And they're off! A Saratoga Springs Race Track Themed Cake Smash

You want to know the funny thing about our first year with our son? Most of the baby friends we’ve made were all born right around the same time as him. We have had playdates where literally all of the babies were born within days of each other, and some of us were even down the hall from each other at the hospital! It’s funny how it works out like that, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s been amazing being able to connect with other parents whose babies are going through the exact same stage that our son is in, and it’s truly been one of the best parts of this first year — you know, in addition to the thousands of incredible moments and laughs that Grayson has brought to us, of course!

So we decided to get a bunch of the babies together for one big cake smash!

Because we live in Saratoga Springs, New York, I’ve been eager to design a backdrop to go with the Saratoga Race Track that is so popular every summer when the town is flooded with people that visit just for the horse races. All of these birthday babies live right here in town, so of course we did a Saratoga Springs race track theme for their joint cake smash!

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

We dressed them up in the most dapper outfits with little bowties and hats on the boys, and ruffles on the girls. How sweet are they?!?!

Meet Grayson, John, Charlotte, and Corinne. Birthday buddies in Saratoga Springs.

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

We put four babies in front of four cakes, and it was hilarious watching them attack their cakes (or their neighbor’s cake!).

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

Corinne was truly the master smasher, and she demolished her cake! This sweet girl was all over the place, up and down and crawling on and off the set. She was absolutely amazing and we had so much fun and so many laughs watching how excited she was!

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

Haha! I just love how Charlotte is going in to swipe Grayson’s cake topper here!

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

John was a little hesitant to dig right in, but he made the most amazing expressions and he was very careful not to get too messy. I love how he crosses his little legs and tastes his cake with just one finger of frosting at a time!

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

Grayson wasn’t really into his cake. He was more interested in his cake stand or in his friends’ cakes! Either way, he was a happy boy surrounded by cake and babies! (Ha, that’s basically how I would describe myself! He is definitely my son!)

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

Charlotte was very dainty and methodical with her cake. She stayed put and focused on just her cake (but sometimes her neighbor’s, too!). She loved just reaching in for one tiny little bite of frosting at a time, and was happy as can be!

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york
Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

These four were an absolute blast! I loved this session, and I can’t wait to watch them all together as toddlers this year!

Nicole Starr Photography | albany cake smash photographer, horse race backdrop, saratoga springs baby photographer, saratoga springs cake smash photographer, saratoga springs family photographer, saratoga springs race track photo shoot, travers weekend photographer, saratoga springs photographer, saratoga springs new york

Baby Starr | My Favorite Portraits from Grayson's First Year

Grayson turns one on Wednesday. This has been the fastest and most amazing year of my life, and it’s definitely been the year that I have taken the most personal photos! I’m so glad that I made myself commit to a monthly photo project with Grayson. It’s been amazing watching him grow, and even on the craziest and busiest months it was nice to slow down and document our little guy.

This week is going to be one big trip down memory lane, and we’re starting it off with a post filled with all of my favorite portraits of our sweet baby boy!

I keep looking at the calendar and saying, “One year ago we were getting the call from the doctor to go in for an induction,” and “One year ago we were in the hospital and this was happening,” and “One year ago…”

It’s incredible how much has happened in one year!

Our sweet baby boy arrived 17 days before his due date, and he was perfect with sleepy eyes, the creamiest skin, and fluffy blonde hair!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer  |  Down syndrome awareness and advocacy photographer
Grayson’s Fresh 48 portraits were taken at Glens Falls Hospital by the talented  Lauren Kirkham Photography.

Grayson’s Fresh 48 portraits were taken at Glens Falls Hospital by the talented Lauren Kirkham Photography.

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer  |  Down syndrome awareness and advocacy photographer

It took me three tries in the studio to do my own son’s newborn portraits. He was so difficult to settle, and he jumped with every single click of the shutter on my camera. It’s funny to see how different he looks from one newborn portrait to the next because you can really tell which ones he had gained some weight in because they were taken a week after the first ones!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer  |  Down syndrome awareness and advocacy photographer
Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer  |  Down syndrome awareness and advocacy photographer
Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer

My first Mother’s Day! Gosh, he was so little then!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer
Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer
Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer

We really do have the happiest little guy! Even when he was just a few months old he was all smiles for the camera, and all smiles when we put it away, too! I just love his personality and I’m so grateful that we have a baby who is so filled with JOY.

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer  |  Down syndrome awareness and advocacy photographer

Six months old and sitting up on his own! Little did we know that he would spend MONTHS sitting without moving on to the next physical milestone (crawling). Now at one year old, he is finally starting to butt-scoot!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer
balloon garland, 6 month milestone session, saratoga baby photographer
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saratoga springs milestone baby photographer, nicole starr photography
saratoga springs baby photographer, milestone session, nicole starr photography
lifestyle baby photographer, albany baby photographer

This boy LOVES books, and he loves putting everything in his mouth! A few of his books have bite marks and chunks missing! Favorite titles this year are:
There’s a Bear in My Chair
Fox in Socks
Ten in the Bed
The Pout Pout Fish
Llama Llama
— all of this series!

lifestyle baby photographer, albany baby photographer
nicole starr photography
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baby bear bonnet, saratoga springs baby photographer

