sibling adventure along the maine coast | maine family lifestyle photographer

Hey guys,

I'm super excited for my fall sessions this year and have been checking out a few new places. I love scouting with my girls; I get the opportunity to take some pictures of them but also share the joy of exploring new areas. Last week, we checked out a spot on the coast and we all had a great afternoon. It was incredibly foggy but I assured them that fog always adds a little magic to pictures. They loved climbing along the rocks and adventuring through trails. Lillian even told me it was her favorite scouting trip yet. It did start to rain a bit so we weren't able to stay as long as we'd like but I think we'll be heading back soon and I can't wait to take a few of my fall families to this hidden gem. 

Also, I've actually have had a early October session spot become available for anyone who may be interested. Feel free to contact me and share this blog post with anyone who may be interested in a fall session. 

And don't forget - I still have availability for the second day of mini session OCTOBER 29TH. Learn more here..: https://daniellelachancephotography.com/blog/2017/9/4/fall-mini-sessions-maine-photographer

Abigail Hope | Personal Share

Abigail Hope

It's funny how time works isn't it? How a memory can feel like yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time. I remember the exact moment when the ultrasound tech told me that she needed to wait for the doctor before we could talk about anything. At that point, I had been going to the high-risk doctors office weekly for ultrasounds.  I told my husband that something wasn't quite right, but he assured me she was just more by-the-book than some of the previous techs we had seen. But then the doctor came in and told us our lives were going to get more complicated because I was being admitted to Maine Med. That first day was the hardest. No one wanted to tell us what was going on and we had to find childcare immediately for my oldest daughter. I remember my husband bringing her out to the garage to meet with my grandparents who would be watching her for the majority of next 2 weeks while I was on bed rest in the hospital.

When I was about 16 weeks pregnant, my regular blood work came back with elevated AFP levels. The immediate concern was that she may have spina bifida. The doctors at the high risk office quickly ruled that out which was a huge relief. But they anticipated that I may have placenta issues that would possibly affect my pregnancy later on. They were also concerned about the length of her long-bones and prepared us for the possibility that she may be born with skeletal dysplasia. 

It's a bit confusing but basically, my unborn child was not getting enough nutrients while in utero because my placenta was leaking and at that ultrasound visit right before I was admitted, they discovered that there was an absence of blood flow through her umbilical cord. While I was in the hospital, I asked an attending what exactly was wrong and she had said "basically, you have a shitty placenta". She was probably my favorite doctor that I saw. She wasn't afraid to tell us what was going on, why it was concerning, and I just loved her choice of words. Once admitted, I had NSTs every 4 hours while I was admitted in the hospital and ultrasounds twice a day. It honestly just felt like one really long day. I was on bed rest, and was allowed to get up to use the bathroom or take a quick shower. Other than that my husband was allowed to push me in a wheelchair around the hospital or to the courtyard twice a day for 15 minutes each time. 

At one point, I was told that if in 2 days my condition and my baby's condition remained the same that we could talk about going home and doing bedrest there. He even said if I could make it to 36 weeks we could discuss the possibility of having a vaginal birth. I was over-the-moon ecstatic. I had never had a major surgery before and I was terrified by the thought of having a c-section. I had so many amazing friends and family reach out, visit me and help me through this time.

The next day, the ultrasound showed a reversal of blood flow. It's hard to explain and I don't have the medical training to explain it clearly but basically, when the blood flow was absent, that was ok. She was able to stay in and bake as long as the blood flow didn't reverse. But it did. Blood was flowing from my placenta, through the umbilical cord, and then instead of going into my baby, it was bouncing back towards the placenta. This made for a dangerous situation and my dreams of going home while still pregnant went out the window.

When I was first admitted to the hospital, we didn't even have a name picked out. We were told on the first day there that it was a good idea to start deciding. The moment that was said to us, I feel like everything got very real, very fast. So we set out and "decided" on a name. I say decided, because it didn't end up being her name. We told our nurses - "Her name is going to be Caroline!" And the moment it slipped through my lips I started to panic that it just wasn't the right name. Thinking back about it now, I think I had so much anxiety about picking a name because the moment I picked a name, the scary situation we were in would become real. We ended up asking just about everyone we knew about their opinions and ended up writing down each of our 5 favorite names and pulling them out of a paper L.L. Bean bag. The name we ended up picking once again wasn't the name she ended up with but it helped steer us in the right direction and it did solidify her middle name - Hope.

