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Cake Smash & First Birthday Photography

Cake Smash & First Birthday Photography

An Inspirational NICU Cake Smash Session – From NICU to 1st Birthday

Doing this cake smash session and hearing this family’s birth story was inspirational. This family was hit hard by COVID and it could have resulted in a very tragic end for both mother and baby. Spoiler alert – it didn’t due to a strong mom, amazing doctors, modern technology, a dad that made impossible choices, and prayer.

Here is what happened from the baby’s mom’s point of view:

On May 3, 2021 I was dropped off at the ER in Kokomo to take a COVID test. After that point I do not remember anything. I woke up a few times in the ambulance while they were transferring me to IU North where I was put in ICU after a night there.

I was taken to IU Methodist then on May 5, 2021 my fiancé was made power of attorney over me and had to make the decision in a matter of minutes via phone.

The decision was to give mom and baby a 50/50 chance; to deliver the baby and take him back to IU North Riley, put me in a coma on a vent and ECMO (ECMO was the last resort to keep me alive).

I gave birth in a coma. I didn’t know I had given birth. My fiancé couldn’t be in the operating room with me as he was at home with COVID and being quarantined with our older kids. Baby Calum was born at 29 weeks.

I spent 12 days on the vent and ECMO and when I woke up two days later, I was released from the hospital. Then I had to wait 21 days to see baby Calum. Dad was able to see Calum at 14 days since he also had COVID.

I will forever be grateful for the critical care team at Methodist and the 17 doctors who saved our lives. My OB, Dr. Linton at  IU North, went above and beyond. He had to fight to get me transferred to IU North from Kokomo and his decision to send me to Methodist to get us more help and all that IU North Riley NICU staff were just amazing. No words can describe how thankful we are for all the doctors, nurses and staff.

We faced many struggles during the whole ordeal. For dad, the hardest part was having to make decisions to save two people he loves – mom and baby.

The struggle mom faced and the hardest part for her was not being able to see her baby until 21 days after she was released from the hospital. In the cake smash session you may notice a few images of mom Face Timing baby in the background. This is because this was how she was able to see baby for 21 days.

Watching Calum fight for his life for 66 days was hard for everyone. Something that many don’t talk about when it comes to the NICU is the overwhelming financial hardship we faced, picking and choosing what bills we pay vs keeping food on the table. There were so many hard parts about the whole ordeal, but these were just a few.

While there were struggles, there were also inspirational moments. The most inspirational moment was seeing how strong Calum was and the fact that he fought so hard to be here after being born at 29 weeks. He was a fighter every step of the way!

We chose to do the cake smash session to celebrate Calum’s fight! We see this birth as a good thing and we want to embrace the fact that he was a preemie and spent all that time in the NICU- it gives people hope.

Our family has all mostly recovered. Calum still faces many challenges from being born early but always has a smile on his face. I have long-term effects from Covid but am living a normal life and enjoying time with my son and all our other children. All the other children love him like crazy! Matt is relieved that his fast made decisions were all the right ones and sleepless nights proved to all be worth it since everyone is at home now!

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I love when clients choose themes that have meaning to them. These clients couldn’t have chosen anything more meaningful. They were a true inspiration to have in the studio.

If you are looking for a away to remember your little one’s 1st birthday I would love to be your Indianapolis cake smash photographer. Let’s set a date for your little one’s cake smash session.

Car Cake Smash Session – Indianapolis Photographer

This car loving little man is ONE and boy, did we celebrate! Little boys just love cars and it is something that is innate in little boys. I have seen research on this topic and it is really interesting!
I have been photographing this guy since birth and so I was excited to celebrate his first birthday with him. He does have the same innate quality for living cars/vehicles and that is why his mom chose the theme!
The photos turned out great and little man just seemed happy to be celebrating his birthday as well. We were able to get a variety of facial expressions which always makes for a great gallery!

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Vroom, Vroom- now you are one! Thanks for coming and celebrating with me for a cake smash session!

Black and Gold Mr. ONEderful 1st Birthday Cake Smash Session

I would estimate that about 70% of the babies that come into the studio don’t really like to eat the cake. They may take a bite or two but cake is not like foods they are exposed to on a daily basis and so it’s not really something they are used to. There is also a sensory component that comes with eating cake. Before you can get to the cake you have to make your way though frosting. Frosting is sticky and creamy and just flat out messy (that’s what makes these sessions so fun!). But the reality is most kiddos don’t like that feeling. It’s all a little sensory overload for lots of kids. 