Grayson and I took these self portraits when he was 37 weeks and 4 days old — the same amount of time that he was inside of me for!

nicole starr photography

All of our holidays this year…

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer
nicole starr photography, christmas photo session, saratoga springs baby photographer

He sleeps with this elephant, and he knows that this toy is for naptime and bedtime. It’s so sweet how it’s always in his arms when he is in his crib. He hugs it, uses it like a pillow, and tosses it across his face to block the light. The elephant is never more than a few inches from him when he’s asleep!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer

This lucky boy spent a lot of time dog-sitting Bailey this year, and he is officially obsessed with this (very tolerant and gentle) dog! His first word came at 11.5 months — DOG/DOGGIE!

family snow photos
lifestyle baby photographer, nicole starr photography
lifestyle baby photographer, nicole starr photography
grayson's first year_0005.jpg
nicole starr photography, milestone baby photographer, saratoga springs
baby football photo shoot, super bowl photo backdrop, buffalo bills baby photographer

Those thighs! He’s slimming out now that he’s moving around more, and I already miss those rolls on his legs!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer
baby valentine photo shoot
nicole starr photography, baby bubble bath photos, water beads photo shoot
self portraits of motherhood, nicole starr photography
Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs baby photographer

I’ll be sharing a few very special posts this week, along with his cake smash and updated 12 month portraits! More to come soon!

Baby Starr | Grayson's Fifth Month

Time is flying by, and our sweet baby boy is already five months old!  Each day Grayson grows a little more into his amazing personality, those chunky thighs, and those two very expressive eyebrows!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs Albany Baby Photographer

We have been working so hard on tummy time this month, but our little man has decided he would much rather skip tummy time and go straight to sitting up on his own!  After weeks of sitting on our laps, we tried him out on his mattress without any support last week, and he surprised us by keeping his balance for much longer than we imagined he would!  There have been a few head bumps since, and maybe a face plant or two, but he is LOVING this new perspective! 

His favorite game is sitting in his crib and looking at us through the slats in the crib bars, and when we move to a new angle or up above the railing he follows us with his eyes and starts laughing hysterically.  It's adorable!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs Albany Baby Photographer

Speaking of adorable....  I had way too many favorite photos this month, so we're just going to fill the blog up with all of these cute Grayson moments!

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs Albany Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs Albany Baby Photographer

Doesn't he look like he's reaching out for a hug in this one?

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs Albany Baby Photographer

He hasn't found his toes yet, but I know that's coming next and I'm sure by next month he'll be playing with his feet non-stop, and even getting those little toes into his mouth.  For now, he is 100% about kicking his legs -- in his stroller, on the floor, while swaddled in his bed.  Those legs are pumping up and down all day long, and he gets so excited about it that he lets out happy shrieks.

Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs Albany Baby Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Springs Albany Baby Photographer

This month Grayson spent another week on the Cape with me, and he got in lots of walks to the beach.  He enjoyed so much family time with a full house on the Cape, playing with his cousins Natalie & Nathaniel, snuggling up with my cousin Kori (who put him to sleep every time with her cozy hugs!), and walking up and down the street with Grandma to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine any time he got fussy.

We went to visit Daddy at work, and Grayson dressed up in his little suit to match Dad.  Everyone fell right in love with this little guy!

We had a lot of visitors this month!  We started off with Auntie Kirsten & Uncle Dave, and Grayson pretty much charmed their socks off.  My personal favorite part of the visit was when Dave asked, "Wait, so you haven't had 6 consecutive hours of sleep since April?!?!"  And Jeff chimed in that it was likely more like since December!   ;o)  

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Travers Weekend has always been a special weekend for me & Jeff, and we don't even go to the track!  It's always the last weekend of the summer that we love enjoying downtown Saratoga Springs, and it happens to be the very first weekend we ever got together in 2012 when we started dating.  This year our little man put on his most dapper outfit and hat and charmed all of the ladies downtown.  


Then our friend Wendy came to visit with Addie (6) and Zack (8).  This was the highlight of Grayson's month and he looooooved watching these two kids.  Zack was obsessed with Grayson and kept asking me when he could give him a bath, so of course we sudsed right up on the kitchen counter and played "Splish Splash" on the radio.  We had many playground adventures, enjoyed lots of cuddles on the couch with Addie reading books to the boys, and got in lots of snuggles with Wendy every chance he got. 

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A few milestones this month...

  • Baby G, you've discovered your voice!  You babble nonstop, and you've recently discovered this fun little shriek that you enjoy making over and over again.  Your face lights up when you "talk", and it's really amazing to watch and listen to.
     
  • You've graduated to a "big boy stroller", and you no longer need the car seat in the stroller when we go for walks.  Of course, you're very excited about this new perspective and your legs kick like crazy when we're out and about now.
     
  • We're still waiting for teeth, and those hands are constantly in your month.  You grab anything you can reach to put it in there and chomp down -- our fingers, my wrist, our water bottles, your toys.  Nothing is out of your reach!
     
  • You went to your first wedding!  Katie McIntosh & Jeff Torch got married in central NY, and you came to the ceremony.  We were excited that you were asleep in the pews, and we thought we were sooooo lucky that you would sleep the whole time.  We jinxed it, and you woke up right in time to start babbling during the vows.  
     
