Baby Tate turned one on Tuesday, so I baked an extra cake and attempted the famed "cake smash" session.
Busy Mammas who don't have time (or money) for elaborate photo shoots will appreciate how quick and easy this is! Scroll down for the steps and some BHTS!
I kept things simple (as usual!) and dressed him in a $5 white romper I found on Amazon. His buddha belly didn't want to stay put though - a couple of the buttons look like they're about to pop!
Although I made this cake, an inexpensive store bought cake will work just as well. I made a white cake with "Cookies and Cream" frosting. But since the grayish color of the icing wasn't really giving the cake the eye-catching "pop" I was hoping for, I ended up topping it with white whipped cream and crumbled cookies. Much better! Having a bit of contrast brought a little more visual interest to our otherwise very plain scene.
If you want to do a cake smash with your little one, just follow these steps for a quick and easy session - with even faster cleanup!
1. Choose a spot indoors next to a bright window preferably. You could also do this on a covered porch or even in the garage (with the door up). You want plenty of soft, natural, indirect light- so think "bright shade" if that makes sense... Don't shoot in an area that has direct rays of sun streaming in- it will be too harsh and give you spotty photos.
2. Use inexpensive bulletin board paper to create a seamless background. It is 4 feet wide- the perfect width for this session - and cost about $10 at Hobby Lobby. The best part about this is it makes cleanup super easy! You can also try other colors. Simply tape it to the wall about 5 feet up the wall. Then unroll it down and across the floor, with at least 5 feet or so of unrolled paper. Tape it to the floor there too. If there are major wrinkles in the paper, don't use that part. (You'll see I pulled mine up to avoid shooting against the wrinkly top part).
2. Dress Baby in something simple and cute, wash his face and brush his hair. Yes, I know its about to just get messy again but its fun to see the transition from neat and tidy - to covered in icing!
3. Set the cake down in the middle of the paper and get your camera ready. Go ahead and take a couple of shots to find the perfect composition and angle to shoot from. It's also nice to get a good shot of just the cake before it gets destroyed! Once you're happy with the setup...
4. Set Baby down and capture the action!
(Here's a quick BHTS Jason shot while I was photographing Tate. Don't mind the messy hair and house shoes okay!?)
5. Clean Up!
Throw the paper away and give that baby the quick bath he needed anyways!
• Don't be afraid to fill the frame with close ups of messy hands, feet, and face
• Pay attention to angles. Personally, I like for things to look "correct" in my photos... meaning, things that are straight up and down should look that way in the photos. If you're using seamless paper, you probably won't have any hard lines, like where the wall meets the floor... but the top and bottom of your cake/stand should basically form correct horizontal lines. Of course, its not a hard and fast rule and there may be times when you purposely want to change it up a bit. But paying attention to this aspect of your composition can really help your photos look better overall!
• Get as creative as you want! Confetti, balloons, sprinkles, twinkle lights, and bright colors are just some ideas.
• Get a variety of shots - some close up, some further back, some focused on the messy things.
• It helps to have a helper nearby! Jason helped by corralling Tate... it took a few minutes before he was actually interested in touching or eating the cake.
• Shooting on Manual mode with your DSLR is the easiest way to get a more professional look to your photos- light, bright, with that creamy blur! If you'd like to learn how, be sure to subscribe to my email list below and I'll let you know when the course has launched!
• For Manual shooters: I recommend starting with your ISO at 640 or 400, aperture at 4.0 or lower, and then adjust your shutter speed until the exposure indicator inside your viewfinder lines up to 0. You'll be golden!
Awesome guys! Let me know if you try it!