Friday, August 15, 2014

DIY Cake Smash

A few days ago we celebrated our daughter's first birthday with a photoshoot and cake smash at one of our favorite parks here in Abu Dhabi. Instead of shelling out a bunch of money for a photographer, we figured I could do it myself! Here are a few tips if you are looking to do a DIY cake smash as well!

1) Bake your own cake! It saves you money, and you can control exactly what gets put into it. A quick search on Google for healthy cake smash recipes yields loads of results. I baked a cake in a 6-inch springform pan, but if I could do it again, I'd bake a much smaller cake as my daughter kind of just picked at it.
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2) Pick your setting- and do a location scout! Indoor or outdoor? Keep temperature in mind. If it's too warm out, your icing may melt, and your baby may get grumpy. Also, try to pick somewhere where there won't be too many distractions- gotta keep the baby focused on smashing that cake!

3) Pick a color scheme and incorporate it into the decor, the baby's outfit and the cake. Simple decor can be quite nice as the focus is just on the baby. Daiso can be a great place to find affordable decor, or materials to make your own. We made our own bunting out of dyed paper doilies!
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4) Consider lighting. If you haven't got studio lights, the next best thing is DAYLIGHT! Incandescent lighting just isn't as nice. Also keep in mind that the time of day will affect your photos, if you're outdoors, avoid mid-day as the sun is at its highest point. It'll be the warmest, your baby may squint, and you'll have harsh shadows. Sun set is a beautiful time to take photos as you'll achieve a golden glow.

5) Take LOTS of photos.  This way, you'll be certain to have lots of "misses" but a lot of "hits" too.

6) Change the angle and focus! Take wide shots (from further away), medium shots, close up shots. Focus on the baby, focus on the cake, focus on little fingers and toes with icing on them! The details are often the cutest.
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7) Make a shot list to keep you on track! Mine made sure I got photos of her outfit laid out, then the setting, then some portraits of her, then family photos, then the cake smash!
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8) Bring the necessities! A towel, some plastic bags to put the dirty clothes in, and an extra set of clothes!

9) Camera settings! Do not take a bunch of photos only to find that your camera was set to the lowest resolution/file size. If you shoot RAW, make sure your camera is set to RAW!

10) Have an assistant/parent there to help you! You will definitely need another set of hands to make sure the baby's in the right spot, and to jump around and generally act like a fool to keep the baby smiling and entertained.

We shot outdoors on a very warm day, so make sure you and your little one(s) stay hydrated!

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