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Planning a Cake Smash

May 20, 2012

The most popular first birthday photography theme these days is a cake smash.  The idea is that you put a nice cake in front of your little one and let them go at it.  Take some photos of the cake first and then just continue snapping as your child digs in.  The more mess the better.  Just a tip, always go for white cake. Chocolate cake and brown icing smeared all over your little one’s face just doesn’t look very nice.

You could make your own cake or pick one up from a local baker.  The cake in the photos was just purchased from a local IGA.  Some grocery stores even offer free birthday cakes for a child’s first birthday, just inquire at the bakery section to find out.  Oversized cupcakes are also fun and easy.  These photos were just taken in my living room (large window on the left).  If you have a reflector or large white bristol board, styrofoam, etc, I would suggest using that on the other side to bounce the natural light onto your subjects face.

Don’t forget to get some great detail shots of little hands and feet.   Remember the more mess the better.  One of the great things about doing a cake smash photo shoot is that you’re doing the first taste of sweets and all the mess that goes with it before the party.  Therefore there’s no need to feel like you have to give your child a pice of cake at the actual party, followed by a bath and clean up when all your guests are over.  Of course you still can, but you won’t need to worry about getting great photos at the same time.

Try different angles for different perspectives.   For the above photos I was standing on a chair and shooting down; when you do this you don’t include the wall/ background in the photo.   If possible, have your child facing a light source to get some of those great catchlights (sparkle) in their eyes.  If you don’t have any wood/ laminate flooring in your house, you could always get some cheap laminate and pout together a little section or just ask a  friend/ family member to do the shoot at their house.

Print and use the photos as a part of your party decorations.  I made the pink bunting ahead of time so that we could use it in the photo shoot as well as for party decor.  The theme of the party was pink and brown polka dots.  A collage of the photo shoot made great thank you/ announcement cards that were given out at the party.  In the end, we got some great birthday shots and didn’t have to stress too much about the photo results at the party, not to mention great party decor.

For boys, how about a cute baby tie or party hat?  Be creative and have fun!

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