautiful and unconditional gift. This miracle did not just happen once. 14 months later, my son, Colin, is a product of ovular transmigration as well. By the way, with each loss I saw ladybugs. Ladybugs are a symbol for -Let go and let God-. Ever notice my logo? ~smiles~"

Orange: Dani & Theresa - "I was 35, and planning my wedding when my first baby angel was taken from me. We didn't care that we weren't married yet, we both wanted a baby badly. It broke my heart when my first angel baby was taken from me. I got married in September 1990 and found out I was pregnant in October.  Every precaution was taken and I delivered a healthy baby girl on June 9,1991. Because I was 36, we decided to try again pretty quickly.  I found out early in January 1992 that I was pregnant. I was so happy!!  Sadly, while I was out to dinner, celebrating my birthday, my second angel baby was taken from me. Again, heartbroken, I decided not to try any longer because of the overwhelming guilt and sadness. Then in March, 1993, I'M PREGNANT! Excited and scared, the doctor took all precautions and everything appeared to be fine. Then, the evening before Mother's Day, I knew something was wrong.  After hearing the symptoms, the doctor told me he would meet me at the hospital. I lost my third angel baby on Mother's Day. The doctor told me then that all the tests revealed that I would not be able to carry a baby full-term ever again. Devastating!  I went home to my little girl running at me with my Mothers a Day present!  I Thank God for her! I talk to my 3 Angel Babies and I often look up and imagine them playing ring-around-the-Rosie on the fluffiest cloud in the sky. "

Yellow: Brandon & Rachel - "I am Rachel Houseknecht, mother to my miracle rainbow, Brandon.  Brandon was a dream that finally came true following a long journey of fertility struggles, pain and many losses.  After 7 years of fertility treatments, an unsuccessful adoption, 6 rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF), 3 early losses and the loss of his big sisters (our guardian angels) who were born at 23 weeks in April 2011, we held Brandon in our arms on October 24, 2013 after a successful high risk pregnancy.  He is the true meaning to the mantra that we live our life; “The moment when you are about to give up, IS THE MOMENT when the miracle happens.” January 1, 2012 we received a call from Heather (purple) of the FHAL Foundation, that we would become the recipients of a donated round of IVF with our fertility practice, Mainline Fertility. My mother-in-law had won the raffle ticket for the treatment and this blessing of a round followed the loss of a pregnancy the night before and our decision to possibly not continue. Brandon is the first FHAL baby!! DON'T EVER GIVE UP HOPE!"

Green: Sophia & Jennifer "My name is Jennifer Buonopane and in 2004 I got pregnant with my first baby. Everything was great! The baby was growing strong, I felt good everything was just perfect!  I went in for my 20 week anatomy scan when the doctor discovered I was funneling (dilating) and the baby was pushing on my cervix. They immediately put me on bed rest where I remained for 46 days.  I was able to hold on to my baby from 20 weeks to 26 weeks when I started to go into labor. Alessandra Sophia was born weighing 2 pounds 4 ounces, healthy, and breathing on her own. Complications then set in due to her prematurity. Alessandra became our heavenly angel at 30 weeks. Exactly one year after, I found out I was pregnant with my second baby, my rainbow baby, Sophia. I found out from my first pregnancy that I had a weak cervix and the doctor gave me a cerclage which allowed me to carry my babies to full term.  I was blessed two more times with two more girls Mia and Giovanna. We know we have our guardian angel watching over us at all times."

Teal:  Caroline & Daniella - "My name is Daniella and my husband and I suffered through two pregnancy losses while going through fertility treatments before getting pregnant with our daughter Caroline...she was the light of our world...and when she was only five months old we were again blessed with a surprise pregnancy and gave birth to another beautiful daughter whom we named Abrianna {Abby}...the girls were only 14 months apart and were my whole world...we knew we wanted to add to our family and when we decided to begin fertility again a couple years ago, it took us a lot longer than we had anticipated. We suffered another loss at 11 weeks last year and it hit me so hard. I don't think I was ready to suffer a miscarriage as a mom. I couldn't explain to my girls what was going on...when I came home from the procedure, I was in so much pain- emotionally and physically and my girls just hugged me while I was on the sofa and I sobbed. I wondered if we should just stop trying...if having them was enough...but I knew deep in my heart that I was meant to have more babies. It was difficult going through day to day life trying to keep it together for my daughters...watching friends get pregnant and photographing newborns when I wanted another baby so badly. I feared that we had waited too long, that maybe we were too old, but after lots of prayer {and fertility} we finally became pregnant again with a healthy baby last summer! I gave birth this past March 2016 to a gorgeous baby girl whom we named Marcella {Ella} Kathryn...she is the sweetest little joy and we couldn't love her more!"

