A Maternity Session in Congress Park, Saratoga Springs | New York Maternity Photographer

I had so much fun with all of our maternity clients this summer, and I'm excited to share Victoria & Dave's maternity session in Congress Park and Downtown Saratoga Springs with you today!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

It's never easy being on the other side of the camera, but these two truly made it look natural as they cuddled up together and told me all about how excited they were for their baby boy's arrival later this summer.  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

All of our outdoor maternity sessions are scheduled for the golden hour, that 1-1.5 hours before sunset when everything is bathed in a golden light.  Unfortunately on the day of Victoria's session, the forecast predicted thunderstorms right at the start of their session!  Luckily they were in the Saratoga area early and we were able to get together downtown before the rain started, which was perfect because the moment we each got back into our cars the skies opened up and a downpour began.  

It makes me love these moments captured during the calm before the storm even more, which is a bit what a maternity session is -- 9 months of anticipation before your life is turned upside down in the best of ways.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

And of course, anyone that will cross Broadway with me at the Caroline Street stoplight is just so much fun to be around!  We had about 15 seconds before the crosswalk light turned red again the cars started coming again, and I love these moments that we captured in such a short time!  Thanks for truly being up for anything, Victoria and Dave!  You're going to be AMAZING parents!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

A Colorful Family Photo Shoot on the Beach | Cape Cod Family Photographer

Family photo sessions at the beaches of Cape Cod are one of my favorite things about summer.  They're right up there next to porch nights, flip flops, and ice cream cones.  

And that's because these sessions are the perfect way to end a fun-filled day on Cape Cod -- head to a beach a little bit before sunset, run around in the sand, laugh with your family, do a little splashing in the shallow water, and create so many new memories with your kids.  

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer

While not every evening at the Cape is bathed in golden sunlight, these misty and foggy sessions at the beach are always some of my favorites because the families just POP against that dreamy backdrop.  Samantha, Shaun, and their two children Harper & Hudson were so much to run around and play with at the beach.  Plus, their outfits were perfectly styled and looked incredible against the misty landscape!

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer

Hudson is Mr. Independent, and he wanted to climb to the top of the lifeguard chair all by himself!  I just love his determination, and the way those tiny baby curls float in the breeze.

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer

Harper was a ball of energy and she loved running across the sand, splashing in the water, and dancing with her mama.  She did an amazing job and was such a sweetheart with her little brother.

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Cape Cod Family Photographer Massachusetts Family Photographer Beach Family Photographer-17 .jpg
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer

Summer may be coming to an end soon, but that doesn't mean our beach sessions have to come to an end, too!  I'll be on Cape Cod in September and October, and I absolutely love sweater weather at the beach.  

These sessions have such a unique feel in the "off season," and we'll have the beach all to ourselves as the sky turns from blue to gray.  Plus, they are the perfect sessions for your holiday cards!  Check out this session for some chilly beach inspiration, and contact me today to plan your beach portraits this fall!

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer

Kirsten & Dave: An Anniversary Session in the Outer Banks

This summer I fell in love with the Outer Banks.  Specifically, Hatteras Island and the little village of Avon.  

In July my husband and I went on vacation with his sister and her husband.  They happened to be celebrating their five-year anniversary, so of course that was the perfect opportunity for us to plan a sunset session at the Avon Pier!  I mean, just look at that pier.  Who wouldn't want to shoot there?!?!

Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer

Kirsten and I were roommates, and we first met 8 years ago when we started sharing an apartment in the Boston area with a few other girls.  The four of us quickly came to call ourselves the "Stepford wives" because we all loved baking, family dinners, house decorating, hosting, and wine nights at home.  Now we joke that I was Kirsten's wife long before I ever married her brother, Jeff.  ;o)  

Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer

But back to Kirsten & Dave.  Kirsten & Dave are the absolute sweetest couple, and they are so perfect together.  At one point in the evening I commented how natural they were in front of the camera, and she told me, "Of course!  Tell me to make out with my husband and we're all good!"  They cuddled up together, told jokes, and just made it an easy and relaxing evening for the four of us at the beach.

Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer

Jeff was there, too, and he definitely photobombed us a time or two while taking his job as assistant/camera gear pack-mule very seriously.

Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer

When I told Kirsten I had the perfect dress for her session, I was thrilled that she was as excited as I was to try out a few styles of this infinity wrap dress.  The color was perfect with the sand & surf, and it looked amazing on her.  I am officially hooked on the classic style that a long gown gives to any session, and you will definitely be seeing more dresses like this in our sessions!

Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer

Happy 5 years, Kirsten & Dave!  Thanks for an incredible vacation together!

Nicole Starr Photography | Outer Banks Anniversary Photographer | Boston Family Anniversary Photographer | Saratoga Springs Anniversary Photographer | Anniversary Photographer

Camille's Studio Newborn Session with Big Sister Lydia - Boston Baby Photographer

We are in the middle of a BABY BOOM around here, and I am so excited to share all of our recent studio newborn sessions and lifestyle newborn sessions.  Let's start it off with sweet little Camille's session at our Attleboro portrait studio.  

