A baby’s first birthday is a special celebration. It’s one of the last times you can get away with diaper pictures. A common trend is to capture that milestone with a cake smash photo session. Whether you’re a studio photographer or a lover of natural light, here’s some tips on photographing that special day.
Most store bought cakes are white and most people assume the best background is also white. Don’t overdo the white! White is so easy to accidentally blow out and lose all details. Add accent colors or discuss color options ahead of time.
Get a picture of the cake beforehand
You will want to photograph a before and after picture of the cake. Food items typically look best at either a 30 degree angle, or for a fun perspective- do it from below. This will make it look larger than life.
(Note- You may also want to get a before picture of the child before the cake is introduced)
Some babies are rather dainty about getting their hands dirty. You may have to have a utensil on hand. Pick a small spoon to guarantee that their face is the still the most important part of the shot.
Watch for details
This child started making the finger formation for #1 and it was her first birthday. We had to get this shot! We only wish the cord wasn’t showing in the background. You can fix that by using a seamless background or shooting outdoors.
Play with Scale
After you have photographed the bulk of your photographs, you can add in some fun props. We gave this child a large serving spoon to play with scale and increase the comic relief.
This is really the only kind of photoshoot where it’s okay to keep going when you spot some drool on the child’s face. It adds to the hilarity and spontaneity of the moment.
Don’t be afraid to overshoot. The subject will make all kinds of different expressions as they eat the cake and they only last a few moments. Get each of them. The child may even start feeding other people in the group or stand up like Godzilla destroying a giant cake. Get these candid photos. You can always edit them out of the final prints, if they don’t look right.
Reassure the client
Tell the family and friends about how cute the pictures are coming out as you shoot. Sometimes mothers and other guardians stress out about photoshoots and need to be reassured that everything is working out, even if there’s a slight hiccup.
Get detail shots
Get close-ups on the face, hands, feet and anything else. You’ll want to snap a picture of the decimated cake to compare to the beginning. You can play with depth of field or abstraction, too.