Arnold Family Session | Southern Maine Lifestyle Photographer

I’m so excited to share this session from last summer. I’m not sure how I managed to forget to blog this one. It was one of my favorite sessions from 2018 and makes me feel so excited for summer sessions this year.

This session was one of the lifestyle backyard sessions I offered in August that took place on my property in Dayton, Maine. Looking out over the frozen tundra that is currently my backyard it’s hard to imagine all the green that will return {someday}. I loved this family so much; they were all kinds of fun which you can really feel looking through their images.

I’m currently booking summer 2019 sessions, so if you’re interested in booking, reach out.

Cape Elizabeth Family Lifestyle Session | Southern Maine Photographer

Bree won my New Year’s giveaway and last month we got together to do their family pictures. To our surprise as we were driving to Kettle Cove it started raining rather heavily. We decided to go ahead with the session and hope that it wasn’t still raining when we got there. Not surprisingly, it was! We didn’t let it slow us down and it ended up clearing up just in time for us to get to the beach and play in the water.

Don’t forget- booking for fall mini sessions is open!

Rumery Family Session | Southern Maine Lifestyle Photographer

I first met the Rumery's last year when Mike reached out about planning a family session as a gift for his wife's Mother's Day gift. It's been a year and I am still struck by how thoughtful of a gift it was. Needless to say, I was thrilled when Mikayla reached out about scheduling another session. 

We met in Dayton, Maine to do a sunset field session. They brought along their black lab, Oakley. Their daughter Brooklynn is honestly one of the cutest kids you'll meet. She was so sweet and followed directions incredibly well. The promise of ice cream afterward might have had something to do with it.. maybe.. haha! 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our session...

A Lifestyle Session at the Beach | Kennebunk Maine Family Photographer

When Caitlin scheduled her spring session last fall we picked a random placeholder date knowing that we would like have to change it depending on weather because we all know how spring in Maine can be. (ie, rainy, cold, windy, muddy) However, I think we were all shocked when the forecast looked beautiful and we ended up shooting in April and it was 80 degrees. I still can't get over how lucky we got. 

So we met at a beach in Kennebunk that I hadn't been to and spent the morning playing in the sand and the water... Yes, in April. That's just the kind of person and photographer I am. If I can I will ALWAYS encourage kids to get wet and dirty, haha.

Anyway, here are a few of my favorites from their session.

A First Birthday Celebration | Cape Elizabeth, Maine Documentary Family Photographer

Our homes are sacred spaces. It's where we spend time with the ones we love and make many of our memories. It's a warm feeling inside us that reminds us we are accepted and loved unconditionally. It's where we grow through our struggles and changes of the seasons of life together. So anytime I'm invited into a client's home it's not something I take lightly. I am always honored to be allowed into a small window into their lives and hearts. 

In March I got to visit this family's home in the greater Portland area. It was cold outside but this Maine home was full of love. Jay was turning a year old and both sets of his grandparents came to visit him and shower him with love. They did an adorable lumberjack theme and had a surprise cake made to celebrate both Jay and Kinna's father.

Payea Family Session | Old Orchard Beach Lifestyle Photographer

Last fall I had the pleasure of meeting the Payea family. I don't usually work with teens so it was a real treat for me. I feel like once kids aren't little anymore, we kind of forget about photographing them. I know, life gets busy (trust me!) and they start to get caught up in their own lives and activities but MAN. It's still important. But also, PSA - photographing your lives is always important no matter what. Anyway, I met them at their home and then we went down the street to finish the session at Old Orchard Beach. It was an overcast day but beautiful for late fall. I loved getting to take their pictures here; in a town that is so near and dear to their hearts. OOB is such a neat town in that literally in a blink of an eye it seems to go from tourist central, can't find a spot on the beach to sit down so you walk around all creepy-like waiting for someone to leave - to totally empty and like it has never been any other way. 

Here are a few of my favorites & don't forget, booking is still open for mini sessions.

shoot & share results | southern maine family photographer

Hey guys!

This was my first year submitting to the Shoot & Share photo contest and it was so much fun. My girls and I all enjoyed voting and I am shocked and so happy to see I had an image place in the top 10%. I also had 6 images place in the top 20% and 8 in the top 30%. I can't wait for next year's contest.

 

In other news, spring is here and actually feeling like it (kind of). I feel like it's pretty safe to say that we're past snow. That's seasons in Maine summed up, isn't it? Snow and past snow. 

My availability is still limited throughout the summer as I'm taking 4 classes during the summer semester. Yeh, I know that makes it seem like I'm an overachiever but I'm not, haha. Here is my  availability for the next few months..

May - full

June - full

July - 2 session spots available

It's hard to believe I'm already booked until July and it's only March but it's exciting. Don't forget that I am hosting mini sessions on May 12th. These make great Mother's Day gifts or would be a nice way to treat yourself this Mother's Day. We're doing them at a local AirBnb which is so exciting. There is a beautiful yard to do pictures outside if the weather is cooperating. But if it's raining, we can do them inside the loft space which is super cool and hip. 

