Will you be one of the TEN? Or how about a friend?

My last blog described how I'm moving into photo sessions designed for newborns. Who doesn't love a newborn! OMG, how precious can they be? Equally as elegant are the mom's-to-be photo sessions. This is a most amazing time for any parent and to have photos to look back on are a treasure.

Today, there's so much beauty in being pregnant, the clothes and styles have dramatically turned into a sexy, beautiful, 9 month celebration. When I was having my two children, the styles were all about hiding your extra appendage so that it wasn't noticeable. Showing any part of the stomach, full of baby was totally uncool. And you did everything you could to cover up that belly button that was forever poking out. Dresses and shirts were not becoming of anyone's shape or form. And the fabrics left much to be desired. It didn't feel like a celebration at all. Nothing about it made you feel pretty. There was no pride in wearing something that looked too small considering the increasing circumference of the midsection. Today, it's such a wonderful thing to see that society and individuals have changed, and that pregnancy is a thing to be amazed by and proud to wear.

One of my mentors is Ana Brandt. I'm absolutely, 100%, completely in L-O-V-E with her photography, energy and passion for all thing maternity and newborn. I have learned so much from her work and am totally inspired by every photo she takes.

She once said to pregnant moms who were there for a photo session, "what I need from you is for you to be Open and Amazing." That's it. When you're open and amazing, the photos just happen. Your natural beauty radiates and your inner spirit just shines.

"Be open and amazing."

So mom's to be...let me know if you're ready to do photos, ready to be brave and be open and amazing! Pick out your most favorite things to wear, or very little to wear, put on your most beautiful face and let's find an incredible location.

If you are among the first TEN people to sign up, your session is FREE, and so are 12 digital photos. You'll be able to view them on a private page and even order prints and enlargements at a ridiculously low price! Once TEN have booked, the deal is over, so make sure you in the count.

And at the same time, since you'll know your approximate due date, we can begin scheduling your newborn photos. These should be done within 7-12 days. They're asleep most of the time anyway so why not get some great shots and you can have some well deserved rest!

Contact me day or night. Email works, too. I look forward to working with you!

Debbie Daniele

Four Favorites, Two Purchases and One Award. What's next?

Bless me, Professor, for I have neglected any writing of any sort for the past 10 months. It's been really hard allowing the totally literary worthy thoughts to come and go and not do a freaking thing about it. Who has time to write down every word, phrase or paragraph that in the twilight hours of the day seem like the next best seller? For sure, it's not me. As much as I love it, my time has been divided among other things that have surfaced to be much more important. And, you may guess, it's photography.

Recently completing many months of Photography classes at the only licensed photography school in New Hampshire, I can honestly say was worth every dime and every minute spent focused on the material. Somewhere resident within me, I knew that having a foundation of technical knowledge would somehow be a benefit. So, finding a school that had a philosophy that matched what I was searching for was a gift. C1M Academy was, in part, a solution to my technical understanding deficit.   Walter was an excellent instructor and the classes were practical and informative. At the end of the second class, we celebrated each others work with a Photography Showing, each person displaying what they felt was their four best photography pieces. Walter provided the appetizers and the champagne punch, the music and the awards. We invited friends and it was a wonderful evening.

My four submissions were these below. It was a difficult process choosing photos that I felt were worthy of being printed, matted, framed and hung on a wall to be previewed by people I didn't know. Way different than just snapping a thousand pics on the cell phone and syncing them on my computer. Viewing a piece of art hanging on the wall is much more rewarding than just flipping through them on my iPhone. And an exercise I was thankful to complete. Now, I have a real hankering to order more prints and hit Hobby Lobby's half price sale for frames. This could be dangerous!

Cerulean Celebration

This photo was one of my favorites. On our recent vacation in Bermuda, I noticed the simple, weatherworn architecture, together with amazing hues that were surely inspired by elements like the sunset or the ocean. A constant theme throughout the island, it was impossible to resist taking photos of every one of them. This photo of a door with a cork wreath, simply because of the color blue, I named it Cerulean Celebration. I think Bermuda will be one stop I will make frequently, if for no other reason than to photograph more of the island.

Window Relics

Last year, February, we visited Williamsburg. History just oozes from every corner and crevice in that place. Some of the most amazing attributes were the dark, rich wood, the frosted glass and the pervasive Colonial style. It's classic New England combined with pilgrims, crafters, apple cider and a drum & bugle corp, complete with a cannon. Besides being absolutely freezing and snowy the days we were there, it was a great place to visit. Ducking into as many little shops, stores and coffee houses as we could to keep warm I noticed that in nearly every place was this incredible lighting. Natural, soft ambient light sought after by anyone with a camera. This window was particularly interesting in that it the little miniatures sitting on the sill were very useful back in the day, as this was an apothecary. Looking out the glass windows, you wonder how many others had looked out the same, and who were they. However, what was significant was on the inside, not the outside. This photograph was one of two that were sold that evening at the Photography Showing.

Winter Veil

The second photograph that was purchased was this one. I called it Winter Veil. This was actually outside in our yard last spring, during a snow. It was the perfect time of day when it wasn't yet dark, but very overcast and cloudy from the snow. It was also not the coldest day and there was a layer of fog covering the neighborhood. The outline of the trees was a beautiful contrast to the weather around  them. You can almost feel the moisture in the air and smell the cold and snow.

Quiet Play

The rim light on her hair, the soft background and muted colors create this amazing photo that won a 1st Prize. Thanks to the beautiful model, the warm summer day and the sunlight falling from behind. I will never get tired of taking photos of my grandchildren. It makes my heart happy and my spirit soar. Thanks Walter for the award for this photo. I'm honored.

