Today’s post is all about one of America’s newest photography trends: cake smash photography. After diving a little deeper into what this specific type of photography entails precisely, we will offer you the 20 most prominent tips to help you become the best cake smash photographer out there. So, keep reading to find out!
What Is Cake Smash Photography?
First things first, it’s important to discuss what cake smash photography essentially is. Well, cake smash photography is an upcoming trend that centers around a very pivotal moment, being a child’s first birthday. Specifically, when a child turns one, you can celebrate this joyous occasion with a cake smash photography shoot. Basically, this entails that you provide the child with a beautiful cake and from then on, it’s up to the child to decide what he/she is going to do with it. The possibilities are truly endless in that aspect, ranging from completely destroying the cake or playing with it to eating it. The goal with cake smash photography is to provide the child’s family with lifelong memories of that moment through amazing pictures.
Nevertheless, just because a cake smash photoshoot usually occurs when a child turns one year old, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t organize such a shoot for your child at any other age. The truth is, a cake smash photoshoot is incredibly fun at any age in your kid’s childhood, so there aren’t any limits in that department!
Preparation and Equipment Requirements
As anyone in the photography world knows, well begun is half done. When it comes to a cake smash photography shoot, improvising is not an option. You need to think long and hard beforehand about what you want the shoot to look like. You need to think about lighting and costumes, but most importantly, you need to decide on a backdrop for children. Ideally, your backdrop needs to have a certain theme and you can’t stray from it, be consistent!
As far as equipment goes, you will need a camera and camera lens of great quality, you will need to have a decent lighting set-up, and a variety of props.
20 Tips & Tricks
1. Perfect Your Lighting
For starters, perfect lighting is key as regards any type of photography so cake smash photography definitely is no exception to this unwritten rule. The one thing you should strive for is using as much natural light as possible. That is, a cake smash photoshoot is supposed to be joyous and bright so natural light will contribute to this atmosphere.
2. Don’t Use Flash
On a related note, please try to keep in mind that you’ll be working with children. Since children are generally more sensitive than adults, you need to consider this when doing the cake smash photoshoot. To be specific, you should refrain from using flash as much as possible. Otherwise, you risk the child becoming uncomfortable and fidgety, which won’t make your job any easier, to put it lightly.
3. Put Effort Into the Cake
As the name suggests, a cake smash shoot can only be perfect when you put a lot of effort into the cake. Between you and the parents of the baby, you’ll have to decide which party will be responsible for providing the cake. Whatever the case, it’s crucial that the cake won’t only appear appealing, but any possible dietary restrictions of the baby at hand will need to be considered as well.
4. Don’t Go for a Chocolate Cake
Further on the topic of the cake, you should steer clear of chocolate cakes. Namely, it goes without saying that this might not always look as appealing as you want it to be when such a cake gets smashed.
5. Find Inspiration
There’s no shame in looking elsewhere for inspiration as long as it will make your cake smash photoshoot better. For example, you could try browsing on Pinterest or you could seek advice from other photographers. You’ll find that this can really give you different perspectives, which will ultimately cause you to become better at your photography.
6. Find Amazing Costumes
Furthermore, besides the cake, it’s also essential that the baby at hand will be dressed for the occasion. You can get really creative in order to put together the outfit that you want. That being said, regarding cake smash shoots, it’s always fun if the child’s costume is adorable and a little bit goofy. You get extra points if the outfit matches the backdrop.
7. Take a Couple of Pictures of the Backdrop First
Another useful tip is to take some pictures of the backdrop first before you bring the baby into it. Ideally, you will have put a lot of energy into creating the perfect backdrop and that’s why you should have high-quality pictures of it before it gets “ruined” through the mess that the child will make.
8. Take a Couple of Pictures of the Baby Beforehand as well
Additionally, you will also have put a lot of time and effort into the children’s costumes. So, when you have a shoot, it would be wise to take some pictures of the children in their costumes before they get messy because of the actual cake smash.
9. A Person of Trust Should Always Be Near
As mentioned before, when you work with children, there’s always the chance that they will get fussy. That’s precisely why it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the child to have someone he/she trusts wholly around throughout the shoot. Such a person will help with making sure that the shoot runs smoothly.
10. Babyproof the Location
Since children are particularly vulnerable, you need to make sure that your photography set is babyproofed to the max. That is, you need to ensure that the child won’t get hurt one way or another during the shoot.
11. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Accessories
What also positively needs to be present when it comes to a cake smash photoshoot is a variety of accessories. This can really take your shoot to a higher level. Also, this will give you the perfect opportunity to bring out each child’s characteristics by using personal accessories.
12. Don’t Be Too Hasty
With children, it’s crucial that you don’t work too fast. You need to give them the time to the environment and all the stimuli. Remember: patience truly is a virtue.
13. Don’t Let the Shoot Get Too Crowded
The thing with children is that they get distracted very easily. Hence, if you want to keep them focused during the shoot, it’s best if you don’t let the shoot get too crowded.
14. Use Close-Ups
As far as cake smash photos go, you have to be very detailed. Therefore, don’t hesitate to use close-ups from time to time. This way, you’ll be able to capture every emotion, every facial feature, and every bit of mess.
15. Go For a Fast Shutter Speed
Since children have the tendency to move around a lot, it’s best if you choose a fast shutter speed when you’re deciding on camera settings.
16. Be Mindful of ISO
Moreover, there’s no strict guideline when it comes to ISO settings. Depending on your lighting and your other camera settings, you will constantly need to alter the ISO settings to achieve great quality pictures.
17. Protect Your Equipment
Children tend to get their hands on everything around them so make sure you protect your equipment accordingly!
18. Provide a Decent Price-Quality Ratio
Another rule of thumb you need to keep in the back of your mind is that you need to provide a decent price-quality ratio as regards your shoots. So, it’s fine if you want to charge a little bit more, but remember that you will need to be able to deliver high-quality shoots accordingly.
Aftercare is important as well. Thus, make sure that you provide a place where children can get clean after the shoot.
20. Edit Properly
Last, but certainly, not least, once the shoot is over, you still need to edit your photos properly. One thing that you should take into account in this aspect if you’re planning on doing more cake smash shoots, is that you say committed to a certain style so people can easily recognize your work.