Depending on how the summer goes, I may host a day of minis in the summer too. It's an odd year but because of my schedule, minis might work best for me. I'll reevaluate in a few months depending on how my May minis go/demand for another day.

You can learn more about my spring minis here

 

And here are my top placing images from the Shoot & Share contest.

Maine Newborn Documentary/Lifestyle Photographer | In Home with the Readers

Last fall I met the Reader's when they attended my fall mini sessions. I always feel lucky when people choose me to capture their families and lives so I was really thrilled when Nichole reached out to book a newborn session for Henry. This is definitely one of my favorite sessions. I love documentary photography and waiting for beautiful moments to happen. Nothing feels better than getting to capture a moment that happens spontaneously and I feel even luckier when my clients get that and love it as much as I do. 

I'm so excited to share these pictures, I would apologize that it's so picture heavy but I'm not actually sorry! I love the story they tell and I can't do it justice without including an obscene amount. Haha! 

Maine Spring Mini Sessions | Westbrook, Maine Photographer

2018 Spring Mini Sessions - Maine

Booking is now open for spring mini sessions! Come enjoy a quick and fun lifestyle session this Mother's Day weekend. These sessions are perfect for everyone (family, kids, newborn, couple, etc). These minis are being held INSIDE at a local AirBnB. If it doesn't rain there's also a beautiful outside space we can use!

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The details....


Saturday, May 12th, 2018
Westbrook, Maine
8 digital images with print release
15 minute sessions
$150

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A 50% nonrefundable retainer is required to book your session.

Book your session here: http://bit.ly/2HfBAN2

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Dobbins Family | Buxton Maine Family Photographer

Tonight I'm doing a flashback feature with one of my sessions from last fall that I never got around to blogging. (I swear I'll catch up... hopefully). The Dobbins family and I met up at the Little River Flower Farm in Buxton to do their session. It's definitely one of my favorite spots and I can't wait until summer comes so we can go and do pick-your-own blueberries there. 

Here are some of my favorites from the day:

Portland Newborn In Home Session | Maine Photographer

A couple weeks ago, I met up with this sweet little family for a newborn session. Eli decided to come a little early but is thriving and everyone is settling in well. They opted to do their session in the comfort of their own home; which I just love. When we have pictures taken in our homes, it just adds another layer of authenticity and gives more depth to the stories our photographs tell.

I'm finishing up their gallery tonight and am excited to share some of my favorites with you all. 

Danielle

The Phinney's | Maine Wedding Photographer

This summer I had the pleasure of photographing Laurel with her children and her boyfriend, Kyle. They were such a fun couple and family. Then shortly after, I got the most beautiful e-mail from Laurel saying that she and Kyle were getting married. I was over-the-moon excited to for them and was so honored to be a small part of their day. 

They had a small, intimate ceremony at Laurel's mother's house surrounded by their closest family and friends. I'm so excited to share some of my favorite images from the day with you all, it may take a while to load because I have -lots- of favorites. 

There were so many special touches throughout the afternoon. Laurel's grandmother's memory was included in just about every detail. Laurel's mother made her wedding gown and lined the inside with one of her grandmother's nightgowns. The napkins were handmade (again by Laurel's mom) using pillowcases that had belonged to her grandmother. I was very close to my grandfather and losing him last year was extremely difficult for me, so to see her grandmother throughout the day was extremely touching to me. 

Hawley Family Session | Maine Lifestyle Photographer

Well, now that it's unofficially, officially winter in Maine, you know what that means... Time to catch up on blogging all the sessions I did this past fall that I got too busy and forgot about doing.

First up on the docket is the Hawley family.

They were my very first EVER booking that came from Instagram. They are from Louisiana and road-tripped up to Maine to experience our fall foliage. We met up in Wells and it was a beautiful - though unseasonably warm - fall day. The kiddos were just the cutest and we had a great afternoon. And of course, because this was their first time in Maine it seemed only appropriate to come with whoopie pies (from Wicked Whoopies) on hand for the kids to enjoy as the session came to an end. It was quite the hike for the littles but they did such an amazing job, they totally earned those whoopies! 

Here are my favorites from the day.

Roberts Family Tree Cutting Session | Southern Maine Lifestyle Photographer

Are you ready for the holidays yet? 

If you're like me, the answer is "not quite". But I'm never ready and often out on Christmas Eve like a lunatic trying to finish up odds and ends... usually stocking stuffers.. because I can never plan ahead enough to get done like a normal person.

This morning I am sharing a throwback session from last winter. It was on my old website so I'm just reposting it here. ;) I have room for ONE in home session this month. January is already booked and February only has one spot left as well. 

From December 7th, 2016... A couple weeks ago, the Roberts’ family and I met up at Boiling Springs Tree Farm in Southern Maine to do a couple family portraits & then document their holiday tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree.