  • We started taking you to a chiropractor to help with your (lack of) sleep and your (excessive) reflux.  You loooooove visiting her, and you get so calm and smiley in her office.  Now let's keep crossing those fingers that this works because we are desperate for sleep and clean clothes!
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And some of our favorite cell phone shots from Grayson's Fifth Month!

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Baby Starr | Grayson's Fourth Month

I can't believe that our little baby boy is now FOUR MONTHS OLD!  

saratoga springs baby photographer  |  Nicole Starr Photography

Grayson, you charm us every single day with your sweet personality, your bubbly laugh, and those round rosy cheeks that we seriously can't help but squish and kiss all day long!  

Your personality is coming out more each day, and you really are a chill, mellow, happy baby who loves to relax.  You're very observant and you take in everything around you through those bright blue eyes of yours, and now you're starting to interact with your surroundings more now that you've discovered all the cool things you can do with those hands & feet that, as it turns out, ARE ATTACHED TO YOUR BODY!  Seriously, that was the best discovery ever for you when you realized you could make things happen simply by waving your hand through the air!

You've become a super vocal baby, and you're always testing out new sounds when we leave you by yourself on your play mat or in your crib.  It's not uncommon to hear a sudden "Whooooaaaa!" emerge from your corner of the room, and all sorts of little shrieks. 

You love "talking" to anyone that will talk back to you, and the cutest thing ever this month was when you sat on Grandpa Schwalm's lap and talked so earnestly to him, back and forth with a whole little conversation between the two of you!  You're so earnest when you're talking, and you pause for us to answer and ask you questions, and your whole face lights up as you babble away.  These photos below are a few of your "talking faces".  ;o)  

saratoga springs baby photographer  |  Nicole Starr Photography

You and I spent two weeks on Cape Cod visiting Grandma & Grandpa Schwalm in July.  You were a pro road tripper, and that 5 hour drive was no big deal to you, little man!  It was a pretty big adjustment for you to learn to sleep in a new space (we're still recovering from that one!), but you loved all of the extra cuddles and play time with your grandparents, plenty of fresh air, and you got to see the ocean for the first time!  (Though, the first two visits to the ocean you passed out the second you heard those waves, so you didn't actually "see" it until your third trip there.  Must be all those ocean sounds we listen to at night and during nap time to help you fall asleep -- they really work!!)

saratoga springs baby photographer  |  Nicole Starr Photography
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This month Daddy taught you how to stick out your tongue as a little game when you're on the changing table, and now you want to do it all the time.  It's pretty adorable.  You're also teething, and while no teeth have poked through yet, you drool like crazy and everything you find goes straight into your mouth.  Your favorite are my fingers, and you've gotten pretty good at chomping on them to massage those little gums of yours.

We've been working hard on tummy time, and while you're not the biggest fan, you've started trying to wiggle out of it.  Most babies roll.  You choose to inch forwards and sideways while on your tummy, as if you can just skip this whole tummy time thing and go straight to crawling.  Slow down, baby boy!

You adore your dad, and your face lights up every afternoon when he comes home from work.  You have the biggest smile just for him, and you're always cuddling up close to him.  You've even started to let him put you to bed at night, which is a nice little treat for you & for me!    Everyone says you look just like your dad, and you're really his little mini-me.  Lucky me, I get to share my house with the two most handsome guys!

This is the smile you give us when we say "I love you."

You really do light up our lives.  Love you lots, little man.

saratoga springs baby photographer  |  Nicole Starr Photography

A few of your firsts this month:

  • The big one for you is that you've discovered how awesome sitting upright is. You're still too little to sit on your own, but you love when we pull you up and support you on our laps (or on a table, the floor, the bed -- anywhere that puts your head above your legs!).  You get the biggest smile, and when we hold both your hands you even start to pull yourself up to sit to show us that you want to go up.  
     
  • You met Nana for the first time.  She's 91 years old, and she loved getting to cuddle her newest great-grandson, and show you off to everyone that lives in the retirement home with her!
     
  • Your first trip to Cape Cod was a success!  We went to mommy's favorite beaches in Dennisport, the ice cream shop where she used to work, and met up with a few friends while on the Cape, too!
     
  • You had your first (two!) visits to Urgent Care, where they misdiagnosed conjunctivitis both times.  Oh well!  You're a trooper, little man!
     
  • You also had your first official diaper blowout... All over mommy's lap.  It was followed by a string of funny texts to dad letting him know what had happened, including an "Omg!  It's still coming out!  I'm afraid to stand up now!"  Daddy of course said, "Good job, buddy!"
     
  • You also had your first trip to the Saratoga County Fair!  You loved the colors and the sounds, but eventually you fell asleep before we made it back to the car.  Mom & Dad's priorities?  Fried dough, play a carnival game, win a toy for the baby.  But really, fried dough.

Some of our favorite cell phone photos this month...

saratoga springs baby photographer  |  Nicole Starr Photography

Watch him grow!

