Best ways to set up a cake smash photo shoot?

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Posted 9/7/2012 by KristinL16 in NSBR Board
 

KristinL16
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Posted: 9/7/2012 9:11:49 AM
It's hard to believe, but my youngest is turning one next month (sniff, sniff). I have always wanted to take special cake smash photos but have not gotten it done. I've looked at several photos for inspiration but would like some practical tips. For example, what is best to put under the child (if I put him on my laminate floor, would the frosting stain the floor?), what to use as an inexpensive backdrop, etc. Any suggestions?



Scrappinnut01
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Posted: 9/7/2012 9:43:36 AM
My granddaughter had a cake smash photo shoot for her first birthday. The photographer just put a white cloth backdrop that came down and covered the floor. She then put a large piece of clear plastic over the floor part. The baby was just in a diaper and her bib that said, "My first birthday." We got some great pictures. Oh, they also took some of her with a crown on and holding a scepter. Super cute. I can't believe she's going to be 2 in Oct. The time is moving too fast.

dictionary
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Posted: 9/7/2012 9:58:49 AM
The frosting won't stain but you can either use a clear plastic sheet, or use a back drop and pull it across the floor for more streamlined photos. I know someone who used plexi glass over the back drop on the floor but that might a bit more $$ than you want to invest.

I took my grandson outside to a park. His color scheme was blue/green so outdoors was easy to color cooridnate plus I love the look of outdoor photos and didn't have to worry about setting up proper lighting.

I will say have someone help you if you can. Get the are setup with lighting, etc and then get your child ready for the shoot and very last bring out the cake.

Also if you have something to clean your child up with ready (i.e, wash clothes, change of clothing, etc) getting them cleaned up fast will be a breeze. Unless of course you just want to take them straight to the tub.

And of course some time after a nap when your child is fully awake and hungry will bound to give you good action shots.


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aprilfay21
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Posted: 9/7/2012 10:09:35 AM
We did ours on our front porch. His theme was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so we got a plastic backdrop and sat him on a white sheet with his red shorts and matching bib. I think they turned out really cute.





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KristinL16
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Posted: 9/7/2012 10:24:10 AM
Thanks for the suggestion! Those are good tips, dictionary.

I do have a piece of tempered glass that was supposed to be a shower door that I could use instead of plexiglass. Would that work? What size would be ideal? Not sure if the dimensions would be right.

I would love to buy a vinyl wood-floor looking backdrop but can't afford it right now.

Another question--I like the idea of doing the cake smash early and using the photos for his invitations. But, does that take away from his "first cake" moment at his party? I know, I am probably overthinking things....



KristinL16
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Posted: 9/7/2012 10:24:36 AM
Aprilfay--your pics are cute! Did you make the cake?



aprilfay21
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Posted: 9/7/2012 10:35:49 AM
Thanks! I didn't make it, the person that made his big cake did.

Have you checked Pntrst for ideas? I've found great ideas for cheap, easy backdrops and decoration ideas for those types of shoots.




This is Texas. We don't have regular seasons here. We have Summer 1, Summer 2, Summer 3 and January.

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myshelly
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Posted: 9/7/2012 11:07:39 AM
My photographer does smash cake sessions outside - either at a park or someplace with a nice porch like a historic house or barn that can be rented for photo sessions.

My tip - when buying or making a cake make it TALL. A small, tall, round cake. You should be able to set the cake onthe ground and have your baby reach it without bending over. You won't get good pics if your baby is bending down or looking down and you don't want someone's hand in the picture holding up the cake.


aprilfay21
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Posted: 9/7/2012 11:37:21 AM

You won't get good pics if your baby is bending down or looking down and you don't want someone's hand in the picture holding up the cake.
My hand was in that picture because he wasn't feeling good that day so he wouldn't eat it. We wanted a pic of him tasting it.




This is Texas. We don't have regular seasons here. We have Summer 1, Summer 2, Summer 3 and January.

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myshelly
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Posted: 9/7/2012 11:50:04 AM
Awww, April, poor baby to be sick on the first birthday!

I wasn't picking on you at all. You have a very cute pic of your LO.

I was just trying to give a tip in terms of setting up an actual smash cake photo session as opposed to getting a pic of the baby with his smash cake on his actual bday. To me, they are two different things

I hope I didn't offend you. My comment truly wasn't directed at you.




