What exactly is a "cake smash" photo shoot? Well, the answer is simple and requires 3 things to be successful:
1) A child (+ a birthday)
2) A cake
3) A durable, wipeable backdrop!
Simply place the child and cake on your Ink and Elm backdrop and let the child have at it!
Looking to do a cake smash photo shoot? Below are the basics to get you started:
1. Select the Location for your Cake Smash Session
The great thing about using a backdrop for your cake smash photo shoot is that you can take your session anywhere you'd like! You can do the cake smash in your studio, the client's home, backyard, kitchen, or park! If you do not have a studio or studio lighting, a backyard, front yard, or park session with natural light would work best. If you will be shooting outside, be sure not to shoot in harsh mid-day light. If you have no choice but to shoot mid-day, set up your cake smash session in the shade or a spot with softer light.
2. Backdrop Selection
Ink and Elm's vinyl backdrops are ideal for cake smash sessions because they wipe clean with a damp cloth. Other backdrops like paper, canvas, or polypaper do not wipe clean and cannot get wet. Vinyl backdrops can be used over and over again for different cake smash sessions. Simply let the child wreak havoc on that cake, quickly wipe clean and voila! Ready to use for another photo shoot!
Make sure to talk with Mom regarding the child's outfit to make sure the backdrop will coordinate nicely with the child's outfit and cake.
3. Selecting the Cake
Most photographers prefer to use a small (child-sized) cake created especially for the shoot. Or, simply go for a stylish cupcake. Make sure to coordinate the cake with the backdrop and outfit for best results. Most photographers seem to lean towards a white or yellow cake with colored frosting. Make sure to avoid red or dark frostings as these can contain dyes that can stain the backdrop. Consider adding a fun prop to the cake such as a birthday candle with the child's age.
4. Selecting the Child's Outfit
Simple is key and less is more! Most photographers prefer a simple outfit (solids with no patterns) to prevent a busy photo. Tell Mom the outfit should be easy to clean since it will likely be the victim of cake splashes. If the parent prefers a diaper only look, a diaper cover would be ideal.
Talk with Mom about the outfit beforehand so you can both coordinate the backdrop and cake with the outfit for the best results.
Final words of advice:
• Take test shots before shooting with the cake + baby to make sure lighting and camera settings are good to go. You don't want to miss the cake smash moment because you are trying to adjust camera settings!
• Begin with a few cake-free photos of the child
• Take some photos of the cake pre-smash
• Have your clean up materials ready to go (damp rag)
• Make sure cake is at room temperature so it's easy for the child to go at it
Are we missing any tips? Have any questions? Please let us know in the comments!