Your Cake Smash Session Guide
I don’t know about you, but I always feel more relaxed when I know exactly what’s going to happen when I get somewhere, what I need to bring and what I need to do.
And that’s exactly what you can find here.
I’d really encourage you to have a good look through your guide. In it, you will find information about practical aspects such as directions and parking, but also information about what to wear, what to bring and if there’s anything you need to do.
the boring bit…..
I promise I’ll keep this bit short, but it’s still pretty important info!
Now, I know what I’m about to ask may seem utterly hilarious because I’m yet to meet a baby who sleeps when we think they will, but please try, if possible, to ensure your baby is well rested before the session…even if that means a contact nap/car nap. A tired baby is often a cranky baby!
where to come….
Unless we have arranged otherwise (for an in-home session, for example), please come to my home studio for your session. My studio is a separate, designated room just off our entrance hallway.
My home studio is located at:
6 Barrett Lennard Road
Norfolk NR10 3EQ
Sat Nav directions can take you past my house, so when you turn in to Barrett Lennard Road look for the road facing house immediately on the right-hand side. You are free to park on the grass verge outside near the post box (please be mindful to leave plenty of space for through traffic, including buses).
We are slowly but surely updating our home from a 1960s chalet bungalow into something a little more modern, so please don’t be alarmed to see any evidence of building works. Don’t panic, your session will not be affected in any way.
Little hands touch this floor, so please remove your shoes at the door.
As my studio (including the floor) is white, I do ask that shoes are removed on entry to the studio to ensure that not only does the floor not become marked but also to keep the area clean for the little hands.
the less boring bit…..
Ok, so now the formalities are out of the way, here’s where we go into detail about what to wear, what to bring and all the other bits of information that will help you prepare for your session.
If your baby still has milk feeds, please be prepared to give milk even if it’s not a time they might normally have it. Often the uncertainty of having thier photos taken can mean they like a little bit of comfort to steady their nerves (and who are we to judge; I’m sure as adults we all get a little stage fright!).
You are absolutely welcomed and encouraged to breastfeed here, regardless of your baby/childs age.
For babies who are weaning, do bring a ‘clean-ish’ snack & something to drink incase they need a little pit stop (cake can be a little claggy!)
what to bring…..
If your baby uses a dummy, please bring it with you. You may wish to bring a pack of sterilising wipes in case it gets dropped on the floor.
Please bring with you a plain white onesie (this can have a texture) couple of plain white vests for your baby, either short sleeve or long sleeve works well. Please avoid, if you can, vests that have patterns, logos and the sleeveless vests.
I photograph babies either in their plain white vest, naked, in my adorable bath tub and wrapped up in a super fluffy white towel. If your baby has very sensitive skin please be sure to bring some bubble bath suitable for them (this is entirely optional of course!).
You don’t need to think about packing clothes for young babies to wear in their photos, their vest and onesie will be fine. If you have a slightly older baby or child please dress them mostly in white – white dress, nappy cover, tights etc with either jeans or chino type trousers if applicable.
For your journey, please dress baby loosely; little tricks like turning the tops of socks over so they don’t imprint the skin are things to think about. A simple pop up onesie (with a white vest underneath so we are ready to go) or loose pyjamas are best….don’t forget a spare though in case of a car poonami!
You’ll also need to bring plenty of spare nappies & wipes with you, just in case.
For these sessions I’d recommend leaving older siblings at home to ensure there are no slips and trips with the icing/water from the bath.
what to wear….
So you’ve got the baby sorted (white vest!), but what about parents and any siblings? Well, you might be unsurprised to know that I’ll be suggesting white, again. White t-shirt, white dress, white shirts, white vest top…..you get it. Teamed with demin jeans, chinos or any muted coloured trouser, white gives a beautifully relaxed, crisp finish and allows your baby to steal the show in their photos.
From a creative perspective, anything with bright (or block) colour, large logos or bold patterns means that your finished images won’t look the same as those you’ve seen on my website or social media channels. The eye will be drawn away from the light and airy feel of the white (which is what keeps our focus on your baby) and will turn to the colour/pattern in the image. Colour and patterns take away the beautiful simplicity from the images.
The studio will be warm to ensure your baby doesn’t get cold. Please wear light layers to ensure you don’t get too hot.
during the session….
This is the simple bit!
Most of my sessions are very much family led. A cake smash is the exception – I’m yet to meet a parent who is eager to get covred in cake alongside their baby! In saying that, please come prepared to be involved. By that I mean please dress as though you’ll have your photo taken too, and be prepared to get a little messy. Whether it be giving soothing cuddles (which make amazing bonus photos by the way!), helping your baby by demonstrating prodding at the cake, or splashing the water in the bath tub, there’s a good chance you’ll be involved somehow so my advice would be not to arrange to go anywhere afterwards!
I have a small selection of beautiful wooden toys (and a gorgeous giant white Jelly Cat bunny!) which your baby will be able to explore and enjoy. The cake section of the session doesn’t steal the show like in a more traditional cake smash session; there’s so many other beautiful set ups to include too!
We will work with your baby – if they need a feed, no problem. If they just need to be held, that’s fine. My whole approach to photographing your family is to capture you instinctively loving your baby, and each other. It is a completely unpressured environment….no one needs unnecessary pressure in their life, especially parents!
Babies naturally look at the camera a fair bit. They are beautifully inquisitive! I will also aim to get lots of them not looking at me too – details like eyelashes or big smiles as they look at you. I may ask you to move around to assit me with creating a certain shot by holding their attention.
after your session…..
So, we’ve finished. I’ve got a camera full of beautiful photos and you’ve probably got a heart full to bursting from seeing your baby curled up so sweetly.
Usually, unless you’ve requested otherwise, I will post a preview image from your session to my social media channels within 48 hours. This is a lovely way for you to share your excitement (or even birth announcement as some clients have done!) but it’s also a really great way for me to share what I do. I’m always so grateful for those families who allow me to share an image from their session.
I’ll start the editing process as soon as possible after your session. I say please allow up to 3 weeks for your online image gallery to be sent to you, but I aim for a 1-2 week turnaround.
Once I’ve edited your images, you will recieve a link to a private online gallery where you can view and download all of your images directly to your own storage. You will be required to settle the outstanding balance of your session before you can download your images.
And that’s it!
I’m always extremely thankful for any reviews you are happy to leave either on Facebook or Google, and of course should you wish to order any prints or framing you are more than welcome to do contact me when you’re ready to make these purchases.