Inspire: cake smash edition

Inspire: newborn edition
Inspire: maternity edition
Inspire: child edition

Cake smash sessions will be a fun mess!  There are a few things you should keep in mind throughout the time you are photographing these little mess makers.

  1. There are many things similar working with these specialized sessions as working with children in general - please refer to that as far as how to work with children in general.
  2. The cake. For this session I highly recommend working with an artistic baker, someone that makes custom cakes. Reason being, when you do this you can go above and beyond making the parent feel amazing by having a custom one-of-a-kind cake for their child's session. I like to ask the parent first what theme they have in mine, if it isn't a theme - at least color palette.
  3. Flavors. My number one, no questions asked is do.NOT.use.chocolate! No matter how much little Sally loves chocolate if you do a cake smash like that it will look like.......poo.....and that is not cute. You also want to have fun easy frosting - think butter cream icing, or at least make sure to rip open the fondant if the baker uses that with butter cream underneath so that it is easy to get messy and taste it.
  4. The scene. I prefer to work with cheap paper backdrops (bulletin board paper from my local teacher supply store) that cost me a whole $0.15/yard so that I can let the kids go crazy and just trash the mess after I'm all done. I also have begun to use paper streamers so that in case the little hands get on the background.
  5. Details. First and foremost you want to get a shot of the cake before it is demolished. While the little one is making a mess get in close and get shots of those little messy toes, fingers and messy face.
  6. Time. Know that it may take a few minutes for the little one to actually understand what you're trying to do, what you want them to do. Chances are Mom/Dad have spent the first year teaching them to not play with their food :)  So help them make the initial mess - or even better have Mom/Dad help make the mess (and get a few shots of that too).
  7. Wardrobe. Cloth diapers are the best thing to do! You can have Mom/Dad purchase or use a colorful one that matches with the theme you are going with OR if you can find or custom make a bloomer/bib set that is even better! Fun hats/bows are also a great addition to the outfit.
  8. Things to keep handy. Music! I know it may sound silly but kids tend to love music, especially fun upbeat music and it helps to keep the mood light and fun and keep Mom/Dad laughing while the mess is happening. Wipes, chances are that you, Mom, Dad and anyone else within slinging range will have some cake/icing on them - so keep a box of wipes handy to keep things clean. Sweet little candies, something sweet that is a favorite of the little one so that in case they aren't 'into' the whole cake smash thing push a little candy into the cake to help get them started and digging into the cake.
  9. Clean up. So it's over.....what now?! If at all possible do it at a place with a bathroom so that after it is all said and done you can easily shower the mess of the little one. Remind the parents to bring an extra set of clothes for their kiddo. If you used paper just bundle it up and trash it.

This Inspire edition was photographed by Morgan Kervin Photography as intended for educational purposes and to inspire other photographers to step out of the box and create wonderful memories for their child clients.

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