Let’s start with the most obvious question - ‘Why Cake Smash’ - Why create a mess when you have enough at home already to clean up right? But that's what it's actually all about - enjoying the mess! As parents, we usually capture the most lovely, picture perfect moments with our kids, but in reality childhood & parenthood is messy. And marking a milestone (usually the 1st year of parenting - the baby’s 1st birthday) capturing the mess can actually be quite amazing!
Now that we have established ‘why cake smash’ and probably that’s why you are reading this article, let's move onto the next few questions on our minds.
What Is Cake Smash?
Cake Smash as the name suggests is the fun activity of letting a little toddler (fine with older kids and adults too) smash a cake and capturing the fun moments - natural instinct, behaviour, emotions & expressions. It is usually done around the 1st birthday - and probably the first time a kid is actually getting to ‘experience’ a cake.
Where do you organise a Cake Smash?
A cake smash can be organised just about anywhere! On your dining table, in your living room, in a photo studio. Just make sure you have access to a bathroom and fresh towels and wet wipes to clean up the mess after! As a photographer would suggest, the best place to organise a Cake Smash is somewhere there is enough space & light - to make a child comfortable and the pictures good.
At Pretty Pictures Studio - we have the space set up, help with the decor, contacts to order the cake and space to clean up after. But if you wish to do this in the comfort of your home, please contact us and we will accommodate the request if possible.
What do you need for a cake smash?
The most simple answer to this would be - A child and a cake. But it's never that simple right?
Once you make up your mind to book a photoshoot for a fun cake smash, here is a list of things that you need to organize in advance:
A theme - we will share some ideas in the further section of this blog.
A date - either on the child’s birthday/a few weeks before or after.
Backdrop Decor - as per the theme
Cake - as per the theme - but ensure it is a tower cake with extra frosting & cream.
Child’s clothing - as per the theme/just a cute diaper! (Remember these clothes are going to get very messy)
Here is what you need to keep handy on the day of the shoot
Ready backdrop (if at Studio this will be ready before you arrive)
Child dressed in suitable attire
2 big spoons
Toys, songs or anything that will keep your child happy & comfortable
A packet of wet wipes
A set of towels
Fresh clothes for the kid (and maybe yourself) for after the shoot
What are some popular themes for a cake smash?
A cake smash, though all about capturing the mess - is still made to look beautiful - and that means a carefully planned backdrop, colour pallet for the decor, a cake & the baby’s clothes that complement the set up.
You can always choose a colour/ combinations for a them such as - Blue & White, Pink & Purple, Yellow & Green - or you can have some very specific ideas like the ones listed below:
Forest/ Animal Theme
We have curated a bunch of themes on our portfolio and you can check them out to be inspired - you can also look at our Instagram Highlights for Cake Smash pics from the past to see the themes that look great in pictures.
What happens behind the scenes of a Cake Smash?
The end result of a cake smash is the awesome pictures that you see - which will adorn the walls of your home or the pages of an album, but what happens behind the scenes makes memories in itself. Seeing your little one experience the textures of the cake to her/his behaviour when you allow (infact coax) them to smash it, calls for an experience that dear ones will enjoy. It may be a great idea to invite grandparents also to cherish this.
When you come prepared for a cake smash event - on one extreme you may need to coax your child to smash the cake or on another extreme need to pull your kid away from the cake - all said you must be prepared for the surprise the little one will throw at you.
Be ready with rhymes and songs to make your child comfortable, engage them in conversation to try something new, maybe even enact or sometimes show them how it's done. All said - be ready to jump in and have fun!
You will need to pick up your kid multiple times and put them back near the cake when they crawl away, and sometimes pull them away from smearing the cake all over the decor! Those wet wipes and towels will be your most sought after tools and trust us when we tell you that getting cake off your own clothes will probably be the last thing on your mind!
What happens if my child does not smash the cake?
Well this may be a question that didn’t cross your mind at all, or for some parents a genuine concern - but worry not, we have seen them all.
You may have meticulously planned a cake smash but don't be surprised if your darling does not smash the cake! Without even knowing we may have wired our little ones to be ‘obedient clean babies’ or have kids that genuinely ‘don’t like the mess’. In a normal scenario, you should be thanking your stars for having one of these angels who will grow up to keep your homes clean, but in this event - you may need to wear the hat of a coaxer. Here are some proven ways to get your kid to make a cake smash a success -
Try a mini cake smash at home and observe your kid’s behaviour that you can replicate at the shoot.
Ask them to smash the cake and tell them they will not get scolded for it!
Use a spoon instead of getting them to dirty their hands
Place their favourite toys (obviously ones that can be cleaned easily) on the cake.
Smash the cake with them.
Smear the cake on their hands/face/body to get them started
Lastly, if your child outrightly refuses, please respect their choice.
We at Pretty Pictures, are quite experienced with different kids responding differently at these events and would be happy to help make the experience fun without forcing or bothering your child and still capture memories you can treasure.
What are alternatives to cake? Can I use something else?
While a cake is most preferred as it denotes a joyous occasion and gives many textures for a child to enjoy, you can definitely experiment and get creative with other dishes.
Some of the other popular ideas to have a messy photoshoot would be to use - desserts like doughnuts with chocolate syrup, nutella, flavoured yoghurts, puppy & squishy fruits like watermelon, interesting dishes like spaghetti or noodles and more. Find something your kid will enjoy and make memories with it!