Filled with soft fabrics and whimsical colors, this session was a dream to photograph!  I particularly loved watching Camille's big sister Lydia with her new baby sister -- so many adorable moments together!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Plus, who doesn't love baby back rolls?  Squishy newborns are my favorite! 

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

While I don't typically do a lot of black & whites, I just love the simplicity of this white-on-white image, and now I'm eager to do more in this style!  The little lace headband was perfect on Miss Camille.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

We have a new chair in the studio.  It's a linen and whitewashed wooden chair that I have spent months searching for, and I'm so happy with how beautiful it is in sibling and parent shots for our newborn clients!  The chair arms made it the perfect spot for big sister Lydia to sit securely with her new baby sister, and I love this adorable moment shared with her mama!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Every single newborn session includes family portraits as we celebrate your baby's arrival together.  These ones were just so adorable, and I have so many favorites from this session!  Just look at how excited she is about her new baby sister!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

If you loved this session, you're going to ADORE these other newborn sessions at our studio!
Emerson's Blush Pink Session

Matthew's White & Cream Studio Session

Brynley's Newborn Session with Tulips

Emerson's Blush Pink Newborn Session | Saratoga Springs NY Newborn Photographer

Bring me all of your baby girls, pretty please?  

I just love these studio newborn sessions filled with soft colors, lace, and floral details.  Emerson's newborn session had all of that, plus some twinkly lights.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Did you know that we like to do our studio newborn sessions within the first two weeks of the baby's arrival?  At this age, babies are still very sleepy and squishy, so it's easier to settle them into those adorable curly poses that parents love so much.  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Sweet little Emerson had the most beautiful peaches and cream complexion, and our blush pinks and creams were the perfect accent to highlight this beautiful baby girl's features.  Before every newborn session we talk about each family's style, the colors in their home, and the colors in their nursery.  Then I pull a few wraps, blankets, and baskets or buckets in coordinating colors to create a beautifully styled and unique session for each baby!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Those tiny little details are always one of my favorite things to capture during our newborn sessions -- tiny toes, fingers with little dimples on their knuckles, and those itty bitty lips blowing sweet little milk bubbles.  Those are the things you're going to want to remember years from now when your baby is all grown up, which is why it's a priority to capture them now in those first few weeks of life!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Every newborn session is a celebration of a growing family, and parent shots are a must-have at every single session.  You'll always want to remember the way your baby curled up in your arms, and the feel of her against your chest with her own breath rising and falling against you.  I love these sweet moments we captured of Emerson with her parents during her session!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Newborn sessions are typically reserved BEFORE the baby is born, and it's best to contact your photographer in the second or third trimester!  We're now booking newborn sessions through December 2017.  What are you waiting for?  

Three of Hearts Cake Smash | Down Syndrome & CHD Awareness

Meet Harper, Catherine & Mae.  These birthday girls are our "Three of Hearts."

Cake Smash with three babies with Down syndrome.  Special needs photographer in Boston, MA.

These three baby girls met for the first time at our breastfeeding photoshoot on the beach with Julia's Way in June 2017.  During the photoshoot we discovered that they all were born three days in a row, and they all underwent major heart surgeries at Boston Children's Hospital in their first few months of life.  

These girls are now thriving -- they are heart warriors and breastfeeding champions.  When we also realized that their first birthdays were coming up, we knew we had to do something special to celebrate!  


TIME FOR A VERY SPECIAL CAKE SMASH!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness

I'm pretty sure that Mae is the smiliest of the bunch -- she has such a wide range of expressions, and I love how excited she was during our session together!  Her sparkling eyes and auburn hair will melt your heart!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness

You'll see that every baby's journey is unique, and Mae's mom shared a little bit about what makes her daughter "Mighty Mae."

Mae has had quite a first year. 3 separate heart surgeries including a pacemaker all before 7 months of age. She was inpatient for 75 days before coming home for the first time! A total of 136 days in the hospital in her first year of life. I can’t wait to celebrate her resilience and beauty in this photoshoot. She’s our “Mighty Mae”
— Mae's mom
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness

Little miss Catherine (Cate) is adorable & sweet, and oh-so-dainty.  This sweet little girl didn't want to get her fingers too messy during the cake smash, and she spent most of the time trying to figure out how to get the frosting OFF of her fingers.  Oh, and she has the most adorable eyes framed by her purple glasses!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness

Cate has come such a long way, and I love this message from her mom!