Once it was decided that she needed to come, she needed to come fast. Even for being premature, she was incredibly small for her gestational age; likely because she was not getting enough nutrients because of my "shitty placenta". The stress of labor was not something she would be able to survive. Within 2 hours, I had signed paperwork and was being wheeled into an OR. I was a mess, sobbing uncontrollably and it was by far, the scariest moment of my life.

While she didn't need any assistance breathing after she was born, she did face a list of obstacles. She was too small and weak to feed and had to be fed in tiny amounts through a feeding tube. Even at her size and age, she hated it and would get her tiny fingers under the tube and pull it out of her nose. The nurses were constantly having to redo it and add more tape to try to prevent her from doing it. She also wasn't able to maintain her temperature on her own and by the time she came home, she was still so small that she had to use an angel ride car seat. Being a NICU parent can be extremely isolating. Especially because we lived 40 miles away from the hospital. We made the drive every day and often spent weekends at the Ronald McDonald house. The other thing about being a NICU parent is the struggle with caring for your child. Babies are supposed to be held and I know how important skin to skin contact is for a child's development and it killed me that she wasn't receiving as much as she should. Because she couldn't maintain her temperature, she could only be held for a few minutes at a time. The hardest thing was just the fact that I was not be able to care for her like I had with my older daughter. The nursing staff was absolutely amazing but it was an incredible struggle to rely so heavily on their help.

Abigail Hope was born 7 weeks early. I remember trying to find the best possible angle to make her small and fragile 3lb 1oz body look "normal". It seems like it was just yesterday. I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning and have to check my schedule 5 times throughout the day but I remember every single detail from this. At the same time though, I look at my boisterous 6 year old child and feel like it was a thousand years ago, or that maybe the whole thing was a dream. She's overcome so much and I just love the kid she's becoming but every birthday she has gets me a little weepy. There was so much uncertainty before she was born and for the first year - 2 years of her life. I wasn't sure what her life would look like. If you had told me that she'd be as fiery and strong-willed as she is, I probably wouldn't have believed you. 

I am so thankful for everyone that was in our corner throughout that time and am so thankful for my sweet and sassy girl. Abigail Hope.

And because this is too wordy and everyone likes before & after pictures - here are a couple from when she was born & now.

Fall Mini Sessions | Maine Photographer

It's true! Fall minis are coming!

 
 

9/16/17 Update

I've opened up a second day of mini sessions on October 29th. 

I just wanted to take a minute to make sure everyone has all the details about the mini sessions and information about how to sign up for your spot. I've created this handy little informational picture that can be shared on social media but I also wanted to make sure you all had a place to read everything clearly and easily. The sessions will be taking place on my property in Dayton, Maine. We'll have some tall grass and beautiful foilage - the perfect mix for fall pictures. Space is limited.

 

The details.

$150

Saturday, October 14th, 2017 {Rain date: October 21st/22nd) - SOLD OUT

Sunday, October 29th, 2017 {Rain date: November 5th}

Dayton, Maine

20 minute session

10 digital images with print release (with the option to purchase more images)


*A 50% retainer is required to reserve your spot. It is non-refundable and the remaining 50% is due on the day of the mini sessions.*


You can reserve your spot here: https://calendly.com/daniellelachancephotography/fall-mini-sessions/

Once you reserve your spot, I will send you a confirmation e-mail with your invoice & contract attached.

Here are a few images from our location here in Dayton which is just outside the Saco/Biddeford area if you aren't familiar.

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August Favorites | Maine Childhood Photographer

August was a busy but really good month for us. I finished up my summer class and made a solid effort to squeeze every last drop of summer. We took a few mini 2 day trips to some of our favorite spots and explored new areas and found new playgrounds to try out. We literally spent an entire day driving around towns we'd never been to and playing at the various school and park playgrounds. The girls absolutely loved it and it was nice reminder that some of the best childhood memories are simple things. Also I turned 30 this month. To celebrate we took the girls down to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. It's been on my bucket list for YEARS so I was so happy to get down there. And now, I can't wait to go back again. We were all so impressed with how clean the facility was and it was just an incredible experience. I also celebrated my 30th by doing a silly milestone shoot with the help of my sister. 

