Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA: Blog http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog en-us (C) 2017 Kristina Hall Photography | Children, Family & Pet Photography | Chester County, PA (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:49:00 GMT Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:49:00 GMT http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u284958729-o1056258515-50.jpg Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA: Blog http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog 120 96 Light the Night - Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Chesterbrook Walk http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/10/light-the-night---leukemia-lymphoma-societys-chesterbrook-walk This has been a really strange year for me.  It's been a good year with lots of good things, but as we head into fall, I've been reflective on what I've learned about myself this past year.  The most important lesson I learned this year is that I really need to stay true to my core values and what's important to me as a person.  It's not so much about what I am as it is WHO I am.  And I am so glad to be getting back to that girl!  I stepped away from volunteer opportunities for a little bit and I didn't realize how much I had been missing them.  I didn't realize how much volunteering had become part of who I am. 

I was honored to be asked to photograph the Light the Night walk benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this past weekend.  Light the Night is a series of walks benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s funding of research to find blood cancer cures.  It is their aim to bring light to the darkness of cancer through research and cures.

What a fantastic event to be part of!  Through the hard work of many LLS staff and volunteers, Light the Night, Chesterbrook was a wonderful success!  It’s wonderful to see so many people come together to love and support those affected by cancer.  I love that this group supports those individuals currently going through treatment and celebrates the survivors while at the same time lifting up those individuals who have lost loved ones to cancer.

Thank you for having me capture these memories LTN!  It was a pleasure and I look forward to another great walk with you later this month!

-Kristi

Her sister saved her life by donating her bone marrow!  When I asked if I could get a picture of her, her face lit up with a smile and she asked me if her sister could be in the picture with her! 

Each color lantern has a different meaning - white lanterns are carried by survivors, red lanterns are carried by supporters and gold lanterns are carried by those who have lost a loved one to cancer.  

Walkers could make a button showing why they walk.

So yep - I found dogs!  No surprise there!

I loved the creativity some individuals used when showing off their lanterns!  This one was my favorite!

This sign breaks my heart.

PRESS ON FOR MICHAEL team.

More dogs :) 

If every picture is worth a 1,000 words, this one might be worth 5,000. 

This was such an emotional part of the evening.  It was amazing to see this!

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) chester county pa children's photographer pa event photographer pa photographer children community event photographer family giving back leukemia & lymphoma society light the night photographer's give back volunteer walk for cancer http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/10/light-the-night---leukemia-lymphoma-societys-chesterbrook-walk Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:15:50 GMT
Fall Sessions and Facebook! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/10/fall-sessions-and-facebook Hello Friends!

I hope that you're all well and having a great year so far!  It's hard to believe it's October and it still feels like summertime!  Even the leaves are taking their sweet time changing this year! 

I still have a few fall spots for sessions in October and November if you're interested in booking!  Contact me - khallphotography@gmail.com to schedule. 

I know that I've caused some confusion by choosing to no longer post on Facebook!  A little more than a year ago I decided to take a break from Facebook and it turned out to be one of the best things I could have done personally!  I decided to use Instagram as my main social platform.  (WARNING - I post a good number of cell phone pictures 😂)  While I don't regret leaving Facebook, it does make me sad that sometimes I get asked if I quit photography too.  I'm here to say - NOPE, I did not quit photography! 

I also send out a newsletter 2-3 times per year announcing sessions.  If you'd like to add your name to my list, please comment below or shoot me an e-mail requesting to join the newsletter list! 

Hope to see you soon!

♥ - Kristi

 

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) chester county childrens photographer chester county pet photographer chester county photographer chester county photographer mini sessions chester county pa children's photographer children christmas card photos family mini sessions http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/10/fall-sessions-and-facebook Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:47:00 GMT
Welcome Little One! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/3/welcome-little-one I don't think I'll ever get over the amazement of being asked to photograph a family year after year.  This family in particular is pretty special to me.  After photographing their engagement session, they asked me to photograph their wedding.  At the time I was on the fence about weddings.  I was still trying to determine if weddings were my specialty.  I decided to go for it and I was there when they became husband and wife.  It was a lovely wedding and I came to adore every member of their newly blended family.  I was beyond excited to be there to photograph the arrival of their first son as I knew they both wanted children for as long as they could remember.  Not long after that, I was asked to do an extended family session and was so thrilled to get to catch up with everyone!  Then just a few weeks ago, I was asked to come and photography  this sweet family as they welcomed their second son to the family!  Over the course of 5 year, I've photographed so many amazing milestones for this family.  It means the world to me to be able to capture these memories for them.  Over the last 5 years, they've asked me to capture what I see.  We don't pose every shot.  We let life happen.  I'm telling their story in photos.  The photos that we've created are on almost every wall in their home and I know that they are cherished memories and I'm reminded why I picked up my camera in the first place.  