Baby Starr | Grayson's Third Month

Oh, Grayson — we’re three months in!  It’s hard to believe that you are now thirteen weeks, or three months old!  I think we officially need to stop counting weeks and just count the months now because mama is so tired it’s hard to even keep track of what day it is anymore.  

saratoga springs baby photographer
saratoga springs baby photographer

BUT, you are one cute baby and full of smiles!  You're getting really expressive now, and it's so fun to watch.

saratoga springs baby photographer
saratoga springs baby photographer

You continue to make us laugh every single day.  You still have a pretty happy personality, and we can’t stop saying how lucky we are to have such an amazing and easy-going baby.  

saratoga springs baby photographer

You wake up from nap time and you look around your bed and make a few cooing noises, and when you spot my face looking down at you YOU JUST LIGHT UP with the biggest (toothless) smile.  Daddy came home from work last night and the second you spotted him you couldn't take your eyes off of him.  And that toothless smile was so big!  (Though we don’t think you’ll be toothless for long because you are drooling like crazy and we’ve got the feeling that first tooth will be here in the next few months.)  You start chattering like crazy and kicking those legs all over the place, so excited to see your mama and daddy.  It’s the sweetest thing!  We talk back, and you reply, and you really seem to think we’re having an actual conversation because we just go on and on, and you’re as happy as can be!

 

Tomorrow you're celebrating your first 4th of July, so of course we had to do a picture!

saratoga springs baby photographer

This month we celebrated Daddy’s first Father’s Day.  Your dad is so good with you, and I love watching the two of you together.  He has all of these little games and jokes with you, and the two of you are going to have so much fun as you grow up.  Daddy started flying you up in the air like Superman, and you love being able to see your home from this new angle.  There is so much to take in, and you want to see it all!

saratoga springs baby photographer
albany new york baby photographer
albany new york baby photographer

You love cuddles, and you’ve fallen asleep in Grandma’s arms more than once when she’s been watching you.  You sleep more soundly there than you do in your own bed!  You also got to meet your Auntie Kirsten this month.  It was love at first sight, and you gave her all of your biggest smiles!  We know you're already looking forward to seeing her again later this summer!


You still absolutely love your swaddle for naps, and once we put on the ocean noises in our bedroom you fall right asleep.  I am so excited to take you to Grandma & Grandpa Schwalm’s house on the Cape in a few weeks so that you can see the real ocean and hear what it sounds like!  Then you’ll be like, “Uhhhh, mom? These aren’t ocean sounds!  What’s that about?!?!”

saratoga springs baby photographer

Your new thing this month is that you have discovered your hands.  You play with the hanging toys on your playmat, and you have the proudest smile when you realize that you made them move with your hands.  You stick them in your mouth and make the loudest sucking noises as you chomp on them, too.  The first time you did that I think you startled yourself, but you’re slowly getting a bit gentler when gnawing on your own fingers. 

albany new york baby photographer

Another favorite spot for you is laying in your crib (which you don’t sleep in yet, but you love to hang out there!).  Hanging above your head is a mobile with stars on it, and you get so excited to look up and see them hanging and twirling above your head.  You coo, reach out your arms, and kick your legs excitedly when you see the stars.  I think you’re going to love your bedroom when it’s finally time for you to sleep there!

albany new york lifestyle baby photographer
albany new york lifestyle baby photographer

Now that summer is here, we're doing all of the fun summery things together!  Walking around Congress Park to look at the ducklings, taking your bathtub outside and turning it into a baby swimming pool, and going on lots of walks in the sunshine.  You really love being outside in the baby carrier and snuggling in close, and it's one of my favorite activities to do with you!

albany baby photographer
saratoga springs baby photographer
saratoga springs baby photographer
saratoga springs baby photographer

A few of your favorite things this month...

  • Dancing with mommy & daddy in the kitchen

  • Staring at your crib mobile

  • Playdates with your buddy John

  • Naps

  • Kicking your legs, and discovering what your hands can do


And of course, we have so many photos on our cell phones of our sweet little Grayson this month!  Sleeping, playing, eating, and smiling seem to be all of his favorite activities!

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Vivian Jane's 3 Month Milestone Portraits | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer

With the launch of our new Baby Plan & Milestone Sessions in 2018, I am so excited to see so many of my newborn clients return to the studio for their milestone portraits throughout their baby's first year!

I first met Vivian Jane during her at-home lifestyle newborn session.  Her parents mentioned then that they would be doing a traditional 100 day celebration for their daughter, and so of course we started planning her 100-day portraits!  We added a bit of sparkle to this sweet girl's session to fit the mood of the celebration, and her sweet smiles just lit up the room!

Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer

Her mama brought the cutest little knit outfit & beret, and this sweet 3 month old looked like a little French girl with that beret perched on her head just so!  The white bed is always a classic look in our milestone sessions, and I love how simply it complements this adorable baby girl.  

Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer

So, what is a good milestone to photograph?  Honestly, the first year flies so quickly and you're going to want to remember all of them!  Here are a few of my favorites to photograph during our milestone sessions:

  • Tummy time
  • Smiling
  • Before the first teeth come in
  • Celebration of the first tooth
  • Discovering their toes 
  • Sitting up unassisted
  • Crawling
  • Standing
  • Walking
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer

Baby Natalia | A Springtime Studio Newborn Session with Saratoga Springs Newborn Photographer

We've welcomed so many baby boys to the Saratoga Springs studio lately for their newborn sessions, so I was thrilled to meet sweet baby Natalia and to incorporate all of the pretty little florals into her newborn session.