But so now, here are my favorites from August.

 

Roberts Family Beach Session | Kennebunk Maine Lifestyle Photographer

Wow, I was just looking through my blog posts and was shocked to realize I never blogged this beautiful family's session. I am seriously shocked. I don't know how it slipped past me but HERE IT IS - BETTER LATE THAN NEVER! 

Danielle won a family session during my New Years giveaway. I was so excited to do their session and we picked an early morning in June. Little Isla is just the cutest kid and so full of curiosity. The Roberts' are such a loving family, they were such a joy to work with. 

It was a bright and sunny morning and the tide was low enough to provide a lot of beach space. (It's a spot where the beach almost disappears during high tide). Isla was very curious about the ocean so naturally her reaction was to make her parents go in first to see how it goes. 

I love capturing her on-the-go nature and the gentle, loving vibes that they all give off. Here are a few of my favorite images from the day. 

If you're interested in booking a fall session, I have 2 spaces available in September. They're going to go fast, so contact me to book your session today.

 
 

Russel Family Session | Portland, Maine Photographer

Hey guys!

I have so, so been slacking with blogging this month. It's just been insanely busy between my summer classes ending and trying to get everything done that I wanted to get done before school starts up again for everyone. 

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite images from the Russell family's session from last month. We originally were going to meet in Scarborough but were surprised to find our location completely packed on a Sunday evening. Luckily, there are so many great spots close by and they were super flexible so we decided to head over to Kettle Cove. 

I still have 2 spots open for session in September, so if you're interested in booking you can contact me by hitting that button below.

Camping & Sparklers | Personal Share

Hey everyone!

I know it's a bit delayed but HEY here's some personal pictures from earlier this month. The 4th of July is probably our family's favorite holiday (except for Christmas. I am a Christmas maniac). Justin loves to buy lots of fireworks and I'm never mad because let's be real, fireworks are the funnest thing ever. He likes setting them off, the kids and I like watching them. It's a win-win. This year the 4th marks our one year anniversary in our house; almost to the day. So we decided kind of last minute to have some of our family over. My sister & niece came over early in the day and she and the kids played water balloons and did some crafty things. Justin smoked some brisket, we ate lots of delicious foods and then when it got dark, the fireworks started. My sister-in-law and her family came over and we had a lot of fun playing with sprinklers and watching the fireworks. Plans for next years show are already in the works and I have a feeling it's going to be quite the show. 

I had the great idea that we should just spontaneously go camping the next day. Because we had such a busy 4th, we didn't really have time to go through our camping stuff and make sure we had everything we need. Generally, we go camping a couple times a summer so I kind of thought we didn't really need to check everything. Overall the trip was kind of a bust. I don't want to drag on about all the horrors but the first night we ended up eating dinner at 10pm and having to grab a hotel room. Yup. Camping, right? We were lacking some pretty essential camping equipment that we didn't realize and by the time we got to a town with a camping supply store it was too late to go back to camp and set up in the dark. The rest of the trip was actually pretty good despite the fact that the lake was so flooded the girls couldn't swim or play at the beach like we'd planned. We enjoyed playing board games and playing "Chopped: Camping Edition". We also went out to and did some moose safaris and managed to see some each night out.

In Home Lifestyle Newborn Session Sneak Peek | Portland, ME Photographer

One of my sessions last week was with the Anderson family. They scheduled an in-home newborn session and it was just wonderful. Little Oliver was so cuddly and sleepy and big sister Nora was an absolute riot and such a caring soul. Here's a little sneak peek from their session - keep your eyes out for their full blog post later on.

*Edit to add*

This family's full blog post can be found here!

