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A few favorites from Owen’s First Birthday cake smash, held in the comfort of his own home. I love doing cake smashes at home because 1) It’s easier on baby to be in their own environment when it’s hit or miss if they’ll even like it 2) Clean up is so much easier because we go straight from the smashin’ to the bathin’ for some tub time pics and 3) It captures the family’s home around baby, because it’s always nice to be able to look back at your photos and see the life you LIVED, not just props.

As you can see, Owen thought his cake was awesomesauce! He even cried when it was time for the tub and Daddy took the cake away. So sad, haha!

At-home cake smashes are the only type of cake smashes I offer and come with portraits beforehand in your home. No backdrops except your home, so we’ll use what you have and let baby play in a more lifestyle setting rather than forced posing with props. It’s so much more comfortable for everyone and the luxury of having me come to you is so much easier for parents. But plan ahead, as I have very limited dates available for these sessions!

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It’s that time of year again! My third annual NICU Then & Now sessions for Kansas City families who have had babies in the NICU to show how far they have come. Doesn’t matter how long it has been since your NICU days, these images are always such a treasure to have to show how far your little fighter has come.

It started out as a way to follow the families I met and photographed in the NICU and has grown to include families who I didn’t get a chance to meet, so no matter when you were in the NICU and whether you have professional photos from that time or not, this session is one you won’t want to miss!

Proceeds from these sessions go towards helping me continue to provide FREE NICU SESSIONS to local Kansas City families, including Santa photos at Christmas and other special events. So win-win!

Sessions are done is just 5 MINUTES, yep, they don’t take any time at all. Scheduled on set dates below and shot outside (weather permitting), in that 5 minutes we most always have time to get the photo of the NICU Grad with their framed photo and then a couple family shots as well, as seen in 31 Weeker Joey’s collage below. Families receive 4-5 images via digital download to keep forever!




$10 Non-Refundable Deposit paid online to reserve your spot with a suggested cash donation of $40 on the day of the session


Saturday April 23rd, 4-5pm

Saturday, April 30th, 4-5pm

Saturday May 7th, 4-5pm

Saturday May 14th, 4pm – 5pm


Antioch Park, South parking lot


I provide the 11×14 frame, you provide the print of your child in the NICU (you can order the print on your own or through me at lab cost)

You receive 4-5 High Resolution digital images delivered via download within a few days of the session


In the event of weather causing a reschedule, families will be asked to choose from the other available Saturday dates for their reschedule.

And guess what? You can book your appointment online now! Yeah! Limited spots available, so book now!

(https://squareup.com/appointments/book/a12a1961-1493-419e-95db-7306ca75af4a/date) for booking in case of browser issues on the button.

Questions? Shoot me an email at jessicastromphotography@gmail.com


I strive to always get one of just the NICU Grad and their NICU photo, so beautiful to see close up just how much they’ve grown and how far they’ve come.


Whole family shots with the framed photo, and we get some without the frame as well.


These images were of families who had come back for a second year in a row and we documented their growth over two years, just like we did with Joey’s photo at the top of the post, so fun!




(https://squareup.com/appointments/book/a12a1961-1493-419e-95db-7306ca75af4a/date) for booking in case of browser issues on the button.


Wow, where do I even begin? In case you missed it on Facebook, last month we had the joy of welcoming our first child, our beautiful son, into the world after nearly a decade of trying and waiting. Charlie has been such a blessing and perfect addition to our life, we are so happy! The last month has been so wonderfully beautiful, exhausting, and joyful it’s hard to put into words but if you’re a parent reading this, well, you know how I’m feeling! I want to soak in every second of this precious and fleeting time, even when he’s crying and we’re trying to figure out why, or when I’m nursing him and literally falling asleep sitting up, and how sleeping 3 hours feels like we slept all night. Charlie smiled at me yesterday and I just melted. Oh the joy that is before us and ahead of us. If I could bottle it all to keep forever, I would! Motherhood is so much more than I could ever have imagined. To go from battling infertility for so long (and eventually just accepting it) to the other side of the dream being realized, is just…well, wow.

