Daniel Judson

I have shared this many times before — both on my blog and in person — that one of my favorite things about photography is getting to know more about the person on the other end of my camera. Many families have become very dear to me through this process. This family … Craig, Lori, their 5-1/2 year old daughter, Ella, and now Danielle … is one such family. It’s hard to know where to begin with this blog post, or where to end, because there is so much middle. I’ll try and keep it short however, and say that after Ella another baby was definitely in their family planning. There were years of ups and downs until they became pregnant with Daniel and they were elated. There would be more ups and downs when they they would learn he would be born to have Trisomy 21 also called Down’s Syndrome. When Lori shared this with me my heart sank for her and Daniel. No one wants to see hardship come to any child — or their parents for that matter — but within a few minutes my heart was lifted because if anyone could provide this baby with all the love and nurturing he would need, it was Lori and Craig. I called her up and told her so and my heart was 100% invested in that belief. It still is. Months of doctor visits turned into delivering Daniel naturally at full term with a team of medical experts at her bedside. I had the privilege of photographing Daniel shortly after delivery and then in the NICU to document some of his early hours of life. He was poked and prodded and had tubes and a stomach surgery within days. Another procedure to remove a blockage in his left kidney will come soon. These are heart-breaking experiences to go through as a parent, and even in writing this my heart is full of what trials and blessings are yet to come with this little boy — as with any child — but there is no doubt in my mind that God has equipped Craig, Lori, and big sister Ella in every way to nurture and love this little guy like no other. I suspect he is going to be the light in every room as God shines through him. He will be brought up to know and love the Lord God that created him — so beautifully I might add. God makes no mistakes. He has already overcome so many odds in his little life and my bet is he’s going to get real good at doing that. 🙂

Daniel was born March 21 (World Down Syndrome Day) at 5:56 AM. He weighed 7.11 lbs and was 21″ long. For those of you who are saying right now “but you don’t photograph newborns any more” you would be right. I don’t, but I could never say no to Lori on this one as we have talked about this for years and I wanted so badly to photograph him! I was quite rusty however and he didn’t sleep much at my house so you won’t see as much variety as usual. Ella came along for Daniel’s “newborn” pictures even though they were taken the day before he turned 2 months old. She reminds me of my Sydney, always wearing pretty dresses as a daily preference. So sweet this girl and smile ready. Mike got to hang with her awhile, as did my grandsons, and she just fit right in. As for Daniel, he had to stay in NICU for several weeks then has been mostly quarantined to his home since  — “boxed” I think is what Lori called it — protecting him from all those nasty bugs out there until he’s a bit stronger (although he’s doing fantastically), so pictures had to be put off. Even so, he was still in the 9 pound range here so he still looks like a newborn … huggable and snuggable. And Daniel is going to be the face of the White House Black Market fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network in June. The VP of Marketing from WHBM Corporate, Donna Noche, will be on The Today Show mid June to introduce the campaign. Pretty cool stuff.  🙂 Love, Mary


Linda Johnston - June 6, 2016 - 9:13 AM

Oh, Lori and Craig, he is beautiful. I can’t wait to meet this precious little boy. I can envision that this child will bring untold joy to all who meet him.

Lori - June 6, 2016 - 10:21 AM

Mary, these are completely stunning! We love them, and we love you so much! Your work is absolute perfection!! Linda, thank you so much for your sweet words! We love you too!

Vince - June 6, 2016 - 12:30 PM

❤️❤️❤️ these!

Barbara Severns - June 6, 2016 - 7:34 PM

Mary, Again, you captured my grandchildren beautifully! How I appreciate you, your love for my family, your expert skills in bringing the beauty and capturing everyone at the exact moment when they are themselves! I love these pictures, thank you once again! You have provided more memories for me than I can ever count. Love you tons …

Kari - June 6, 2016 - 8:12 PM

Love these and love this family!

Fairly Candid - June 6, 2016 - 8:14 PM

Thank you everyone for the kind loving comments to each other. They lifted me for sure and little Daniel will be the ultimate benefactor. 🙂 Mary

Liz Grissom - June 6, 2016 - 8:34 PM

He is so beautiful! Congratulations Craig, Lori, & Ella!

Megan - June 6, 2016 - 9:04 PM

Oh my, you hit the cuteness jackpot. He is sweet as all get out. Ella looks like she is already an amazing big sis. Congratulations!

Kathy Martin - June 10, 2016 - 12:06 PM

This blog was just forwarded to me by a church friend and I’m so grateful as these pictures are fantastic! Of course the photographer had some pretty amazing subjects to work with. I feel blessed to live across the street from this family and it is apparent to me that God has been paving the way for this special and precious little boy for a long time. I can’t imagine a more perfect big sister than Ella, better parents than Lori and Craig, or a more involved grandmother than Barb. Daniel will always be one loved little guy!!!

Fairly Candid - June 15, 2016 - 11:49 AM

Kathy, I couldn’t agree with your comment more. There is no luck involved when it comes to matters such as this. God always has a thought out plan. I’m so glad you stumbled across my website and thank you for sharing. Mary

Aubrey Archuleta - June 21, 2016 - 10:06 AM

What a joy! He is beautiful! Congratulations Lori!

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