Cate was in the hospital for 80 straight days starting right when she was born. She has had 3 major surgeries, one of which was open heart surgery. She has come so far from a 5lb 3oz sick little heart baby to a 17lb happy little girl who sits up, babbles, and plays with toys.
— Cate's mom
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness

And Harper was the frosting queen!  Not one to shy away from sugar (this is a girl after my own heart!), this cuddly little girl was immediately covered in frosting and loved making a great big mess.  She had her fingers in the cake before I even picked up my camera, and she definitely loved this birthday experience!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness

Harper's mom shared a few inspiring words on her heart warrior's journey:

This session is so important to me because prior to her diagnosis we were expecting a “normal” healthy baby. The news of her Trisomy 21 devastated us, but her heart defect caused us to mourn her. We anticipated the worst and grieved her loss prematurely. I want others to know that neither diagnosis is not necessarily a terminal one and that she has brought so much love, joy, patience and understanding into our lives. She has changed every member of our family for the better!!!
— Harper's mom
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Down Syndrome Photographer | Down Syndrome Awareness

Loved this session?  Leave a little love for our "Three of Hearts" in the comments below, and please share this session on Facebook to help us spread the love for these heart warriors!

Maternity Portraits in Downtown Saratoga Springs | New York Maternity Photographer

July & August are filled with newborns this year, and I'm currently waiting on this little one to make his appearance later this summer!  As we count down the days until baby, let's enjoy his mama's beautiful maternity session in Congress Park & Downtown Saratoga Springs!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer

Meg & Dan were SUCH a joy to work with!  We had the perfect summer evening in Congress Park, and the golden light was the perfect backdrop sparkling through the trees.  These two are absolutely adorable together, and so very much in love.  I loved hearing all about their adventures, and their plans for their baby boy's arrival!  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer

Congress Park is one of my favorite spots in Saratoga for maternity & family portrait sessions because there is so much variety in such a small little area.  The double staircase built by the Trasks, the gorgeous fountains and stone columns, lots of ducks for toddlers to chase around, so much variety in the greenery, fresh flowers that change with the seasons, beautifully carved stone benches -- the options really are endless for a very fun session and so much variety in your final gallery!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer

Looking for a family photographer or newborn photographer in Saratoga Springs?  I'd love to chat and plan the perfect session for your family.   Email me at hello (at) nicolestarrphotography.com or click the link below to get in touch!

Behind the Scenes of our "Three of Hearts" Cake Smash | Down Syndrome Awareness

Three babies.  Three cakes.  And one very special cake smash.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes peek into our "Three of Hearts" cake smash with Mae, Harper, and Catherine.  This was such an amazing session with three beautiful babies, that we couldn't help but share a peek into the making of their cake smash images!  Check back later this week for the full cake smash gallery to see the stunning & hilarious moments that we captured together with the birthday girls!

three of hearts cake smash with nicole starr photography, for down syndrome awareness and congenital heart defect awareness

The full story will be coming to the blog later this week, but these three little girls all happened to celebrate their first birthdays three days in a row, and they all underwent lengthy hospital stays and surgeries due to heart complications when they were born in Boston last summer.  These heart warriors pushed through and were all able to successfully breastfeed this year, too!  They also happen to have Down syndrome, and they met for the first time at our photoshoot with Julia's Way in June, just a few short days before they all turned one!

Behind the scenes of our Three of Hearts cake smash with Nicole Starr Photography.  These three heart warriors all happen to have Down syndrome and survived major heart surgeries in their first year of life.  They also share birthdays three days in a row!

Of course, these little heart warriors rocked their Julia's Way onesies before the cake smash got underway.  Just look at how excited Harper is to show off her stylish onesie!

nicole starr photography-1.jpg

We had all three moms in the studio for this session, plus the founder of Julia's Way, Ella Cullen, with her little girl Julia Grace.  A huge thank you to our behind-the-scenes photographer and my good friend Jamie of Koss Photography for capturing the event for us!

When designing a setup for these little heart warriors, of course we went with a heart theme!  Catherine, Harper, and Mae rocked the most beautiful tutus and pearl necklaces that perfectly framed their heart scars on their chests.  

The girls all LOVED the camera, and they did such an amazing job during their session!  I went in fully aware of the possibility of three meltdowns, but we didn't have any -- well, at least until the very end!!  Their curiosity & sweet personalities all shone through, and it was such a joy to capture them individually and together on camera!

So what happens when you put three cakes in front of three babies?  

Some babies love it, others hate it.  Some are curious and cover their whole body in frosting -- Harper!!  Others think about face planting into the cake and rock their body back and forth to get their mouth closer and closer to the cake -- Mae!  And others are much more interested in playing with their pearls than actually getting any frosting on their fingers -- Cate!

Follow us on social media to see the first sneak peeks later this week, and we will update this blog post with a link to the gallery post as soon as it goes live!
 

