I love cake... I really love cake... so there was nothing more exciting than mixing cake with my other passion of photography.
As you know, I've set my business up to be flexible. No hard sales, no harsh studio lighting; just elegant, natural images taken in a relaxed environment. However, when you have the prospect of a few pounds of frosting being thrown about, you need to think about set up.
For those of you who follow me as photographers, you will know how the set can make or break a shoot (well that and the weather!). I thought long and hard about how this would work in the comfort of my little cake smasher's home.
Key is in the consultation. Fran's mum and I had a good idea what colours we were going for and a few outfits were selected prior to the day. This gave me a good feel for the shoot. This was not going to be a colour pop; it was going to have a vintage twang!
I sourced a good washable floor cover in wood effect and selected a cream backdrop. I added wooden chairs and a rather gorgeous Charlie Bear was provided by the client. Popping in a few balloons, I finished dressing the set with two strings of twinkly fairy lights and presto! We were good to go.
We started with some birthday celebrations shots. Fran had already turned one and I liked that we could include her new favourite toys in the warm up shoot. Getting any child used to unfamiliar person (who also happens to be handling a weird magic object that captures images) is critical in a shoot. After a while of Tomfoolery in the window and with the rocking horse, we were ready to get on set.
Now anyone who works with children will know, things sometimes do not go to plan... especially with an upwardly mobile toddler. But you know what... just go with it! Sometimes the best images come from those moments when everyone is relaxed (and refusing to smash up a perfectly decent cake!)
In total, we shot for just under an hour. Everyone (except the family cat who was noticeably absent!) ended up covered in frosting but hey - we all tasted great! We ended the shoot by handing the icing over to Fran who may have discovered the secret to eternal youth, well thats what I like to believe as I end this blog to tuck into a delicious slice of (unsmashed) cake!
TOP TIPS FOR CAKE SMASH
- The more icing the better! I would avoid very bright colours like red or deep blue if you are planning to allow the child to run about - they may stain.
- Make the cake yummy!
- The cake cannot be too dense - it won't crumble very well.
- Pick and theme and stick to it. Be daring with Marvel, classy with vintage, pretty in pink or a sailor in blue.
- Have lots (and I mean lots) of damp cloths and wet wipes available.
- Do not attempt to do this on your own. Get Mum and Dad involved and if space allows, an assistant to keep an eye on the set.
- Natural light is awesome where possible.
- Be careful with aperture - do you want the cake and the child in focus together? Keep an eye on those settings.
- Get down to their level. See the world from the child's eye.
- Don't forget to clean your hands before grabbing for the camera!
- Have fun!
- Laugh lots!
Until Next Time, Smile for the Camera