Posts in business
Maryland Women-Owned Business series - July
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As a small business, I love supporting, recognizing, and connecting with other female entrepreneurs out there in the community. And as a mompreneur myself, I know how hard they work for themselves, their families, and their clients. They are each vital influencers of people all around you. I’d like to give some recognition to a few ladies who work hard every day, in the hopes of making a connection to someone that needs their services. We appreciate you more than you know, and we’re so proud to feature your business. We will be highlighting one business per month for the entire year of 2019!

Introducing the seventh interview in our Maryland women-owned businesses series……  

owner: Rachel Gold Cederbaum
years in business: 10
where can we find you?:
You can also find Rachel on Facebook and Instagram

Rachel's company empowers students to discover their voice and signature style. She offers private academic coaching, tutoring and consistent communication to ensure students' specific learning goals are achieved. Rachel designs lessons to cater to individual students' strengths, development areas, and interests. She wants to make sure your child works smarter and builds confidence! This is a fantastic program so be sure to keep reaching to learn more about Rachel and Gold Signature Writers!


1. What is the name of your company, and what product or service do you provide?

My company name is Gold Signature Writers, which is a throwback to my maiden name (Gold) and my professional name as a teacher for the first decade of my teaching career. I am a writing and academic coach and I work with private school students during their study hall periods as well as public school students after school and in the evenings. I also offer college essay workshops over the summer for groups of friends. Students write their common app and coalition essays with their closest friends before the stress of senior year. I was inspired to run college essay workshops in groups of four/five friends because of my closest friends from high school who have helped shape me into who I am today. I believe the social dynamic greatly enhances the personal narrative. Lastly, I offer supplemental essay packages to support students throughout the stressful and time-consuming college essay writing marathon.

2. What made you choose this type of business, and/or how did you get your idea or concept for the business?

I love teaching. I always have believed that the cliche is true for me, it is my “calling”. My kids are very young, 1 and 3, and I wanted to spend some time with them during the day as well as do what I love in the afternoon and evenings. I created Gold Signature Writers to work with students privately as well as create miniature classrooms offering college essays workshops. I enjoy working with groups of friends because they have fun creating their essays alongside their closest friends and I have fun working with them. I love learning their stories, their ups and downs, from those who know them best. As a coach, I get to empower my students to find their voice and “signature” style as well as offer mindfulness and organizational strategies to help them reach their full potential and gain confidence as young adults. 

3. What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

This is an easy question for me to answer. My children and my husband motivate me to get out of bed every single day (they wake me up, literally and figuratively). 


4. What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?

 would love to learn how to meditate. I think it can be a calming force to learn how to shut off the endless cycle of to-do lists and stress and just be in the moment. I help my students with mindfulness strategies to alleviate their anxiety about upcoming assignments and exams and I think is a helpful strategy for all of us to remain present with family, friends, and work.


5. What is your favorite quote?

I used this quote in my own college essay that I wrote about my junior year English teacher, Karl Decker. He had a profound effect on my life and career. He came to my wedding many years later and has remained a invaluable mentor since graduating high school.

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. “ - Ralph Waldo Emerson(1803 - 1882) American Essayist & Poet

Martha Stewart feature! Danielle’s tips for taking milestone photos of your baby

I am feeling incredibly excited to have been featured on Martha Stewart, “5 Precious Keepsakes to Capture Your Baby’s Milestones“! The article includes my do-it-yourself tips for taking your own milestone photos at home. Plus, my own daughter’s adorable 7 month photo is included!

Check out the article for creative ways to help you capture the many milestones of your little one’s first year. And use my tips to document this fleeting, precious time in your baby’s life!

During’s Macie’s first year, I got asked a lot where the milestone blanket featured in the article is from. It is a BatzKids blanket. Here is the full year of Macie’s monthly blanket photos! Use my tips from the article to get creative and take pictures of your little one on a blanket 🙂   

Check out my previous feature on Martha Stewart, How to Make a Dazzling No Sew Tutu!