Blue: Chase & Danielle - "Hi, My Name is Danielle Gouldey and I have 3 angel babies that I lost early in my pregnancies.  My first loss occurred in December 2007.  Six months later I got pregnant with Chase, a true blessing!  A year and a half after Chase was born I lost my second angel baby and then in April 2012 I lost my third. No one can ever prepare you for the heartache and sadness that follows with each loss. You never forget, you just keeping pushing on. I am beyond grateful to be a mom to Chase. He is truly my miracle, my heart, my rainbow!"

Purple: Jenna & Heather “Jenna is not an only child. She is a survivor. She is a survivor of six. Prior to Jenna's arrival into this world, my husband and I suffered multiple miscarriages ranging from six weeks to eleven weeks in term. Each one showing promise. Each one with a visible, fluttering heartbeat. Each one's loss more heartbreaking than the next. But even through heartbreak, we stayed strong. We kept our faith, had hope and hung on to that binding love. Knowing that our five little angels are looking down on us is what makes us smile. Jenna is not an only child. Jenna is our little survivor. She is and always will be our rainbow of hope. Hugs & Hearts” 

Violet/Red: Georgie & Andria - "That moment you're so excited to go to the doctors by yourself because you're past the "scary" stage and then reality kicks in..... There is always a scary stage in pregnancy. Rewind....    After 2 years 3 months and, oh, a few days, many fertility treatments, shots and being poked and pried, we finally got the news we had longed for we were expecting.... I had an amazing first pregnancy and after all we had been through, we deserved a great pregnancy, right?  I even fell down the steps and broke my tail bone.... I pushed through the fear, carried on, and delivered a healthy baby girl, Lola.  Doctors asked what we would like to do for birth control and we knew the answer immediately --NOTHING. After 10 glorious months of loving life with our new baby, I was pregnant again.... What?!  no drugs, no treatments... How exciting... I went to the doctor, heard/saw the heartbeat and still was in disbelief but yet so very happy!  Weeks carried on and plans were starting to form, name game being tossed around and the nerves finally settled.  I figured, "I've got this, I'm 13 weeks and going to see my baby by myself this time (Dom, my husband, never missed an appointment).  Life literally changed in the blink of an eye... When you see the blank stare on your doctor's face and your heart drops to the floor and you hear those God Awful words, "There is no longer a heartbeat".... How on earth could this happen to us and why???? As i cried my way back to my car after setting up my D&E, my life would never be the same. Months passed, appointments at the fertility doctor came and went and finally, finally we got our news again.... WE WERE EXPECTING OUR RAINBOW BABY!  To say we were scared the entire pregnancy is an understatement.... With each passing month and each appointment I, was more and more nervous till the day she was born.... God had a plan for us. It was just impossible to see through the hurt in our hearts. Georgie is my rainbow baby and she by all means is the little pot of golden locks at the end of our rainbow journey! God has some sense of humor though 9 weeks later he dropped the twin bombshell on our doorstep... What's another challenge.. We accepted and are in love."

Enjoy the images from our session:

Rainbow Babies

The most recent rainbow baby to join this group of rainbow babies: Marcella

How do I know these lovely souls? 
  • Theresa (orange) is my Aunt (and other mom) and (obviously) Dani is my cousin - we are very very close.
  • Rachel (yellow) and I met through Heather (purple) and the FHAL Foundation. She was my first Beach Maternity Session and first Rainbow Baby Session and one of my most special sessions of my career. Please see my BLOG post: Rainbow Babies: Positives from Negatives about how Rachel and I met.
  • Jennifer (green) and I grew up in the same neighborhood. Her husband lived on my street when I was older. 
  • Daniella (teal) is a wonderful and fellow newborn photographer based in West Chester. We met through a local photographers' group and have become friends. At the time I am writing this, she gave birth to her second rainbow baby (and third daughter), Marcella.
  • Danielle (blue) and I grew up together. I have known her since grade school. Her brother is also the marketing advisor for the FHAL Foundation.
  • Heather (purple) and I met when she reached out to me to photograph families to benefit the FHAL Foundation in which she is the founder. The FHAL Foundation helps families with infertility. Now we are quietly planning Jenna and Colin's Wedding.
  • Andria (violet/red) is my sister-in-law (my sister). Georgie is her second of 4 daughters. Georgie is my Goddaughter. I love this kid.

