[REVIEW] Cake Smash with Fion Boon Photography: Noah’s First Birthday Photoshoot

About a month or so before Noah turned one, we wanted him to have a first birthday photoshoot and for us to have photos of our little family of three professionally taken. We decided on Fion Boon Photography because of an interesting concept – cake smash! And no, my dear parents, you do not get to smash cake as what my husband had initially thought. The cake smash set is, unfortunately, only for your soon-to-be one year old.

Fion Boon Photography is made up of Fion and Elmer, a husband and wife team that specializes in maternity and newborn photography. They have trained under top photographers in the arena and are also said to be one of the pioneers of cake smash photography in Singapore.

There are three sets included in the first birthday cake smash photoshoot package:

1.Family set

2.Themed set without cake (for baby only)

3.Themed set with cake smash (for baby only)

Backdrops are provided for all three sets and props only for the sets with your baby. However, do note that outfits for your baby are not provided. You will have to prepare an outfit for yourselves and three for your baby that are in line with the colour and theme for each set.

TIP 1: Plan this in advance. I left this to the last minute and found myself scurrying to shop for appropriate clothes that match the themes three days before the shoot. 

Before the Photoshoot

Fion contacted me via Whatsapp to discuss the type of cake I wanted for the cake smash set. You can choose between a tall drip cake or a jumbo cupcake. I chose a tall cake but asked if we could do away with the drip to make the cake look more minimalistic since the theme for Noah’s cake smash set was rustic woodland. You can take a look at some of the cakes designed by bakers they have partnered with here.

We also discussed the colour theme for all three sets. As the family set will be taken against a plain background, it was recommended for our outfits to be simple and colour coordinated.

I was unsure which outfits and colours were best suited for the other two sets so I took pictures of some of Noah’s clothes and Fion helped to pick them out over Whatsapp. She then suggested a colour theme we could work with to match the outfits Noah had. You can also always pack a few choices and bring them along to your photoshoot and they will help you pick them out there.

TIP 2: Don’t bring too many choices because that would cut into your photoshoot time and you probably won’t be trying out all the outfits anyway. I brought many outfits in case we wanted to change or felt that the existing ones we chose were not suitable for the set. In the end, we still went with the initial three that was chosen before the photoshoot. The extra clothes I packed were just left untouched. Also, I didn’t want to keep changing Noah’s clothes and risk him getting cranky.

Day of the Photoshoot

We arrived at the photoshoot location which is actually Fion and Elmer’s home. It was so spacious and clean. The air-conditioning was on and there were nursery rhymes playing in the background. Fion and Elmer made us feel welcomed and were really easy to talk to.

We started the session with the family set. Our colour theme for the family set was black, white, and grey. Fion and Elmer took turns to entertain Noah with a small balloon while the other took the photos.

First Birthday Photoshoot

First Birthday Photoshoot

First Birthday Photoshoot

I was so happy that they managed to capture such amazing shots considering how squirmy Noah was right from the beginning.

TIP 3: Bring along some of baby’s favourite items such as toys or snacks so that they can be used as a distraction. Let Fion and Elmer know if there is a particular song that makes your baby happy or excited so that they can play it in the background. We did this a little too late.

The second set was a themed set without the cake. We decided on a Lakers basketball set because B is such a huge fan (and secretly hopes Noah gets recruited when he’s older). I was really impressed with Fion and Elmer. I had initially suggested a colour theme of black, white, and gold but B asked at the last minute if we could do a Lakers themed shoot instead. And in two days, this was how the set looked like.

First Birthday Photoshoot

The basketballs, cap, and sport shoes were ours but all other props were theirs and so on point!

First Birthday Photoshoot

This was the most difficult set, in my opinion. Noah was constantly running off set, turning around so his back was facing the camera, and kept whining for balloons. So we gave him his small black basketball to hold as a distraction.

TIP 4: If there is a toy your child loves and matches the set, bring it! It distracts your child and will not stand out awkwardly in pictures. In my case, that toy was Noah’s small black basketball. 

First Birthday Photoshoot

And B’s most prized photos from the shoot were..

First Birthday Photoshoot

He was such a proud papa when he saw these. He immediately found photos of Lakers’ rookie, Lonzo Ball, and compiled them into a collage.

Then came the cake smash set! The theme for this set was in line with the theme for his then upcoming birthday party. I was a little nervous about this because Noah was starting to get tired and I was unsure how he was going to react to an entire cake.

First, they took shots of Noah with the set without the cake.

First Birthday Photoshoot

I felt really bad because Noah managed to squash a whole pine cone. Sorry, Fion and Elmer! Then they introduced the cake..

First Birthday Photoshoot

We were told that the ingredients in their cakes include flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder, cream, and food colouring. It is important that you inform them of any allergies your child might have so that they can make the necessary arrangements.

Noah was rather hesitant, as I had expected. He kept touching the round ball decor on top of the cake instead of the cake itself. We actually had to help him by bringing his hands to the cake. Even then, he was still not really going for it and kept holding on to that round ball decor.

TIP 5: Have your baby explore a cream cake before your photoshoot. We didn’t do this for Noah and felt it could have contributed to why he was so hesitant.

First Birthday Photoshoot

After awhile, he was starting to touch the cake (YAY!) and things started to get really messy.

First Birthday Photoshoot

First Birthday Photoshoot

One other thing that I love about Fion and Elmer’s work? Look at their close up shots!

First Birthday Photoshoot

They even managed to capture cheeky photos of Noah and I love that because that’s exactly what he is!

First Birthday Photoshoot

Even the candid shots make for really great pictures!

First Birthday Photoshoot

First Birthday Photoshoot

At the end of the photoshoot, we had a quick wash up for Noah in their bathroom.

TIP 6: You will be asked to bring a towel, comfortable change of clothes, and body wash for your baby. But remember to also bring along an extra plastic bag to place the outfit smeared with cake! I also brought a change of clothes for myself in case mine gets soiled by cake as well.

The whole process lasted about 2 hours, as stated in their package, and was inclusive of their set changes and cleaning up after the cake smash. Fion and Elmer were quick during each set change so there really wasn’t much time wasted there. Noah wasted more time running off set and chasing balloons! I also felt that although 2 hours sounds a little rushed to complete 3 different sets, it wasn’t at all! Fion and Elmer were really patient with Noah and allowed him to explore the sets, the cake, and the rest of their living room (oops!).

Post-Photoshoot

We received all 168 photos fully edited and in high resolution. They mentioned on their website that each session usually produces an average of 80 – 100 images but sometimes, it could also be a lot more! A 30 x 40cm high resolution print copy of an image chosen by you is also included in the package. If you want the selected image to be printed on canvas, you can also arrange for that to be done for an additional fee. We also received a digital birthday thank you card (we changed this from an invitation card because I had already designed an invitation card for his birthday) designed based on another image you select.

I think the pictures really speak for themselves. Fion and Elmer were so professional and were so good with Noah. They made Noah smile and laugh more than we did, to be honest! Most importantly, Fion and Elmer were such nice people to work with! We had such an enjoyable time and I would recommend them to anyone who wants to have a cake smash photoshoot for their 1 year old. You can also take a look at their newborn photography for babies who are between 6 to 12 days old. Perhaps that will be next if I really do have a second baby? We’ll see!

**This is not a sponsored post**

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