Enjoy the next chapter......

 

To be continued.....

 

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Children Family http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/3/welcome-little-one Wed, 08 Mar 2017 03:08:37 GMT
Gibbons & Bo - Puppy Sessions http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/1/gibbons-bo---puppy-sessions DOG (noun.)

1.  The best friend you will ever have.  2.  A loyal, loving companion that cares for you more than himself.  3.  A special creature whose time in your heart will far outnumber its days on earth. 

 

Meet Bo.  He is an 11-week old miniature poodle-yorkie-bichon puppy.  Isn't he cute?! 

This is Bo's big brother, Gibbons, an 11-year old labrador retriever.  Isn't he sweet?! 

This is their Mama, Nicole.  Many of you will recognize her since she takes care of so many pets in Chester County!  Nicole is the owner and founder of Chester County Dog Walkers.  I've had the privilege of getting to know Nicole and a few of her other fantastic pet sitters as well as a few of the dogs that they care for this past summer.  If you have a pet and live in Chester County, talk to Nicole!  Before meeting the CCDW team I probably would have said that no one can love your dog like you love your dog, however, they come pretty darn close! 

I was super excited when Nicole called me to tell me that her family adopted a new puppy!  It's always wonderful when we add new furry family members!  I was even more excited to be asked to come and take some pictures so that they would have memories of Bo as a tiny little pup forever!  The puppy stage is over before you can blink! 

Since Bo had just woken up from a nap when I arrived, Nicole and I took him out for a quick walk and to play in the yard to expend some of his puppy energy!  It was so much fun to capture his energetic puppy stage!  At 11 weeks, he's starting to stay awake for longer periods of time. 

Is there anything better than puppy kisses?!

I love looking at some of my dog's favorite toys from when they were tiny puppies!  They look so big sitting next to him NOW, but in just a few weeks, they'll look tiny sitting next to him!

How perfect!  There really is no better adventure than having a dog! 

Big nose/little nose :-) 

We ended the session with these two cuddling up together for a nap. 

Well Bo - you lucky boy!  Enjoy life with your family!  They certainly do love you already! 

♥ - Kristi

 

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County Dogs Chester County Pet Photographer Chester County Pets Chester County Photographer http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/1/gibbons-bo---puppy-sessions Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:14:30 GMT
Goodbye 2016! Hello 2017!!!! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/1/goodbye-2016-hello-2017 Hello Friends!

I can't tell you how excited I am to say goodbye to 2016!  I know that I'm not the only one who feels that way either.  In fact, most people I know are just over it!  Well friends, we can all be happy now because 2017 IS HERE! 

Let's recap 2016 so we can officially say goodbye. 

For me, 2016 was just, hmmmmm, well the best word I can use to describe it - MESSY!  It was just a messy year.  I can't say it was the worst year or even awful because overall I know that I am so lucky.  There were some good parts, some bad parts, some really, really bad parts, some fun parts and tons of crazy.  But I'm not crying over the fact that we're shoeing 2016 out the door! 

So here goes 2016 - the quick version!

In January, my family became official puppy raisers!  Cadence, who came to us from the Alpha Bravo Canine organization, is training to become a service dog for a veteran suffering from PTSD/TBI.  She will be with us for approximately a year to 18 months before moving on to her new family and home to the job she was born to do. 

In March, we decided to put our home of nearly 13 years on the market and it sold in just 12 days!  We thought selling was going to be the hard part and were beyond thrilled that the house we loved so much was going to a young couple with two little boys! 

In April, we found our dream home in Kennett Square and were super excited for our new adventure in a new town. 

In May, things fell through with our dream home just 5 days before settlement.  Ummmm....guess it wasn't meant to be the dream home after all.  We ended up moving in with my parents.  Yep - 2 adults, 2 kids, 3 dogs and a cat! 

In June, the hard drive in my MAC crashed. 

In July, we still hadn't found a house to live in yet and I was starting to feel a little crazy not knowing where my kiddos were going to be attending school.