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Want to see more from this session? Check out their full blog post here:

https://www.daniellelachancephotography.com/blog/2017/7/27/anderson-newborn-session-portland-maine-lifestyle-photographer

Abby's Mommy & Me In Home Session | For Fun

Oh, I'm so excited to share this special little blog with you all today. This week I have been very busy with sessions and editing. But on Friday, between the 2 sessions I had scheduled that day, my youngest daughter came up to me and had a photo request. She would like to do a "Mommy and Me" session with her baby doll and she was hoping I could find time to do it. Of course, without hesitation I put down my laptop, grabbed my computer and off to my bedroom we went. She was absolutely thrilled that I was going to do this special session for her. She loves to play with my tripods and pretend that they are cameras. She will spend hours lining up her stuffies and dolls and playing photo session with them. I just love the way her mind works. It was so cute to watch her take care of her baby - she wanted REAL LIFE stuff she said. Seriously, I love her. I may be biased (yeh, I definitely am) but she's adorable and I thought these photos were so cute and funny I just had to share them. 

Abby helping her baby run through the hallway

Abby helping her baby run through the hallway

Abby and her baby

Abby and her baby

They love to read together

They love to read together

Lunch time for baby

Lunch time for baby

"Feeding" her baby

"Feeding" her baby

Rocking baby to sleep

Rocking baby to sleep

Carter Maternity Session Sneak Peek | Maine Family Photographer

Hey guys!

This week has been crazy busy but it's the best kind of busy. The kind of busy that leaves your heart feeling so full you don't even know if you can handle it. A couple nights ago, I met up with the Carter family to do their maternity pictures. Here is a little sneak peek for you all! Keep your eyes out for their full blog post in the next couple weeks.

Danielle

Cape Elizabeth maternity photographer
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Johnson Party of 3 | Maine Rustic Wedding Photographer

Johnson Wedding

southern maine wedding photographer bride groom veil portrait

Earlier this month I photographed my first wedding of the season. As you may know, I don't take on many weddings so I'm excited to share this one with you all now. Amanda and Mike already have a beautiful daughter and Amanda was really excited to finally become a Johnson as well. It was a laid back event with their closest family and friends in early June. The weather was perfect and the day was full of love. 

Amanda and Mike chose to do a first look and they are some of my favorite images from the day. The look on Mike's face just reminds me of a kid in a candy store looking at his future wife. 

Vendors:

Dress: Davids Bridal

Hair: Alyssa Ames of Hair Care N Design

DJ: TMBmuzic with Michael Breen

Cake: Cakes by Babbs

Catering: Famous Dave's

Colangelo Mini Session | Maine Family Photographer

This morning I wanted to take a minute to share another session from my Mother's Day "Mommy & Me" mini sessions. We did the session in the morning at the Little River Flower Farm in Buxton, Maine. It's a beautiful farm that offers pick-your-own flowers and has a beautiful wedding site on location. They also do pick-your-own blueberries. And they should be ready right around July 4th! I can't wait to take the girls down there to pick our own everything!

Dondero Mini Session | Maine Family Photographer

Hi everyone!

My Mommy & Me mini session date ended up getting rained out so I've been pretty busy rescheduling everyone and doing the make up sessions. It's been so much fun though. I've gotten to meet so many wonderful women and their children and I have been overwhelmed by the response to these minis. I love that so many women have decided to make getting in the frame a priority and I'm so happy that I'm able to give them and their children these memories. For these minis I'm going to do a sort of mini series of blog posts. 

First up are the Dondero's.  I first met Jen and her kids last fall when they booked my fall mini sessions. I was so excited when she was one of the first people to sign up for this round of minis. We met at the Little River Flower Farm in Buxton, Maine first thing in the morning and the lighting was amazing. The property they have at the Little River flower Farm is absolutely beautiful. If you don't know about them, they are an organic flower farm and they offer pick-your-own flowers. AND they have pick-your-own blueberries as well. The owner, Nancy, let me know that their blueberries are actually ready for picking sooner than a lot of other local farms and are usually ready right around or shortly after July 4th! I can't wait to go and pick all the flowers and blueberries. Oh, and did I mention they also do weddings? They have the most gorgeous ceremony spot in the woods right up next to the river. It's seriously dreamy. 

My favorite part of the sessions I did that morning ended up being what I was most nervous about.. the sun. It was a VERY sunny day and even though it was early, the sun was already pretty high in the sky. (This can make it difficult to do pictures as there are often very harsh shadows and squinty eyes) The trees on the property created the most beautiful shadows on the grass, and the dandelions and fallen petals just give it a very magical feel (or at least I think so!)

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