Monday, March 26, 2018

Behind The Scenes - Cake Smash

This past weekend I had the pleasure of photographing Miss Sophia for her 12- month cake smash. I first met Sophia about eight months ago when her mom brought her to my studio for a session at four months old.  She was a little cutie then and she’s even more of a cutie now! I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about what happens before and during a cake smash, show a “behind the scenes” (BTS) image (thanks hubby!!), and provide a couple suggestions on what can be done ahead of time to get the most out of your cake smash session.

So, first off all… what the heck is a cake smash? Well, as the name implies, it’s an opportunity to photograph a 12-month old baby smashing cake, hopefully into their face, and photograph them making as much of a mess as possible. What’s not to love about that?!

But, a cake smash session is more than that. As it occurs at the 12-month point, it’s considered a “milestone” session.  At 12 months, babies can generally stand, either on their own or by holding onto something, and some babies are even walking so it’s a great opportunity to capture those “milestone” moments.

Prior to the session, we will talk about clothing and color options. I actually have quite a few dresses/lace jumpers for girls and some cute hats/ties and pants for boys, so if you didn’t want to go buy anything special, you don’t need to. I can send you pictures of what I have and you can see if there is anything that interests you. If you decide to bring your own outfits, I just ask that you text me a picture so I have an idea of what background/props to use.  It’s also helpful for me to know in advance if your child is shy or uncomfortable around strangers so I can try to ease them into the session.  A six inch cake or even a large cupcake works great for the session. I’d prefer if you brought your own as you are aware of any allergy concerns pertaining to your baby, however, if you are unable to I will provide a small  cake for an additional fee of $10.00 as long as you let me know in advance of any food allergies. Buttercream frosting or any frosting that is smooth and creamy works best.

The session will start out as a “regular” session, meaning we will do two different set ups/different outfits/props first, and then the final set up will be the cake smash.  For the session I had this past weekend, mom brought the first two outfits and I provided the cake smash outfit. Below is a BTS picture of Sophia posing for me in her princess dress…. isn’t she a doll? Also, posted is an “after” picture in the princess dress. As you can see in the BTS image, mom is near Sophia while I’m snapping away. Although safety wasn’t a huge concern for this pose, she did sit in chairs and other props for other images... safety is always a priority!

Sophia was feeling great for the first two setups, but when the cake arrives, she just wasn’t into it… and that happens sometimes.

Here are a few suggestions that you can do prior to the session that may help your cake smash go smoothly:

1)            Please be sure your baby has a nap. Unlike a newborn session, we want our 12 month olds awake, alert and ready to rock and roll.
2)            Bring cheerios. Sometimes, especially with shy babies, I need to build trust with them and feeding them treats is a good way to do this. Cheerios are great because they are small, don’t make a mess, and are quick and easy for them to chew and swallow.
3)            Have a trial run… give them cake or a cupcake a week prior to the session. If your baby has never seen a cake before, they don’t really know what to do with it and can be hesitant to dig in and enjoy. If you let them and eat a cake or cupcake prior to your session, they will understand what to do once the time comes.
4)            Do not bring a cake with red frosting. The frosting looks like blood… enough said. 
5)            Keep in mind that babies can get very messy during the cake eating so you don’t want them in their best clothes or even a lot of clothes. It’s best to just have them in a cute diaper cover or a frilly skirt.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a cake smash session of your own (well, for your baby … although I have heard of adult cake smash sessions and if your willing then so am I!) please contact me, I’d love to hear from you.

Karen Ontiveros
K.Onti Photography

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