Meet Danielle, Churchill High School Senior and soon to be Freshman at The University of Texas at Austin where she will be majoring in Psychology and hopes to have a career as an Occupational Therapist. She has played the French Horn for 7 years and is the band president at Churchill High School in San Antonio, TX. She is also very active in the San Antonio community as a volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House and the San Antonio Food Bank. The more we spoke to Danielle, we knew that the Japanese Tea Gardens was going to be the perfect spot for her.
After rescheduling our session a few times due to rainy cold weather, we were lucky enough to have an amazing sunrise session on beautiful Sunday morning in January. We feel so honored to have met such a sweet and intelligent young lady.
From the first time I spoke to Danielle’s step mom on the phone, I knew that there was something special about her family. We arrived at the Japanese Tea Gardens just before sunrise and it was a chilly morning. It was about 51 degrees out and let me tell you, this girl is a trooper for braving the cold- from barefoot outfit changes to laying in freezing grass in a spring dress. Smiling and laughing though it all, you would have never guessed how cold it was. Danielle is one lucky girl to have such a loving family. Both Danielle’s mom and step mom attended the session with her. At first, when we started photographing Danielle I noticed a woman had come over and started talking to Danielle’s stepmom. They were talking and laughing together as if old friends. I thought it was a coincidental meet between friends, but as we moved to another part of the gardens, I said hello and introduced myself. To my surprise, turns out the woman was Danielle’s mom. I was shocked. It’s very rare that I see a mom and a step mom get along so well. They were talking like they were such good friends. I seriously almost cried. They both worked together helping Danielle throughout her session by holding all the outfits, props and her French Horn. It was the sweetest thing. I was in awe with their interaction; I wish my stepmother had provided a cohesive family that works together. She is one of the reasons I lived in foster care for from the age of 12. Its something that still affects me to this day. Seeing Danielle’s two moms come together with so much love in their eyes brought me to tears a few times- and don’t even get me started on the tears at the ordering session when Danielle’s step mom was telling us more about when when she first met Danielle as a baby. All my life all I wanted was my mother- and here I see this beautiful young lady and she has two amazing mothers that love her so much! The feeling it brings to my heart is indescribable. I will never forget this session.
If you all know us, you know that we like to make each session special and unique. In the weeks and days before each session we spend time scouting locations, poses and props. I usually end up with an accessory or prop that I think will compliment our client for their session. I consider myself a bit of a propoholic-lol! When I am out and about in my normal day- I am constantly on the lookout for props and accessories. The day before the session I met a friend at La Cantera for coffee and of course had to pop into my favorite store, Altar’d State for a few minutes before heading home. I was just about to leave when I came across this hat that just had Danielle’s name written on it- I bought it and surprised her with it at the session- luckily she liked it and we used it in a few shots. Those shots ended up being some of my favorite shots ever because she was having so much fun with it and her biggest most candid smiles were captured.
What a privilege it was to be a part of such an important milestone in Danielle and her family’s life. We wish Danielle nothing but the best in her future and I know her family is so proud of her and her accomplishments. Congratulations Danielle, here’s to your amazing achievement. And so… The adventure begins! Hook’em Horns!