In August, we still hadn't found a house and while we were on vacation in Florida, I tried to convince my family that we should just move there.  (I was only kidding a little bit.  They didn't bite on that one though.)  I also quit Facebook which many of you know and have yelled at me for!  (I don't regret it and still don't know if/when I'll be back.  I am on Instagram often though.  It just made more sense.) 

In September, the kiddos started their new school and we love it!  Everyone was so welcoming to them and they've acclimated really well.  What more can a Mom ask for? 

October, still no house.

November, still no house.  And my external hard drive crashed.  Fortunately, all of my sessions were backed up to the cloud except 1.  Unfortunately, ALL of MY personal photos of my kids were NOT backed up to the cloud.  It's still being worked on to recover any/all of my photos that I can get back.  It's crazy how much this one event is helping me shape my photography in 2017 though.

December, still no house.  We've been living with my parents for 7 months.  Thankfully it's going really well and we have had a lot of fun. 

So why am I telling you all of this?!  I'm telling you this to thank you for your patience while a vast majority of my life this year has been messy and chaotic.  To say sorry if things took longer or weren't as seamless as usual.  And while I would love to tell you that things are going to be perfect in 2017, I can't.  I'm optimistic though that things are going to change and these changes are going to be good! 

So what's changing?!  I'm glad you asked! 

First, I'm going to move out of my parents house (haha)!  While this initially is going to lead to a lot more messy and a ton of chaos, eventually I'm going to be more organized since all of my things will have a place and I'll be able to find them again.  (Most of our things are still in our rented storage unit and I can't find most anything!  We hadn't planned on staying with my parents quite this long so I didn't plan accordingly.)

Second, I'm going to be changing up my sessions a little bit.  The lesson I learned from losing my external hard drive with an entire years worth of my kiddo's photos on it taught me is that I need to get back to my roots, back to what made me start doing photography as a job, in the first place, and back to what made those who gave me the push that I needed to get into this business in the first place.  And that is story telling.  If you look at my pictures from before I started this business, they read like a story.  I needed no words (because I'm terrible at them).  Every memory I have is tangible in those photos.  When I was packing up my life into boxes and came across baby shoes, clothes and stuffed animals, I could remember everything about the time in life when they were the favorite things in my kiddo's lives.  The tons and tons of photos I have are my storybook.  Over time, I got busier and busier photographing everyone's kids but my own.  Now I'm missing parts of my kid's stories and I'm never going to get that time back.  They are 7 and 11 this year and the time I have left with them as kids is going to go by really fast.  I don't want to miss any more of it than I have.  I will do my absolute best to be accommodating, however, sessions will be a little more limited this year. 

I also need to get back to my roots when photographing your family too.  I want to spend more time capturing you as a family and telling your story.  Backdrops and ALL posed photos just aren't going to do that.  The session that will see this impact the most is the newborn session.  I want my sessions to be more a lifestyle photography session rather than a posed, sleepy newborn session.  I don't want to show up to your house looking like I'm moving in.  I'm simplifying things and capturing what matters most - the moments, the details, and the connections in a clean, natural way. 

Perhaps one day I will have studio space and I will be able to offer studio style portraits as well, but for now, and especially during this huge transitional phase of life that I'm currently in, this will not be the type of photography that I will be offering.  Believe me, I too love a well-done studio portrait as much as the next mom, but I've learned that to do this well, you really need a dedicated space for your lighting and your backdrops.  I'm always on the lookout for this space, but for now it's just not in the cards. 

so let's get together in 2017 and capture your family Have fun and let me capture the magic that I see when I photograph your family so that it's a memory you will look back on and cherish year after year. 

Here's a look at all of my 2016 sessions:

2016 Sessions

♥ - Kristi

 

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Children Family Newborns Personal http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2017/1/goodbye-2016-hello-2017 Tue, 03 Jan 2017 02:18:52 GMT
Fall is coming! Take a look at what's in store! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/9/fall-is-coming-take-a-look-at-whats-in-store My windows are open.  There's a hint of color changing in the leaves.  The sun is going down earlier every day.  Pumpkin spice is everywhere!  Yep - fall is on it's way!  I've got a ton of opportunities for pictures!  Take a look at the upcoming events!

SEPTEMBER 27TH:  Pet Photos at Camp K-9 in West Chester!  It's going to be a fun event for the whole family! 

OCTOBER 3RD - FALL MINI SESSIONS

MS-407MS-407

NOVEMBER 21ST & DECEMBER 6TH - CHRISTMAS TREE FARM MINI SESSIONS!  BACK AGAIN FOR 2015! 

