Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA: Blog en-us (C) 2018 Kristina Hall Photography | Children, Family & Pet Photography | Chester County, PA (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:59:00 GMT Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:59:00 GMT Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA: Blog 120 96 King of the Wild Things A few weeks ago, this little guy turned 9 months old!  I still can't believe he's 9 months!  As a parent, I know that time flies.  It never ceases to amaze me as a photographer how quick it goes. 

For this session, we first went with an Easter theme since it's that time of year and we also wanted to get some pictures of the little man with his brother and sister!  What we didn't plan, was the last part of the session.  I knew that M's birthday theme is "Where the Wild Things Are".  I love that book.  When I walked into M's house and saw all of the amazing things M's Mama had done to prepare for his upcoming birthday, I just knew that we had to get ready for it now!  And it couldn't have gone any better!  M was rocking his photo session and we were able to get through the first two rounds perfectly!  We held our breathe and gave Mr. M a little break in hopes that we would get the perfect shots for this and WE DID!  I could not love these photos more and can't wait to see how the birthday invitations come out! 

I have enjoyed this year with M and his family!  I'm going to be so sad come May when our year is over.  Those of you who have done the Watch Me Grow sessions know how attached I get to you! 

Until then, enjoy this little Wild Thing! 

♥ - Kristi

“He’s just a boy, pretending to be a wolf, pretending to be king”  - Maurice Sendak



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February 2018 The Picture a Day project is still going strong!  February brought photo day 39 through day 66!  I'm so thrilled to have completed 66 days of this project!  You can see the day to day on Instagram!  Here are some of my favorite pictures from February!  Here's to hoping that March flies by and brings much warmer temps! 


My backyard in the snow.  (If you look closely you'll see Eve running through)

And of course there was more basketball! 

We did some volunteering!  (This is Maria with Ben.  He really wanted to bring her home, but she was meant to be adopted by another family!).

Ben learned to do laundry!  And then there were the cutest Army Guy Valentine's ever! 

My niece turned 9!!!

My little reader, reading.

A peak inside my camera bag!  I don't normally carry kittens in there, but maybe I should!? 


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Until Three Becomes Four.... A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking maternity photos for this family.  I always love watching families grow and especially like this!  I've been there for a few milestones for this sweet family - maternity photos for their first baby, then newborn photos of their baby boy who came into the world on the 4th of July and 1st Birthday photos.  Baby number 2 should be arriving within the next month and I look forward to seeing them as a new family of four!  It will be my 3rd second sibling newborn shoot in 2018 which I think is pretty cool!  I've loved comparing the siblings and seeing how much they look alike and can't help but wonder if these two will look alike too?  I can't wait to find out! 

Til' then:

♥ - Kristi

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) chester county pa children's photographer pa maternity photographer pa newborn photographer children downingtown pa photographer family maternity maternity photographer pa photographer west chester Fri, 09 Mar 2018 03:02:45 GMT
Valentine's Day Rescue Flight On Valentine's Day I got to take part in something pretty special!  I was asked to photograph the incoming Wings of Rescue Flight transporting approximately 20 cats and 30 dogs from Florida and South Carolina to the Brandywine Valley SPCA (PA and Delaware branches)!  Attending one of these flights had been on my bucket list since I became involved in rescue work back in 2014!  I was thrilled to take part in my first one back in December!  I helped to unload the crates full of dogs from the plane!  It was an incredible day!  I couldn't wait to do it again and was thrilled to be asked to photograph it for the SPCA this time around!! 

Check out some of the highlights! 

This clever little baby escaped her crate upon arrival.  Here she is rolling over and getting belly scratches and kisses! 


Hello sweet kittens!

This guy looks just like our Timmers!!

Channel 6 ABC was there to capture it all!

Those eyes!

It really does take a village!  And we're a really good one!

Kids from South Carolina made cards for the dogs and cats and sent them along on the flight!  How sweet is that?! 

Thank you BVSPCA for not only helping me cross this huge bucket list item from the list once, but TWICE! 