Cake Smash Series: How to Prepare for Cake Smash Success

Did you catch the first post in our Cake Smash Series?  It's all about telling a story through your images by varying the angles and details that you capture in your session!  Go check it out here!

cake smash series tips for success.jpg

Whether it's your first cake smash or your hundredth, there are plenty of ways to set yourself up for success before the birthday baby ever comes to your studio.  The last thing you want to happen is to have an inconsolable baby, upset parents, an allergic reaction, or a gallery full of unusable images.  Read on to learn how you can prepare yourself, your studio, the baby, and your clients so that your session runs as smoothly as possible!

Get the studio ready.

Set everything up ahead of time, and make sure that your backdrop stands are secure.  Baby's safety is always your #1 priority during a session.  I use sandbags to weigh down all of my backdrop stands just in case the baby decides to pull on the garlands or the backdrop, and if any decoration becomes too distracting for the baby during the session, I simply pull it out of the set-up mid-shoot so that the baby can focus on the cake and so that we avoid anything falling on the baby.  

While you're setting everything up, don't forget to test your lights!  Set your white balance, figure out your aperture, and make sure that everything is hanging at a height that will fit around the baby when he or she is sitting with their cake.  Look for shadows cast by the decorations onto your backdrop, and use a reflector to bounce more fill light into the set-up to correct this.  

When I set everything up ahead of time, I like to put the cake into the set-up to get a few clean shots of the cake by itself.  This is great for those storytelling images like we talked about in our last post in the Cake Smash series, and it's a wonderful way to really get a feel for what your session will look like -- just add baby!


Enjoy a simple checklist to help you get the studio ready for your next cake smash session!  Print, pin, and share these tips for photographers to prepare for your next successful cake smash!

checklist for photographers to prepare for a cake smash photo shoot

Prepare the parents: Be ready for anything!

From the very first phone call, I let the parents know that the cake smash portion of our sessions last anywhere from 5-20 minutes, and it all depends on the baby!  Some babies love their cake, while others are more hesitant and don't like the feeling of the sticky frosting on their fingers.  Sometimes babies are nervous in a new space and they won't be all smiles during their session.  

I let parents know that it's totally okay and normal if their baby cries during the session, and I reassure them that I will capture a variety of images to tell their birthday story no matter what happens during the session.  I share crying images on social media and on my blog, and I normalize this for the families that I work with.  This way, parents come to the shoot and they are prepared for the worst (a crying baby), but they are pleasantly surprised if their child loves the birthday cake and gives us lots of smiles and laughs!

Of course, be sure to discuss any allergies with your clients before the session!


Share this simple checklist with your clients to help them prepare for their baby's cake smash session!  It gives them advice on what to pack, and what to do ahead of time to set their baby up for a successful cake smash session.

checklist for what to pack for your baby's cake smash photo shoot

What are your TOP TWO TIPS to prepare for
a cake smash session?
Leave a comment below and share your favorites!

 

 

A Greenhouse Maternity Session with Amy & Lo | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer

Sometimes things just come together perfectly, like these two:

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

Amy & Lo met at the Saratoga racetrack a few years ago on Travers Weekend, and they've been inseparable ever since.  They got married last fall, and reached out to me about planning their maternity & newborn sessions as they eagerly wait for their baby boy to arrive later this summer.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

When they mentioned finding a location with a more natural feel, I suggested that we do their session in a greenhouse.  Well, as things just come together perfectly, luck would have it that Amy's family owns a local greenhouse and she grew up planting seedlings and watering the flowers right here in this building.  So of course we decided it would be the perfect location for their maternity session!  

Don't you agree?  I'm in love with the soft, diffused light and the beautiful flowers & greenery!  But of course, the real stars of the show are Amy, Lo, and her adorable baby bump!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

They both have family in Holland, so we had to incorporate these vintage wooden shoes into their session.  I love it when families bring a beautiful & meaningful family heirloom to their sessions for us to use in their portraits!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Saratoga Springs NY Maternity Photographer Boston Maternity Photographer Uptown NY Maternity Photographer-12 copy.jpg
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

Wondering what to wear for your maternity session?  I have a growing collection of gowns in the studio, like this slate blue one below.  These are perfect for our studio mamas, and I am always happy to let you come visit and try a few on beforehand to choose the ones that you'd like to wear during your portrait session!

Amy absolutely rocked the blue gown, and it looked incredible on her.  I love the way it showcases her baby bump and complements her hair & skin.  She's definitely radiant!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Maternity Photographer | Boston Maternity Photographer | Upstate NY Maternity Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maternity session

Maternity sessions are best done between weeks 28-36.  If you're expecting a little one, I would love to chat with you about adding a maternity session on to your newborn package!  

Enjoy a few more recent maternity sessions on the blog:

Emily's Backlit Maternity Session in the Studio

Waiting for Baby Luca: A Studio Maternity Session

Breastfeeding Babies with Down Syndrome | Saratoga Springs and Boston Baby Photographer

Sometimes the stars align and you find yourself exactly where you were supposed to be, surrounded by people that are going to inspire you & change you.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer

That is exactly what happened when Ella Gray Cullen, the founder of the nonprofit Julia's Way, contacted me and together we organized this session on the beach with 10 strong mamas and 10 warrior babies.  

