Bunbury, Western Australia

Food Smash

Let’s get this

party started!

What a fun way to celebrate your baby’s first birthday milestone. Food smashes are one of the most expressive types of photoshoots available, We capture a whole range of emotions. I break the session into 4 mini segments to keep baby intersted as at one year old, attention spans are fairly limited.

Firstly we pop bub on a chair or prop and get some close up images, we play and interact with hopes of some big smiles, this is one of the most engaging parts of the session and we often capture baby’s personality nicely here. I always ask a parent to sit next to baby for safety during this time within arms reach of baby. This helps to make them feel safe also, as I will be a new face to them and my big black camera can sometimes be a little overwhelming for little people.

After this, we pop baby in the set with out food so that we can get some nice clean photograph’s with the set, this is usually so that we can grab a photo where we can see the ONE letter/s and baby is clean and happy. By this point, they usually want to get moving and explore so this can be tricky. Recently I have been adding wooden building blocks to this portion to keep them intersted in the set, which has been a hit! The baby’s seem to love stacking and knocking them down.

Next we add food! Do not fear, if your baby is not loving the tastes and textures, this is only a small part of our session. Most of the time baby is quite busy with the food at this stage and not terribly engaged with the camera. We get some funny expressions, sometimes a few tears and generally a lot of mess, sticky fingers and sticky toes. The sensory overload from tastes and textures brings out such an array of emotions during this segment. We usually go in with hands first and if baby is not loving the feel or taste of the food, then we introduce a big wooden spatula, which babies love to pound on the cake/food or paint icing onto the floor with. We do this toward the end of the smash segment, because there is no hope of getting that spatula back! haha. Now, being that this is the messy and emotional part of the session, it comes with a disclaimer. The helping parent is likely to get covered in food if and when baby needs an emotional support person. Burying their icing covered face into mum’s shirt is the ultimate comfort, probably don’t plan a trip to the shops or Kmart right after the session unless its to buy a new shirt! hehe.

Once we have made a sufficient mess, its time to get clean! So, out comes the bubble bath, which is nine times out of ten the happiest, smiliest part of our session. The bath is the cutest, minature, white, claw foot bath. The perfect size for baby to splash in comfortably. Again, at this part of the session I ask a parent to sit close by to the bath. Because it is such a small bath, it seems to give the bubs more confidence. Standing in the bath is not encouraged, although incredibly funny if you ask any cheeky one year old who has tried it and think’s “No” is the funniest word in the dictionary. So, sometimes we need mum or dad to intervene and pop them back on their bottom!

Cheeks

If you would like a “cheeky” photo of baby before baby jumps in the bath, please let me know during the session.

Results

Results are never guaranteed, but we sure do try our hardest to set thing’s up in the best way possible for a great session by breaking it up into different segments so that there is more chance of bub finding something that makes them happy. We always shoot in the morning, doing my best to work around baby’s nap time to give us the best chance of happiness. I don’t recommend skipping their usual breakfast or bottle. A hungry baby is never a happy one, it’s rare that they eat much cake, its more the mess they get to make that we capture.

Sets

I have a range of themes and props on hand and I include basic balloon decorations aswell. If you would like a theme that I have not created before, it is best to book in advance. If you would like a theme that you do not see in my previous work, please get in touch and I’ll see what I can do. I have a small selection of outifts that I allow to be used for smashes also. If you would like to see my latest work, it is always best to check out my facebook page www.facebook.com/linehamphotography as this is my most updated work. I am usually super busy and sometimes it takes me months or years to update this page! oops!

Cake

Cake is not supplied in the cost of this session. You must bring your own cake. We are however, not limited to cake! Substitutes such as watermelon, fruitloops, donuts and pancakes are also other options. Infact fruitloops is perhaps my favorite so far! I do need to ask when buying or making your cake that it does not contain vegetable shortening. This doesn’t wash out of my material drops and ruins them. Dream whip contains vegetable shortening. If you are unsure please ask your cake maker or let me know which product you are hoping to use and I can find out if it contains it. Everything else washes out fine – except vegetable shortening. At $250+ per drop unfortunately I cannot wear this cost and it will be passed back to you. I also recommend avoiding sponge cake, this seems to compact into bubs mouth and on some occasions has resulted in retching and vomitting. If I have recommended a naked cake, it is a good idea to have a bag of icing to add once we get started for more mess! Mud cakes have been the best type of cake. Please take the cake out of the fridge well before the session, hard icing is no fun to smash 🙂

Who can attend?