Thank you, Ladies, for sharing your stories, your hearts, and your rainbows. What a great day it was. What a rainbow means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope. This isn't just about losing my babies. It also means in the midst of this loss and sadness, I have made new forever friends, I have bonded further with those I love, and have a special bond with old friends I have known before this time. This would never have happened if my little lovebugs didn't grace me with their presence - even if it was only for a whisper - And for that, I am so grateful.

Special Links:
Danielle Foster CreationsFHAL Foundation  & Daniella Bella Photography


 
August 27, 2015 10:02 PM Blog

I couldn't wait to shoot this session. My first maternity session at sunrise & even better... on the beach. It was scrumptious. Beautiful mommy-to-be with a dad-to-be not afraid to get his "man card" revoked. This couple is expecting twin girls soon and I am fortunate enough to have them in our DFC Family from beginning to their first birthday!  Enjoy!

  


 
April 29, 2015 11:54 AM Blog

We recently changed over website providers and one of my favorite blogs that I wrote on October 15, 2013 was erased.  So i wanted to share it again.  

What is a Rainbow Baby?  "Rainbow Babies" are the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and the clouds. Storm clouds may still loom over but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and much needed hope."

From October 15, 2013:

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I wanted to share my story along with a very special client's story as well.

I had Darren in 1995 and Jessica in 1997 while married to my first husband, without difficulty.  Fast-forward eight years, Tim moved to Pennsylvania in the summer of 2008 and in December, surprisingly, I found out that I was pregnant. Sadly on February 12 (The anniversary of my grandmothers death), I found out that the baby was not developing and we lost our first angel. We got married May, 2009 and in June I found out we were expecting again. On July 8 (The anniversary of my uncle's death), I found out that angel number two no longer had a heartbeat.  In August I was yet again pregnant but shortly after found out that it was an ectopic pregnancy. And after trying to salvage my tube and four rounds of methotrexate, I ultimately had to have my tube removed.  On November 9, 2009 I found out I was pregnant, (the anniversary of my grandfather's death).  I was told that I ovulated on my right side, which surprised me considering that my right tube was the one that was removed. I was then told that it was called ovum transmigration and that the left Fallopian tube went and "picked up" the egg. There is only a 2% chance of this happening.  July 27, 2010 my rainbow baby, Josephine, was born I was 38. March 2011, I found out I was pregnant with Colin who I also ovulated on the right side with!!!!  He was born at exactly 35 weeks and perfect 6 weeks before my 40th birthday.  Since that time, I have always wanted to do something charitable to help other women who have been through what I went through and then some.  I felt my story had been minuscule and so much less tragic compared to others.  There is an unspoken silence about sharing fertility stories that needs to be broken and women need to know they are not alone.  I have met a wonderful group of women from www.i-am-pregnant.com

During my journey, I was introduced to a woman whose daughter started the FHAL Foundation, which helps families struggling with infertility.   This past summer, I worked with them for charity event called pictures in the park. Around that time, I got a call from Rachel.  She told me that she was referred to me by the FHAL Foundation.

This is Rachel's story:  (to read this story in Rachel's words, click here)

Tom and Rachel were married on July 30, 2005.   After a year of trying to conceive without success, Rachel found out that she did not ovulate and really never would.  In September/October 2011 they decided to try IVF.   They had an amazing first cycle of IVF and came out having 16 eggs with 12 fertilizing.  An early pregnancy test confirmed that  she was pregnant but with a very high level.  It was confirmed that they were pregnant with fraternal twins.  Then at 7.5 weeks, they were told that one of the babies was not developing and most likely would not develop a heartbeat.  Then to their shock, they looked at the other baby and it had split!  They were now pregnant with Identical Twins and originally had been pregnant with triplets.  While they were mourning the loss of one baby they also wrapped their heads around the other blessed news.

