I can't help myself, I do it for the moms!
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2019 was going to be my big year of change! It is, just not in the ways I expected. I rebranded and decided to pursue senior photography as well as newborn. I thought reaching out into the world of seniors would really help boost my business and expand my niche.

And then I had a one on one coaching session with my business coach, Rhonda, from Inspire Business Community. One question she asked was, why do I love offering photography to people. Imagine my surprise when I found myself instantly coming to life as I explained to her how passionate I am about moms having photos where they are interacting and laughing with their babes. I love offering lifestyle photos of moms and their kids looking at each other and enjoying one another. Those are the photos that I love to have in my home. I told her too often at the end of the day we moms struggle with mom guilt, its a blessing to have photos of you laughing and loving on your kids in those moments. You remember that you DO have good times with your kids. (I do believe the guilt needs to be explored. Is there something that needs to change? Or is it the enemy trying to bring defeat. That’s a blog for a different day.)

I went on to tell her that I value the experience just at much as the photo quality. I want my moms to remember that it was fun and not stressful. I want to offer a type of photo session that leaves parents with good memories. When the toddler starts crying, we take a break. We move on to pictures that don’t involve the toddler. And then a little later we try again. We don’t force the experience, we flow with it.

When I stopped talking I suddenly realized that my passion behind my photography business is for the moms. I hadn’t realized it until that moment. It really surprised me. So I have been rolling this discovering around in my mind for the last 2 months. And I’ve decided that it’s got to be the moms that I do this for. That is my passion! I still will offer senior photography because really, I love any photography that involves people. But I’m also realizing that I am changing course, and that’s okay. I plan to move forward with this new found realization and focus on babies and family photography here in Lancaster and Hershey, Pa. So if you just had a baby or have a young family, I would love to meet you!

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The weight of Infertility and the joy of Adoption

Five years ago my life was about to change forever and I was oblivious. Feb. 12, 2014 came and went and meant nothing to me. Little did I know that in 7 days I would get a phone call that would rock my world.

Our third child was wanted and prayed for, I was ecstatic when I saw that we were pregnant. But The joy was short lived. Feb 2013 we miscarried about 6 weeks into the pregnancy. I was devastated. We had been blessed with 2 healthy pregnancies and now had 2 boys but suddenly we were dealing with an infertility diagnosis. It was a very painful journey. I asked God lots of questions and cried lots of tears. I specifically asked him over and over again, “why did you give me a desire for more children if I can’t have (birth) them?” God in his graciousness did grow our family, His way, thru adoption.

Fast forward to summer of 2013 we did lots of praying and realized we were called to pursue foster care. We became foster parents thru Lancaster County Children and Youth because we wanted to grow our family. But God is so good. He uses our desires for His good. He puts His desires into our hearts and then works in ways we don’t understand to fulfill them. We thought foster care was to grow our family. We soon realized it was not about us. (I could write a whole blog post on that statement.) The purpose of us being foster parents was NOT about keeping babies but rather loving them with an open hand as well as loving and building relationship with their birth moms.

Back to Feb 2014. I’ll never forget the day I got the call. My arms were aching with the weight of emptiness. It was the one year mark of our miscarriage and I felt the loss very deeply. I answered the phone and was greeted by a caseworker who said there is a seven day old baby boy who needs a home. Would we be willing to take him?

My heart nearly exploded and after getting more information, I hung up and promptly proceeded to cry. I cried and cried, tears of joy. I loved that baby already. I had been waiting for him to come into my life for a whole year. I was scared too. What did it mean to have a “drug baby”? What would it mean if I fell in love and had to give him back? Lots and Lots of questions flooded me but they were overruled by a deep desire to go bring that baby home.

One wonderful thing about telling a story that happened years ago is the ability to fast forward through all the painful parts. I am so glad I don’t have to relive those 2.5 years of loving and releasing. Twice we were told he was leaving us. I wept tears of sorrow but God gave me the grace to open my hand to Him and His plan, even if it meant taking my sweet baby and giving him back to his birth mom. She loved him very much so that was a comfort, but I needed to work thru my stuff too. In the end she was unable to provide him (or herself) the consistent care that was needed.

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It was with bittersweet joy that we adopted our son Sep. 2016. Bittersweet because his birth mom was heartbroken. But we were filled with great joy to be welcoming him into our family for keeps, and we were so blessed because his birth mom told us that she couldn’t have him then she wanted us to have him. We have since been blessed to adopt three more precious babes into our home, but that’s a different story for a different day.

I might have shed a few tears of surreal joy during the court hearing.

I might have shed a few tears of surreal joy during the court hearing.

Today we are thankful. We now have a reason to celebrate on Feb. 12. We celebrate the life of our beloved boy and thank God that his birth mom loved him, wanted him. And we are thankful that he was given a chance to live life, ours are forever changed because of him.


The Re-branding Revealed!
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It’s here! The new name, new logo, new website, and new client guide… the rebranding is complete and I’m so excited about it.

So why a rebranding? My original name “Sparrow’s Flight Photography” has a lot of heart and meaning to it. But at the end of the day, it was confusing. When clients book with me, I become a real person to you. You know me by name and I learn to know you by name as well. It’s so much easier to remember the name of my business if it has my name in the title of it.

Also as a small business owner based here in Lancaster county, I know that you have lots and lots of options to do your portraits or family or baby sessions. So what makes me different then the rest? Well, the biggest thing is simply, ME. I am part of my brand and my personality (just like all the other photographers) is part of my brand. Each photographer has something different to offer because we, as people, are all unique in the way we process life and relate to others. That is another reason for the name change. Because when you book your session with Christi Stoner Photography, Christi Stoner is who shows up! I’m the one who has reviewed your questionnaire, I’m the one who writes the emails, I’m the one who talked to you on the phone, I’m the one who desires to deliver a session you love by making you and your babes feel comfortable. I hope you love meeting me because I sure do love meeting you!

So in honor of the rebranding, it calls for a celebration! the first 5 clients to contact me and book their 2019 session will get a waiver on the $125 creative fee! You can book for your senior session for this summer or your baby session next month, it’s up to you! Contact me with any questions.

To learn more about my cost and what to expect, sign up {below} for my newsletter and you will get instant access to the updated client guide digital magazine. {I’m sorry seniors I’m still working on getting the update senior guide completed, but it’s coming!!!} Also when you sign up for my mailing list, I won’t send junk mail. Basically I will email out anytime I’m doing mini sessions or running specials. People on the mailing list always get first dibs at mini sessions, etc.

2019 Has me excited to meet more new babies as well as expanding my senior portraits experience. I look forward to hearing from you soon!