This adorable baby girl's nursery is purple & gray, so of course we coordinated a few photos to match the decor.  I always love learning about a family's decor and style before the session so that we can create images that will blend seamlessly into your home to complement your style and make a beautiful statement hanging on your walls.  This particular image was printed onto a 16x20 canvas, and I know it's going to bring such a smile to mom & dad's faces every day when they see their sweet baby girl staring back at them on the wall!

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

Spring is my favorite time of year to incorporate fresh blooms into our sessions, and Natalia's mom arrived with purple tulips after seeing a similar inspiration photo on my website.  I love that we were able to create this gorgeous image for her family!

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

Big sister Katerina did a fabulous job taking care of her baby sister during the session.  My favorite part of working was this family was after the session when I went to their home for the gallery reveal.   Mom and dad told me that Katerina had been lining all of her dolls and stuffed animals up in front of the fireplace and pretending to take their picture for the past week -- she associated the space heater in the studio with her fireplace at home, and she knew that that was the spot where she had to take baby pictures!  

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

Love this session?  Check out a few other favorite studio newborn sessions on the blog with our Best of 2017 blog post!

Floral Crowns and Teepees | A Milestone Session for Everleigh | Saratoga Springs NY Baby Photographer

Usually we go for a super simply & classic look in our milestone sessions here at our Saratoga Springs baby photography studio, but sometimes it's fun to add a little bit of flair & whimsy.  That's exactly what we did for little miss Everleigh, who joined me for her 8 month milestone session.  

In planning her session, I told her mama that I had everything available at the studio for her baby girl, including outfits.  She showed up with just her baby & a diaper bag, and left the rest to me!  We used a beautiful floral crown with a simple diaper cover from the studio closet, and later a blush pink and lace romper and a fluffy beige tutu -- also from the studio closet!

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

And Everleigh was one happy little girl!  She loved sitting up, crawling, and showing off her clapping skills, and she giggled the entire time!  I was excited to use our boho teepee (check out this DIY tutorial to make your own -- it's one of the most popular and most pinned post on our blog!) with the perfect pink and peach floral crown.  

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

The studio bed is another favorite for our milestone sessions, and Everleigh loved having a soft space to cozy up on and crawl around!  Plus, the moment she had those pearls in her hand she was smiling, laughing, and shaking them all over the place!

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
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

Thinking of a milestone session for your growing baby?  Let's chat!  

Blake is ONE! A Sparkly Pink and Gold Cake Smash with Boston Baby Photographer

I love when our newborn clients come back to celebrate their first birthday at the studio!  It's hard to believe that it's been a year already since Blake's newborn session, and I truly enjoyed getting to celebrate this vibrant baby girl's first birthday with a very special cake smash session at our Attleboro baby photography studio.  

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

Our popular paper flower backdrop is at it again, this time with a little SPARKLE!  This drop is now for sale with our Designer Line at Baby Dream Backdrops.  Check it out here!

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

Blake LOVED her cake, especially once she was able to dig in with a spoon!  She surprised us all by keeping her birthday crown on the entire time (rare for a one-year old!), and she had the best time giggling away while we did her cake smash.  Isn't she adorable?!?!

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

Of course, I can never resist clicking the shutter on a good crying photo, and Blake ended the smash with the perfect reaction.

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

No birthday session with Nicole Starr Photography is complete without some family portraits!  We did some classic portraits for this Boston family, with neutral colors and a simple background to let them shine together.  This sweet little girl is so, so loved!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer
nicole starr photography saratoga springs boston cake smash baby photographer_0003.jpgNicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer

Oscar & Miles: Simple Studio Portraits with Brothers | A Milestone Session at the Nicole Starr Photography Studio

We have been celebrating so many baby milestones in the studio since launching our new Petite Milestone Sessions and Baby Plan for 2018!  Oscar came to the studio to celebrate his first 6 months, and his big brother Miles joined him to celebrate his second birthday! 

I saw Miles last year for his first birthday cake smash, and again in the fall for family portraits when his brother was still teeny-tiny, so it was especially nice to watch the two interact now that they've gotten to know each other for the past 6 months.  One thing is clear: little Oscar ADORES his big brother, and when he's nearby he can't take his eyes off of him!

Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer

Milestone portrait sessions at 6 months are some of my favorites.  Usually between months 6-8, babies are sitting up solidly on their own.  They have great neck strength and can rock tummy time, enjoying it just as much as they do laying on their backs and playing with their little toes.  Babies are truly perfect, and you know I don't use a lot of props to distract from this perfection.  We keep the focus on the baby and create truly timeless portraits that let your little one's personality shine!

Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer

And boy, did their personalities shine!!!  :o)  

Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer
Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer

Have you been wondering if a milestone session is right for you?  Check out more of our milestone sessions here:
 

Albany Baby Photographer  |  Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer  |  Boston Baby Photographer  |  Milestone Portrait Session  |  Nicole Starr Photography  |  Saratoga Family Photographer  |  Albany Family Photographer  |  Boston Family Photographer  |  Upstate NY Studio Portrait Photographer

Go Patriots! A Football Cake Smash Session with Boston Baby Photographer Nicole Starr Photography

This family LOVES the Patriots.  Their son was born in 2017 during the Super Bowl, and of course they wanted to incorporate their favorite sport into his first birthday session.  Ryan is probably the tiniest Pats fan in New England, but you can bet that be brings a lot of spirit to cheer on his family's favorite team!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party

We planned a football cake smash for Ryan's first birthday session at our Attleboro portrait studio.  I love getting everything ready for these sessions down to the very last detail, including this adorable Pats jersey cake topper that I designed just for his session!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party

Like a true rough-and-tumble football player, Ryan did not mess around when it came time to dig in.  Look at him shoving fistfuls of cake in his mouth!  We couldn't stop laughing at this cute baby boy's enthusiasm!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party

What does your family enjoy doing together?  Watching sports, reading books, painting, cooking, dancing, listening to music, playing make believe?  Whatever you love, we can incorporate it into your little one's session to infuse your family's interests and personality into your portraits.  Let's chat and plan your session together!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Cake Smash Photographer | Boston Cake Smash Photographer | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer  |  Albany Cake Smash Photographer  |  Football cake smash  |  Patriots football birthday party

Quinn's 3 Month Milestone Session | Saratoga Springs Baby Photographer

I love watching our Baby Plan babies grow!  Quinn Madlina first visited me in the studio a few months ago for her newborn session, and then she came back for her three-month milestone portraits!
 

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

This sweet baby girl is such a beauty, and I loved seeing how much she had grown!  She's getting so strong and really rocked her tummy time, but her favorite and most comfortable spot was laying on her back and looking up at her daddy, who got all the best smiles from his little girl! 

We used the same headband from her newborn session and a soft pink blanket that was so beautiful on her.

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

Of course, I love all of the creams & whites with our milestone babies because they are so classically beautiful and simple.  Quinn cozied up in one of our handmade knit rompers, and her tiny new earrings stole the show with just a hint of sparkle in her ears.

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

Milestone sessions are the perfect opportunity to capture a few seasonal portraits, and we used a nice holiday plaid for Quinn to celebrate the season!

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

Milestone sessions are best around 3-4 months (tummy time & back), 6-10 months (sitting up unassisted, clapping, smiling, and crawling), and of course the birthday cake smash between 10-13 months!

The One with All of the Tears | A Collection of our Favorite Crying Cake Smash Images

Alright, let's be real...

I talk with families every single week that are so excited to celebrate their baby's first birthday.  Most moms & dads seem to have this vision of how the cake smash will go.  Of course, this is based on all of the happy babies they see on Pinterest that are smiling, enjoying their birthday cake, and having a grand old time. 

But like I mentioned above...  We're going to get real here in today's blog post because sometimes THIS is what might happen during your cake smash. 

Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,

And you know what?  It's totally normal.  Actually, I love it when this happens just as much as I love it when we have giggling babies that are fascinated with their cake.    (P.S.  I personally think that this is the cutest image I captured of these twins in their entire first year of portrait sessions!)

Crying babies are absolutely adorable, and these are definitely the moments that you want to capture on camera to look back at one day (along with the smiling ones, of course!).  

10, 20, 30 years from now you can look back at these moments with all of the cuteness and none of the noise, and you'll laugh when you remember how your baby reacted to their first birthday cake!

Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Clifton Park cake smash photographer, Albany cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,

Think about your baby's first year.  There were probably A LOT of tears.  

Too hot, too cold, too hungry, too messy, too tired, too bored, too overstimulated.  You know that there are so many reasons that might cause your little one to shed a few tears, and you know that this is just their way of communicating with you before they have the words to take the place of crying.  

Sometimes during their cake smash session, babies just want to tell you that something is a little different and unknown for them.  

Maybe they've never touched something the texture of frosting.  

Maybe they don't like getting messy & sticky.  

Maybe they can't figure out why they're sitting on the floor to eat rather than in their high chair.  

Maybe they want more puffs or cheerios, or maybe they just want another hug.

Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,

Oftentimes, the tears only last a few short minutes or seconds.  A quick little distraction is all a baby needs to turn their mood around, so we bring in a new snack, a favorite toy, or sing a song.  We start dancing, play peek-a-boo, or take a little walk around the studio to look out the windows.  And we get the happy babies back, and your gallery is filled with smiling images!

No, really!  Go see these same babies smiling during their
cake smash sessions in this other compilation blog post here!

 

But I embrace the tears, the temper tantrums, and the fits when they happen.  I always make sure to snap a few quick shots of these moments because 30 years from now when you remember your first few years of parenting, you will remember the moment you held your baby in your arms for the first time.  You'll remember their first smile, their first Christmas, the first visit to Grandma's.  You'll remember those squishy cheeks and what it felt like when they wrapped their tiny hand around your fingers.  You'll remember the sleepless nights, the potty-training, the birthday celebrations.  

And you'll remember the tears, mixed in with all of the good things you'll remember what were the moments that really brought on the waterworks.  