An elevated screening at 18 weeks showed that both girls may of had Trisomy 21 so they strongly encouraged an amnio. It was against what they always had believed in but knew that if they both had Downs Syndrome, it would not change anything but they wanted to ensure that they had the supports and resources for them. results came back normal. 3 days following that news, Rachel started bleeding. She drove herself to the hospital and there, her water broke. She was at 20wks/4days.  Docs told her that she would most likely deliver within 24 hours.  The girls and Rachel proved them wrong.  Her contractions slowed down over the next 2 days and they were discharged on the 5th day because the risk of infection was greater at the hospital than at home.  She was on complete bed rest from there on out.  5 days later a visiting nurse told her that she was not contracting and they listened to their strong heartbeats.  After she left, Rachel knew in her heart that something was terribly wrong.  At the hospital her contractions were every 10-12 minutes but they said there was nothing they could do in her condition so they sent her home.  By the time she got back home, the contractions were stronger and coming every 6-7 minutes.  When they returned to the hospital, the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and Baby A??™s heartbeat had gone from 154bpm to 30 bpm.  They told her that Baby A had to be delivered and they would try to save Baby B.   Abbie (Baby A) was born stillborn.  She lost her during the delivery.   Brynn, Baby B was born strong and weighing 1lb 5oz. She was with them for over an hour.  They cherished the time they had with their daughters and the strength they have given them to get through anything together. They were born on 4/11/12.

While grieving, Rachel and Tom were confronted with how to pursue the rest of this journey. Their next 3 attempts at IVF were unsuccessful. An opportunity for adoption fell through.  A 5th round of IVF return a positive pregnancy test but sadly with very low levels and Rachel miscarried at 6.5 weeks.  They then attempted IUI which was unsuccessful.

Just before Rachel's miscarriage, Tom's mother purchased a New Year's Raffle from FHAL Foundation for 1/2 off an IVF session with Mainline Fertility and won!  She gave it to Rachel and Tom.  And so, their 6th round of IVF began. On 2/4/13, they retrieved 14 eggs and 12 matured/fertilized.  They decided to only transfer 1 embryo.  #11 was transferred and she knew this one was different.  Rachel carried her girls' hospital bracelets during all of her procedures.  Rachel got the call on 2/21/13 that they were in fact pregnant!!!</blockquote>

Fast forward to July 2013.  My phone rings and Rachel is on the other end telling me that she got an email from the FHAL Foundation about our Pictures in the Park Day.  She shared her story with me while I sat sobbing listening to her, but nothing could have made me happier because the reason Rachel was calling was for a maternity session!  At 29 weeks, Rachel and Tom met Tim and I in Wildwood, NJ to do their session on the beach.  I felt like we were on a double date more than photographing a mom and dad-to-be!  Rachel and Tom are so beautiful inside and out.  I found it difficult to hold back the tears witnessing the love these two have for one another and this very very special little man nestled very comfortably inside his mommy.  I just hope I captured their love the way I experienced it.

Tom and Rachel have always wanted a family and now after 7 years, they are about to welcome their son in November.  As I write this, Rachel is 38 weeks pregnant!  Rachel, I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to share your story.  I cannot wait to meet your Rainbow Baby :)

Rachel shared her story in length with such emotion; please take the time to read it

Enjoy the images from their Maternity Session...


UPDATE:

Since then I have photographed Brandon and his family 3 times!!!!  Here are a few highlights


Our 3 Rainbow Babies - From Left to Right, My Rainbow Baby, Josephine, Rachels' Rainbow Baby, Brandon, and Heather's (founder of FHAL Foundation) Rainbow Baby, Jenna

Our 3 Rainbow Babies - From Left to Right, My Rainbow Baby, Josephine, Rachels' Rainbow Baby, Brandon, and Heather's (founder of FHAL Foundation) Rainbow Baby, Jenna


