April 18, 2021

Downtown Toronto: DIY Cake Smash

Not all cake smash photo shoots have to be curated to perfection. With the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID pandemic, many people have become confined to shooting in their own home. And, in Toronto, most people live in small spaces. With that said, my clients opted to set up their son’s 1st birthday cake smash photoshoot in their downtown Toronto condo – the space I had to work with was less than four feet wide. This is a first for me and I definitely don’t think it will be my last.

Without further ado, here are some of my tips for setting-up your cake smash in a Toronto condo or small space in general…

  1. Choose a color scheme: This particular client wanted gold and blue, so we just did that. Nevertheless, the colors you choose should include one bold hue, a metallic, and/or one or two neutral/light tones. This will keep a good flow among your photos.
  2. Props: Choose a cake and items that compliment your color scheme. I recommend not having too many props, so your child and the cake stand out, while you celebrate this milestone. If you have too many props in a small space, it will make the photos look too busy and you’ll lose focus on what matters the most. I brought additional balloons, confetti, pompoms, garland, and a floor protector.
  3. Protect the floor: This goes without saying, toddlers are among the messiest beings on the planet. And, they’re unpredictable. I bought an office chair floor protector from Amazon, it’s inexpensive and easy to clean.
  4. Use soft natural light: If you’re in a space with lots of windows, that’s a bonus. Otherwise, use a white flash at the lowest settings, so you won’t have any harsh shadows.
  5. Wide lens: Typically, I’d use a portrait lens for a cake smash. However, given that I was only 3ft in front of this baby, I used a 14-24mm lens. Working with a narrower focal length would have prevented me from capturing photos that convey the bigger picture.
  6. Get a variety of photos: In order to provide your client an awesome library, take some photos before the demolition, grab some of the toddler eating the cake, snap some photos of the child crawling in the cake and anything else you can think of….

After you finish with the cake smash, mom or dad will most likely bathe or clean the kiddo with baby wipes. And, you can easily place the balloons and garland in the crib for an extra fun photo op. In fact, these are some of my fave photos. Here, I also used the same wide lens because the distance between the crib and wall was less than 3 feet.