I just couldn't help myself...I HAD to share this slideshow! Watch with the sound ON!
I think that really speaks for itself, don't you? This Epic Cake Smash turned out amazing. The props were, as always, hand made by myself. Here are some behind the scenes photos that I snapped in my garage with my phone as I was building everything.
The sidewalk is a large cement board from the hardware store (normally used as a backer for tile) that I drew on with chalk and then sealed with a clear spray. I brought up the you tube video of the Sesame Street season 40 opening (the sidewalk chalk one) and kept pausing it to use as reference for the drawings. I had Jim cut the board so that it would better resemble the size of sidewalk sections. The cement board was just a little bit too small so I had to add fake grass to the set. I painted the inside of the milk bottles to look like they contained milk by adding white acrylic gesso and then rolling it around inside the bottles. The 1 and the W are just paper mache from the craft store that I painted.
Oscar the Grouch is actually my son's big teddy bear wearing a "mask" that I tied around it's head. I used a small piece of fake fur that I stole from my newborn session prop bin and added painted eyeballs and a piece of fuzzy wire I found in a craft store (think pipe cleaner on steroids). The garbage can is from the hardware store, but I dirtied it up a little with some spray paint (and a few good kicks).
The street lamp is by far the best prop I have ever made. I'm really proud of how it came out! I had to piece together four different wood elements that I gathered from hardware and craft stores to get the look I wanted. Then I added a round light cover to the top. I painted it green and then used a dark wood stain to give it a weathered look. The street sign was cut (with help from Jim) from a slab of balsam wood. The words and numbers I painted using a stencil that I made myself, then I did a lot of touching up. The line around the edge was also hand painted. Last, I used the stain again to make it look old. I attached it to the lamp with this awesome flexible stuff that took me about an hour to find at the hardware store. Seriously. That is not an exaggeration. I literally spent FOUR HOURS in one hardware store shopping for the supplies for this set! That does not include the three craft stores I also went to.
The amazing cookie jar cake was made by my faithful and talented cake designer, Melanie. She used a buttercream frosting with small fondant accents and real cookies. The good ones. A whole box. This is probably the simplest cake I have asked her to make thus far, but the design was simply perfect.
As I was making props, I had to make sure I was on the right track, so I set everything up in my garage. I spent hours working on every detail of this set. I set it up, took it down, packed it up, traveled to the client's home (she lives three hours away so I had to go to her), set it all back up, shot the session, then tore it all down and packed it up again, traveled home and cleaned everything up. Then I had to find room to store it all. Whew!
It was worth every second. Westin's face when he tried to shove four cookies into his mouth at once made my heart want to burst with joy. I was so excited when he mushed his toes into the cake! He loved every minute of that session, every bite and every cheer from his family. He was the ultimate little cookie monster!
I can't wait for the chance to do it all again. Going above and beyond for the kids in my life and business always results in fantastic memories! Tell me about the last time you went out of your way to create a fun moment for your kids!
Cassandra Zingaro - photographer, mom, wife, owner of HeartStrings Photography and first time blogger