Are you planning a cake smash for the baby's first birthday? Use these tips to make it unforgettable.
Cake smash photoshoots are a great way to celebrate your child's first birthday. They're also an entertaining and creative opportunity for you as the parent to document their little personality in photography form! This blog post contains tips for achieving some of the best cake smash photos with your baby.
Make sure they have clothes on when they do it, or change them afterwards (trust me, this is much easier than trying to get them dressed after!) - Have music playing in the background - Get down low so that you can be at eye level with them - Keep things relatively simple by using white backdrops and natural light only - Experiment with different props like balloons, flowers etc. If you want more information about Melbourne based cake smash
Whether you're a photographer looking for new ideas or a parent of a baby who's about to have their first birthday, today we are going to be talking about cake smash photoshoots. If you've never heard of this before, it's where the parents put some icing on the floor and then let the child go crazy with their hands. It can take anywhere from 10 minutes up to an hour, depending on how long they enjoy smashing the cake. When it comes down to tips for doing these shoots, there are a few that come in handy, which I'll get into shortly. But first off, when booking your shoot, make sure you find someone local, so they don't need travel time! You also want them to bring all necessary equipment like backdrops and others.
Birthday parties, and in particular 1st birthdays, are an extraordinary time for your young ones! There are so many benefits for the little ones to gather socially, learn new skills and experience many firsts. A recent trend in birthday parties is the "Cake Smash", where a little one on his first birthday is let loose on his first birthday cake. After shooting one recently, we thought we would compile a quick list of baby cake smash tips to help you plan your own!
Tips To Have A Perfect Cake Smash
If you are planning a cake smash with a professional photographer, styling your smash is very important! Everything from backgrounds to outfit and even the colour of the cake plays a critical role in the final look of your photographs. Keeping it simple makes easy work for the parents and also lessens distractions for the child!
Photography studios are set up for these shoots, but if you want to do it at home, aim for either an outdoor location with lots of natural light or indoors with a bright neutral background.
Less is usually more. You've got a baby, you've got a cake, you don't need to go overboard on the props. Some cute bunting or streamers can provide a pop of colour and balloons help keep your baby engaged and smiley for the photos.
A simple yet smart outfit for boys might be a pair of jeans or pants that they've nearly outgrown and a cheap necktie that is easily laundered (or disposed of!) once it is covered in cake. Similarly, for the girls, a cute dress that's almost too small (and therefore expendable) will work a treat. Bright colours are usually the best. They grab your attention in the photos and keep the birthday child's attention for longer too!
There are a host of businesses that provide themed kits too. Bumblebee Boutique is a great example of a business with a wide range of themed outfits for your child. The key is to coordinate colours!
These photos will be treasured family memories, so you're going to want bubs to look their best. Keep in mind that they're going to get good and messy, so don't put them in their Sunday best. It's a great opportunity for a fun, colourful over top look. If you're planning on a "nappy only" look, a nappy cover can make this look a bit snappier. It's a cake smash, so by that, expect some mess, haha ^^ And while smashing, your baby might ask to be carried, or at the end of it, while cleaning them up, some cake might get on you too, so bring towels, wet wipes and some extra clothing.
Try Some Cake Beforehand
If your baby is still just starting on solids and hasn't quite added "cakes" to their diet, eating cake for the photoshoot would be a completely new and unfamiliar thing to them!
Try some at home first! Find some colourful spongey goodness and eat it with them 🙂 Smash them even, encourage some play so when they come for their photoshoot, and they wouldn't feel strange towards cakes.
Bring Their Favourite Toys/Snacks
We all need some warm-up time, even adults! (I mean, at my age, I still need some time to warm up to a new environment) so understandably, kids would too.
Bring their favourite toys (that you wouldn't mind getting a little cake on), their favourite snacks – raisins, biscuits, crackers – we can start nibbling on those to "warm-up" and then proceed on to the lovely cake we would have for the photoshoot once they feel more comfortable 🙂
Get Hands-On – Smash Time, Fun Time With Your Child
Children take after their parents; they learn first by following what you do. You eat cake. First, they eat cake too. We encourage parents to join in to have some shots taken together, even with the baby's older sibling. Getting them to feed their younger brother or sister can create such a sweet moment. No fanfare, just quality family time.
Be Patient, Be Present – Stay In The Moment
Depending on your child, some kids need more warm-up time than others, which is fine! Giving them time to warm up actually helps us capture the best images of them later! We're not here to rush through but to stay in the moment. Be present and patient and enjoy watching your child observe and mingle in their environment, trying on new texture – the cake, and of course having fun!
There will be icing everywhere, and I don't just mean on the baby. Be prepared for the fact that you're going to get it all over your clothes as well. A spare outfit for everyone is advised. If you're doing your shoot at home, either do it on a tiled floor or put down a plastic mat for easy cleanup.
Choose The Right Cake
The best cakes to smash are plain old vanilla sponge cakes. They're soft and crumbly and easy for little hands to break up. Buttercream icing will create the perfect messy fun you're after, but pick your colour carefully - red icing can leave your baby looking like a vampire and brown can look like. Well, I'm sure you can guess.
Colour coordination is very important! From the clothing to the cake, the main thing to consider is how your colours will photograph. For instance, you don't want a purely chocolate cake. The reason? Well, to be blunt, who wants photos of their child covered in sticky brown goo? It's best to break it up with brightly coloured icing. If you are making the cake yourself, use a little natural colouring in your sponge! Coordinate the colours of the cake with the outfit you've chosen, and the results will be spectacular!
Cake smashes messy. Very messy! But a little forward planning can make cleaning up a breeze. We have a large piece of polycarbonate plastic that rolls up, which we take to our cake smashes. It's easy to clean and keeps the mess off the carpet. But an old white sheet or even some plastic from a hardware store can work just as effectively. Some butcher paper from an office supply shop works a treat to protect your paintwork if you are near a wall. And when you're done, you can ball it up and stick it in the recycling bin. No scrubbing required!
Managing The Sugar Rush
This is pretty important! The last thing you want is a cranky baby! Luckily, you can do a few things to help your little one stay happy throughout the day. If possible, let the baby have asleep until about an hour before the smash starts. And when the baby wakes up, feed a healthy lunch that will give the little one the energy to get through the photo session.
After the smash, it's a good idea for the baby to serve vegetables for dinner. Carbohydrates (like rice, potatoes and sugars will not be necessary!
A cake smash is an excellent way to build memories that you will treasure as a family together. My precious one was only going to eat organic and never touch sugar. Ha! At two, I'm incredibly grateful if she will eat anything literally. Picky eating has left me at my wit's end, and if the occasional cupcake slips into the mix, oh well, at least she's getting some calories from somewhere!
Give A Little Encouragement
Some babies will give right in, and others might find the whole thing a bit overwhelming. They may need you to show them that it's OK to play with the icing. Once they have a taste, they'll probably be happy to have more.
As with all new foods, it's a good idea to start slowly to make sure your child doesn't have an allergy. If there is an ingredient in the cake or icing that your baby hasn't had before, it's best to give them a taste a couple of weeks before ruling out any reactions before you let them dive right in.
More than anything, this is about celebrating your baby's birthday! Don't stress if the details aren't exactly perfect. Your tot will still love it, and when you look back at your photos, you'll always only really care about how much you all enjoyed it as a family.