♥ - Kristi

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) chester county pet photographer chester county photographer chester county pa volunteer photographer downingtown pa photographer pet photography rescue photography west chester Fri, 09 Mar 2018 03:00:05 GMT
January 2018 If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that back in December I started a Project 365!  A project 365 is simply a picture a day for one year.  I attempted this a few years ago and while I only made it 35 days, those pictures are without a doubt some of my absolute favorite pictures.  They were just pictures of everyday things that happen and sometimes they get a little boring, especially in the winter, but when I look back at those pictures now they are really meaningful to me.  In the later part of 2016 and for pretty much all of 2017, I stopped documenting my life.  I would like to blame it on moving and now that I'm more settled and realize that I stopped doing this I feel like I can correct it.  Documenting life was and still is what connects me to photography and is the reason that I started doing photography in the first place.  A lot of days right now certainly feel like that movie Groundhog Day, but I'm willing to bet that in a year or two I look back on these photos and appreciate that I took the time to take them. 

In January, a few big things happened.  The first was that we adopted two kittens from our foster litter of four.  These little babies came to me weighing just 0.70 pounds at 4 weeks old.  They were just around 10 weeks old when we adopted them and now weigh approximately 3.5 pounds.  While they are still so tiny, they've grown so much!  When we took on the important roll of fostering these tiny beings through the Brandywine Valley SPCA, we did so knowing that our cat, Monkey, might not like having new little cats in her house.  We were hopeful that she would like one so we could keep one.  What we didn't expect was for her to fall in love with all 4 of them openly and willingly!  Now that she has them in her life, she finally realizes she is a cat and not a dog and she has been so loving and cuddly!  It was so hard not to keep all 4 of the little babies, but I honestly didn't know how to have 5 cats in the house!  Going from 1 to 3 seemed more sane manageable.  So be prepared for an overwhelming amount of cat photos in 2018.  I'll be documenting McPuff and Timmers as they grow and we'll also be fostering more kittens come spring!  

We also fostered an adorable little yellow lab puppy from Jax's Lab Rescue!  Little Holly came to us from a breeder in Ohio who turned her over to rescue because they did not want to fix the entropion of the eye.  She came to stay with us shortly after her successful eye surgery happy as could be! 

I'm currently on day 45 of my Project 365 and happy to report that I beat my previous record!  

Enjoy the January photos!  Check out my Instagram feed for more photos! 

♥ - Kristi

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) chester county chester county pet photographer pa newborn photographer children downingtown pet photographer family personal pet photography shelter photography west chester pet photographer Thu, 08 Feb 2018 03:22:51 GMT
Communion Sessions 2018 Spring is right around the corner!!!  I cannot wait!  Mostly because that means its Communion Season!!  My absolute favorite sessions! 

I've set aside 3 dates for mini sessions:  April 21st, 22nd and 29th.  Please contact me to schedule a time.  I'll be hosting these sessions at West Chester University again! 

If you would prefer to use your church for these sessions, I'm all for it and I'm happy to schedule an alternative date with you.  Please do check with your church to make sure that we are welcome to use this location.  Most churches have been open and welcoming! 

Not ready for Communion portraits prior to the big day?!  Not to worry!  I'm happy to set up a date in late May for mini sessions if I have enough interest.  Please don't hesitate to let me know what you're looking for!

Here's a peak back at some of my favorite portraits from 2017!

This is his brother's special memorial bench at Pope John Paul II Catholic School. 

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Drive Fore Dylan 2017 This past Friday, I had the honor again for the 4th year, to go out and photograph the 14th Annual Drive Fore Dylan!  For those of you who don't know, Drive Fore Dylan was started by the Manning Family to honor their son, Dylan, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 4 1/2 from Tay-Sachs disease.  Tay-Sachs is a genetic disorder caused by the absence of beta-hexosaminidase (HexA). This missing enzyme causes cells to become damaged, resulting in progressive neurological disorders. A cure for Tay-Sachs does not yet exist but there are many strategies for managing life with Tay-Sachs.  The Manning Family raises a significant amount of money for the NTSAD (National Tay-Says & Allied Diseases Association) through several events that they organize and hold throughout the year.  The Manning's are truly amazing in all that they have accomplished in memory of their son.  You can learn more about the events that the Manning family holds here.