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/9/fall-is-coming-take-a-look-at-whats-in-store Wed, 16 Sep 2015 02:39:40 GMT
Pet Portraits at Camp K-9 in West Chester http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/8/pet-portraits-at-camp-k-9-in-west-chester I am super excited to announce that I'll be photographing pets on Sunday, September 27th from 12-4 at Camp K-9 in West Chester!  All proceeds will benefit the USA Rescue Group!  There is going to be tons of fun going on that day - a dog show hosted by the Girl Scouts working to earn their bronze award, Police K9 demonstration, an animal communicator, and raffle prizes!  Come on out and support not just one, but two great causes!!! 

 

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/8/pet-portraits-at-camp-k-9-in-west-chester Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:31:24 GMT
The Longwood Rotary Gala 2015 http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/6/the-longwood-rotary-gala-2015 When I was asked to photograph The Longwood Rotary Club's annual Gala I was pretty excited!  Then I learned that it was going to be hosted at Longwood Gardens!  AFTER HOURS!!!!  Do you know what kind of dream that is for a photographer?!  Well, it's pretty up there to be allowed into the gardens after hours! 

The event was fantastic!  The committee who planned the Gala did an amazing job!  The theme of the evening was Mardi Gras!  The decorations and tables were fun and colorful and the masks that people wore were to die for!  Place all of this in the middle of the already gorgeous Longwood conservatory and you've got amazing! 

The night started off with one heck of a silent auction!  This one had EVERYTHING!  Amazing vacations, landscaping packages, sports memorabilia, food and baskets of all kinds.  Lending to the festive atmosphere was the fabulous band, The Hoppin' John Orchestra.  This lead to a scrumptious looking sit down dinner with music provided by the fun and funny, DJ Marc Hayford

All in all, it was a wonderful night!  Take a look! 

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/6/the-longwood-rotary-gala-2015 Thu, 18 Jun 2015 02:19:46 GMT
What's It Really Like to Foster a Dog? http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/6/whats-it-really-like-to-foster-a-dog It's no secret that I love dogs - my dogs, family dogs, friend's dogs, foster dogs, shelter dogs.  I have a particular weakness for hounds.  Something about their long, floppy ears and the super sweet way they look at you with big, sad eyes even when they're happy - it gets me every single time!  So when I got the phone call a few weeks ago that a hound needed a foster home I was ready!  Ok - as ready as you can ever be for a new dog to enter your life!

To give you some background, I have 3 dogs of my own - a old, grumpy black lab, an American bulldog mix and a treeing walker coonhound.  That's my herd.  I can only imagine what people must think when they hear that I have 3 big dogs.  Messy house?  Nope.  I hate dirt.  Smelly house?  Nope - not a fan of smelly houses either.  Loud?  Not typically.  We've got our routine.  So why on earth would I want to foster another dog?! 

For me, the answer is simple.  My dogs, past and present, have always been right by my side whenever I've needed them.  They do not judge.  They do not have an opinion.  They just have love.  They have gotten me through some of the more difficult times in my life.  They know when I need them.  I will never be able to give back what my dogs have given to me.  Fostering a dog allows me to do two things - it allows me to save a life and also give to someone else what dogs have given to me.  My house is just a stepping stone on the path to where that dog is meant to be.  I'm happy to be the middle man.  Fostering has taught me more than I ever expected to learn.

(Duke - Available for Adoption through New Leash On Life USA)

On the first day that a new foster dog arrives, I undoubtedly will want to cry and ask myself over and over, "What was I thinking?!"  The new dog is unfamiliar with it's surroundings and sometimes they've never even lived inside before.  It's confused.  It's scared and it doesn't know the rules.  You just have to get through the day and remind yourself that tomorrow is going to be a little better. 

 

And day 2 is better - slightly.  This day is spent just getting to know this new dog.  It's still a bit chaotic and you are still wondering what you got yourself into. 

Then day 3 arrives.  I always call this the magic day!  Something amazing happens on day 3.  Your foster dog starts to settle in and calm down - then you start to feel calm too and you start to think "Hey!  I can do this!"

Things continue to get better each day and you can feel your heart swell with love and pride because your dog has come so far.  You start to see just how amazingly resilient dogs are.  They can come from nothing and look like they are on the brink of death, they may have even been abused, but show them just a little love and kindness, a few rules and a good bowl of food and that dog now looks at you with love and trust.  The past is in the past and you're moving towards a positive future. 