Plus, it's not very likely that your grown child will face plant in her birthday cake when she cries 30 years from now, so you really want some proof to show her that this happened once upon a time...

Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,

Are you wondering why I'm sharing this post with you today?  I want you to know that all portrait sessions (and all cake smashes!) are unique.  We go with the flow and work around your little one's schedule and mood.  There are many tricks that I use in every session to keep babies happy and bring out their vibrant personalities, and we always capture images of your baby smiling and laughing at every single session.  

But if you're really lucky, we might even capture some teary images that will make you smile every time you remember their first birthday.  

By knowing this ahead of time, you'll be prepared for absolutely anything to happen during your session.  We really do go with the flow.  Trust me to capture all of these beautiful moments for you as they unfold.  In the end, you will create memories that make up part of your family's story, and you'll have heirloom portraits to show your children one day.  

Besides, most of the families wind up framing the crying portraits more than the smiling ones anyways, so at least they have my same sense of humor when it comes to working with the littlest of clients in our studio!

Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,
Newton Cake smash photographer, Albany Cake Smash Photographer, Upstate NY Cake smash photographer, Clifton Park Cake Smash Photographer,

So if your cake smash doesn't quite go like you thought it would, please know that IT IS OKAY.  It is completely normal, and we will love every single image no matter how your baby reacts to their cake.  This session is all about celebrating your little one and showcasing their multifaceted personality, and no matter what happens in your session, we will let their personality shine!

Now that you've enjoyed all of the fussy babies, head on over to this blog post to see these same babies with the biggest smiles during their cake smashes!

Ready to book your cake smash session to celebrate your little one's first birthday?  I'd love to chat with you to plan the perfect session for your baby!  

Please email me at hello@nicolestarrphotography.com and let's celebrate 365 days of your amazing baby together!

A Valentine's Day First Birthday | Saratoga Springs Albany Cake Smash Baby Photographer

This Valentine's Day cake smash was simple and sweet, and I loved styling this February baby's first birthday backdrop.  Lila's mom was so excited to plan a red & pink Valentine's Day session for her daughter's first birthday, and we kept it simple with just a banner and a few hearts on her cake, allowing the birthday girl to be the star of the show.

Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer
Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer
Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer

As much as moms (and photographers!) dream of babies that love their birthday cakes, who dig right in and leave little bits of frosting on their hands and cheeks.... that is not always the case.  And it's normal and totally alright if your baby is like Lila and really isn't a fan of her cake!

P.S.  My favorite part of this image below is the combination of angel wings & the great big, angry scream!

Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer

Though she did make a few adorable kissy faces for us -- Valentine's babies certainly love their smooches, and Lila enjoyed making this little face with her lips again and again!

Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer

Below is my favorite angle that I try to capture at every single cake smash session.  Look at those beautiful, big eyes of hers!

Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer
Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer
Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer

The angel wings weren't really Lila's favorite, so they certainly didn't last long.  We managed to snap exactly one photo of this baby girl in her angel wings, but I still think it's pretty adorable!  Find a photographer with a sense of humor who will go with the flow when your baby is fussing, and know that images like this one below will be among your favorite ones to show your daughter when she is 17 years old one day.

Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer
Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer
Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer
Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer

Of course, Lila loved cuddling up with her mama on the bed and she was all smiles and giggles when crawling around and giving her mama lots of hugs and kisses.  These were the perfect "mommy & me" portraits, and I'm so happy we were able to capture these for this family!

Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer
Saratoga Springs Cake smash photographer, Upstate NY cake smash photographer, Boston cake smash photographer

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday: Boston & Saratoga Cake Smash Photographer

Amalia Marie has been looking up at me with those sparkly blue eyes of hers since she was a newborn baby.  I first met Amalia's family last winter when they visited me for her newborn session, and then we got together last summer during a visit to Cape Cod for a family portrait session on the beach.  

When Amalia's mom started planning her birthday portraits months ago, I was so excited to help her bring her first birthday party ideas to life in a colorful portrait session!  

Amalia celebrated her first birthday with a Very Hungry Caterpillar cake smash inspired by Eric Carle's popular children's book.  This was definitely my most colorful cake smash to date, and I love how perfectly her outfit came together with our rainbow cake and banners.  Bringing together all of these creative elements is always my favorite part of preparing for our cake smash sessions, and of course watching our littlest clients taste their sugary treat is always a fun experience, too!

cake smash photographer in saratoga springs clifton park

Just like with all of our birthday sessions in the studio, we made sure to capture some family portraits to celebrate Amalia's parents surviving their first year of parenthood.  Amalia's grandparents taught her how to throw her hands up when they exclaim, "TOUCHDOWN!", so of course we got an action shot of her and her daddy scoring a touchdown together.

I have loved capturing the three of them together this past year.  The walls of their home are now filled with so many beautiful memories from the past 12 months, and I'm certain that they're going to love adding many more memories to their walls as their daughter grows.  

Happy birthday, baby girl!


Did you know that we often start planning a baby's birthday session when they are 7-10 months old to ensure a space on the calendar close to their first birthday?  I'd love to chat with you about your little one's cake smash this year!  