I do limit numbers in the studio during smash sessions. Sibling’s unfortunately are not permitted. It’s not fun to watch your baby brother or sister get all the attention and cake and from my experience, it has never ended well. The other issue, is that often if a sibling is on the couch, baby just wants to be with the rest of the family rather than in the set and we have a tough time keeping them interested. Bringing Nanna’s, Aunty’s and cousins along can also be very distracting, these are fun people to baby who they don’t see every day and I assure you, they would much rather have a fun time with them than the stranger with the big black camera which means for a lot of amazing smiles, I don’t have baby’s focus and they are looking away. The extra noise in the studio is also overwhelming for bub when there are so many tastes and textures happening already. For this reason, I ask that only mum and / or dad attend the session. If this is not possible please discuss with me before booking.

Illness

I do have to ask that if your baby has any cold / flu / gastro symptoms or contageous sickness PLEASE discuss with me before your session. I will always do my best to reschedule if its due to sickness and we can always freeze cake. I handle such tiny humans, often as young as 6 or 7 day’s old. If I become unwell, I need to reschedule many sessions and risk passing germs on before I am symptomatic. If I were to pass something on to a newborn or new mother who is struggling on zero sleep and still recovering, that would be awful. If you have a child, you’ll know what those first few weeks are like, let alone being sick. This can be hard with one year olds as teething can often present with a runny nose and slight temp, I am happy to discuss with you if these are the symptoms. I just ask that you are open and honest and we can work it out. I also will not shoot if I am sick to protect my clients, which will result in rescheduling your session if I am unwell.

COVID

While masks are no longer mandatory, I do prefer to wear one myself for the above reasons for the time being and I would appreciate it if you also did while in my studio, which is very small. If you don’t have one, I will have some disposables which I can offer. If you really don’t want to wear one, this won’t stop us from going ahead, but if you value my photography, please considder my wishes. I do prefer that only one parent attends if possible. During Covid times, I will allow you to take short video or facetime to send to those who wish to attend but couldn’t. Please note that photography by anyone other than the myself is not permitted in the studio unless I give permission.

Booking in.

The first thing you’ll need to considder is if you would like the session on or near baby’s birthday or if you would like to book 6 weeks or so in advance and have the images back to use as invitations or as decorations at their birthday party . Please let me know if this is what you’d like to do so that I can advise if the images will be ready in time. In busier times we may need a little more time for editing. I recommend booking 6 weeks in advance of the intended shoot, especially if we need to organise items. If you have left yourself short of time however, its always worth checking in with me as I may be able to find you a spot! September to December are absolute mayhem so please book well in advance to avoid dissapointment if you’d like a session in those months. I also only take a very light load in school holiday’s if any. Please see pricing through the link at the bottom of the page. To secure your session you will need to pay a $170 deposit. The remaining $250 will be due one week before the session. This remaining amount can be paid anywhere between booking and one week before the session, however if not paid by the session date, your session will be cancelled and the deposit will not be refunded.

Image turn around.

I state in my contract that images are ready to view and select 6 weeks from the session date. I am usually much quicker, but that is there to give me a buffer in the busier times. Once your images are ready to view, you will have one week to select your favorite 15 images included in your package. If you love all of your images and would like to keep more, you are more than welcome to purchase extra images at $20 per image or takethe full gallery, which I will offer a quote on when I deliver your gallery. This is usually between $100-$200 depending on the image quantity in the gallery. Images are delivered through an online gallery site called shootproof. Here you can view the images and select favorites which I can see on my end. From there I delete the images you haven’t selected and activate download. You will then follow the prompts using the link on the top right hand side and download the images straight to your computer. Download will be active for 2 weeks once I have set it. Please however, back them up to another device also. I do not guarantee to keep images past 4 weeks from online download release incase my own hardware should fail. I do not purposely delete images however, so if you do lose your images, please get in touch and I may be able to restore them. The is however a fee for this (Up to $50) depending on how deeply they are archived.

I hope that this information has been helpful. If you would like to book in with me for your smash session, please shoot me a message at www.facebook.com/linehamphotography with the details and I’ll be in contact as soon as I can. Pricing can be found by clicking “pricing” below.