Behind the Scenes: Hanging a Gallery Wall of Framed Portraits

Clients often come into the Maryland photography studio with a vision of how they would like to display their favorite images in their home. And others don't have any idea of how they'd like to display their images, and that's ok!  Design is part of our process. Some don't have a lot of wall space and prefer prints and albums to look through, some want a statement piece to admire in the nursery, and others envision a gallery wall of framed portraits lining the hall.  No matter what works best for you and your family, it is my job to help you figure it out and make it happen! Using my camera, I make sure to capture beautiful images of the special times in your life. But beyond that, it is my goal for each family that I photograph to truly love their portraits and take home a piece of art to display and enjoy daily. As I busy mom of little children I can relate to the 'craziness and chaos' of life.  Time is limited and those images you said you would get around to printing are still waiting, years later. That is why I make it a priority to work with each client to deliver a finished product for you and your children to enjoy right away. And if you order a gallery of frames, we will even hang it for you!

My personal favorite photographs of my children are the ones that I have printed and get to look at every day. Nothing beats actually holding, touching and looking at a printed image.

Want to see what I'm talking about?  Here are some behind the scenes images of a recent gallery wall that we created and installed for a client. We did the portrait taking and design but left the artwork hanging to the expert Meredith Forte, of Frame Avenue Design, for a smooth and easy installation.

This gallery wall of images is framed in a white natural barn wood. Their family of four is proudly displayed on the stairway, bringing memories and joy each and every time it is walked by.

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gallery wall

If you want to see more behind the scenes of finished prints and products, check out @danisaraphoto on instagram

The Best Time to Professionally Photograph your Baby’s First Year Milestones

The Best Time to Professionally Photograph your Baby’s First Year Milestones

I get sad thinking about the fact that both of my children have grown into toddlers already. I love the baby stage so much I would almost consider having another baby just to experience it again (don't tell my husband!)  A baby's first year is such an exciting, fast, and exhausting stage of life for parents. There are so many milestones that happen  – they grow and change so fast!  Some of my absolute favorite images of my children are from birth to one year old.

A baby's first year is a great time to invest in the experience of a professional portrait session and the memories of photographs that you can’t replicate yourself. All babies are different and hit milestones at different ages and stages. Generally speaking, the age of the baby can dictate what types of photographs you can achieve.  Adjustments for premature babies or babies on their own schedule can always be made.

Here are my tips for the best time to hire a professional to photograph your baby's first year.

Newborn sessions are best within the first two weeks after birth (5-14 days old). During this time, newborns are super sleepy. If they have a full belly and are tired, they typically don’t mind being moved around without waking. They are more likely to prefer to curl up into the ‘womb-like’ positions they are used to and stay asleep for longer stretches.  It is not only the ideal time to pose your baby in the curly, squishy poses everyone loves, but to also capture natural portraits of stretching, yawning, and sleepy little smiles. This is a time to reflect on the true, untouched expression of your baby as themselves. Professional photographers who are experienced working with newborns know how to capture this special time in an artful and beautiful way.


It is best to contact a photographer while you are pregnant so you have time to plan and prepare before your baby arrives! 


After the newborn stage, the next age for baby portraits is around 3-4 months old. This is when babies have good head control for adorable tummy time images! This is a great stage to photograph because they are still so very ‘baby’ but are laughing and smiling and starting to show their true personality. Babies at this age tire quickly so you can easily capture adorable sleeping baby photos at this age as well.


The 6 month to 9 month range is a fantastic time for milestone portraits. Right when baby is able to sit up unassisted, but they are not yet crawling, is ideal. Babies are so giggly, smiley and easily amused at this age by everything around them.  If your baby is not yet sitting on their own, it’s best to wait another month or two until they are comfortable sitting. They also love exploring and grabbing their feet and hands. This is such a happy stage for baby!