I’ve worked with hundreds of babies over the last 8 years as a photographer and finding time to photograph my own baby has been a challenge! I’m so thankful for my dear friends Sarah Maxey (who photographed Charlie’s beautiful birth) and Janean Gray (who photographed his incredible newborn session) because otherwise this tired momma would have missed photographing these precious milestones. Fellow photographers, if you are expecting your own baby, hire someone else to do the photos instead of thinking you’ll do them yourself, seriously!

So, here we are at one month old!! Charlie was born weighing 6 1/2 pounds and is now up to over 9 lbs! He’s a hearty eater! We’re still working through sleep deprivation but it’s getting better, slowly but surely. He’s a pretty serious little guy so far but the smiles are starting to come in and I’m so excited for the next stage where he is more interactive with us. Hubby and I have chosen not to share many photos online, but here’s a couple to show how big he’s getting even though he’s still little!

I’ll be back to work here VERY soon, and excited for what’s to come this year. Some changes of course to reflect working around Charlie’s schedule, but it benefits everyone. I always knew that being a mom was tough, but now that I am walking the walk and talking the talk, I REALLY just GET IT now. So I want to make marking these milestones much easier for everyone, and I look forward to really launching what I have in store for you. Stay tuned, it’s coming soon!

Happy 1 Month Charlie! Momma loves you!!


Beckie Nicholls -

Jess, I know I’ve already said it, but nothing is making me happier, right now, than knowing you are finally getting to experience motherhood! I love you guys so much and can’t wait until you’re here and I can hold my brand new nephew!

Robin Jeffries -

<3 <3 <3

Therese Burke -

Congratulations Jessica ..it is wonderful reading your story. I have known about you for a long time because Quinn Keller is my nephew. You captured his life so beautifully during all that time in the hospital. Thank you. I just became a grandmother for the first time and my grand-daughter’s name is Charleigh 🙂 too. Mush happiness with your darling Charlie .. he is adorable !! xo Welcome to motherhood .. it is the very best !!

Rhonda Barrett Mann -

So happy for you, Jessica and Daniel

Jennifer Butterworth -

He is so cute! Still just thrilled for you and Dan. Enjoy this time.


Miss Kate turned 3 in January and when brain storming ideas for locations with her mom, she suggested we do a Frozen themed session since Kate’s daddy custom built a Frozen themed castle for her birthday party the next day. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I’ve been photographing this gorgeous girl and her precious family since she was 3 months old and have loved watching her grow into the spunky spirited little lady she is becoming.

I had her start out by singing “Let It Go” of course and from there we had some fun, had a snowball toss with Mom & Dad and she got to open a present early! A girl can’t have enough Elsa dolls!

Happy Birthday sweet Kate, you’re such a treasure to all who know you and you’re going to do great things in this world!

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This amazing family is always such a joy to photograph year after year, they’ve been annual regulars since the littlest girls were 6 months old and this was their 5th year. We always try to alternate styles of location, last year we were in a park setting so this year we went with some architecture and the Unity Village campus in Lee’s Summit never fails to disappoint. The campus is huge but we focused on the main center garden area with the water features and stone work. We also scheduled it for a week night since it’s really popular for weddings on the weekends, so if you’re planning on going out there, I strongly suggest a weekday morning or evening as we pretty much had the place to ourselves.


We have a standard set of combos we always get; all the family together, just the kids together, parents alone, and then individual shots of each kiddo. Since my sessions are all-in-one sessions (meaning time and digital images), it makes it easy to get all the combos done for the wall. I especially love when parents get shots of just them by themselves because after the kids come along, it rarely happens! So I try to make sure I always get some. I think I have maybe two photos of my parents alone together my entire childhood, and I was kid #4, so I know how important it is for the kids to have when they’re older as well as for parents.


We lucked out with an overcast evening so we didn’t have to deal with any direct sunlight, which made these photos below PERFECT. I am loving how blue the water was and how amazing everyone looked in front of it.


Looking forward to next year with this precious family! And if you’ve never been to Unity Village, I highly recommend it! Awesome location to shoot at!

F a c e b o o k