What better way to start your child’s first birthday celebrations than doing a cake smash shoot… This can be done a few weeks before your little one turns one or some people even do it on their actual birthday. Not only will your child have a fun trying cake for the first time but you will also have some great photos to use for their invitation or at the party itself.
So here are my top tips when preparing for a cake smash shoot and what to expect.
1. Choosing the cake
This will be the center piece of your photoshoot, alongside your gorgeous child of course. The best cakes are vanilla sponge cakes as they soft and crumbly and easy for a one year to break apart. Next is the icing… butter icing is best and most messy which is what we want, haha! Most important is to choose the colour wisely! Never red as this may make your baby look like a vampire, and do not do brown as you know what that may look like haha!
2. Get a smashing outfit
These pics are important and the outfit should be too. This is an opportunity for you to go over the top if you would like, bring out the tutu, ties, bow-ties or a cute hat. The colour of the outfit is very important and should match your colour theme of the shoot. Cake smash shoots are super messy so make sure you are happy for your little one to wear something that may get stained, especially if you using bright colored icing.
3. Mess is best
As said before there will be icing everywhere, and I mean everywhere!! Not only the floor and your childs clothes but also my hair and clothes as well as the parents that are there haha! So be prepared that you may need to go home and have a shower before you head out anywhere after the shoot. Bringing a spare change of clothes is a must.
As the saying goes… less is more! Your little one and their yummy cake that they are about to dig into is the main attention in the photos. So don’t feel like you need to go over the top with decor. Ideas for decor could be a simple chair, balloons, bunting, board with information of their first year milestones. These all help add some colour into the photos.
Cake smash shoots can be done indoors as long as there is good natural lighting and ideally a neutral background, or a garden setting is also really beautiful.
6. Cake smash time
When the time comes for your little one to get stuck in and mess the cake, don’t be surprised if they are a bit hesitant, especially the girls. Boys often at that age have dealt with messy play by then and generally speaking the girls may not want to get themselves dirty. That said they may need you to show them that its ok to play with the icing… it may take some time but after a while and after they have tasted the sweet icing they may be happy to have more.
7. Eye level
I prefer to put the cake on the floor when we wanting your little one to get stuck in. At the age of one most kids can’t walk and so they may only stand for a short time. So having it on a chair is not ideal. Best to place the cake on the floor and the birthday boy / girl right next to it making it safe and close enough to play with.
8. Clean up
An added addition I offer in most of my cake smash shoots is a fun bubble bath session at the end. This not only is more fun for the birthday child but also an excuse to clean up and get him or her clean again.
9. Keep it short
Watch for signs of your child being over stimulated and getting over this play time we have created for them. It is a very energetic shoot and that is why I like to keep it fun and short.
10. Have fun!
More than anything this is your child’s first birthday celebration and often the first time he or she may taste a cake or anything sweet in that matter. So have fun… get messy and your little one is going to love it!
Go have a look at my cake smash gallery for more photos… http://www.melissamitchell.co.za/cake-smash/