Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Peanut Post: Cake Smash Photos!!

And now for the fun ones!  I was so pleased with how these photos turned out.  I think my favorite part is that there was nothing professional about them... homemade cake, tutu, backdrop, lighting (made by mother nature), and baby! 


I loved being able to capture this moment in such an intimate session - just me, my girl, and my mom.  And the cake, of course!

she really thought she was
getting away with something

I took these late morning/early afternoon when Annalyn was very animated and playful.  And apparently hungry!

no icing left behind!

I started with my camera on a tripod, then took it off to get some close-ups and shoot from a different angle.  My camera is a Canon Rebel XS (very basic DSLR camera) and I shot these photos using this 50mm f/1.8 lens.  It's a great starter lens for any amateur photographer, and at about $100, it won't break the bank.  It's a fixed lens, which means it doesn't zoom in and out.  I actually use it for most of my food photography as well.  I shot the majority of these in aperature priority mode, f/2.5, +1/3 exp.

don't forget the tootsies!

and the "after" shot
Some of my favorite photos are these where Annalyn was playing with the cake pedastal.  I love the candid feel of my silly little girl doing what she does best at a year old - playing

see what I did there, Mama?
And, of course, there are the outtakes.  Like the slow fall/roll off the pedastal.  Then yelling at Grandma for it.  And running to Mama to let me know she'd had enough! I was shooting in continuous mode so I caught the whole sequence.  (yes, I feel kinda bad for these, but I just can't help but laugh in hindsight...)

poor sad girl!

she wasn't nearly as sad as she looks in this pic
she's just really good at looking dramatic

just seconds later...
icing covered baby on the loose!

But all in all, I'd have to say it was a success!  Some of my pointers after doing this photo session: 

1.  Stick with lighter colored cake and icing - this was a suggestion I'd read from numerous bloggers and I have to say, I agree.  Dark colors just won't look as good when they're smashed all over baby.

2.  Don't forget a big #1 candle!  This was probably Annalyn's favorite part of the cake and made for cute cake pics to use in collages.

3.  Keep the background simple, focus on the baby and the cake.  I would love to do a cake smash outside with our cute little wooden highchair, but middle of February and temperatures in the teens just don't cooperate.  We'll have to save that one for Remy Ann in June!

4.  Have an extra set of hands, especially when it comes to clean up!  It was so nice having another person to help position her, grab a drink when she needed it, etc. 

5.  Don't be upset if you don't get tons of smiley baby photos - they probably aren't going to look at you and pose when there's a cake in front of them to explore.  Do be sure to take some close-ups of icing-covered chubby fingers and toes!

6.  Have fun!  Play with baby and encourage her to dig in to the cake... even if you have to put icing on her nose first.

7.  Don't want the mess or sugar of a cake smash?  Do a birthday photo session with cake making essentials (like a mixer and spatula) instead.  I wanted some photos of Annalyn in her birthday shirt without getting it stained, so after her bath, I took some of her playing with my mixer.  They ended up being some of my favorites!  I couldn't have posed her better myself.

daddy's favorite, onery little girl

this is her super hero pose
"with this mixer, I will save the world!"

my absolute favorite pic

seriously, she's killin' me with these adorable poses!
Hope you enjoyed our little photo session as much as we did!
Still in awe that my baby's first birthday is right around the corner... time flies!
Happy Hump Day,

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