Behind the Scenes: Pullback of the Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash

The other day I gave a preview of this darling girl’s cake smash session.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

Today I’m giving you a glimpse of the behind the scenes action.  A “glimpse” because I forgot to take any photos of setting up!  My daughter, fortunately, got some photos of the set-up and me in action.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

It was a partly cloudy day, so I had my speedlight on the camera.  I tried using it, but since you can’t get the shutter speed fast with a light (can’t go over 1/200), I decided to work with what light I had and used natural light.  As the session went on, some of my later photos are darker because of the cloud cover and the sun setting.  But I was able to edit those (I have a tutorial on that and my camera settings coming up next week).

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

Here’s my equipment:

Camera: Nikon D3100 with Nikon 35mm Lens 

Light: Natural Light & white reflector.  I also wear a white shirt to help bounce light back.

Setting: Bedroom with a large south facing window.  Baby was facing the window.  In the photo above, there is a large window behind me.  The photos were taken in the afternoon around 3pm.

Backdrop: Savage Seamless paper in Bone on a backdrop stand.  I used the 53″ wide paper from B&H.

Decorations:  All provided by mom.  She made the cake, brought the outfit/headband, and bought the butterfly decorations from Party City.

I took traditional shots of the little girl on the backdrop in clothes first.  I used my Flokati rug for some photos and took some without it.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

Then we set up for the cake smash by hanging some butterfly decorations on the seamless paper.  I had the seamless paper clamped to the backdrop stand and taped to the floor with painter’s tape.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

I took a test shot to see how things looked in my camera.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

I took some test shots with the cake on a stand.  I also got some nice shots of the cake before it was smashed.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

Then mom put her little girl in with the cake.  I got a nice shot of mom putting her daughter in, that I included in her gallery.  It was cute!  Below is one of my photos straight out of my D3100.  You can see that I had to crop this one later.  Depending on how far away I was from the little girl, I had to crop photos to take out the backdrop stand.  You wouldn’t have to do that with wider paper, but I don’t have the room for wider paper.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

Here’s some other action shots of me, thanks to my daughter!

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

And some more pullbacks that my daughter took.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

I’ve shown another pullback of a cake smash before.  That time I went with budget friendly Crayola fadeless bulletin board paper in white from Hobby Lobby.  This time I used the Savage seamless paper, which costs a bit more, but it’s absolutely lovely!  Really, it’s only $25 for the 12 yard roll I purchased and you can use it over and over (except for the cake smooshed part).  I love that the Savage paper was wider than the bulletin board paper and much thicker!  You can even get the Savage paper wider than what I have, but I’m limited by my room size.  Wider is always better, in my opinion.  I used the bone color, which is a creamy white color.  I’m very happy with the color.  When we were done, I just cut the cake strewn paper off and rolled the rest of the paper up to store in my closet for another time.

Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography Behind the Scenes: Butterfly Cake Smash Pullback | Chrissy Martin Photography

That session was so much fun!  She really demolished that cute cake by the end.  I truly adore cake smashes and getting to be a part of a baby’s first birthday.  What about you?  Share your cake smash stories!

Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash

This sweet little girl in with her equally wonderful mama and let me take some photos for her first birthday.

We started with the traditional portraits.  Five minutes and I was pretty sure I had some keepers.  Super easy!  This little girl is just a darling doll!

Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography

Then we set up for the cake smash.  This pretty little girl’s mama had brought in some wonderful butterfly themed stuff that we used to set up the backdrop.  It was just lovely!  I try not to have too high of expectations when it comes to babies, because they can be unpredictable.  Setting a baby on a paper with a cake, that is pretty much foreign to them, and then put a lady with a big black object in front of her face and you have the formula for a terrified kid.  This little girl crashed through the roof of my expectations.  She was an amazing cake smash model!  I took over a 100 photos of her and nearly every one was a keeper!  I’m happy when I can get 10 keepers and I edited 73 photos of this cake smash.  Yes, 73!!  I don’t know what her parents will do with 73 photos!  Maybe make a photo book?  And it was hard to pick out which ones to share.  Thankfully, I hardly had to edit these photos, so I was able to bang out the cake smash photos in one day.  That’s another record for me!  (I have a tutorial planned with camera settings and my editing, plus some pullbacks!)  It is an honor when I can be a part of a little one’s first birthday celebration!  This session was such a joy!  I hope her parents are able to pick out some favorite photos.  I surely can’t!

Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography Portrait Preview: Beautiful Butterfly Cake Smash | Chrissy Martin Photography

What have you been up to lately?  Smash any cakes?  Or how about eat any?

Weekly Favorites

Hellllooooo.  It’s a little echoy in here.  I haven’t posted in a bit.  Life.  Busy.  Crazy.  I’m sure you know what I mean.

That 365 project…ummm.  Well.  Hmmm.  It’s still going.  I am taking a photo everyday.  It’s just that sometimes I don’t get it done until the last minute.  Take last night, for example.  I was sitting here typing away and catching up on the kids’ homeschool stuff when I realized I hadn’t taken a daily photo.  So I took ONE shot of myself in the dark, working on the computer.  Except, I haven’t downloaded photos or worked on them since the last time I published an update.  When was that?!  Oh, here’s a photo of my boy.  I guess I put that on FB.  I really need to go through my photos.

Bike-Park-Web

I should probably work on those photos, but I’m working on this here blog post.  I figured, maybe every 2 weeks or so I can share some useful things I saw on the vast world wide web that are photography related.  So that’s what I’m going to do today. Take the lazy way out on a blog post.  Cause I have got nothing for you, it’s all stuck in my head and hasn’t come out yet.  I did take some photos of my budget newborn wraps.  I just have to download them and actually write a post.  Someone needs to dangle a piece of chocolate in front of me so I can get on that.

Some things that caught my eye this week:

5 easy ways to photograph kids together at Clickin’ Moms (I learned I need to turn more of my photos black and white.  I love it!  I tried it with a point and shoot photo.)

Sledding-Web

Everything you wanted to know about cake smash photography but were afraid to ask at Rock the Shot (Very timely article for me!)

How to brighten snow using Photoshop at I Heart Faces (Very useful, I’ve had to brighten snow and I’ve had to darken it!)

Why I pick my camera up…and why I put it down at Clickin’ Moms (I’ve always said this and it’s great to be reminded about it, super article!)

9 secrets to working with dappled light at Clickin’ Moms (Dappled light drives me nuts, I need to learn to use it!)

15 new free fonts at Kevin&Amanda (Can you ever have too many fonts? And I love all the ones I have from Kevin&Amanda!)

Coffeeshop “Gossamer Wings” Color Photoshop/PSE action at The Coffeeshop Blog (Rita always have amazing things!)

Studio space and lighting gear at The Milky Way (wish list, *sigh*)

Deals I’ve seen:

Check out Groupon.  I’ve seen they have Canvas on Demand deals up again.  I’ve gotten that one about 3 times now.

Some lovely sessions I peeked at and swooned over:

A beautiful newborn girl at His&Hers Photography

Four Newborn Babies at Inspire Me Baby by Bare Baby Photography (seriously…oh the preciousness!)

Newborn baby girl at BabyBellyLove

And now I have a few minutes left to work on writing my kids’ science textbook for next year.  Don’t ask.  I’m the crazy former science teacher who can’t find one book that teaches what my kids want to learn next year and what I want to teach them.  So what do I crazily decide to do?  Write my own curriculum.  Here’s hoping that now I’ve said I’m doing it, I can get it done.  I fizzled out that last time I tried. 6 lessons done, only 114 more to go.  I’ve got until August.  Can I do it?

What lofty ambitions are you trying to achieve?