All that being said, when a kiddo comes into the studio and loves the cake – frosting and all – you know it’s going to be a good session! This little guy was part of the 30% that loved the cake. He made a great mess and enjoyed eating every bite of that cake.

This little guy looked so dapper in his bow tie and suspenders. The theme for his cake smash session was Mr. ONEderful and he was for sure a wonderful little guy. His little mohawlk, chubby cheeks and thighs, and big dark eyes just melted my heart.

I hope you enjoy the cute little behind the scenes video at the end of the post too!

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What a great little session! If you would like to celebrate your little one’s birthday in style please let me know. I would love to be your Indianapolis cake smash photographer. I do require at least 3 weeks advance booking for cake smash sessions. So be sure to reach out early if you would like to celebrate and capture your little one’s birthday.

Rookie of the Year 1st Birthday Cake Smash – Indianapolis Cake Smash Photographer

This little Rookie of the Year is one! This isn’t a new theme/set-up for me, but this sweet birthday boy’s cake smash session was a home run. I can’t get over his sweet curls, big brown eyes, big smile and baby rolls.

Lots of kiddos at one don’t really like to play with birthday cake. It’s a sensory thing. Since they aren’t used to all the texture they have trouble with the sticky frosting and crumbly cake. However, this birthday boy didn’t let the texture bother him at all. Not only was he all about eating the cake he also had fun rubbing his hands and feet in it as well. He played the cake as if it was a drum and overall just made a glorious mess!

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Do you have a little Rookie of the Year that is about to turn one? If so, I would love to photograph your little one’s first birthday cake smash session in my Indianapolis studio. Feel free to reach out if you would like to get a session on the calendar.

Daisy Cake Smash Session in Peach, Mint, Blush and Yellow – Indianapolis Cake Smash Photographer

This is a completely new theme for me and I’m obsessed! This little birthday girl’s Mama wanted a boho daisy themed cake smash session. Making balloon daises was a new challenge, but I figured it out and I’m excited with the results. If you want to see me in action check out the video at the end of the post. The video takes about 3 hours of work and puts it into a one minute time span. I love customizing these sets for little ones but it does take a lot of time! I always enjoy listening to a good audio book while building these custom sets. So if you have any audio book recommendations don’t hesitate to send them my way!

This adorable little birthday girl had me laughing during the whole session with her adorable little expressions. My favorite was when she would stick out her little tongue. I also love how her top two teeth are just barely sticking though her gums. What a cutie.

 

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If you have a little one that is about to turn one be sure to reach out and let me know. I would love to be your Indianapolis cake smash photographer! It’s important to know that I require at least 3 weeks advance booking for cake smash sessions (often longer when my calendar is full). The 3 weeks gives me the time I need to completely customize (ie order everything I need) the set-up for your little one’s birthday theme. The bakery I use (yep – I provide the cake from a local bakery) also requires 3 weeks advance ordering for custom cakes. It breaks my heart to turn away clients who want to book a cake smash session in the next week or two however, with these custom sessions that just isn’t possible. I recommend booking your cake smash session 2-4 months before your child’s 1st birthday.

Winter ONEderland 1st Birthday Cake Smash

As a photographer, winter is a slower time of year for me. I’m still shooting in the studio – lots of newborns, cake smash sessions and milestone sessions. But I’m not shooting much outdoors (except for the occasional maternity session).  This gives me some time to get to things I put on the back burner as a business owner – updating the website, taxes (ugh!), updating social media, being better about blogging, deep cleaning the studio, organizing props and more.

While all these things are necessary as a business owner my heart is really in the shooting and working with clients. So I loved having this sweet birthday boy in the studio for his 1st birthday cake smash session. This guy had a winter ONEderland themed session with all things winter included – snowflakes, birch wood trees, silver glitter Christmas trees, matching winter diaper cover/bow tie and an adorable little cake.

Before I put the cake out this little guy made me work for that adorable little toothy smile. However, after the cake was out he was ear to ear grins. He loved making a birthday mess and eating away at his birthday cake.

This set-up was super cute. We used twinkle lights, silver and white trees, and snowflakes galore. I think it all came together nicely with his snowflake covered suspenders diaper cover combo.

If you ever wonder what these sessions look like from behind the scenes check out the last image below. There is a fun little pull back shot of the studio.

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Happy 1st birthday, little guy. Thanks for coming to visit me in my studio in Carmel, IN.

