Milestone 1st Birthday Children Photography Sessions with a Cake Smash!
So what is a one year old children’s birthday cake smash session?
Over the last few years it has become a trend in the photography industry to take photos of children on a milestone birthday, specifically when turning one. Of course a child’s 1st birthday is in my opinion the most fun and just think how far they have come from being approximately 7 pounds, unable to move, to sitting up, crawling, possibly walking, feeding themselves, talking….the accomplishments are endless in one year. You definitely don’t want to miss their cute little personalities and expressions at this age, because they are SO ADORABLE!!! This session is approximately 1 hour in length, includes photos of your child in a couple different outfits and backdrops and props, then at the very end we do the cake smash session. A very elaborate backdrop set with balloons, tissue pom poms, props, etc are set up prior to your arrival that is all coordinated with the color of the cake and outfit you have chosen. The child is put in front of the cake and we photograph their responses such as “ewww yuk”, “OMG get me out of here”, “YUM YUM sugar”, “oh no Mom my hands are dirty”, “Woo Hoo this is awesome”, or the “cry”and the list goes on. Some children dig right into the cake and get it all over the place, while others want nothing to do with it. So Mom, don’t get your expectations too high as they may not even want to touch the cake, but that is okay. I have lots of tricks and ways to at least make the situation look fun and get your little one’s personality photographed.
What are the best colors of cake to use for children cake smash photo sessions?
I would recommend pink, purple, turquoise, light green, or light blue cakes as they match very well with most backdrops. I would avoid Red cakes, chocolate (mixed with drool…looks like unpleasant bodily functions lol), and dark blue cakes as the icing can stain your child’s face and the results are a bit over whelming and tough to clean up.
What type of cake and icing should I buy?
The cake does not need to be big…an over sized cupcake or small one layer cake is more than enough. The best icing is whipped cream or a soft butter cream frosting, so it is easy to dig into and makes your child’s face messy! (What we are looking for!) Fondant cakes, as pretty as they are, don’t work as there is no icing for them to get messy with! Remember to keep the cake out of the fridge for a little while before the shoot, to make the icing soft. If it is whipped cream based, you don’t have to take it out early. I have a small cake stand you can use 7″ diameter. If you have your own, feel free to bring it, or use no cake stand at all. Sometimes with a cake stand…means it will be tipped over! If you are looking for a one layer smaller cake, Sobeye’s will make a small round cake with the swirl rose pattern (similar to the pattern on the purple cake below (top left) and similar to the size on the bottom left light pink cake in the photo below) for around $10.00 (you can’t beat that!)
What can I do to prepare my 1 year old for a cake smash session?
Well, now that you are a parent….not much, lol!!!! As your child will dictate how the day goes no matter how much we try to prepare….right!!! Always remember you can try to prepare, but set your expectations low. Some things that may help are to introduce you child to new textures, shapes and tastes. Try a cake/cupcake or two before hand, encourage them to try it, touch it, play with it. Get excited and crazy when they do, so when the cake smash session comes and we get all crazy it will not be a surprise:) Try to use the same color of icing on a cupcake or similar size cake, keep it as close to the real situation as possible. We will be on the floor so, if you can try that with a plastic tablecloth underneath. You need to sit on the floor with them too. Make sure you check to confirm your child has no allergies to ingredients in a the cake and icing before hand, to avoid any surprises. NOTE: I have never had a child react, but better safe than sorry. Sometimes, putting little sprinkles on the cake can help to entice your child to pick at them, so feel free to bring some along. Some children also like to use a spoon…so bring one along too!
How do I decide the theme/outfit for the the cake smash?
I would recommend you start with the outfit first. If you are planning on just a diaper, than I would recommend a diaper cover, as this is much nicer in photographs. Find something cute and fun, Pinterest will offer you lots of ideas. Once you have the outfit chosen, you can pick a cake color that goes with the outfit. Then you need to decide if you would like an indoor studio shoot or an outdoor shoot(weather depending). After that, I will do the rest! Just send me a photo of the outfit, tell me your plans for the cake, and I will put together a set that will suit your tastes. Sometimes people have a theme for their child’s 1st birthday, so you make want to take the color palette from the birthday theme and use it for the cake smash as well.
What happens after my child is messy from the cake smash?
After the cake smash session, I will have towels, Johnston and Johnston baby wash, and wash cloths to clean up your child in the kitchen sink. I will have wipes available as well. Feel free to bring any other cleaning items with you.