 
April 23, 2015 02:18 PM Blog

To sell or not to sell digital images, and if you are going to sell, how much are you going to charge?  This is a huge debate nowadays with professional photographers and for so many reasons. I understand (and agree) that digital images put an end to any prospective income that image/session can provide. But on a business perspective, I had to rethink my pricing since Danielle Foster Creations is the sole provider of our family and I had continuous requests for digital imagery. I had to decide either to sell them and bring in more business or have those clients go elsewhere to get their digitals. So I decided to sell. Does that make me a sell-out? I don't think so. Others may disagree. Am I giving them away? I don't think so. Compared to some I am and compared to others I'm not. I guess it depends who you ask. Would I love for my clients to just purchase prints from me so they can decorate their world with Danielle Foster Creations' art?  Of course I would! This is also why I give the printed image of each digital they purchase. Technology lasts only so long, what will become of CD and flash drive readers when my grandchildren are my age? Anyone have a slide projector I can borrow so I can see some of my childhood memories? - I think I just showed my age.

My biggest worry about this decision isn't about money. I am concerned where these images are once they leave my hands. Are their flash drives sitting in dark drawers never to have one image printed? Were they only uploaded onto Facebook never to be hung on their walls? That is a travesty! Even if they purchase prints, it doesn't guarantee that they will even hang them! They may intend to but it may not happen. A purchase of prints is not a promise to hang. I know this because I have been guilty of it. I know! I know! I'm ashamed. I should practice what I am preaching!

So to my clients I ask - If your walls could talk, what would they say? Would they ask to be covered because they are bare and cold? Or would they shout out with love and splendor of the memories in which you have blanketed them? You need to listen and let them talk! Let them talk about the fascinating journey your life has taken. In return, you invoke them to hear what marvelous things your guests say as they walk into your home. For example - “Who was the photographer and how can I hire her?” -(shameless, i know)-.  Get your memories out of your drawer or your purse or wherever your drive is. They are screaming to get out! Let them breathe! They need some fresh air! Surround them in beautiful frames or lay them on gorgeous canvas for all to see! Your little ones won't be little for long. In a flash, they're 20 and all you hung up was a baby picture and a graduation picture.






 
March 27, 2015 04:56 PM Blog

Ever wonder what you children see when they look at you? I don't mean the physical you or what your title is. I mean who you are as a person? Sure, we have all snickered at one time or another hearing your child say something inappropriate and we follow it with a statement along the lines of, "I wonder where they got THAT from!"

I am lucky to have the kind of job where many of my clients become my friends so when Joey, my 4 year old daughter or Colin, my 3 year old son, ask me if they can go to work with me, they can sometimes (of course with my client's blessing). So, I've been promising Joey and Colin that they could come to the studio and take some photos of their babies. So I sat on the couch and took some video and cellphone pics of them in action. What I didn't expect was that I would be watching little versions of myself while watching Colin. Watching him call Joey over to see the image he had just captured, saying he was going to take another shot, and then a sweet little "awwww" as he showed me his work. Wow, mommy is tender, gentle, and passionate. Yes, that's right... THIS MOM... Believe it!!! The rough girl from Overbrook is being imitated by her son by saying "awwWWW!" (see video here)

Then it was Joey's turn. Again, she is 4 and talks constantly and is so funny and honest. While I am watching her shoot she begins to tell me that she wants to take pictures of babies when she is older (I think...)... But then tells me she wants to work in a store to take pictures. I told her she can work at my studio. Her reply: "Well then I'm gonna have to work with you." Hilarious, right??? So I asked her why and she followed up with, "I want to be all by myself at work like you." That's when it hit me. Here's my proud mommy moment. In one quick moment, I realized that I am teaching my daughter how to be an independent woman, a strong woman, and a woman that went after her dream and (so far) is succeeding at it. I am teaching her to love what she does and that she doesn't need to depend on anyone to do it. That she doesn't need to work for anyone. She can work all by herself in her own place. I don't brag about myself as a mom, a wife, or a business woman often. Most times I am second guessing every word I say and every move I make but not today! Today I will soak in the pride because I don't know how long it will last!!! .....

Now, I have to go, Joey put our dog in a tutu and Colin does not think it's "A-pope-ee-ette"... moment's gone... hahaha...

