Polly is 1

Cake smash

Milestone photoshoot

Leigh on Sea

This cutest girl was not that keen on the cake but she sure gave us lots of 'awww' moments to capture. And that's all this shoot is essentially about. There are no expectations of eating the cake, but their curious minds can't leave it alone! Think of it as a messy play! They either love it or hate it but will still keep touching it, prodding it, tasting it, paint the floor with it... 

Bath on other hand, it's all the fun, they totally love it. Bubbles, no bubbles. Totally up to you.

It is fun shoot regardless!


Quinn's (pan)cake smash on the beach

Lifestyle Cake smash

Children's photography celebrating their milestone. 

Thorpe Bay beach in Southend, Essex

Cake smashes are really popular way to celebrate your child's birthday or milestones for that matter. All you need is their fav food, (can be anything, check out Rory's alternative smash), find location (whether it's studio or location) and your baby obvs!  Here is the reason I offer also something different than traditional cake smashes. 

Quinn likes pancakes, blueberries, blowing candles (it was so windy on the beach that we had to amend and have sparkles instead), water, snails & dinosaurs (i preferred dinos) plus one of his first words was RAAHH and us - the perfect mix for his celebration shoot right there!

Firstly I must say it didn’t go to initial plan, we had to postpone for a week because the forecast was rain and once I plant a seed in my head and all that it had to happen the way I intended!

It was 5pm before we set off to the beach. I wanted to catch the sun as low as possible (golden hour would be perfect which is an hour before sunset) but being conscious of kid’s bedtime I had to compromise a little.

It was freezing cold even though you would never say from the pictures and I was totally underdressed, as it felt so hot in our garden ! Im really surprised I got sharp images, you could hear my jaws rattling!

Anyway, we found a spot, borrowed someone’s lovely beach hut stairs (Thank you!), we also had some audience and they even joined us from nearby hut in clapping after singing Happy birthday song. It was fun, especially lighting the sparkles in blowing wind! It's the moment you have to be there to laugh!

After stuffing our faces with pancakes drained in maple syrup, we stayed for a bit to play, finding different seashells, throwing stones back to the sea, run with windmill (even though no running was required!), the usual stuff, but the most important thing was, that we all had such amazing time, and you could say it looks just like a normal day on the beach but we don't have many days like this - all of us together, at the moment. My husband is working hard on his business and I run the house, children and my business. And even though we have odd hour here and there, it never feels enough to satisfy everyone so having TODAY, getting together to celebrate,  firmly in our memory, was the essence of the shoot for me! And 2nd birthday was good enough reason to drag everyone out on a Sunday evening to sing Happy Birthday!

Quinny, you are so amazingly loving, confident in your own way, gentle but funny and full of laughter. We all love you! Happy 2nd Birthday xxx

If you would like more information on Cake Smashes or Lifestyle packages, click on the links! Look forward hearing from you!

Love, Petra

Favs Food Smash - aka Rory&Quinn are turning 2!

So what’s this ‘Favs food smash’ all about?

As I was blogging about my last cake smash where the birthday girl wasn’t at all impressed by her cake, it occur to me that actually lots of babies I photograph with their birthday cake, don’t really enjoy the cake and are much more impressed with the bath which follows. So I thought why not celebrate their milestone with their favorite food at the time? 

They know the taste and texture (that’s the main obstacle with too sugary foods and icing), it’s lovely way to remember their obsessions with food at this age when they are still willing to taste new and different textures. It could be anything! From colourful yoghurts, spaghetti bolognese, baked beans, mashed banana, watermelon... to name just few ideas! It can be indoors or outdoors (I love the idea of outdoor!). Obviously this idea is not new (as I soon found out on Google) but I think it’s brilliant and interesting!

Many of you may already know (especially from my insta stories if you follow me there) that I do childcare swap with Keri from Do It Like A Mother and we swap babies for 4 days a week. It’s working out a treat (hence I have time to blog lol) and Rory just celebrated his 2nd birthday last week so with short notice of barely a day I had Rory taking part in pioneering project

Favs food smash.

Boys are obsessed with avocado and beans at the moment (we give them other food too) so it was easy to pick the food.

We went with simple theme, no props except few balloons so it doesn’t look like lunch on the floor and few baked beans cans (Heinz was the no1 choice obvs) .