But here's the catch -- all of these babies rock an extra chromosome and happen to have Down syndrome, and we gathered on the beach to celebrate their journeys in nursing and their mamas' journeys in breastfeeding.

I loved every minute of this evening together -- cuddling the cutest babies, hearing their stories, and laughing together as the babies were just being their sweet little selves!  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer

From Ella Gray Cullen, enjoy a little peek into the heart behind the photo session that has since begun to inspire a movement to help others reimagine life with Down syndrome, and check out her full blog post here.....

"I was disheartened by hearing from women who had been told that their babies likely wouldn't nurse. Some were told by their doctors or other medical professionals that they shouldn't even bother. My breastfeeding relationship with my daughter is one of the greatest treasures I have and I felt sad to hear women say they felt they couldn't have that just because their child had Down syndrome.
Many, if not most, babies with DS can breastfeed and for those that can, and whose mothers would like to do it, the benefits are immeasurable. Feeding your child is always a personal choice, but some of these women didn't have a choice because of their medical professionals. Somehow, my vision of posting a photo of myself nursing my daughter on my personal Facebook page to create awareness spawned a non-profit dedicated to reimagining life with Down syndrome and suddenly we had 10 women who volunteered their time.
These women nursed their babies and children despite challenges most people could never have imagined including months' long NICU stays, heart failure, open heart surgery, pulmonary hypertension, duodenal atresia, leukemia, prematurity, and hypothyroidism. These women came together to give a gift to new and expectant moms, something many of them feel that they didn't have enough of: encouragement from real moms, like themselves, who struggled through the early and difficult days and eventually met success, usually when they least expected it. We want to say you can do it! We are here cheering you on! and go, mama, go! "
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer | Boston Baby Photographer | Upstate NY Baby Photographer | Baby Photographer

You know the most amazing thing that has come out of this evening on the beach?  

It's not that the story has started going viral online, but it's the reaction that so many mamas have had to our posts.  The comment sections have been filled with mothers sharing their own personal journeys, telling us about their little ones with Down syndrome, and giving a glimpse into their breastfeeding journey.  What we love the most is hearing other mothers tell us that they are advocating for their little ones and doing everything possible to open a whole world of possibilities for their babies.  Keep it up, mamas!  You're doing an amazing job!

A huge thank you for all of the shares on our posts, including:
La Leche League USA
Love What Matters
PopSugar Moms
Hanover Wicked Local


JULIAS WAY has big plans to continue the momentum we've gained from the shoot, and part of this advocacy involves an informational video, publishing a book, and spreading the word in medical offices across the country.  Please consider donating to support this cause!


A White & Cream Newborn Session with Matthew | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer

Ohhhhh, sweet Matthew.  There is nothing I love more than a brand new baby, all squishy & soft against a simple, clean white backdrop.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

It's always an honor when a family invites me into their lives to capture their newborn baby's portraits.  What makes it even better is when they come back to me later on with Baby #2.  I first met this sweet family when their first son was born.  (Check out big brother Joey's newborn session here!)  Then when they told me that Baby #2 wouldn't be far behind, I was thrilled to plan their next session with them!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

One of the things that left me awe-struck was just how much big brother Joey and baby brother Matthew look like each other.  Heads full of dark, soft newborn hair.  The same eyes and tiny little chins.  They are so adorable and handsome, all rolled up into such a tiny bundle!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

One of the (many) amazing things about working with families who return to the studio with each baby is witnessing the tiny changes that only I would notice in their family & parent images.  The way that their expressions change from surprise/awe/wonder with the first baby, and settle into an easier, contented joy with the second baby.  You can see it in the way they relax their eyes, their face, their shoulders.  In the way that they are 1,000% more comfortable and natural holding the baby the second time around.  It's like, "Yeah, we're parents now.  We've done this before.  We've got this!"  I love watching that transition!

There is just so much love in these family portraits, and it's multiplied when we bring big brother in to get to know his baby brother!  Family portraits with a toddler and newborn are always tricky, but so, so worth it!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Telling a Story through your Cake Smash Session Images

I am a storyteller with a camera. 

As a cake smash photographer in Saratoga Springs & Boston, I am all about telling the story of my littlest clients’ first birthday celebrations.   Personally, I love doing this in a classic way with a first birthday cake smash session.  

But it’s not just about making a mess out of the cake.  

As a photographer, your job is to discover and tell a story.  There is an entire story that unfolds when you place a cake in front of a baby, and today’s post will help you discover the key elements so that you can capture the full story in your next cake smash session!


START AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY

While you can’t exactly have the words “Once upon a time” to obviously clue us in that this is the beginning of your cake smash, there are so many other ways to visually portray the start of the session and the beginning of the baby’s birthday story. 

