This past June I teamed up for the second year with two other local photographers for the Mini Sessions for Kindness to raise money for Regan's Acts of Kindness. We held the event at Upper Onondaga Park in Syracuse, which is one of my absolute favorite locations.
Regan's Acts of Kindness is a local charity that was born out of tragedy. In 2017, at the age of 3, Regan Shetsky was killed by a car in the parking lot of her preschool. I remember reading the news that week and crying, even though I had never met the Shetsky family. I couldn't imagine what they were going through. Instead of giving in to their grief, the Shetskys found the strength and love to create a way to spread joy and kindness in their daughter's name. Regan's Acts of Kindness has transformed the Central New York community, and has even touched people as far away as Florida, California, and even Bermuda. I can't think of a better use of my time and talent than to raise funds for such an amazing cause.
All of this year's families were amazing and we had so much fun.
This is a quick tutorial for clients on how to navigate their client gallery.
I had the absolute pleasure this spring of photographing my son's best friend from preschool along with her mom and big sister. I loved spending time with all of them and getting to know the family better. Oliver was taken with Makenna the very first week of school and she has been special to him (and me) ever since.
When I decided to start offering the Special Smiles Sessions, I did some research online to see if there were any classes I could take to help me photograph kids with disabilities better. That's when I learned about Special Kids Photography of America. I started the process of becoming accredited with them and needed to submit images as part of my application. I thought of the Manning family right away. I knew Makenna would be a joy to photograph, and I was so right!
I completely and utterly adore this little girl. Do I say that about all of the kids I photograph? Well, I really mean it with this one! I photographed Miss M for her six month portraits and had the best conversation with her as she happily let me snap amazing shot after amazing shot. I'm so happy that her family came back for her one year portrait!
We started out the session with an idea that Mom had for outdoor portraits using a mirror. You would not have known it was spring by the weather that day, so I had a cute little coat ready for her to keep her warm. We still made it kinda quick and headed into the studio for the rest of the session.
As with all one year portraits, we wanted to showcase what milestones she had achieved. I set up a crate for her to hold on to for standing since she wasn't quite doing it on her own. She wasn't too sure about that one, but once Mom and Dad got into the picture, she became really excited to show me what she could do!
People often ask me "What is the difference between a regular cake smash and an Epic Cake Smash?" I figure it's just easier to show them.
HeartStrings Photography is the ONLY studio in Central New York offering the signature Epic Cake Smash Session. This exclusive session type was dreamed up by me for my son's first birthday portrait (see the story here). I spend many hours crafting every detail of the set by hand and work closely with one of the area's most talented cake designers to create one of a kind smash cakes (see behind the scenes here). Epic Cake Smash clients may choose one of the predesigned themes (many seen below) or I will happily create a theme unique to their child. Even the predesigned themes can be altered a little bit to fit the child's personality.
What I call a Basic Cake Smash is really just a standard Portrait Session with a little added treat. Half of the one hour session is a one year portrait in an outfit of the client's choosing, either in studio or outside. The second half of the session is when we get messy!
I use a white vinyl backdrop with some basic props and add a handmade banner across the back. The banner is customized to each family's color scheme. Clients are welcome to bring their own cake or they can choose to have the cake provided for a small fee. The cake I provide is a delicious and beautiful 6" round buttercream smash cake from my cake designer, Melanie, which is decorated with fondant accents in the chosen color scheme.
Cassandra Zingaro - photographer, mom, wife, owner of HeartStrings Photography and first time blogger