I look forward to this event every year!  A member of my family has joined me each year and I love that they can come and volunteer with me!  This year Finley joined me as my assistant!  It was interesting to see her make the connection between Tay-Sachs and the children that it affects.  I have no doubt it made a very strong impression this year as she asked many questions about the little girl, Kenzy, and her family who were the guests of honor this year.  Kenzy is just 18 months old and affected by Tay-Sachs.  

Drive Fore Dylan is held at The Honeybrook Golf Club in Honeybrook, PA.  It's a gorgeous course set amongst farmland.  The day starts early (about 8:00 a.m.) with registration and a warm welcome from Brian, then the golfers head out to the course!  Me and my assistant travel around the course and capture memories and images throughout the day.  I don't play golf and don't understand too much about the game, but I do LOVE photographing golf!  One of these days I'm going to take lessons and learn to play!  

Once the last club has been swung, the golfers head back to the clubhouse for lunch, prizes and an award ceremony!  This year's best score was a 43!  That's pretty darn good I'm told!  

The award ceremony was really special this year.  Sherri, the recipient of the very first "Moments" award last year, was given the honor of choosing the next recipient for this award.  She chose sisters, Liz and Becky Warren from Massachusetts who have been coming down and volunteering for this event for years!  Sherri told the story of how they met many years ago at a baseball game where the girls became very interested in Dylan and wanted to learn all about his disease and how they could help and get involved.  Having their own disabilities did not stop these two extraordinary ladies from not only spreading the work regarding Tay-Sachs and raising money for the cause.  Dylan also inspired them to succeed in their own personal lives.  They've become more like family to the Manning Family.  They were the perfect choice for this award. 

Drive Fore Dylan also has some of the best raffle baskets!  These are so much fun!  Finley won 3 baskets this year!!  

Thank you Manning Family for having me come out and photograph this awesome event!  I look forward to the 15th year of Drive Fore Dylan, capturing more memories, seeing faces that have now become familiar after a few years of attending this event, seeing an old family friend and also catching up with a cousin of mine who golfs in this event!  

♡ - Kristi




]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Sun, 04 Feb 2018 02:20:03 GMT
New Year - New Baby! I love, love, love when January starts off with a newborn session.  In my {almost} 8 years of being a photographer, I think only 1 year did not start off with my first session of the year being a newborn! 

And this little guy is a cutie!  He was such a good sleeper and a sweet snuggler!  My favorite kind of baby!  I still can't get over how much he looks like his big sister, who I photographed in 2015!  I adore shooting siblings this way and seeing the similarities!  These two were practically identical!  Take a look:

{Little Brother is the top picture;  Little Sister is the bottom} 

I love that they both gave me a smile too!  It totally makes my day! 

Take a peek at this sweet baby!  Enjoy!  I hope your 2018 is off to a great start too!

♥ - Kristi


]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) chester county baby photographer pa children's photographer pa newborn photographer children downingtown newborn photographer family newborns pa newborn photographer west chester newborn photographer Sat, 03 Feb 2018 03:02:21 GMT
Light the Night - Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's 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!


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.


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!

]]> (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 Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:15:50 GMT
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 - 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


]]> (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 Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:47:00 GMT
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

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Children Family Wed, 08 Mar 2017 03:08:37 GMT
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


]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County Dogs Chester County Pet Photographer Chester County Pets Chester County Photographer Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:14:30 GMT
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


]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Children Family Newborns Personal Tue, 03 Jan 2017 02:18:52 GMT
Fall is coming! Take a look at what's 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! 





]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Wed, 16 Sep 2015 02:39:40 GMT
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!!! 


]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:31:24 GMT
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! 

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Thu, 18 Jun 2015 02:19:46 GMT
What's 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

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Thu, 11 Jun 2015 02:18:41 GMT
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

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Children Newborns Sat, 18 Apr 2015 02:06:49 GMT
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

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Children Family Military Session Operation Love: Reunited Photographer, PA Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:25:53 GMT
Baby "W" - He's 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

]]> (Children, Family & Pet Photography in Chester County, PA) Chester County, PA Children's Photographer Chester County, PA Newborn Photographer Children Family Newborns Sat, 28 Feb 2015 02:13:42 GMT