These guys are seriously awesome. They are such an easy going family and I was so excited to tag along. We met at the tree farm in the morning so we beat the crowds. It was a particularly foggy morning which made for a really cool backdrop in the beginning of the session. The kids had such a great time picking out trees, helping cut them down, and then, of course, hot cocoa afterward.

I actually photographed the Roberts’ family last year when I was doing a project for a photography class I was taking in college. This was before I started my business and one of the very first steps that pulled me in this direction. It is so fun to go back and see how much the children have grown.

And with that, here is our session….

Holiday Tradition Sessions | Maine Family Documentary Lifestyle Photographer

The holiday season is upon us...

And I am beyond pumped. This is my favorite time of year and I'm excited to announce that I'm going to be booking "Holiday Tradition" family documentary sessions. Does your family have a special tradition that you would love to have photographed? This is for you. Whatever your tradition is, I want to be there to capture it. The things we do with our children are so, so special and hold so many memories. While we all snap pictures with our phones or cameras, imagine how much more special the day would be for your family if you could be 100% totally and completely immersed and present in the activity. 

 

 

Through the month of December, this will be the only type of session I offer and space is very limited. There will be one session spot open for each of the following weeks:

  • the week of December 3rd 
  • the week of December 10th 
  • the week of December 17th

 

You have 2 options for Holiday Tradition Sessions...

 

Essentials. | $300

1 hour of shooting in your home or wherever your holiday tradition takes place. 

Digital download & personal use printing release

 

Deluxe. | $550

2 hours of shooting in your home or wherever your holiday tradition takes place. 

Digital download & personal use printing release

 

A 50% nonrefundable retainer is required to book your session. The remaining balance is due 2 days prior to your session.

Dondero Family Session | Freeport Maine Family Lifestyle Photographer

I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that October is already almost over. Seriously, where is the time going?! I've been super, super busy this month with sessions, school, and the kids' after school activities. Almost every night I kick myself for not updating the blog often enough with these beautiful sessions I've been doing. I figure I'll have plenty of time to catch up with blogging over the winter months. 

So, we're wrapping up October and I'm hopeful that November will be a bit calmer. As far as session availability goes, I have room for possibly 1 more session in mid-November. 

I have something special planned for December and will roll out that information in a few weeks. 


Now, for the best part of the post. THE DONDERO FAMILY! If their sweet faces look familiar, I'm not surprised. I've had the pleasure of photographing these three multiple times over the past year. I first met them last fall during my very first run of mini sessions. I was so, so excited when Jen reached out about scheduling a full session this time around. I always assumed that full sessions were actually easier on kiddos than the minis. Even though they're longer, they're so relaxed and we can really take our time. After our session was over, I asked Alex what his opinion was. Did he prefer the mini sessions or the full session? THE FULL SESSION. And, by the way, he speaks for all 6 year olds here. 

The tide was low so when we got to the end of the session, we all rolled up our pants and went to play in the mudflats. It felt like we right out of the book One Morning in Maine. Which is one of my all-time favorite books by the way. I can still remember my grandfather reading it to me when I would go for sleepovers. 

Thank you so much for the great adventure guys!

Carter Lifestyle Newborn Session | Southern Maine Photographer

Happy October!

I just love October. It's my absolute favorite month of the year and leads right into all my favorite activities of the year. Apple picking, fall baking, everything pumpkin - except pumpkin spice coffee. I tried so hard to love it but no, it's gross. Sorry not sorry y'all. Not to mention the fairs, corn maze, foliage, and then leading into Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Seriously the best time of year. I'm almost half way through the semester and I feel like I'm doing pretty ok. It's a heavy courseload but I'm totally managing. 

As you may have seen if you follow me on Facebook, both mini session days are officially sold out. I'm super excited and I think they're going to be a lot of fun. I've been pretty busy this month and next month is going to be ~CRAZY~ but I'm so ready. 

Last week I had the pleasure of doing miss Liv's newborn pictures. I had done Maddie's maternity pictures a few months ago and I was so excited to get the call about Liv's birth. I love newborns and I love newborn sessions. Especially now that my kids are getting bigger (kindergarten is a big step guys) I love getting to soak in all the new baby goodness. I still can't get over how much hair this child has. She has more hair at 2 weeks old than my oldest did at 2 years old. (I'm barely joking right now)

Here are some of my favorites from my morning with the Carters:

Guillette Wedding | Portland, Maine Photographer

Earlier this month I had the honor of photographing these two special individual's wedding. I enjoyed my time with them so much. Jeremy kept us laughing all day and I was completely overwhelmed by all the love between their families and between the two of them. As I've been editing their pictures I keep finding myself laughing and getting teary-eyed all over again. 

I'll warn you guys that this blog is very picture heavy so it may take a few moments to load all the pictures. It'll be worth the wait though! 

The details...

Dress: David's Bridal

Ceremony venue: Maine Irish Heritage Center

Reception venue: Cumberland Fairgrounds

Flowers: Broadturn Farm

Cake: The Cookie Jar

Catering & Decor: M.A.N.E Events & Catering

DJ: Mike Violette

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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.