Blog

  1. Behind The Scenes- Cakesmash

    So it’s been over a year since I last blogged and thought I would share some insights into my business and how I do things. Hopefully this will be educational for parent’s and photographers alike. Firstly when booking a cakesmash with myself, people will always ask, what does that include, what do I get etc?? Well what you will get is a guaranteed an amazing experience to bring in your child’s birthday. Each session is specially designed and unique to the last. I’m perhaps the only photographer in Belfast if not Northern Ireland doing custom made cakes in any theme. You won’t be just another cake smasher with me.

    Often people don’t realize the work goes into a cake shoot, so let’s explain. The day before your shoot I will go to studio and set up for the following day, this can take anything to up to an hour depending on the theme. Then I will return home to bake and prepare the cake. So that’s a full day gone one the prep already. Here’s some behind the scenes of a recent cake I made.

    *TOG TIP* Link for backdrop remote system  (will make your live so much easier)

    https://seamlessphoto.com/photo-equipment/3-roller-motorised-background-support-system.html

    So for this theme, Dad asked for In the Night Garden. I had no clue who he was…but after researching the show, I decided on this first scene. This is another aspect of being a photographer, research and knowing what your clients want.  I knew I wanted to make the cake navy, like the ocean at night. Easier said than done. Here’s some images to show what I used making this cake.

    What you will need:

    A large base cake, I used 8”x 2 sponge for this.

    6”x 2 sponges for middle

    Icing sugar, Ready to roll icing, Wilton food colors, Rice krispies for boat and various cutters and baking tools.

    For the base I mixed 3 colors to achieve what I wanted, the splashed with icing sugar to give the water spray effect after I rolled it over the 8” sponges. I now have a base. Very rarely touched by baby so you can use a dummy cake and I sometimes do this based on the time I have.

    Then I layered navy icing over the middle to create waves for the boat to sit on. This is easily achieved and rather quick to do. Then I made Iggle Piggle, achieved by attaching a light blue and darker blue icing, just molding with your hands.  A bit fliddly but looks great when done. Use cocktail sticks for the red bits but don’t let baby go for this.

    Next I made the boat with rice Krispies and melted chocolate that I molded into a boat shape and let sit in fridge. While this set I made the wood planks.

    After I assembled the boat and added the character, all I had to do was place the character in the boat and add the little yellow light which is just icing. Done!!

     

     

    This took a few hours but was so worth it when parents seen it. This is why I charge a session fee as so much work and time has already went into the shoot before I even lift the camera to take a picture. This is why the prints and products are separate. The following day I will take portraits of baby before, during smash and then finish in the bath. I then clean up the studio, which can be messy. I then upload the pictures and begin to edit them down to show parents. Parents usually go for a large frame as it best shows off the 9 photographs included. This is the missing piece of the story. I get more excited seeing the images framed than I do about anything else. It’s an amazing investment for your home and they just keep getting better. Finally I will blog on social media, announcing the babies birthday for friends and family.

    Hope you enjoyed reading and promise will try to blog more behind the scenes throughout the year as everyone loves a nosey, Carrie xo

     

     

  2. Relaunch Day!!!

    So today I can finally share with you all the recent work to the website and new premises. I can honestly say I don’t want to do another studio move in my life, but I guess nothing in life is ever for forever. Couldn’t have done it without my family, friends and my partner and I’m forever grateful. Moving is tiring and draining but it’s also exciting and with such a sense of accomplishment when it all comes together. Finally I can have a space that I can have to my taste and needs. It’s also closer to home so that’s good on the petrol.

    Let me share with you all some snaps, just from my phone for now. Bearing in mind we did this in just 2 days in-between shoots!

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    New address is 507 Crumlin Road, Belfast. Appointment Only.

    ADDRESS

    Carrie McKee Photography. New Address. Belfast. Northern Ireland.

     

  3. The Quinns

    These little heart breakers need little introduction, with their long blonde hair and slightly faded summer tans, these boys have it all. Best part is, they come with a little white bundle of fluff, Ozzy the dog. Can you imagine the girls stopping in the street as they walk past in years to come?

    This family session was non-stop cuteness, as you will see. Caden and Ryan, don’t grow up!!!

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    And here is the behind the scenes video of the session. Directed and edited by the Carrie McKee Inter Team.

    For more information on family sessions, visit the website www.carriemckee.com or call 07590368295

     

     

  4. Happy Birthday Sophia

    Today we have a super cute princess making an appearance at the studio for her Birthday Cakesmash. Accompanied by dotting Mum & Dad, we had a super session with this little cutie. We began with some portraits, which is a great way to gauge how baby will sit with a cake. Thankfully it was only to get better.

    Looking initially quite confused at what we had put in front of her, after a few nibbles, Sophia got the hang of it. It didn’t take long to demolish the scrumpy cake. After it was reduced to a pile of crumbs, we quickly whisked baby into a warm bubble bath.

    Sophia was a huge fan of bubbles, like most of our babies, so she had a blast in the bath. After doing her best mass flood impression, we got her dressed and ready for her party in the afternoon. All in a day in the life of a 1 year old!