365 Update #5

I’m attempting a 365 Photography Challenge this year.  One photo a day of happenings in my family.  This helps me keep track of my progress and what I’m doing.  Not the fact that I may have eaten too many chocolates that my husband gave me.

Day 41: Hot

We had been having some unseasonably warm temperatures.  High temperatures.  Lovely if you like warm, not so lovely if you enjoy doing things in the snow.  Those high temperatures put a damper on our snow activities, but not on our outdoor activities.  I mean, in my last installment…the kids were outside in their swimsuits having a water fight.  For my Florida family….see…for a bit we were the same temp as you.  Though, I think a FL trip should be in the works.  Pool time!

Day-41-Web

3pm.  Canon EOS M.  22mm lens.  Manual Mode.  F2, ISO 100, SS 1/500.  Edit:  Dsisk Photography Actions Sweet Summertime with Summer Glow at 50%.  Matte finish.

Day 42: Cold

One day later it snowed.  This was almost 24 hours after the previous photo.  I just had to document the changes.  Now that will make you want to go to FL!  The snow didn’t even stick around here to play in.

Day-42-Web

2:15pm.  Canon EOS M.  22mm lens.  Manual Mode.  F8, ISO 100, SS 1/320.  Edit: Color match grass and put in a solid color layer, put in screen blending mode and set to 20%.  Matte finish.  (I’m getting faster at deciding what I want to do!)

Day 43: Olive You Pizza

We have a tradition on Valentine’s Day to make a pizza with olives.  It’s our “Olive You Pizza.”  Our daughter finally understood it this year….”Oh,” she said, “It’s got olives to mean I Love You, as in Olive You.”  We’ve only been making this pizza for 16 years.  Tradition.  Gotta love it.  So, I had to take a quick photo of this year’s heart shaped olive pizza that the girl and I made.  We didn’t have it on Valentine’s this year because we celebrated a few days early due to Daddy having to go out of town.  And yes, we have a child that despises cheese, so we make a cheese free section.

Day-43-Web

6pm.  Canon EOS M.  22mm lens.  Manual Mode.  F2, ISO 1600, SS 1/80.  Edit: Matte finish.  That’s it.  It’s a pizza.

Day 44: Pedicure

After school today my little girl treated me to some spa time.  (Thank you Fancy Nancy books!)  My little girl spoils me.  I got a foot bath and a pedicure.  I got a hand massage.  I also got my hair and makeup done.  It was luxurious!  She sure made me feel special, so I had to document it with a photo of the day.  These are the fancy painted toenails she gave me.  She even got fancy using glittery puff balls to separate my toes.  Fancy.

Day-44-Web

2pm.  Canon EOS M.  22mm lens.  Manual Mode.  F2, ISO 200, SS 1/250.  Edit: Dsisk Photography Actions Coloriffic Fluff at 50%.  Matte finish.

Day 45: Valentine Sledding

Hoping that there was still enough snow near us, I took the kids up to our favorite place to sled.  We hit it in the morning and were the only ones for quite a bit on untracked snow.  It was super warm out (which is why my coat and mittens are off) and by the time we left, there were a ton of people headed to the hill.  I handed the camera over to Grandpa, who kindly took this photo of us.  I had taken some photos that day of sledding and of the Valentine breakfast I made the kids, but this one stuck out at me.  I’m in the photo with the kids!  Daddy was out of town and we missed him.  We were warm and he was freezing cold!

Day-45-Web

11:15am.  Canon PowerShot A2400.  Auto point and shoot.  Edit: Dsisk Photography Actions Airy Ways Wind Blown at 30%.  Matte finish.  (I’m kinda stuck on the matte finish lately).