So, what next? I am continuing to capture all things beautiful that I see. My focus over this next year will be portraits. I love taking photos on vacation of doors with wreaths, ocean waves or window relics. But what I truly love is capturing photos of people. And for sure, I know that photographing newborns, infants, and children are to be in my plans.

A Big Ask: 

I also know the only way to get better is to take more photographs, so what I need from you is this. If you know anyone who is expecting a baby, please let me know. I am booking for maternity shots as well as newborn photos within the first two weeks after they're born. Short amount of time but the best time to get those picture perfect shots of that sleeping little precious jewel.

My dining room has become a small studio and it is quickly filling with all things babies. It's pretty exciting. And the best part is for the first TEN photo shoots that end up on my calendar, your session will be absolutely free. You will be able to preview all of your photos on my photo share site. As well as order any prints or enlargements at a super discount.

Tell your friends, family and I'll be truly grateful! This is an exciting adventure that has already begun. I'd love for you to be a part of it!

Simply in Awe,

Debbie Daniele

Winter Magic

Ok, so I’m not the most consistent writer. Life happens. And my audience has enough to read, so it’s not sorely missed. It’s truth, right? Once in a while though, a little motivation comes my way and it seems like putting words down on paper has got to happen.

This really hasn’t been much of a winter, yet. We’ve had some snow, some rain, ice and everything in between. Each time it’s a little surprise, even if we know it’s coming. It creates this twinge of excitement thinking about being snowed in with the wood stove going all day and a pot of chili cooking or snuggled up under just the right blanket with just the right book.  It hasn’t gotten to that point yet. But we eagerly await the magic.

I was surprised early one day as we ventured to the radio station for an early shift. It was precipitating, not quite snow, not quite rain. As I exited the car, just to the right is a line of trees, leafless now, but full of berries. Bright red. The colors were so vivid, so frozen in time. 

And this day, ice covered. Thankfully I had my camera and quickly set up to take shots of the iced branches and berries. Not as easy as I thought since the light bounces all over. 

But there it was, tiny delicate twigs carefully wrapped with ice, protecting it from what, the cold? It seemed so. And the berries, still perfectly red and plump, encased in a layer of ice, clustered together for what, warmth? It seemed so.   

I’ve always loved bare trees and how the branches are this intricate pattern of lines and angles and are so hidden when the tree is in full bloom. But this day, those twigs and branches weren’t hidden, in fact they were magnified under the glaze of ice, each tiny extension exudes strength under this cold, frozen support. Many would never have been seen if it weren’t for the magical covering that made each one a work of art in itself. 

Of course, there was the occasional icicle hanging from it getting longer as the day passed. The temptation was to break if off and pretend it was a popsicle.

I hadn’t previously noticed how many verses in the Bible reference snow. God knows the beauty, the symbolism, the peacefulness it can give. He created it, he commands it to fall, and he orders it to become this blanket of beauty that stills the air. Today, after my drive home in a light snowfall, I was reading and happened on this, it took me by surprise, 

“Have you ever traveled to where snow is made, seen the vault where hail is stockpiled, The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness for times of trouble and battle and war? Can you find your way to where lightning is launched, or to the place from which the wind blows? Who do you suppose carves canyons for the downpours of rain, and charts the route of thunderstorms that bring water to unvisited fields, deserts no one ever lays eyes on, Drenching the useless wastelands so they’re carpeted with wildflowers and grass? And who do you think is the father of rain and dew, the mother of ice and frost? You don’t for a minute imagine these marvels of weather just happen, do you?” Job 38

And this one,

“He orders the snow, ‘Blanket the earth!’ and the rain, ‘Soak the whole countryside!’ No one can escape the weather—it’s there. And no one can escape from God. Wild animals take shelter, crawling into their dens, when blizzards roar out of the north and freezing rain crusts the land. It’s God’s breath that forms the ice, it’s God’s breath that turns lakes and rivers solid. And yes, it’s God who fills clouds with rainwater and hurls lightning from them every which way. He puts them through their paces—first this way, then that— commands them to do what he says all over the world. Whether for discipline or grace or extravagant love, he makes sure they make their mark.” Job 37

Remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy and the others were running through a poppy field and they fell asleep? And what woke them was snow. Gently falling, soft, beautiful snow. Watching it as a child, there was magic in that snow. It represented something very special. I remember years ago having a dinner party and was so intent on preparing part of the meal on a grill. But it kept pouring rain, we thought it would never stop. As I prepped the rest of the food, I noticed that it had quieted down, no more hard rain hitting against the windows. It seemed strangely quiet. Looking out the back door, I saw this sheet of white snow falling from the dark sky. All of a sudden I realized that my plans could go forward. Much easier to grill in the snow than in the rain! Small thing, but it seemed magical to me. I remember all the times watching my children play in the snow, it was magical to them. With this white stuff everywhere, they could roll around in it, pile it up, make snowballs, slide on it, fall in it, throw it at each other, stomp around in it, catch it on their tongue. I loved seeing snowflakes rest on the strands of their hair or around the edges of their hats. And at the end of it all, peeling off the iced clothing, putting on warm pj's and having hot chocolate, that, too seemed magical.

Have you heard snow fall? It’s pretty amazing. Light, delicate touches.  Nothing short of tranquil. And there’s more magic that happens in the night after a snowfall. If the sky is clear and the moon is full, the light reflects off of the fresh fallen snow and everything glows, longs shadows are cast on the covered ground. Lights from down the street and across town bounce off the light colored landscape, making the night seem bright. But it's so peaceful.  My goal is to capture that in a photo somewhere, sometime. I'm beginning to think that even though it's not really magic, it sure feels like it. And the reality is that it’s simply a gift. Eucharisteo.