I don't do this alone.  My husband, my daughter, my son and even my dogs all have a role in taking care of our foster dog.  We figure out together how to feed multiple dogs, the schedule, walking and cleaning.  No way could I do all of this alone.  I could write a short story alone on the many ways fostering dogs has bonded my family.  Trust me when I say it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but when push comes to shove we are a really good team. 

Once you have conquered some of the hurdles you are bound to face with any foster pup, you start to settle into a routine and you start to see that the dog is more and more comfortable every day.  You start giving him nicknames and singing him songs (or is that just us?).  You try not to think about the day that they will leave your home.  You know they will be taking a piece of your heart with you when they go, but you push that away, you don't have to deal with it now. 

Then that day finally comes.  The day you have to say goodbye.  I will not do this day justice with my words.  But I'll try to give you a good idea what this day is like since it is one of the most frequent questions I get when people hear that I foster dogs.  "Isn't it hard to give them up?"  Of course it's hard, but the rewards definitely outweigh the sadness.  You will want to cry every time you look at your foster dog and realize how far they've come in such a short amount of time.  You'll think about tomorrow and what it will be like to have one less happy tail waiting to greet you.  You will tell yourself you can't go through this again - it hurts too much (but you will).  But the moment your dog sets eyes on his new family and you can actually feel the connection between them you know that it's right.  You know that your foster dog's forever family has finally found him.  It's the happiest sad day.  Like I said, I can't do this day justice with words, but it is one of the most amazing days. 

I always thought that I was doing this to save a life, to give a dog a second chance.  I never realized how much this small kindness would do for me.  I don't know that I ever would have learned so much about patience, resilience, adaptability, teamwork or love had I not started fostering dogs. 

After sending our 3rd foster dog to her forever home, a friend sent this quote to me. 

"Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss.  A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart.  If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big."  - Unknown

My foster dogs {all of my dogs} will be part of me and part of my family always.

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/6/whats-it-really-like-to-foster-a-dog Thu, 11 Jun 2015 02:18:41 GMT
Baby "H" - Such a Lovely Little Lady http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/4/baby-h---such-a-lovely-little-lady "Every good and perfect gift comes from above"    -  James 1:17

Babies truly are a gift.  You can never imagine everything a child is going to bring to your life.  It's impossible!  But I do know that through the good, the bad, the ugly, the moments that melt your heart - you wouldn't trade a single second of it.  Becoming a parent is an adventure that nothing else will ever quite compare to.  I hope this little family enjoys every single solitary moment of their precious baby girl!

 

- Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Children Newborns http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/4/baby-h---such-a-lovely-little-lady Sat, 18 Apr 2015 02:06:49 GMT
Super Special Mother Daughter Session http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/3/super-special-mother-daughter-session On a lovely {freezing cold} 6 degree {yep - no typo there - it was 6.degrees.} day, I met with this sweet Mother and Daughter duo for a very special photo session! 

This was my second session with these two ladies, but I hadn't seen them for a few years.  My goodness how big has little miss "A" grown!!! 

Miss "A" 's mom contacted me back in January and I was, of course, thrilled to hear from her!  She caught me completely off guard with the news that she had joined the Air Force and had just recently finished basic training!! 

I have always admired the men and women who serve our country.  It takes a drive and determination like no other.  I know that Airman Parker's daughter is so proud of her mom already! 

Thank you Airman First Class Parker for your service to the country!  We are so lucky to have you!  You are a tremendous role model to your daughter as well as girls everywhere - showing them that you can in fact do it all!  Thank you for asking me to photograph this special time in your life!  I hope that I helped to fill Miss "A"'s board with wonderful new memories! 

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Children Family Military Session Operation Love: Reunited Photographer, PA http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/3/super-special-mother-daughter-session Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:25:53 GMT
Baby "W" - He's on the Good Side! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/2/baby-w---hes-on-the-good-side A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing baby "W", his Mom and Dad, and his grandparents!  It was so much fun!  Baby "W" was just shy of 3 weeks old here in his photos and he did so well!!  We went with two themes for his photos - gaming and Star Wars!  I found the most adorable little mini lightsaber for these photos!  When the lightsaber arrives in it's box, you don't know if you are going to be getting a red one or a blue one!  I am happy to report that Baby "W" is a Jedi!  And isn't he the most adorable little Jedi you've ever seen?! 

Do you love the peace sign he's giving in the picture with his grandparents?!  He is just too cute!