Rory was very impressed at the sight of it however wasn’t very keen on eating it (note – never feed baby too much before smash). Shocked was an understatement, as he loves to get his paws in any food, loves messy play, so we called for help from Quinn. I didn’t think he would be much of a help (this boy certainly doesn’t like too much mess) but to our surprise he tucked in and it ended up with veggie carnage (lots of throwing happening in our house atm), avocados in beans, and sauce on the walls – just not on their faces, nor tummies lol!

They dipped in and out, for another mouthfuls, but it wasn’t very messy as we expected. We concluded the session with slice of Rory’s birthday cake and yes!!! we relit the candles over again. Safe to say there was no need for a bath!

Now, you may think that’s very disappointing, however to us we captured the real life, real moments on Sunday morning at 10am, we know how much they love their favs beans and avocado and now we will never forget the times they did because these images will remind us of the funny requests "beanz and cado!", how very different their characters are and their developing friendship – read ‘they have no choice in that’ but they do love each other really!

We actually had fun, so much so, that I would like to do more of these types of shoots, maybe outside as spring is here and get out of the ordinary!

Also let me know what you think of GROUP smashes – for friends, NCT or other group friends whose babies celebrate their 1st birthday around the same time, please contact me if you are interested.. They can share a cake, lunch or have different meals each and see how they react with each other (and share, NOT). Each child will have their own images as well as group together and you will have a beautiful memories captured for years to come!

Note - Gallery below is in chronological order! Your feedback is welcome as always!

What is so special about Cake smash sessions?

What is so special about Cake smash sessions you ask?

1. Celebrating your baby's 1st birthday and preserving memories of this important milestone

2. Documenting the greatest achievement of keeping your tiny human alive and keeping yourself sane (most of times) for exactly 365 days!! (just joking but really...)

Jokes aside, I always strive to give my sessions little more than expected from the name and I guess I always think of me as a client and what I would like to get. So, my 'Cake smash' session starts with a portrait, on their own or with family/siblings, we can use props or not. Then we move onto a cake, we choose decorations, lit the candle and start eating or not! We encourage, show how, have fun, lick fingers and use wooden spoon too if mess is not the ideal play for the littlest. It's messy and sometimes parents are messier than littlens, mainly from all the picking up and returning them from their wanders around (so be sure to get change of clothes if you have plans for afterwards).

Bath is always fun! I think there was no child as yet who would not enjoy it. It's nice and warm, we can use bath bubbles if you wanted to (provided by clients) and blow some bubbles too! Some splash like mad, some just enjoy relaxing moments, some like to climb around - all is good! We like to see individuality and that's why all sessions are different.

I must add a little confession here. Not always I offered them and having 2 children who I didn't do a cake smash for, i thought they were too cheesy and over the top. However it doesn't have to be, so I photographed my third baby's 1st birthday and included his older siblings to have some fun too. They can be simple, some clients don't involve cake or bath and provide for their birthday girl or boy some lovely outfit, birthday hat or crown for that matter and let me capture the moments they enjoy with few of their new/old toys, props (I can tell some stories about my wooden horse!).

I have few new ideas up my sleeve, just waiting for 2 birthday boys to have their turn and I am sure I will share their special moments with you!

Today's gallery is of Syanna's birthday session (pictures are shown as the session evolved). Taken at my home studio in Leigh on Sea, this session was little slow at the beginning, because we all know that not all little ones like new places, are inquisitive and happy in any environment and for Syanna, mummy's lap was a safe place to be. And the best part is, that is ok. I am not in rush, parents usually don't plan any major event straight after either, therefore no stress ;)

It took little while to warm up but once we found that interesting "something" to play with, soon she was happy to sit by herself! She was funny, I mean, I laugh a lot at these sessions, but she is one of a million! Her expressions and the pouting were priceless! She wasn't impressed by her cake at all but with little nudge she was happy to eat some but wait for it.... the bath time! Imagine water everywhere, walls, floor, sofa, mum... she splashed like there was no tomorrow and it was so amazing to watch! She was amazing, funny and by the time she was dressed, she was asleep! Win-win :)

If your little one is approaching their 1st birthday and would like to document their milestone and add some pictures to funky birthday invites, then contact me here. For gallery and fees please click here.