Khalise's Cake Smash Shoot

Shoot Plan

  • Three stages to the shoot: Before/Prep nice pictures of the set and the cake whilst it is still untouched. Stage two, the cake smash, action shots of the child digging in. Stage three little bath in a vintage style tin bath.
  • Model - Khalise
  • Location - My studio, The Old House, Compton, Marldon, TQ3 1TD
  • Equipment: 1 Elinchrom RX4 D-lite's with Octobox
  • Canon 5D Mark iii, with Canon 24mm-105mm L Lense
  • Set styling done by me, all decorations have been booked or brought.
  • Dresses supplied by Khalise's mum
  • Cake supplied by Khalise's mum

Setting up

Contact Sheets

Shoot Evaluation

I am really pleased with the styling of this shoot, I already had the mini arm chair, cake stand, tassel bunting and the little dots bunting, but I ordered the paper pom poms and balloons especially for the shoot. My mum kindly went and collected the helium balloons for me and I set up the rest. I set up the tassel bunting and prepared the paper pom poms the night before so that I would only have to sort out the balloons. The balloons come on ribbons, but do not come attached to the weights as you do this yourself so that you can choose the exact height, colour arrangement and how many you want in a bunch. Considering I only knew they wanted pink decorations and did not know what cake they were choosing, I think the colours match wonderfully.

At the very beginning of the shoot I took a few plain photos of the set decorations and some detail shots of the cake before it got destroyed. We then tried to get some shots of Khalise sat in my pink velvet mini arm chair. The shoot had a bit of a rocky start as Khalise cried quite a lot and even when she stopped she was still very red faced and worked up. It is understandable as she was experiencing something for the first time as she has never been in the studio or had to deal with flash photography before. Luckily she soon had an interest in the balloons and this helped calm her down. All of her focus would go on the balloons, therefore it was quite hard to get her to look in the correct direction and if we moved or took away the balloons she would get upset again. Despite her getting upset a lot, whilst flicking through the photos we still managed to get so many good one. When we decided she had done enough of the cake smashing I left the room to prepare the mini tin bath and when I can come back she had completely chilled out and was playing with the balloons and the cake, so we decided to try and get a few more. I managed to get a lot more shots where she was more involved with the cake. Once we were finished with the cake, we took off her adorable outfit and popped her in the little tin bath. She absolutely loved being in the bath and began splashing, smiling, pulling funny faces and being a lot more interactive. Eventually she grew quite tired as the shoot went on a little longer than expected due to having to pause a lot. I briefly went through the photo with the parents after the shoot and they were really impressed with them and looking forward to looking through the preview album to choose their favourites. Before sending them the preview album I narrowed down the amount of images, as i took quite a lot and she was either upset in a lot or there were too many that were similar.

Final Edited Photos


Here are the final edited copies that I gave to the client. I am really pleased with the outcome from this shoot, especially as it felt like it wasn't going well during the actually shoot itself. I love the styling and think I picked just the write amount of props and think anything more would have been too much. I prefer having the plain white background and colourful props, rather than a coloured backdrop as well, as I think it allows the props to pop and stand out more. One of the downsides to the shoot is I thought that the one light with the octa softbox would produce enough soft light to light up the whole set but there is a slight vignette where the light beings to fall out and the shadows created by the balloons exaggerates this. The background appears a bit off white when compared to white on screen, however I could not boost the power of the light anymore as then the child was being lit far too brightly. Luckily the clients haven't even noticed and love the images regardless.




My favourite image from the shoot has to be this one, as I love the pose because it makes Khalise look really cheeky and the symmetry makes it look aesthetically pleasing.