Of course, the First Birthday is a milestone that is so important! You and your baby are celebrating your first year together! At 12 months old, your baby is becoming a toddler. They are doing all sorts of activities at this stage.  It is a fun time to capture them standing on their feet, clapping, walking, laughing, and just being silly with all that is around them. Since a birthday calls for cake, photographing your baby eating their first birthday cake usually results in some hilariously messy and memorable photos!


Danielle Sara Photography specializes in all the stages of baby's first year our beautiful Rockville, Maryland studio! We also offer a baby's first year portrait package so you don't miss a moment.

Hanging a Wall Gallery and an Interview with Frame Avenue Design

Do you have framed photos in storage, a canvas leaning against a wall waiting to be hung, or old disks/CD's/USB drives collecting dust in a drawer?  If your answer is "YES" - you need to keep reading!

Our interview today is with Meredith Forte of Frame Avenue Design.  We chose Meredith to interview because we truly believe in the importance of printing pictures and displaying them on your walls. Meredith is a rockstar when it comes to hanging artwork!  Danielle Sara Photography clients typically come to our studio and fall in love with the boutique product line we provide and the full-service experience.  We always enjoy the process of working with clients to create the perfect wall art pieces for their spaces. We even take it a step further to create multiple image gallery walls. Once that wall art is delivered, Meredith is our go-to gal for hanging up the wall art in our client's homes!  Learn more about Meredith and her business and see a start to finish project that she completed for us below.

Meredith Forte

 Frame Avenue Design (established in 2001)

Picture Framing, Picture Hanging and Wall Design @framemastermer

What is the one thing you love most about hanging photography on the wall?

Memories. I love it when a client looks at their picture on the wall and I see them smile. It’s nostalgic for them. It takes them back to that moment in time.

What is your best piece of advice for someone who wants to hang one image/frame themselves or a wall gallery of frames themselves?

There are a couple of options for clients looking to hang and frame family pics. After deciding on a wall space, you can choose to display one BIG piece (around 30” x 40”), OR multiple pieces in a gallery wall. I tell my clients to look at examples on Pinterest to see what style they like most. I usually hang big pieces over sofas, beds or in the dining room and reserve gallery walls for hallways and bedrooms.

What happens if I hire you to hang my artwork?

When you hire me to hang your artwork, we first set a day and time for me to come to your home. Depending on the amount of pictures to be hung, I generally tell my clients to allow one to two hours for hang time. If you’re not sure on an arrangement for your pictures, I will guide you in proper placement.

How do you manage running a successful business and having a family?

Hard work and balance. I am in a fortunate situation that I run my business from home and my framing studio is in my basement. My daughters will often play arts and crafts while I work which is great because I get to hang out with them while I’m framing. It really means a lot for me to teach my children the importance of being a female business owner and to have the strength and courage to anything they put their minds to.

What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?

I have worked on so many great projects, I don’t think I have a single favorite. My greatest thrill is taking a blank wall space and creating one cohesive art piece...all from scratch. For most of the gallery walls I work on, the client has no idea where to begin, but ideas are already running through my head. The great benefit of working with me is that we meet in your home so I get a chance to see your style and what type of environment the frames will be hung in. It makes the process more of a personal experience. I have my clients email me all the artwork they love and I narrow it down to a select few. We decide on a layout, frame and then in no time they are installed on your wall. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the look on your client’s face and the sparkle in their eyes as they stand back and see the final product.

What’s in your toolbox?

Everything a girl with a toolbox needs:) Hammer, nails, measuring tape, level, love notes from my kids, pencils...ya know the youzhe.

Can you show us some of your work?  

Sure! The below shows a multi-image gallery wall that I worked on with Danielle.  She used images from this family's session to create different wall layout options using her design software. When the frames arrived, I laid them out on the floor based on the design so I could measure and make final arrangements for hanging. The last image shows the frames hung in the hallway of their home.  Below that, the first image is an impactful array of artwork and the second one is a symmetrical layout using simple white mats with white frames. I love the finished products from each of these different options.



Meredith is offering 20% off any gallery wall package in April!