I like to start my cake smash sessions with a pull back shot of the entire setup BEFORE the baby is even in the frame.  Capture the cake, the decor, and close ups of the little details.  Capture the perfection before the mess that occurs later on!  I do this while parents are getting the baby ready, and I tell them that I’m just testing out my light — which is true!   Sometimes I take a few test shots while waiting for the family to arrive as well, just to make sure there are no other adjustments I want to make to the setup.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer

After those couple of quick shots, the focus is no longer on the decor, and it’s 100% on the baby.  Forget about the decor and watch the story unfold!
 

Get ready for the action

Next we’re ready for the baby!  I explain to the parents where they will place the baby in the setup.  I ask them to place the baby behind and off to the side of the cake just a little bit.  This way, the baby can crawl or walk towards the cake, showing off their new gross motor skills.  It also gives you a great opportunity to capture the excitement, interest, and curiosity on the baby’s face as they see their colorful cake for the first time!

You are on camera duty, and the parents are on baby-chasing duty.  If you keep getting up to position the baby, you are going to miss a lot of incredible shots, so I make sure the parents know that they’ll bring the baby back into the set if the baby crawls (or walks!) away.
 

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer

WATCH THE STORY UNFOLD

It’s all about the angles!  Start from far away and move in with your camera to capture the entire scene, and then close ups of the baby.  I like to get really close and capture the frosting on their feet, the little pieces of cake that they’re putting into their mouth, and those tiny fingers grabbing the cake.  

One of my favorite angles to capture in the middle of the shoot is the bird’s eye composition.  I grab my step stool and shoot from up above with my 35mm lens.  I sing, clap, and do anything I can to get the baby looking up at me.  It’s my favorite shot every single time showing those wide and sparkling eyes, their beautiful outfit, and the messy cake that they’ve enjoyed all in one shot.
 

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer
saratoga springs cake smash baby photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer

FIND A NATURAL ENDING

The image that you use to represent the end of the session may be the very last frame that you capture that day, but I find that the image I choose to show the end often isn’t the very last frame, but one from earlier on when the baby was just over it.  

Maybe they’re crying or crawling away from the cake.  Maybe their big brother or sister came in for a few photos and for a taste of the birthday cake.  Maybe mom’s arms are reaching into the frame to pick up the baby at the end.  Maybe the baby is signing “all done” with their hands all covered in frosting.  Whatever it is, there’s your shot to show the end of the story!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer

Some cake smashes last for 20 minutes, and others last for 5 minutes. If you prepare the family to expect this ahead of time, it will be no big deal if the sessions goes a little short because the baby is not feeling it.  Nevertheless, you can still capture a beginning, middle, and end to the story through your images by changing your angles, composition, and looking for storytelling transitions that occur naturally in the session.


Think they're all perfect and filled with smiling, happy babies?  No way!
If your next cake smash session doesn't go as planned, don't worry!  
Check out my favorite blog post that's a compilation of so many recent sessions: 


After the Session

Don't let the story end with that last photo!  Take it to the blog to share behind the scenes pictures, details about planning the session, and tell your readers a little more about what happened in between frames to tell the full story of baby's first birthday cake smash!

What to Wear for your Beach Family Portraits | Cape Cod Family Photographer

The 4th of July means that summer is officially in full swing!  I am looking forward to spending some time on Cape Cod later this month, where I can't wait to get together with so many families for their family portrait sessions!  But of course, there is always that one popular question...

What should we wear for our photoshoot on the beach?

Since our Spring Wardrobe blog post was such a hit, I've decided to share some wardrobe inspiration for your beach session this summer!  Enjoy lots of visual inspiration, plus a couple of simple tips to make choosing outfits for your family session a breeze!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Fatherhood Photographer

Keep it simple.  

Choose 2 colors plus a neutral and weave those into everyone's outfits.  Above you'll see that light blue, navy, and white pull all of the outfits together!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Fatherhood Photographer

You can't go wrong with stripes.

I am a huge fan of stripes for our Salt Air sessions on the beach, and I love how classic and New England-y (we're just going to pretend that's a word!) they look.  When choosing stripes, choose ones that have only 2 colors so that the pattern isn't too busy and distracting -- white & blue are so classic!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Fatherhood Photographer

Enjoy a little pop of color!

Teal & coral go really well together, and they are such eye-catching summer colors that are perfect for a photo session in the warmer months.  Tie the outfits together even more with matching accessories -- a coral bowtie on the baby, or a hat with a teal band on dad.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Fatherhood Photographer

Leave the jeans at home.

At the beach, you want to lighten up and relax.  Heavy and dark jeans just don't make sense in such a relaxed and airy setting.  Choose lightweight fabrics (khaki, linen, cotton) rather than heavier ones.  Shorts are great, too!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Fatherhood Photographer

Glam it up!

