With our baby boy turning one in a few short months, we’ve started to think about how we’d like to mark the occasion. A party, presents and plenty of cuddles are a given, but I’ve also started to think about how to make sure we have special photos to look back on.
Last summer, we hosted a cake smash for our nephew, celebrating his first birthday. Just as fun as it was messy, the resulting photos are very cute. Thinking along similar lines, we’re tempted to let our little one loose on all things sweet too…
Keen to make sure our shoot goes just as well, thinking back to last year, I’ve come up with some tips for DIY cake smash success.
1) Find the perfect backdrop
Briefed to keep things colourful, we opted for a rainbow inspired setting. The perfect excuse to raid the toybox, I pulled out everything bright and bold. I arranged bricks, wooden toys and teddy bears in front of the most colourful wallpaper our home had to offer.
We also had paper decorations on hand, including streamers, hats and cake bunting. The perfect party atmosphere, the backdrop was vibrant and eye-catching.
For something a little simpler, you could opt for toys and decorations from the same colour palette. If you’re particularly brave you could go all white, showing off the cake smash mess to it’s full potential.
2) Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Plenty of thought went into containing the mess. We opted for toys that could be scrubbed clean or popped in the wash, and the entire shoot was contained to one very large blanket.
At the end of the shoot we just popped the whole blanket in the washing machine, cleaning up in an instant.
We also had a bath run ready, and popped my messy nephew in to clean him up. This made sure his cake covered hands were contained to the backdrop and our bathroom, keeping the rest of our home clean and tidy.
3) Choose your cake carefully
We found the perfect cake in Asda of all places. Rainbow on the inside, covered in sprinkles on the outside. This meant that the cake crumbs were colourful, rather than brown or beige, as they would have been had we opted for chocolate or vanilla.
We also added strawberries and whipped cream, creating even more opportunity for mess!
4) Timing is everything
A post-morning nap photoshoot proved to be perfect timing. The natural light helped the photos look great, and our model was in a particularly good mood.
Timing the session around your baby is crucial, ensuring the photos are full of happy smiles rather than grumpy yawns.
Speed is also important, as your model may lose interest quite quickly. All in all, our photoshoot took twenty minutes from start to finish.
5) Capture the details
In years to come those tiny baby feet will be a distant memory, so remember to take photos of what seem like the smallest details. The toes poking out from under the cake stand, the frosting coated cuddles with mummy afterwards, often the best photos are spur of the moment shots.
Professional baby photo shoots can be expensive, but there is absolutely no reason why you can’t give it a go at home yourself. A morning’s work can produce photos you’ll love looking back on for years to come.