Monday, 12 May 2014

More tips for a cake smash

Further to my earlier blog post here are some other tips and tricks I picked up when preparing for Doof’s cake smash. I carefully scribbled them all down on scraps of paper and realised I should actually record them properly – even if only so I can remember them for Doofette’s first cake smash next year :)
  1. Think about colour and texture when choosing a backdrop. You want a colour that compliments or contrasts with cake and outfit colour without being too overpowering – a bolder colour for the cake/outfit with a more muted background often looks good. Cloth or paper makes a good texture – avoid anything shiny (such as plastic tablecloths) as these will reflect the light in large bright spots if using any artificial lights or a camera flash

  1. If you are shooting inside and the light is not that great then hang white sheets around any nearby walls/furniture to bounce the light

  1. Take photos from all different perspectives – e.g. from the front, angled, from overhead and also focus on smaller details such as baby’s toes, hands and mouth.

  1. If your baby is more mobile and likely to stand up/walk around then think about putting the cake on a stand or small stool to raise it to nearer their level

  1. Keep extra decorations nearby so you can add extra to the cake during the smash

  1. Consider adding whipped cream to top of the cake to make the icing more inviting and messy once baby starts to play with it. And if you’ve iced the cake in advance then make sure you remove it from the fridge at least 6-8 hours in advance so both the icing and cake have time to warm up and soften

  1. Have a spoon or cake cutter to hand just in case baby needs some encouragement to break into the cake

  1. Pick the colours for the cake carefully – both the inside and icing – you want  ones that will contrast with both the background and the chosen outfit but might want to avoid too much red (could look like blood!) or brown/chocolate (you can imagine what that might look like if smeared everywhere!)

  1. Don’t go overboard with background decorations. A banner or few balloons may look nice but too many different items can make the background look cluttered, distract from the main focal points (cake/baby) and may also take the baby’s attention away from the actual cake

  1. If using a DSLR (which will give the best images if you have one as it allows you to change the settings depending on light etc) then use a single lens and have all the settings ready before you start – there will be no time once baby has started on the cake! Check all the settings on the background with the baby in the foreground (this is a good chance to get some pre-cake baby photos) and remember once baby starts moving you will likely need a fast shutter speed which will limit how much light gets in

  1. If your baby like particular treats (e.g. cheerios or banana chunks) then you could put some on top of the icing to entice them to dig in. If they haven’t been allowed cake before they may not recognise it as something nice and so may be reticent about getting stuck in

  1. And lastly – every baby is different in how they respond to the invitation to get as messy as they like with a large cake. Doof was quite used to getting messy with his normal food but was still quite shy about digging into a whole cake. To maximise the chances of your baby having fun though I’d recommend encouraging them to play with food day-to-day (which is what dieticians and paediatiricans advise you doing anyway – to improve their motor skills, independence and a healthy attitude to feeding) and engage them in “messy play” activities so they aren’t overwhelmed by a cake with mile-high icing!

Have fun!!

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