If you really want to make it a special experience, check out Rainey's Closet for your daughter (we have an entire post about this incredible rental service for little girls' dresses).  For your own dress, Rent the Runway has fabulous options, and you can also purchase beautiful dresses on Lulu's and even Amazon -- yay for 2-day shipping!  I have a growing collection of gowns in the studio as well -- ask me about it, and I'm happy to bring a dress or two for you to borrow!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Fatherhood Photographer

Choose colors that complement your home decor.

These portraits are going to be proudly displayed on the walls of your home.  Make sure you keep your colors in mind as you plan your wardrobe so that they flow seamlessly into your decorating, enhancing the space rather than looking out of place!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Fatherhood Photographer

Now, wasn't that easy?  Comment below and tell me what's your family's favorite activity to do on the beach!  

A Family Portrait Session in Saratoga Springs Spa State Park - Saratoga Springs & Albany Family Photographer

Oh my goodness, this family is the absolute sweetest and it was such an honor to capture them all together for a family photo session in Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer

I first met Kaley a few months ago at a get-together for local photographers in the Capital Region.  We connected again at a coffee shop where we spent hours talking life, business, and everything in between.  She told me about how her little boy, Remi, took her on a date to Red Robin, got all dressed up, put on a bowtie, told her to put on something pretty, and held the door for her at the restaurant.  He even insisted on paying for the meal.  I mean seriously, how cute!!!!  I fell in love with her adorable son and his amazing mannners on the spot, and I knew that the rest of her family would charm me as well!  

Then we started talking about capturing some family portraits before her exchange student, Daniel, returned to Mexico at the beginning of the summer.  When I was about the same age as Ellis and Remington , my family hosted three exchange students for three straight years.  Then in college I went to live with a family in Argentina, which kicked off a decade of international travel for me!  So of course I have a special spot in my heart for families that take on an exchange student and welcome another family's child into their home like one of their own.  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer

We got together for a very fun session at sunset in Spa State Park, right next to SPAC in Saratoga Springs.  It was the perfect summer evening for a relaxed and playful session together, and I loved every moment with this sweet family!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer

Aren't their outfits just perfect?

I always help families plan their outfits before their portrait session, and like most moms, Kaley messaged me and said, "Help!  I have nothing to wear!"

A half hour later she magically pulled together the most beautiful collection of outfits that were already in their closets, and that held so much meaning for their family!  Remi's shorts & suspenders were handmade and belonged to his grandpa, while the floral dress that Ellis is wearing was made by her great grandmother!  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer

Are you ready to capture some beautiful & light-hearted memories with your family?  Let me do all the work and plan a worry-free session for your family this summer!
 

Sleepy Newborn Photos - Saratoga Springs & Boston Newborn Photographer

Ask any newborn photographer -- there is nothing we love more than a sleepy, cuddly newborn baby!  Those little baby yawns that come right before they slip into what we lovingly call a "milk drunk" state of sleep are the best!  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

So why do photographers love sleepy newborn babies so much?  Well, they are much easier to settle into a pose without stretching or startling themselves awake.  For a baby that is just a week or two old, when they are awake they typically want to eat.  Of course, you didn't hire a newborn photographer to capture dozens of photos of your baby eating, so we like a baby to have a full belly and be nice and settled during their session.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

When a newborn baby is in a deep sleep during a studio session, it's easy to move them from the beanbag to buckets and other small props to curl them up inside of.  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

This also gives your photographer the chance to really slow down and zoom in on all of the details that you don't want to forget -- their perfect pout, the flaky newborn skin on their hands, their tiny toes, and that thin layer of downy newborn hair on their back.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Plus, sleepy newborn smiles are OH-SO-AMAZING!!!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

But do newborn babies need to be asleep during their newborn sessions?
No, of course not!  

I actually love it when they're awake for a few shots so that we can capture their sparkly eyes and intense gaze.  Check out yesterday's blog post filled with so many of
our favorite awake newborn images from recent sessions!
 

Wide Awake Newborn Portraits - Saratoga Springs & Boston Newborn Photographer

I'm going to let you in on a little secret...

Whether it's a lifestyle newborn session at home, or a newborn session here in my Saratoga Springs studio, it's not always guaranteed that the baby will fall asleep!  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Of course, newborn sessions go much more smoothly (and quickly!) when the fresh new baby is asleep most of the time.  We're able to pose the baby into those adorable little curled up poses, wrap them in swaddles, unwrap them, and move them from one setup to another without disturbing them.  

But sometimes, babies are curious little things and they like to see everything that is going on around them -- I swear they must be wondering who this girl with the camera is!  So when we have awake babies during a newborn session, we go with the flow and capture their sparkling eyes and their powerful gaze.  And we hope that they eventually fall asleep by using the million-and-one tricks that I have up my sleeve as a newborn photographer to get tiny little babies to fall into Dreamland!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

I do love it when we get those wide-eyed shots during our newborn sessions, though!  This typically happens more often during our lifestyle sessions at home, and it's a great opportunity to capture some portraits in their crib, and cuddles with mom & dad.  If we're bringing siblings in (especially toddlers) that is always much easier with an asleep newborn, though!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

So many beautiful little babies!  Check back on the blog tomorrow for another post with a few of our favorite SLEEPY newborn shots from recent sessions!


