Today on the blog I'll be diving into Owen's first birthday and cake smash; what went wrong, what went right and how we pushed through it.
This cake smash theme was Winnie the Pooh. Mom had actually gone all out with some custom made props and goodies found at a local flea market for that classic picnic look. I love when clients bring their own ideas to the table and I'm always happy to incorporate their ideas into a session they will truly love! I want my clients to not only love their images but enjoy the experience as well. These are just some of the things factored into the process when making an investment in your session.
As a mom myself, I know to always keep my expectations low when it comes to working with young children. It's a hard life being a toddler. Always falling, tripping, being told "no" or "don't touch" often can really cause those big emotions we see in little ones. I suppose we can't blame them all things considering, right? The beginning of our session is a pretty classic one. Get baby fed, get baby ready, prep the diaper bag, load baby and said bag into the car, drive to session, baby falls asleep on the way. Oh no!
Any parent knows a child is not the most pleasant creature directly before or after a nap. That's just how it is. The trick is figuring out how to prepare for those inevitable, big emotions. I tell all my clients to keep expectations low with little ones. They may be overwhelmed, tired or hungry so I advise them to bring extra snacks, drinks, favorite toys and even treats. Yes, treats. I am not opposed to bribes when it comes to getting some smiles like the ones seen in this blog. So, the baby wakes up just as my clients are pulling up for their session. I don't always watch the clock exactly during my sessions and factor in the extra time for such occasions.
We start out with a little walk to wake the baby up, Baby Shark on repeat to set the mood and luckily we're ready to roll! I typically let kids take the lead on sessions in order to get the most genuine smiles and personality. If I notice they start to become fussy or uncooperative we take a break, play a little game, have a snack, airplane with Dad is always a favorite and of course because this is a cake smash there's that incentive as well.
During this session however poor Mom and Dad forgot to grab the cake out of the fridge! This is where I come in with some creativity and a little magic, Photoshop magic that is. Not every photographer is learned in the ways of Photoshop but for me and the type of sessions I shoot I feel this is a necessary skill set. Inevitably faces or eyes will need to be swapped. In this cake, because the cake was forgotten I had to Photoshop it in. Mom had specifically bought a carrot cake so I had her send me an image of the cake and luckily I was able to work my magic. Mom was happy with the result so of course I was happy.