Day 46: Mule Deer

Alright, I had other photos this day.  Specifically one of the kids playing on the floor and having our dog and a dog we were dog sitting getting in there too.  But then this mule deer came into our yard.  I’ve only seen his backend quickly once before.  We had evidence of him (scat and a poor tree that got rutted against).  You can see we have posts around the young trees to keep him from rubbing his antlers against them.  The night before this, the deer scared the dickens out of me.  I woke up at 3am to really loud scratching noises outside my bedroom.  Scary…especially, when my husband is gone.  I turned on the outdoor light and it went away.  In the morning, I saw the deer prints outside my room and figured the deer was rubbing his antlers on the corner of the house.  He came back later to let me get a quick photo of him through the window.  So it’s not a great photo, but it’s a photo.

Day-46-Web

5:30pm.  Canon EOS M.  22mm lens.  (Wish I had more zoom!)  Manual Mode.  F4.5, ISO 800, SS 1/250.  Edit: Dsisk Photography Actions Coloriffic Sunshine at 50%.  Matte finish.  Fast and furious.

Day 47: Bike Park

We went to the bike park with some friends.  Nothing like being able to sled and then go to the bike park, all near home!  I had some really great photos of my kids biking, but I wanted my 365 photo to include both of them.  I didn’t plan this as I was taking the photo, it was my challenge when I was scrolling through the multitude that I took.  Apparently, I didn’t get many with both of the kids in the same photo.  This is one.  That’s my girl trying some bigger jumps and that’s my fuzzy boy in the background.  3 hours of biking and they still could have gone more!  I don’t know how they have so much energy!

Day-47

12:30pm.  Nikon D3100.  55-200mm lens.  Aperture Mode.  F5.3, ISO 400, SS 1/1000.  Yes, I broke out the Nikon.  I haven’t used it much for this 365, I’ve been playing with the Canon mirrorless.  Edit: Dsisk Photography Actions Airy Ways with Hot Air Balloon at 50%.  Matte finish.

Day 48: Pear Eye

“Take my picture with the pear, mama.”  And that’s what I did.  When I was going through my photos to choose one for this day, I realized that I only took one photo that day.  Makes it easy to choose.  She was amazed that she could put the pear back together like a puzzle after I cut it for her.  I used one of those fancy apple cutters from IKEA. Gotta love that thing!

Day-48-Web

7:20am.  Canon EOS M.  22mm lens.  Manual Mode.  F2, ISO 800, SS 1/125.  Edit:  Dsisk Photography Actions Old Hollywood.  Base action with Greta at 50%.  Matte finish.

Day 49: Taj Mahal Nanoblocks

When I was going through my photos from the day, I realized I had only taken 2.  That was one more than the other day!  Busy day.  I had taken two of my daughter building the Taj Mahal out of Nanoblocks for a school project.  We were studying India and read a book on the Taj Mahal and the history of the Mughal emperors.  Fascinating stuff, bloody and beautiful.   My kids love building with Nanoblocks and I scrounge around for good deals on sets that pertain to things we are learning.  Fun and educational!  I had taken these photos for school documentation, but it’s our life and they work for this.

Day-49-Web

9:15am.  Canon EOS M.  22mm lens.  Manual Mode.  F2.8, ISO 400, SS 1/200.  Edit: Not much, I need to finish this up.  Matte finish, that’s it.

I’m still photographing.  We’ll see what I get today!  How about you?  What have you taken a photo of lately?

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

Presenting our annual “box of chocolates” funny face photo:

Valentine-Magnet-Web

You’ll notice that my template has changed this year.  I deleted the white space between the photos and made a specially sized one to have it printed out as magnets.  This year I had photo cards printed out with the message and a magnet printed out.  I had them done at Mpix.

Valentinecard15-Web2

I know some grandparents like to put the Valentine photo on their refrigerator, this way the photo is already a magnet.  We’ve got one gracing our refrigerator and the kids each have one in their rooms.  Lots of love here!

Valentinecard15-Web

You can see the “behind the scenes” of this selfie photo shoot here.

Enjoy your day!  I think we have some sledding plans!

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