I have shared the videos I talked about, photos of the kids in action, and a few images Joey took of Colin and me below. These are just cropped, so don't judge my appearance. This isn't about me, this is what my kid saw behind my lens :)

Colin's Video:

Joey's Video:


 
February 28, 2015 12:36 AM Blog

I've been dreading the thought that the day would come to write this blog entry. Today my 17 year old daughter, Jessica, will take the mat to cheer one last time. She is a Senior and tomorrow is it. She started cheering when she was 6 and never looked back. I coached Jessica from that time until she was 14. I coached with two women who quickly became my best friends &sisters. Now, the Godmothers to my two younger children. Coaching 6 year olds you have to start at the basics. And part of those basics were to teach right and left. So we put ladybug stickers on their left shoe. L is left, Ladybug starts with L. Simple. Now, almost 12 years later, we still talk about ladybug stickers. My fondest memory is all of them running into our arms after they come down from their pyramid and somehow our arms were long enough to hold all 20-25 of them.

This year, there are 12 seniors I have coached. Not only will I watch Jessica, but I will also watch 9 of them perform. Whether it was only a short time for some of them or many years for others, they all hold a special place in my heart and it is amazing to see what wonderful young women they have become. I don't think they know what joy they brought to my life at a time that wasn't always a happy one. These girls saved me and got me through such dark days and I really wish they knew what a positive impact they had on my life and I truly hope I left a positive impression on theirs.

2011 was the last time I would sit on the edge of the mat and cheer Jessica on as her coach. And I will never forget her first performance when I had to climb the bleachers as her mom to just sit and watch. Man was it far away. The night before that first performance she cried saying "I'm going to miss not being able to see you right there." I never realized that she noticed. I thought I was the only one who felt that way until I sat next to another momma coach, hating every minute of it as much as I did. I spent the next 4 years sitting next to her cheering as loud as we could so they could hear us no matter how far away from the edge of the mat we were.

So in less than 12 hours, this mom will walk into that competition, sit in the stands next to my cheer momma buddy one last time and watch my beautiful daughter perform one last time and walk off the mat one last time. But the truth is, all I will see is this tiny little blonde bean, running at me with these huge pigtails and a ladybug on her left shoe.

Jessica's First and Last Year of Cheer

Jessica's First and Last Year of Cheerleading

For all my senior cheerleaders



 
January 4, 2015 12:00 AM Blog



Enjoy a little peek behind the scenes at one of our newborn portrait sessions at my studio, Danielle Foster Creations, in Havertown, PA. Evie was 6 days new at the time of this session and was photographed in natural light. My best friend, Lisa DeBello, was the videographer on this project and I get so emotional each time I watch it. You can truly tell how much she loves composing videos and this time it's me I'm watching. We just posted it on Facebook this week and I cannot believe the amazing response we have gotten. I love how it shows the wonderful chemistry between my assistant, Gena, and myself, the warmth of my studio, and the friendly atmosphere parents will experience here. Enjoy!

Please contact me if you are interested in our services. To contact Lisa DeBello for videography services: luvdancin@comcast.net


 
August 16, 2014 10:41 PM Blog

So this summer we were down the shore and I sat on the beach on our last day of vacation watching my children play and it had me thinking. Thinking so much about my life, my children, and my journey. For those of you who don't know me, I have 6 children. 4 biological children and 2 stepchildren. We are a blended family. I have 2 from my first marriage, Darren, who is now 19 and Jessica who is now 17. Tim has 2 from his first marriage, Melissa who is 19 and James who is 16. Together we have Josephine who just turned 4 and Colin who is 2. For the sake of this post I am concentrating on my 4 since they have been mine from the start. Back to the beach:

I sat there watching them play together with a kite and running around. The little ones chasing the big ones, giggling, and having so much fun. And I found myself starting to cry. Being a newborn, child, maternity, and family photographer, I get to share and experience so many "firsts" in their lives. First pregnancies, first babies, first smiles, first family portraits, first sons, first daughters, first communions, first birthdays, first taste of birthday cake, first grandchildren, and even first steps. And every time, I am reminded of my firsts and joy it had brought me. Now my life is turning a little bit. I am experiencing so many lasts along with these firsts. And I never thought these days would come. I didn't think about the last time I will experience a first. Or the last time I would experience something that has been a huge part of my life. Especially these past couple years.

