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    DIY First Birthday Cake Smash

    I posted about my adventures in photography a couple months ago. Olivia’s cake smash has been repinned a lot lately, so I decided to write a post about it.


    The cake smash was surprisingly easy and affordable. Most of what you see here is DIY.


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    one. DIY. Everything was purchased at Michaels, these letters in gold

    two. Gold Crown from lovecrushbowtique on Etsy

    three. ONE letters from Michaels. Gold glitter spray paint was used for the N

    four. Mint Lace Romper from

    five. Homemade cake using the tutorial from One Little Project

    six. Cake stand from Amazon with a ribbon from Michaels

    CAMERA: Canon EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR

    LENS: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens

    Setting it up:


    This is the setup we started with. We eventually moved the fringe decorations (top left) lower, right behind Olivia. The photos ended up being more close-up, so you couldn’t read the full OLIVIA on the other banner. We used a white blanket against a fence. Outside was KEY: natural light is the best light. We also used books under the ONE to help the letters stand up.

    Taking the photos:


    At first, Olivia wasn’t amused by our elaborate cake smash setup. But then, after realizing cake was awesome, she dug in.


    Add in a musical toy behind the camera and we started to get some great smiles.

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    Here’s where we switched out the decorations.

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    The aftermath:

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    Very easy. Very affordable. Delicious cake. In the words of Michael Gary Scott, this was a “win, win win.”

    Olivia Cake Smash

    For more inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.


    Beautiful Backyard Wedding

    This past weekend I went to Philadelphia for my Uncle Les’s wedding. It was a backyard wedding and the weather was perfect. I took some pictures during the ceremony and the reception. Some of them turned out really nice! All of the credit goes to my gorgeous cousins and 50mm and 10-18mm lenses. Also, all the boys wore bowties – how cute is that??

    Congratulations Les & Jey!

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    Having fun…

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    Future photographers…

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    Adventures in Photography

    About a year and a half ago, I got my first DSLR camera, a Canon T5i. About a year ago (6 months after I got the camera) I got a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, put the camera on Manual, and never looked back. I’ve always liked photography and take way too many pictures on my iPhone. I love how photography can capture an experience and by looking through photos, you can relive the experience. Is that just me?

    Anyway, this last year and a half has been a bit of an adventure and experiment in photography. I decided to write this post to document that adventure. Since I’m an amateur, my friends got to be test subjects for me. The 50mm lens is perfect for portraits and people. The low aperture makes it great for low light as well. I only have two pieces of advice for anyone attempting to get better at photography:

    1. Take the camera off auto and force yourself to use manual

    2. Take A LOT of pictures. Most will be crap. Then you’ll find one or two that are great.

    I got the 50mm lens just after my good friend Melissa had her baby girl, Olivia. This project was 12 months in the making. Each month, we took photos in the same spot(s) and as of Saturday, the collage was complete. It’s easy to get good pictures when you have a good model.

    12 month collage

    I also took some seasonal/non month-by-month photos of Olivia throughout the year:




    Of course, when Olivia was turning one, we had to stage a cake smash photoshoot. It took a lot of planning including location, wardrobe and decorations, but so worth it. I love outdoor light. It’s always the best option. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful day. Turns out, Olivia likes cake.

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    I ventured beyond babies and took pictures for my friend Phoebe’s family. We had a lot of fun with these and I got to test my amateur Photoshop skills a bit too.

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    The shark attack photo may be my favorite thing ever.

    About two months ago, I invested in my second non-kit lens, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens. I intentionally bought it before my Zion and Bryce trip. I tested the lens on sunrises at my local beach. They started when the lake was still frozen at the beach, creating some pretty cool photos. It’s amazing how every sunrise can be so different, even from the same place. Nature is pretty awesome.


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    I’m definitely still an amateur but looking forward to taking more and more pictures and getting better as I go.

    Some more from the cake smash because it’s just that cute…

    Olivia Cake Smash


    For more inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.