Your baby is turning ONE and that means it’s time for THE CAKE SMASH
Cake smashes sound amazing but when you take into account a one year old combined with cake it’s not always a great match. Today I want to share a few tips with you to help make it an occasion you want to remember! This will help whether you are using a professional photographer or taking the photos at home yourself.
1. The first thing to decide is when to do it. Some parents choose a date a month or so before the big day so they can use the photos on the party invites. Others do it closer to the actual birth date. There is no right or wrong here it’s more about what you want to do with the photos
2. How to do it? If you’re using a professional photographer get organised early. Many photographers are booked up months out so if you need the photos for invitations you will want to get it booked well in advance especially if you have a particular photographer in mind. The other option is setting up at home and doing it yourself. You won’t need to plan quite so early but you will still need to be thinking about it a month or so beforehand.
3. Once you know who is doing the photos it’s time to start planning the details. First thing you’ll want to choose is the outfit. You’ll need to allow some time to find the right one, whether you’re making it yourself, ordering online or buying at the local kid’s clothes shop.
4. After the outfit it’s time to look at cake designs. I suggest to parents they pick 2 or 3 colours from the outfit and use those as the main cake colours. Then you just need to decide if you’re making it yourself or paying someone else to do it. If you’re using a professional photographer chances are they can refer you to someone or even organise it for you; I refer my clients to a local lady who makes lovely cakes for a very reasonable price.
5. Speaking of cake many babies haven’t even tried it yet, or have been taught NOT to put their fingers in the whole cake. The month before the session is a good time to get them familiar with the taste and texture of cake and icing. Also let them get a little messy so they’re not afraid to get into it on the day.
6. Once the outfit and the cake are sorted let’s talk about the background. If you’re using a photographer they will have this bit under control, for example I use a paper backdrop so the background and floor all blend seamlessly together and it’s easy to clean up afterwards. If you’re doing it at home I suggest a plain wall with a bit of floor space – definitely not carpet as most likely there will be cake crumbs and icing everywhere! If bub is crawling or walking watch when they’re on the move or you’ll have sticky fingers all over the furniture.
7. The next thing to select is the bunting, again colours to match the outfit and cake are a good choice. This will just hang in the background so it doesn’t have to be expensive or perfect; in fact if you’re a bit creative you might want to make it yourself. Some triangles of material or even paper on a string or ribbon and you’re all set. Make sure it’s long enough to hang behind your set up, if you’re using a professional photographer check the length with them first. Again I can refer you to someone who makes them if that’s easier for you.
8. Props are optional. I suggest keeping things simple for your cake smash so baby and the cake are the main feature but a few pops of colour to tie in with the theme on the floor look fabulous. You could use balloons but my favourite props are those tissue paper pom poms that come in various sizes. I’m not so keen on putting them together though! Large wooden letters spelling ONE work really nicely too.
9. So now you’re all set up my final advice is to just let things happen. Babies all behave differently so if they don’t want to play I suggest holding their hand to take a piece of cake together or even doing it yourself and encouraging them to copy. Whatever happens don’t stress about it; photos of your little one will look gorgeous even if they’re sitting amongst the pop poms looking at their cake crying. Capturing the real moments is what makes this milestone so special.
I’d love to hear about your cake smash stories and whether these tips helped, or if there are any other tricks you’d like to share.