If you have a little one that is going to be celebrating a birthday soon be sure to reach out and get an Indianapolis cake smash photography smash session on the calendar! I do require 3 weeks notice to book a cake smash session so be sure to plan ahead! I would love to be your Carmel Indiana photographer! The studio is located on the west side of Carmel and can be easily accessed from any part of Indianapolis.

 

Pastel Unicorn Cake Smash Session – Indianapolis Photography Studio

I’ve gotten to see this sweet girl a lot lately and I’m not complaining one bit about that! Her Mama was expecting baby two right around the time of this cake smash session. So the week before the cake smash I saw her for the maternity session. Then she had her cake smash. A week or so later they were back in the studio for the newborn session! So I got to see a lot of her sweet smiles, rosy cheeks, and long eyelashes.

This sweet girl had a unicorn themed cake smash session. We did pastel colors and gold with the unicorn and I’m going to have to say I’m obsessed! Legions say that unicorns are difficult to catch, but this sweet birthday girl had no problems with her adorable unicorn cake.

I know everyone always loves the behind the scenes videos so I’ve put together some unicorn magic at the end of the post that shows how everything came together. Both my baby belly and this sweet girl’s mom’s baby bellow both make a cameo. The video shows everything from set up, to the actual cake smashing (this little lady is mobile so there is lots of running around) to the tear down. It’s a fun little behind the scenes video!

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Such a fun birthday set up and birthday girl! Thanks for letting me capture this magical time in your life and I’m excited to see you grow over the next year as I watch you new brother grow too!

If you are looking for an Indianapolis photographer for a cake smash session, family session, newborn session, or something else please reach out! I would love to see if I might be a good fit for you and your family.

I Love You Deerly 1st Birthday Party Theme – Cake Smash Photography

This sweet birthday boy had an “I Love You Deerly” 1st birthday party theme for his cake smash session. This theme is a fun one for so many reasons. It’s a little boho, a little rustic, a little sweet and 100% adorable. It’s the perfect mix of all things that a 1st birthday party theme should have!

This little guy wasn’t a huge fan of the cake. That isn’t uncommon for cake smash sessions! But before you arrive at your session I’ll send you a list of things you can do to prep for the session to help it go as smoothly as possible. One of the tips is to bring a snack that your child loves. I recommend bite size snacks like puffs, teething crackers, Goldfish, etc. If the child isn’t loving the cake we will typically hide the favorite snacks in the back of the cake. Sometimes the snacks make it into the pictures but that just adds to the story! Just think about telling your 10 year old how he wouldn’t eat his birthday cake when he was one. Whatever happens at the cake smash session we will capture it, we will get great images, and we will make memories together!

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This I love you deerly 1st birthday cake smash was an adorable success. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

If you have a little one who is going to be turning one and you are looking for an Indianapolis photographer to capture this moment be sure to reach out! I would love to get your little one’s cake smash photography session on my calendar. It’s important to note that all cake smash sessions require 3 weeks notice at a minimum. Many months book out even further then that. This this notice gives me time to build something custom and magical for your birthday child!

Boho Boy 1st Birthday Cake Smash Session in Indianapolis

I’ve adored watching this happy little guy grow over the last year! For his 1st birthday session we did a boho themed cake smash with blue accents. I do lots of little girl boho sessions, but it was fun mixing it up and making it a little more boy-ish for this birthday boy. He loved it (or at least the cake)! He was all smiles, until the cake fell and then he was over it.

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Happy 1st birthday, little guy! Thanks for coming to visit me in the studio over the last year. It’s been a joy watching you grow.

If you are looking for an Indianapolis photographer don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love to photograph your family in whatever stage of life you happen to be in! This is especally true if you are looking for an Indianapolis cake smash photographer. I do lots of custom cake smash sessions every year and I would love to add your child’s 1st birthday to my calendar.

Alice in Wonderland Cake Smash Session – Indianapolis Photographer

Where are all the Alice in Wonderland fan?! This first birthday cake smash session was TOO CUTE! And it was the PERFECT theme for this sweet little birthday baby. The theme is Alice in Wonderland and this special girl is named Alice! Alice was such a happy girl for her session and she really enjoyed her cake. I love how the backdrop and the cake turned out- it was just wonderful! Alice’s mom wanted less Cheshire cat and more garden for her daughter’s Alice in Wonderland themed session. I think that’s exactly what she got. This was a perfect way to celebrate her big day!

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Happy First Birthday, Sweet Alice!

Let’s celebrate your little ones first birthday as well. Shoot me a message and let’s start planning together! I would love to be your Indianapolis photographer.