I’d like to start off by saying that I am not a professional photographer. However, I did plan and execute a DIY smash cake photo session and it wasn’t too shabby. So if you like what you see, read on.
I’ve been taking monthly baby photos who is now, almost 14 months, so I have learned some tricks and tips along the way.
Tips for Indoor Baby Photo Sessions
- Take the photos when your baby is in a good mood. For my baby, that means right after naptime. He is well-rested and not too energetic.
- Use natural light. If you have a big window and it’s a sunny day outside, position your subject to be facing the natural light but not be in the direct sunlight.
- You don’t need fancy backdrops. Just use a clean, white bedsheet or big blanket. When my baby was small, it was enough to lay the blanket on the couch and place him down. Now that he is bigger, I turn the couch around and hang the bed sheet from the top of the couch, extending it to my tripod.
- Get some help. As babies get more mobile, you may need a hand in keeping them smiling or keeping them from rolling off the couch or crawling away.
- Set up everything before you get your baby involved. Get the blanket on the couch, position it in front of the window, set up your tripod, adjust the settings on the camera, take some test photos with a toy on the couch and then, bring the baby in.
- Don’t expect perfection! You’re not a professional and babies are the hardest subjects to capture. They might get impatient, start to cry, want to breastfeed etc. Just roll with it and continue when your subject can cooperate better.
- Edit your photos on Canva.com. Choose your favourite photos, crop them, add a frame, decor or text. Have fun with it!
Smash Cake What?
What’s a smash cake? When your baby turns one-year-old, you make them a cake that they can taste, mess up, gobble up or preferably smash. Ideally, you capture this smash cake moment with some memorable pictures to look back on.
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Tips for Baby Photo Smash Cake
- Find a healthy cake recipe that doesn’t contain too much refined sugar and any honey. Most smash cake recipes will contain banana and apples to make it sweeter. I also added a bit of maple syrup. This was the recipe that I made.
- Find a healthy icing recipe. If you’re going for a pink icing, use strawberries or raspberries with some whipped cream or cream cheese. I was aiming for blue icing and used cooked blueberries mixed with ricotta cheese. It came out more purple than blue. Maybe adding blackberries would help darken the colour a bit. If you really don’t want to compromise the blue colour and still keep it healthy, look into spirulina powder.
- Buy a candle for the cake.
- Buy some props for the backdrop. I bought a big silver balloon in the shape of the number one. I also bought some blue balloons and little blue banners to hang across the backdrop.
- Decide what your baby will wear. Keep in mind that he will get MESSY. So, if you’re going to dress him up in his Sunday best, make sure you can get the stains out fast. For me, it’s too stressful watching nice clothes get ruined so I dressed him up in some Carter’s underwear and a bowtie. That way, I could just give him a bath right after and not worry about blueberry-stained dress shirts.
Baby Santiago’s Smash Cake Photo Session
How did my baby’s smash cake session turn out?
My husband was going to help me keep our baby entertained and on “set.” I instructed my husband to keep him from touching the cake because I wanted to get some shots of him with the cake intact. What was the first thing that happened? Santiago crawled right over to the cake, slapped his hand on the top of the blueberry icing and then wiped it on the clean, white bed sheet. He then looked at his hand in disgust as it was contaminated with purple gunk and started to cry and crawl off the set.
I took pictures anyway because it was funny and I am a mean mommy.
After realizing that the enemy was the icing, we gave him a spatula so that he could touch the cake without getting his hands dirty again.
How did your DIY Baby Photo Smash Cake Session go? What did you do differently? Any tips to offer?