My oldest son has given me all my first lasts. He is my first to graduate high school this year and I watched him play his last baseball game in May. He has played since he was 3. Yes, 3. He played tee-ball with a t-shirt that reached his ankles and he never looked back. Baseball was our getaway. When things were bad, we had baseball. Through my divorce and when things were a little rough, we would play baseball to distract him. It was our "thing." I loved watching him play. Such talent, drive, and determination. Things almost went quiet when I would watch him. Then May came and I watched him play his last game, make his last play, take his last at bat, and walk off the field for the last time. Man... Our "thing" was over. I could barely keep my composure and neither could he.

Now as this summer comes to an end, my oldest daughter will be a senior. We will visit her first college, fill out her first application, go shopping for her first prom dress (since my thrifty daughter borrowed all her other prom dresses :). And, again, I will experience all the lasts again. I coached Jess in cheerleading from the time she was 6 until she was 14. I have been through our last competition as her coach, and the last time I will sit on the side of the mat to watch her. Cheerleading was our "thing." Our escape. I am in awe when she cheers. The strength, stamina, and talent that oozes from her amazes me. Again, the whole world shuts down when I watch her. High school came and I moved from the floor to the bleachers. The bleachers were to me were like moving from your childhood home for the first time. It was different and kind of cool, but no place like home. But I have made some great friends in my new home. This year, I will watch her last first competition of the year, cheer her last football game, our last trip to Orlando for Nationals, and her last high school competition. I will watch my daughter be recognized as a Senior and I will be the one being consoled instead of the other moms who my heart has broken for.

Along with these last with my older ones comes so many firsts ahead - first day of college, first day at the new job, and I as a grandmother will experience my own kids moving through all these first as I stated above... Is it really close to being that time???

While all this is going on, I get to experience all the first with my youngest two. First days of PreK. First cheerleading practice. First competition. First baseball game. First --- whatever activity they want. First day of school. It seems like it's starting all over again. In some ways it is exactly the same. In many ways its not. I am very excited and so very exhausted thinking about doing this all again! But one thing that is so evident. The one thing that blows up in my face each time I think about it is the insane amount of lasts that are in my future.

Colin will be 3 soon. He is my last. My last baby. I could barely type that. No matter what first I experience with him will be my last first. In 3 short years I have been through too many lasts already. I have delivered my last baby. Have had the feeling of holding my baby for the first time for the last time. Watched my baby roll over, crawl, and walk for the first time for the last time. Just to name a few and I am sure I am leaving out a ton. Everything I experience with this precious baby boy will be my last. Last time I will be the Tooth Fairy, Santa, & Easter Bunny. He will be my last one in Kindergarten thru High School. It's almost like he knows. He cuddles me like no other. He still holds onto my leg and always looking to make sure I'm there. This too will end and there will be a time that he hugs my leg for the last time or jumps up on me with his legs curled up onto my chest for the last time.

Having a generation gap between my first two and my last two, I know all too well how quickly it passes. I can still look at my older two and see those babies at 4 and 2, but I don't know when I had my last cuddle. When did that stop? If I had known it was my last, I would have held on a little longer. What's cute though is my olders still say things they did when they were toddlers. Jessica still says "I love you more" when I tell her I love her and she has said that since she could speak. Josephine has stolen it from her too. It's nice to see what cute and good things get passed on. Darren used to say "I luh yew, Mommy." instead of I love you, and he still says it. I wonder if they will say those things to their own children.... I hope so.

Therefore, I have made a promise to myself to make time for the little moments because I don't know when it will be my last. Soak every second in. I am capturing so many memories for so many wonderful families and I just need to remember to capture my own because they are just as important. My older two have seen me financially and emotionally struggle and my favorite description used to be that I keep digging myself out of this hole and just when I get to the top and dust myself off, there is a perpetual boot kicking me back in. (Knock Wood) - but as I sat there on the beach, I realized that I haven't seen that boot, nor do I even see the hole. As cliche as it sounds, it has been filled with love, contentment, and happiness. My husband, children, family, friends, and career have done that. I am so grateful and love how I feel inside. These were my thoughts that flew through my head in a matter of 15 minutes while watching them fly a kite on the beach as I sat with broken foot just taking pictures of their smiling faces. I will embrace these lasts and keep them forever because s all of these lasts come to an end, I will have sooo many firsts coming around full circle when a new chapter in my kids' lives and my life open. Life is Good.


 
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