Well Baby "W" - I can tell you that you are so lucky to have so many people who love and adore you!  I look forward to hearing stories as you grow bigger!  I think you'll always be quite the sweet pea! 

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Children Family Newborns http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/2/baby-w---hes-on-the-good-side Sat, 28 Feb 2015 02:13:42 GMT
Happy Valentine's Day!! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/2/happy-valentines-day As so many of you know, I love animals!  One of the things I started delving into last year, was using photography as another way to help out rescues!  I've been photographing my dogs for as long as I can remember, but it's a whole different ballgame when you start photographing dogs (and cats) who aren't yours.  And even trickier still, is photographing a dog who has just come into a rescue who has had very little training!!  It certainly can be a challenge, but it is one I wholeheartedly enjoy!!  We are such a visual society these days and a good image will grab your eye much faster than words will.  The words will certainly grab hold of your heart once you start reading about some of these animals who are looking for homes, but a good image is an attention getter for sure! 

In an effort to both raise funds for one of the rescues that I volunteer for and to promote the adoptable dogs, I partnered with Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue and Kitty Junction.  This first started out as pet photos with Santa back in November and December.  Since the photo sessions went over so well, we decided to set up some sessions for Valentine's Day!  We really had no idea if we'd get any customers in, so we were pleasantly surprised when we had bunches come on in to have their pet's photo taken!!  I also got the chance to photograph some sweethearts who are available for adoption (or will be very soon)!  Below are some of our Valentine's:

Look for us again in March for our Lucky Dog photos! 

 

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Adopt. Don't Shop Balanced Buddies Res-Q Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue Chester County, PA Pet Photography Chester County, PA Rescue Photographer Kitty Junction http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/2/happy-valentines-day Sat, 28 Feb 2015 01:57:37 GMT
Waiting for Baby! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/2/waiting-for-baby I love working with parents-to-be!  There is just something so sweet seeing how much they love this little person they haven't even met yet that just makes me giddy!  It takes me back to my own pregnancies and makes me remember how excited I was about the arrival of my own babies!  And then there is the excitement I feel for the couple waiting for their own baby because I know that the most amazing thing is about to happen to them!  The first time you meet your baby is a moment unlike any other!  There really aren't words to describe that moment!  I can still remember meeting both of my kids like it was yesterday!  Ahhhhh----if you could just bottle up that little bit of amazing-ness! 

I met with this mom and dad to-be on the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday which turned out to be the perfect time to go to Longwood Gardens!!  It was practically empty and it almost felt like we had the place to ourselves!  A true treat for Longwood!  At the time, they were just about 6 weeks away from meeting their little one!  Here they are:


These two are going to make such amazing parents!  I can't wait to see them again when the baby arrives and hear about that amazing moment when they meet her!! 

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Maternity Photographer http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/2/waiting-for-baby Wed, 11 Feb 2015 00:18:41 GMT
Baby "S" - 6 weeks new! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/1/baby-s---6-weeks-new I do love that I have been a photographer for 4 years now and that every year of my career has started off with a brand new life!  I love the symbolism here.  New year...fresh start...new life.  You've gotta love it, right?! 

My session with Baby "S" and his big sister, "J", was a fun one!  Little man was just about to turn 6 weeks old and because Dad is a big time hunter, Mom wanted to do some hunting-themed photos! 

Isn't he precious?

Love their big, blue eyes!!

She is so stinkin' cute!

I know that someday this will be such a nice picture for Mom to take out and show them.  It was quite funny to watch! 

But everything can be fixed with lollipops!  Don't worry big sister, he WILL learn to like them eventually!  It was so nice of you to share!

Thanks for a fun session little ones!!  We laughed, cried and all in all, had a great session!!

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Newborns http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/1/baby-s---6-weeks-new Fri, 23 Jan 2015 02:10:01 GMT
My Favorite Images From 2014 http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/1/my-favorite-images-from-2014 Hello 2015!  It's so nice that you are here! 

Don't you love a new year?  It's filled with so much hope and possibility.  A clean slate.  It's a time to set goals, think about your dreams and reflect on the previous year. 

2014 was a good year!  Different that I had anticipated, but that's life right?  It certainly wasn't a bad-different - it just wasn't what I imagined or planned when I set my goals for 2014 at the end of 2013.  I learned a lot and I had some truly amazing moments both personally and professionally and a few very lucky times, those worlds collided!  I always love when that happens! 

