Busy Mom’s Guide: DIY Cake Smash Photos {for free}

There is a growing trend in the mommy community that has gained considerable momentum in the past few years: the cake smash. This phenomenon has grown from letting a 1-year-old eat a piece of cake to spending enormous amounts of money on a cake for the baby to destroy, and a photographer to document the destruction. Don’t get me wrong… I am a HUGE cake-smash fan! But there’s got to be a way for us budget-loving-mama’s to have our cake and eat it too.

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This tutorial is – literally – as simple as it gets. Honestly, it’s a little embarrassing calling it a ‘tutorial’ because it’s just that easy! All you need is a smash cake, backdrop, smart phone and your baby!

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cakesmashbanner1 A Free cake: many local grocery stores will give one complimentary birthday smash cake per customer. Most will even offer to customize it for you! For all you New Englander’s out there, we got ours at Shaw’s.

Smart phone: Although I happen to have a Cannon Rebel that I love, I shot all these photos with my iPhone 5s. I wanted to show now only how easy it is to do your own photos, but how great they turn out with the editing, even if they’re not the highest quality.

Backdrop: I found this gem of a backdrop on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $8.00! I bought it on a whim and was so excited when I finally had the perfect shoot to use it for. You can use just about anything for a backdrop, however, just as long as it is against a wall so that you won’t have light coming through. I’ve used blankets, poster board, my iPad (for small shooting subjects) – the options are limitless!

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Choose a space in your home where you have lots of light. My dining room is always my first choice!

I happen to love my dining table so I usually use this as my surface, but you could use the floor or another texture you preferred.

2015-10-02 12.51.37sNo matter how automatic your photo settings are, it’s always important to test your light. You want to make sure the reflection on your surface isn’t in the subject area of your photo, and that you don’t have any distracting shadows.

2015-10-02 12.52.03sInsert your kiddo and snap away! Remember, when photographing children, quantity is better than quality. Take a hundred pictures and you’ll get a few really good ones. But if you wait around for the perfect pose, you’ll probably miss it every time.

Another tip: have an extra helping hand! I begged my best friend (who also happens to be an amazing photographer! Check out her page: Kalyn Griffin Photography) to come lend a hand and together we managed to keep this little firecracker contained! The whole process took us less than 10 minutes…. but the amount of frosting and sprinkles that escaped in that time had me cleaning up for days!

cakesmashtutorial1Once you’ve survived the shoot and the clean-up, find your favorite photos and head over to my favorite online editing program, PicMonkey. They have a variety of editing tools available for FREE, as well as many others for members only. I would strongly encourage a membership, as it’s incredibly affordable and so worth it for the amount of tools you have access to. But for our tutorial today I signed out of my account and did all the editing you will see using their free version.


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To read the step-by-step guide, click on the image below to zoom in to the text.

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And there you have it! Adorable photos for next to nothing. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorial! Have questions or suggestions? Leave us a comment or send us an email; we’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to check back soon for more easy DIY’s for busy mama’s!

❤ Jasmine

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One thought on “Busy Mom’s Guide: DIY Cake Smash Photos {for free}

  1. Pingback: Busy Mom’s Guide: DIY Photos {Editing Tutorial} with your iPhone | The Mama Diaries

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