Did you know that the best time to book your newborn session is in the second or early in the third trimester?  We are now booking newborns for August, September, October, and November, and I would love to plan the perfect session with you!  

Using Rainey's Closet Dress Rentals for my Portrait Studio Wardrobe

Can I let you in on a little secret?  It's the way that every little girl can feel like a princess for her portrait session.  It's called Rainey's Closet.  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Children’s Photographer | Boston Children’s Photographer | Upstate NY Children’s Photographer | Children’s Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Children’s Photographer | Boston Children’s Photographer | Upstate NY Children’s Photographer | Children’s Photographer

Every photographer (and mom!) wants to find the perfect outfit for their portrait sessions.  You want something unique, fun, and just a little bit whimsical.  Something a little bit fancier than your everyday clothing, because photo sessions are a time to have a little fun and experiment with something new!

But that can get a little expensive, especially if you're just going to wear it once, and even more so if your little girl will outgrow it in no time at all.

The solution?  Rent the perfect dress for your session!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Children’s Photographer | Boston Children’s Photographer | Upstate NY Children’s Photographer | Children’s Photographer

Rainey's Closet is a boutique rental company, similar to Rent the Runway, but with couture dresses and adorable little outfits for babies, little girls, and even some items for little boys!  Their website is filled with the most popular brands that photograph so beautifully -- Tutu Du Monde, Dollcake, Nellystella, Well Dressed Wolf, Joyfolie...  The list goes on and on!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Children’s Photographer | Boston Children’s Photographer | Upstate NY Children’s Photographer | Children’s Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Children’s Photographer | Boston Children’s Photographer | Upstate NY Children’s Photographer | Children’s Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Children’s Photographer | Boston Children’s Photographer | Upstate NY Children’s Photographer | Children’s Photographer

I adore this service because for about $35, you can rent the most perfect dress that will truly make your session that much more magical.  A dress that is perfect for twirling, with little hints of sparkle and lots of movement that looks amazing on camera.  

I have discovered so many gorgeous brands and gowns through this website, and it's definitely a favorite resource of mine that I recommend to all of the families I work with.  Planning a beach session this summer?  Rather than spending $30-40 on a dress at the store that you may or may not love, and one that may or may not photograph nicely, rent one from Rainey's Closet that will look STUNNING for your session and that will make your little girl feel like a princess.

I would love it if you'd use my unique referral code
when you rent from Rainey's Closet!  

It's 141372.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Children’s Photographer | Boston Children’s Photographer | Upstate NY Children’s Photographer | Children’s Photographer

Many moms like to send me pictures of the outfits they are thinking of before the session, and then it's so easy to pick one of the dresses from Rainey's Closet to coordinate.  Their colors are soft with lots of neutral tones that will go well with every combination you could possibly dream up.  I have marked dozens of their dresses as favorites, and pinned even more on our wardrobe inspiration boards on Pinterest.  Stuck on outfits?  Start with Rainey's Closet and the rest will come together beautifully!  

For more wardrobe inspiration, check out these helpful links!

Pinterest: Spring Wardrobe Inspiration for Family Portrait Sessions

Pinterest: Beach Wardrobe Inspiration for Family Portrait Sessions

Blog: What to Wear for your Family Portrait Session

Connor's Lifestyle Newborn Session - Boston South Shore Lifestyle Photographer

World, meet Connor.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

This sweet little boy has the most soulful eyes I have ever seen on a newborn. He was wide awake during his lifestyle newborn session at home, and his curiosity got the best of him as he wanted to see everything that was going on around him.  I'm so glad, because it allowed us to capture so many beautiful wide-eyed shots of this handsome baby boy!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Baby toes are my favorite!  Especially when framed by a white crib in a nursery with such delicious & airy light streaming in.  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

The family's fur baby, Mack, joined in on the fun.  I always love when we can incorporate pets into our lifestyle sessions at home because they are such an important member of your family.  While most dogs take some time to adjust to a new baby at home, we always try a little extra hard to get a few shots of the two together.  Those will definitely be the images you are so happy to have many years from now when your baby and your dog are the best of friends.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer

Decor & style is such a huge part of our lifestyle sessions, though they of course take a back seat to the emotions that are bubbling over as your family grows from 2 to 3 (or from 3 to 4!).  I love that these sessions take place right in your home, and they show so much of your family's personality as we capture the space that you first brought your baby home to.  The banister on the staircase in this family's home made the perfect frame to shoot through for a few cozy moments in the living room.  

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer | Boston Newborn Photographer | Upstate NY Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photographer