Meet Robyn: Nicole Starr Photography's Newest Spokesmama

YOU GUYS!!!!  I've been keeping a secret... a very huge & exciting secret that I dreamt up almost a year ago and that has taken nearly twelve months of planning, designing, connecting, and searching... And today's the day for the big reveal!  

I would love to introduce you to Robyn Racheotes, Nicole Starr Photography's newest Spokesmama.  (WAIT, WHAT'S A SPOKESMAMA?!?!  READ MORE HERE.)

Robyn and I met last spring at our Celebrating Motherhood Event.  She was the first mom to arrive that day, and we hit it off over makeovers and baby cuddles.  

We connected again last summer for a family session on the beach in Harwichport, which coincidentally turned into a pregnancy reveal session when Robyn discovered that she was 8 weeks pregnant at the time we got together.  

After spending a few hours together during her gallery premiere talking about all things babies, pregnancies, gallery walls, interior design, and blogs (she is an amazing blogger with a focus on style, design, and motherhood), I knew that I had finally found the perfect fit for our very first Spokesmama!

Read on to learn more about Robyn & her family!

baby and family photographer in saratoga springs boston

Tell us a little about you & your family.  

We are currently a little family of three, soon-to-be four. We spend our weekdays in Boston, but most weekends we can be found on Cape Cod. We love being by the ocean and we are currently working on updating a little home by the ocean. It’s been a fun project and I can’t wait to share our home with friends and family next summer. 

Nicholas is a fun and busy 15 month old and we have another little boy due in early April. Life is about to get really fun, not to mention hectic. 

What do you enjoy most when you get some mommy-time all to yourself?  

Even though my alone time is very limited these days, I try to carve out moments throughout the day where I focus on my passions and what I enjoy, which includes photography, blogging and searching for interior design inspiration. There are days when I’m not able to slip away, but it’s important to me that I still focus on what I love and my passions. 

Share a favorite image from one of our sessions together, and the story behind what you love about it.

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My first photoshoot with Nicole, and when we met, was so special because it was a mother’s day session. The shoot documented my first mother’s day as a mom and I will never forget that session.

The smile on my son's face, his excitement and me realizing that even though I’m not perfect, I’m still doing a great job in my new role as “mom”. 

Share a favorite image from your personal family photos, and the story behind what you love about it.

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There are so many great memories in this photo. I was 8 weeks pregnant in this picture and hadn’t shared the news with family and friends yet. We didn’t know the gender and I hadn’t had my first appointment yet. Looking at this picture, our first as a soon-to-be family of four truly holds a special place in my heart.

This picture was also taken on the beach near our home that we had recently purchased. It’s also the beach that my husband grew up going to as a kid and there are so many fond memories of this beach. I look forward to creating new ones as our family continues to grow. 

After visiting your family’s home, I fell in love with the many gallery walls throughout your house.  Why is it so important to you to surround yourself with these memories?  Do you have any tips on creating the perfect gallery wall in your home?

Pictures, similar to a song, can bring you bring back memories and the exact emotion felt in a moment, at event or point in your life. I also think there is beauty in the everyday moments in life and capturing your life through photos can truly tell a story. 

My approach to gallery walls isn't precise or calculated. I play around with different frames, colors and textures and try to mix it up so that it feels natural and not too perfect. Pick a variety of layouts, mix and match and select pictures that you will enjoy looking at daily. I also think making it easy and using companies like Framebridge for custom framing can help pull together a personal gallery wall to fit any décor preferences and style. 

Can you share any tips for other moms to make it easy to print their artwork and get their photos off of their hard drives?  

I am obsessed with printing photos and think that printing is just as important as taking the picture. I love apps like Timeshel where you can commit to have iPhone photos printed and shipped monthly (they also remind you to upload your pictures every month). These keeps you from storing great moments on your phone. The print size is also great for a baby book or scrapbook and they are perfect for framing and gifting photos of your little ones.

I also use Shutterfly as the app is easy to order prints, gifts and make albums. I also enjoy Artifact Uprising and their clean and simple approach to prints. And lastly, Chatbooks because it’s so easy to make a photo book from your phone and it’s the perfect way to pull together a collection, a year in review or gift photos from a special event.

In addition to working a full-time job and being a mom & wife, you also find time to write a blog, www.amodestlife.com!  Tell us a little about your blog, your mission, and the inspiration behind your website that focuses on “Navigating Motherhood with Style”.  Also, I hear that there are some exciting new changes coming for A Modest Life… What’s up next?  

I started my blog back in 2008 (yes, that long ago) and it was right around the time that blogs were starting to take off. I started it with the intent of posting daily and focusing on fashion. I was very committed and would only post occasionally.

I decided that the content was marginal and as my personal life shifted (I got married, had a baby) I thought the content and focus need to be adjusted to reflect my new reality. I decided to rebrand and redesign my blog to include a focus on motherhood.

I’ve been working at slowly over the last few months and I’ve really enjoyed coming up with new content. I have some great posts on the horizon and I look forward to growing my following of moms. 

Interested in learning more about our Spokesmama program?
We're currently accepting Spokesmama applications in
the Saratoga Springs/Albany area, and the Boston area.

Click on the Spokesmama tab above, and email us at
hello@nicolestarrphotography.com.
We'd love to chat to see if this would be the perfect fit for you!