When I looked back at 2014 this past week, a few images really stood out to me.  Here they are:

"Sweet Apple Baby"

I had so much fun planning for this shoot.  Little love's mama gave me some ideas that she had for the photos.  Since this little miss was born in fall, her mom wanted to have fall props.  I also had to buy these props twice since my kids ate almost an entire bag of apples before the shoot! 

"Dancing in the Rain"

This is my daughter on the day of her First Holy Communion.  We were at our location for about five minutes when it started raining.  I had pretty much given up on getting any good pictures of Finley and figured I'd have to plan another day and try again, but Finley asked if she could just stay and play in the rain.  Going against all of my normally tendencies of not letting her get this big, white fluffy dress dirty, I agreed and just let her go.  I have so many pictures that I love from my session with her!  One of them she's standing under a rainbow.  It was magical.  But THIS picture is my favorite.  Because of her hands and her feet and she's dancing like she doesn't have a care in the world and that's exactly how you should be when you are 8.  I have seen her dance like this since she could walk and I will more than likely always imagine her childhood this way.  To capture and have it forever and especially on her First Holy Communion day was just pure magic. 



"This is SO Madelyn and Kyle"

If you know my niece and nephew, then you understand why this is one of my favorite pictures!  Because this is them being them! 

"Gouda at Eastern State Penitentiary"

I started volunteering with the organization New Leash on Life this year.  They are just amazing.  The rescue dogs from local shelters and give them a second chance by pairing them up with inmates.  The inmates then train them for 12 weeks.  At the end of 12 weeks, the dog will {likely} pass it's Canine Good Citizen certification test and the inmate not only graduates the program but is released from prison.  While they do have an amazing main photographer, occasionally he can't be there for some events, so I get to fill in!  It's unbelievably rewarding to work with this organization.  Not only are they some of the nicest people I have ever met, but the good they are doing for both dogs and inmates is amazing! 

You can check out my most recent session with some of their adoptable pups here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.830367267005103.1073741862.126240007417836&type=3

My most memorable time with New Leash was attending their 10th Class Graduation at Philadelphia Prison System back in September.  I was so amazed by the speeches that the inmates gave and what this program meant to them.  Before attending the graduation, I hadn't given much thought to how much this program was doing for the inmates.  It opened my eyes to things that I had never considered and made me grateful for some things that I had previously taken for granted. 

Here are some of the images that I caught at the graduation:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.777214208987076.1073741855.126240007417836&type=3

"Shannon"

Shannon and Alex's wedding had all the makings of a modern day fairy tale.  They are a couple very much in love and after spending about 10 minutes with them, you know that they were meant to be together. 

Shannon was so beautiful and so graceful on her wedding day. 

 

It's never easy to pick just a handful of my favorite photos each year.  Even now as I'm writing this, I know that I could have added at least one or two other that helped to define my 4th year as a photographer.  And while I have no idea where 2015 will take me, I do know that much like previous years, I will learn a lot and it will hold a few special moments that will make my heart want to melt. 

Happy New Year!  I hope that 2015 is filled with wonder and magic!

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Chester County, PA Pet Photography Children Family Newborns Watch Me Grow Sessions http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2015/1/my-favorite-images-from-2014 Fri, 02 Jan 2015 03:27:31 GMT
Happy 1st Birthday!! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2014/5/happy-1st-birthday I've been photographing this little man for 9 months now!  9 months!!  Can you believe it?!  Because I sure can't!  I've blinked and 9 months have flown by!!

I remember the first photo session that I had with Fisher.  He was so stinking adorable I could barely stand it!  His Mom and I had so much fun with his photos!  (But if he's smiling, rest assured it is not at me or Mommy, it's at Daddy - because Daddy is a funny guy!  He sure knows the right ways to make his baby smile and laugh!) 

Here he is at 3 months old:

Fortunately for me, Fisher was signed up for the Watch Me Grow program and I got to see him and his parents every 3 months! 

It has been so much fun watching him grow this last year!  He is always a happy little boy even when he has his most serious of faces on.  (And he likes to make serious faces for the camera!)  His giggle makes me want to have 10 more kids! 

Here is our last 9 months together:

www.thealbumcafe.com

We were super lucky this past weekend and had some amazing weather!  We were able to do his cake smash outside which was pretty fortunate because it got kinda messy! 

I think it is safe to say that he approves of Wegman's vanilla cake!  (But who doesn't?!?!)