    Happy Birthday little one, hope your family at least got a bit of your Teletubby cake, for you weren’t for sharing this one :)

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    Carrie McKee Photography. Cakesmash. Belfast. 07590368295

  5. Cormac Cakesmash

    Hey guys i’m the new intern at Carrie McKee Photography, my name is James Fennell. This is my first blog…

    Let’s all welcome the adorable new addition to our humble Cakesmash, Cormac! The Superstar of the World!!  Cormac made his debut when he met Miss McKee for a life of stardom. He got dress up by his managers (Mummy and Daddy) and was taken to the stage with the crew to strut his stuff.

    To celebrate his successful photo shoot, he was awarded by a divine birthday cake. Cormac wasted no time filling his tummy with yummy sponge and buttercream, spreading his cheeks, nose and toes in the creamy delight. And finally, we finished with a bubble bath and quick session of the family.

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    Carrie McKee Photography. 07590368295. Cake Smash Belfast. carrie@carriemckee.com

  6. Jack’s First Birthday Smash

    Well folks, the Sailor theme has been reinvented and we now have the cutest sailor suit for our little men!

    So today, a familiar face came in to have their CakeSmash; Jack. Firstly meeting Jack as a tiny newborn, he was one of the first babies to have a session in the new premises a full year ago. Funny how time flys.

    Jack is allergic to Dairy, so our cake was made of dairy-free alternatives in order to cater for this.

    Firstly, we did portraits in his cute little dungaree shorts and bow tie.

    Jack looked super cute with his gelled blonde hair and totally rocked the new addition to the Sailor Smash.

    And after all this, Jack got his nice warm bubble bath, which cleaned him all up!

    Thank you for coming back Jack!

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    Carrie McKee Photography. 07590368295. Belfast. Cake Smash

  7. Leah’s Model Shoot

    Last week we traveled to Bangor for a super fun photo shoot! We had a great time celebrating Leah’s 14th birthday and taking some gorgeous shots of her.

    Before the shoot, Leah got her make-up done by our friends at Pout. She looked absolutely amazing and it was a great way to start such an exciting day. With her hair and make-up finished we set off for Bangor!

    Upon arriving at our destination, everyone was a little worried about the heavy drizzle and we hoped it would ease off. Mother nature must have been listening because just as we started the shoot, there were clear skies! Leah’s first outfit featured some super cool knee high socks and heels, paired with some shorts and a fun top. After stocking up on candy floss, our first stop was some colourful beach houses . Our model Leah certainly knew how to rock a photo shoot and the pictures looked great!

    Throughout the day there were several outfit changes and we got some great shots at Bangor’s Pickie Funpark. But before going home we had one more stop to make… the beach! After some unexpected rock climbing we managed to get some absolutely stunning shots of our model. To make it even better the sun was just setting and our view was glorious!

    Everyone at Carrie McKee Photography had a fabulous day working with you Leah; we hope you enjoyed your shoot!

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    Carrie McKee Photography. 07590368295. Model Portfolio. Belfast

  8. Lóchlan’s Newborn Shoot

    Well it’s been a while since I’ve blogged a session, for the past few weeks that’s been the job of my intern’s, Gabi and Maeve. Unfortunately they are back to school and here I am, late at night and wondering where to put my apostrophes!

    It’s been a great Summer for smashes, however a new wave has been surfacing again…my all time favourite thing in the world to photograph. The Newborn. It may be lots of nappy changes, wipes and bibs at hand, oh and not forgetting the swaddling to sleep. There is a baby boom in the air and at Carrie McKee Photography, we are loving it! There is nothing like a little one arriving to the studio and all the neighboring shops starring in the window to get a glimpse of this new life. Nothing warms the heart like a new baby. That smell, the little outfits Mummy packs, the hairlines and the teddies that are often bigger than them at times.

    Over the years my approach to newborns has changed. I’ve learnt it’s not what we want, it’s of course what the baby wants to do. Sometimes they like a good stretch, or they like to be held. Sometimes they like tummy, sometimes not. It’s important to look out for the signs and be open to the session going in any direction.

    Usually I like to make sure baby is fed and changed, then it’s swaddle time. Once we have them wrapped tightly, it’s easier to give the baby to Mummy and Daddy for their family pictures. Sometimes I’m asked to do a family photograph here or even skin to skin, it really just depends. Best I find to do this at the start, gets Mum and Dad pumped with love.

    img_0924Introducing Baby Lóchlan Anthony McVarnock and Mum Toni. This works if baby is awake or sleeping, as-long as they’re settled I would usually work in some portraits. And let’s not forget Dad, he did a fab job too…

    img_1039So here’s Lóchlan, born 30/08/16 and weighing an impressive 8lbs 11oz! With bigger babies I wouldn’t tend to do the tiny bed or boxes…and I’m struggling to believe Mr L was only 2 weeks here, he was so alert and a little chubster. But he did rock the newborn bucket and we got some lovely images of him throughout his session.

    img_0943img_0944img_09741Mum & Dad, you will find the full private gallery here with your video too. Hope you enjoy…

    http://clients.carriemckee.com/Lochran/

    If you are interested in booking a Newborn shoot, please get in touch in your later pregnancy weeks. Sometimes I’m able to squeeze sessions in but not always.

    Visit www.carriemckee.com for more information

     

    Carrie McKee Photography. Newborn. Belfast. 07590368295