Being a cake smash photographer is really such a privelege, and one of my favourite parts of the job is designing new sets and beautiful backdrops for your baby's birthday photoshoots.
Not all cake smash photographers choose to do this, lots buy pre-printed designs and keep props and accessories to a minimum. I choose not to do it this way very often personally as I like each set to be a little bit unique. I also like to give you maximum flexibility when it comes to the setup, allowing you to add or remove elements to sets you may have seen previously and tweak the design brief until it is perfect for you.
Prior to your cake smash photoshoot I will ask you to choose a theme/colour scheme and let me know your preference with regards to cake style/flavour and also to let me know of any additional allergies or dietary requirements.
During this conversation I will then offer my ideas and suggestions to make the setup perfect for you, until we are 100% happy with the design. I then get busy ordering and making everything we need for the setup.
I use an excellent professional cake maker who can cater for all alergies/dietary requirements, so even if your little one or someone in the family has an allergy they don't need to miss out!
Cake Smashes are family occasions and I encourage older siblings to not only attend but participate. I am always happy to get a family or sibling portrait prior to the smash, I can also cut a slice of cake from the back of the cake for older siblings to enjoy (and not feel too left out!) while we focus on the birthday boy/girl. Towards the end sometimes babies need a little help to really smash that cake to crumbs - and I find older siblings are usually more than willing to help!
It's great to keep siblings involved, it makes it more fun for baby and eradicates any possibility of jealousy. I've become accustomed to juggling getting beautiful milestone portraits of your baby while making sure older siblings have fun and remember the experience. It's something clients always comment on after a session, which means alot to me as I want all your little buntings to have fun whilst they are here.
This is one of my most requested setups, everybody loves blue for a boy! Style has changed over the years and lots of people now opt for a calmer more neutral backdrop, which lets the accessories and decorations really pop. I always advise not going TOO crazy with the set design, you still want your baby to be the main focus.
Every cake smash photoshoot is different, that's one of the things I love about them. My favourite is when baby really surprises us by doing something funny and the room erupts into laughter. Our little people are clever things, they often respond to this by repeating whatever it is they have done and performing for the camera!
This was one of those moments, when Maya spontaneously decided to eat the cake head first! I think she just didn't want to get her hands dirty ;)
While you're here for your cake smash photoshoot I think it's important to update those individual portraits too - these are all fully edited and added to your gallery, so it's upto you if you choose them or not but I find most clients want at least one image in this style. This pose is a great option for little ones who start their session a little bit clingy and want Mum and Dad close by. It's also a really nice way for parents to be in the photo without actually having to be in the photo. It's nice to have images where all of you are in them, it's harder to capture these as we go about our day to day life but a 1st birthday is such a huge milestone in your child's life, I think it's really important for them that they have at least one image with Mum and Dad in some shape or form to mark this special occasion.
I'm always asked what style of cake you can have for your cake smash photoshoot, the answer is any! I always recommend buttercream icing over fondant as it smashes up better and is easier on little fingers. There are certain colours which are best avoided for obvious reasons - browns, reds etc. but other than that the sky is the limit! I'm always happy to discuss cake design with you and make any suggestions or show you some examples if you are struggling for ideas.
Pinterest is also a great place to look for inspiration - you can follow me on Pinterest @babybuntingsx or just search "cake smash photographer" or "cake smash photoshoot" for some ideas!
After all the mess is over every cake smash photoshoot ends with a splash session! If you've ever heard it referred to as a "smash and splash" session - now you know why!
This is probably the bit of the session that every baby loves, I have a range of baby bath tubs in different colours - or my personal favourite this classic white roll top, claw foot bath! It makes for really classic, timeless photos which won't date as the years pass. Most babies love their bath by this age so this is a great opportunity for lots of natural smiles and genuine laughter. It's a good idea to bring a towel with you, any of baby's favourite bubble bath or bath toys to make it even more fun for them, or encourage them if they are a little nervous. Photos during this part of the session are completely optional, but most of my clients opt to have them. Bath time is when your little ones are at their cutest but getting good quality photograhs of them at home in poorly lit bathrooms, and shooting from the wrong angle due to high bath sides doesn't always make for the best portraits! Because my bath tubs are specially designed for babies it enables me to shoot from their level, meaning anything we don't want to be showing off on the wall is covered up nicely by the side of the bath ;) Making your portraits safe to share on social media or with friends and family online.
Icing gets absolutely everywhere and despite a whole 12 months of parenting you might still find yourself surprised at just how much mess one small person can make. Come prepared and wear old clothes or bring a change with you for yourselves, not just for baby! I always recommend bringing something comfy for baby to wear to travel home in, chances are they will be sleepy after all that fun and their bath - so a nice long nap is usually in order on the way home!
Daniel absolutely loving his splash in the tub after his cake smash photoshoot - just look at that cheeky face!
This was another of those "laugh out loud" moments - that poor cake didn't stand a chance!
Just look at that cheeky little face! One of my favourite cake smash photoshoots to date, I just love using bubbles in my sessions and portraits to give a different look.
Another example of one of my amazing cake smash cakes! These are so delicious too, often parents can't help but try abit of the cake themselves. This is a great way to get baby interested in the cake and encourage them if they are abit unsure. Don't forget it's common for babies never to have tried cake at this age, and if they have it certainly won't have looked like this or been anywhere near this size! Sometimes they need to be shown exactly what it is and where it goes - it doesn't normally take them long to get the hang of it though once they've had a taste ;)
If you're currently looking for a cake smash photographer in Hertfordshire or the surrounding areas, or you simply have a few questions about one of my cake smash photoshoots then please don't hesitate to pop me a message. I'd love to hear from you!