KristinL16
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Posted: 9/7/2012 12:05:51 PM
For those who have seen cake smash photos outside--was the child just sitting on the ground or did they have something under them?



jenmarvell
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Posted: 9/7/2012 12:08:17 PM
We poked Goldfish crackers down in the frosting. Since he really liked them it made him dig right in to the cake. Very cute photos (over 9 years ago - sniff sniff).

FYI - If you have the dark blue frosting from a bakery it will make his stool turn a moldy green color... I speak from experience (and an expensive trip to the doctor)

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Posted: 9/7/2012 12:17:12 PM
But, does that take away from his "first cake" moment at his party? I know, I am probably overthinking things....
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It will depend on your perspective. Since the cake smash is a cake specifically for the shoot and not the actual birthday cake, AND, since most kids have had a bite or 20 of cake prior to their first birthday, I don't see it as taking anything away from his first cake moment on his birthday.

But if your child has never had cake before and you really want his birthday cake to be the first you could always do the shoot a few days after his birthday.


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aprilfay21
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Posted: 9/7/2012 1:24:32 PM
No worries, myshelly. No offense taken.
Oddly enough, that photo is the only one with my hand in it. lol


Outside photos I've seen the kids sitting directly in the grass or on a sheet or board.

As far as the cake experience, we did his cake smash photos at his party. His smash cake was HIS cake and he didn't get any of the bigger cake. I wanted it to be his first taste of cake so he'd never had a bite before that day. It was 2 days before his actual birthday. It's easy for me to say you're over-thinking it now, but prior to his birthday I was annoyingly adamant he have NO cake tastes! lol




This is Texas. We don't have regular seasons here. We have Summer 1, Summer 2, Summer 3 and January.

"As you attempt to make big differences, remember to appreciate the small differences. And remember that you don't always have to reach the goal you set in order to make a difference." - Win Borden

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dictionary
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Posted: 9/7/2012 2:06:48 PM

For those who have seen cake smash photos outside--was the child just sitting on the ground or did they have something under them?


I did mine just on the grass and most of the ones I had seen were on the grass...although I did see one on a blanket.

OP - As for the glass it doesn't have to be too large and a shower door would probably work, I would just make sure it had no sharp edges that your little one could get scratched or cut themselves on.

As for the cake, I personally liked the cakes on a cake stand. As one person suggests it's better if they are sitting and eating but my dgs did knock it over so ended up on the ground.

Also a shot that I thought was pretty cute, the baby crawling away with the cake aftershot in the foreground.

Whatever you do I would just suggest a test dry run of the setup to see how things come out in perspective then it helps you understand what your environment will be like.

And I don't think doing a cake smash early takes away from their 1st birthday cake..to a child, cake is cake is cake. The only one who will care will be you so it's a personal preferences.


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Posted: 9/7/2012 2:49:07 PM
Mine was indoors, but I used just a roll of seamless paper with plexiglass on the bottom. Made for pretty simple clean up - just rinse off the plexi and toss any ruined paper.



I might be a real stiff, but I avoided the outdoors because I personally would feel responsible for cleaning up the mess. I wouldn't leave cake all over the ground in a park (or in my own yard). And that would be a real pain to clean up.



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Posted: 9/7/2012 7:58:24 PM
Mine was done for his 1st birthday invitations, not on the day of his actual birthday. I copied it from someone here at 2 Peas, way back in 2005. (My baby will be 8yo this month!)



We set it up on the floorboards in the family room, and used a big black backdrop. I bought a cheap plain cake from the grocery store and covered it that cream in a can stuff for maximum mess!

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Posted: 9/7/2012 8:33:28 PM
I'm glad you asked this. Ruby Sky's birthday is in a week, and I've been thinking about getting her a smash cake. I think we just gave the big girls a piece of cake on their 1st birthdays.






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Posted: 9/7/2012 8:56:12 PM
My cousin's trick was to use pudding as frosting on the cake.

I used a large muffin with whipped cream on top for my son's 1st. I liked that it wasn't a HUGE mess.

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Posted: 9/7/2012 9:18:30 PM

I do have a piece of tempered glass that was supposed to be a shower door that I could use instead of plexiglass. Would that work? What size would be ideal? Not sure if the dimensions would be right.

I would love to buy a vinyl wood-floor looking backdrop but can't afford it right now.


The tempered glass will work if it's clear. Otherwise it'll just look like he's sitting on frosted glass. It's probably heavy if it's a door so get help!

Also, if you want a good looking "wood floor" backdrop, go to michaels (coupon!) and go to the teacher section. They have some rolls of paper that teachers use for bulletin boards that look like wood. I think they're around $12 retail.


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