In order to wear off his sugar high, he was then allowed to run around (yes, he is RUNNING!!) in a nice big open field!  Doesn't he look so tiny here? 

I have very much enjoyed visiting this family every 3 months for the last 9 months of the year!  I'm bummed that I won't see them all again until this little guy is 18 months old!  I can't even imagine how big he is going to look by then!! 

Happy 1st Birthday Fisher!!  I hope that your 2nd year is just as amazing as your first! 

 


♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Children Family Watch Me Grow Sessions http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2014/5/happy-1st-birthday Sat, 10 May 2014 15:44:02 GMT
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2014/5/the-cystic-fibrosis-foundation Right before Easter I received the opportunity to do some really special photography work.  The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was working on a special project and asked me to be part of it!  To say that I was honored would be an understatement!  I love that I have a job where not only am I able to contribute to my family financially, but I can also contribute to the community.  I have said many times that I'm very grateful to be able to do something I love so much.  Being asked to work on a project like this is just remarkable. 

First, a little background of Cystic Fibrosis.  Some of you may know what it is and some may not.  For those who don't know what it is - this is a brief explanation:

"Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a disease that causes the body to make thick, sticky mucus (say: myoo-kus). This causes problems in two major areas: the lungs and the digestive system."

This of course is a very simple way to explain what CF is.  It is much more complex and if you'd like to read a little bit more about CF, I found this article to be helpful when I was explaining it to my daughter. 

Because of organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation children and adults with CF are making amazing strides towards living longer lives and finding a cure. 

Feeling inspired to get involved?  The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has two big walks coming up!  One is Saturday (4/26) at Citizens Bank Park.  The second is Sunday, May 4th (I'll be photographing this one!).  Come out and walk.  Donate to one of these amazing teams.  You won't regret it. 

Team Double Trouble:


Team Anna's Banana's:

Team Quinn's Quest

Team Lynda:

Team Great Strides for Shaun:

Thank you to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and especially to the individuals and families that allowed me to be a part of this project!!  I enjoyed meeting and working with all of you! 

Look for photos from the upcoming Chesterbrook Great Strides Walk coming soon!!

 

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Children Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Giving Back http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2014/5/the-cystic-fibrosis-foundation Sat, 03 May 2014 01:00:38 GMT
5 and Fabulous! http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2014/3/5-and-fabulous

Nothing could describe my niece better! 

I have no idea where the time has gone!  Madelyn turned 5 last month!  5!  Wasn't she just born? 

We had a lot of fun with her birthday photo session!  Typically anyone related to me sees my camera come out and everyone runs and hides!  But not this time!  Madelyn was ready and full of smiles for her 5 year old photos! 

It's really hard to believe that in just a few short months she'll be off to Kindergarten!  It seems like just yesterday she started preschool! 

She's such a cutie pie! 

Her favorite dress and her favorite toy - Rapunzel. 

(When you are 5 you get two cakes!)

May your year of 5 be magical and full of happiness!! 

All my ♥ - Auntie

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) 5 Year Photos Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Children http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2014/3/5-and-fabulous Mon, 17 Mar 2014 02:41:59 GMT
Mr. and Mrs. "G" - A Pre-Deployment Session http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2014/3/mr-and-mrs-g---a-pre-deployment-session I can never find the right words to describe my OpLove sessions.   Words always feel so inadequate when I blog about them.  These sessions are so bittersweet!  I love meeting with couples and families for pre-deployment photo sessions.  I love that I can thank our military men and women and their families for giving so much of themselves to our country.  I love knowing that I've captured some very happy moments in what has to rank in the top 5 most stressful times a couple or a family can go through.  Somehow a simple "thank you" just doesn't seem like enough.  It is with thanks and a grateful heart that I do these sessions.  It is an honor to meet and work with all of you! 

Meet Mr. and Mrs. "G"!  Because we were holding the session in February, we decided to go to Longwood Gardens to have the option of being indoors should it rain or be freezing cold outside!  We were very lucky and took photographs on one of the few warm days we've had all winter!  It was so nice to be able to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. 

Here are some of my favorite photographs from their session:

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. "G" for your service to our country!  I had a wonderful time meeting you both and cannot wait to hear that you are reunited! 

♥ - Kristi

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(Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Family Operation Love: Reunited Photographer, PA http://www.kristinahallphotography.com/blog/2014/3/mr-and-mrs-g---a-pre-deployment-session Mon, 03 Mar 2014 01:44:18 GMT