Cake Smash Tips for Parents
Cake smash photography is a fun way to commemorate your child’s first year. It’s probably the one and only time your baby will have a free pass to paint everything and everyone in a beautiful big gooey mess. At the end of it, you’ll have some memorable cake smash photos to display at your child’s first birthday party.
So why not a family photography session instead? At one, most babies are either crawling, close to walking or off and running. They have surpassed sitting still and are happiest when they are given something interesting to do. Involving babies in a sensory activity of this sort engages them long enough to capture those cute little scrunched up noses and big personalities. Simply put, a cake smash session is way more appealing to a one-year-old than a portrait session.
There are a few things to consider before scheduling a cake smash session. If your baby hasn’t been exposed to buttercream icing or the ingredients in a cake it’s best to determine any potential allergies first. In doing so, you will also get a feel for how your baby may react to a sensory activity of this type.
What to expect
Firstly, we’re asking your baby to do something they would generally not be encouraged to do at home on the living room floor! To top that off, the adults in the room are all giggles and full of encouragement. If this isn’t weird enough for a baby, we’re asking your baby to undertake the activity in a new environment surrounded by equally awesome distractions. Some babies warm quite quickly to the idea of a cake smash. Other’s take a little longer to feel comfortable with distractions and a stranger pointing a lens at them. To assist in determining how your baby might react to cake smash photography, here are the top three sensory reactions observed during cake smash photography.
- The Destroyer: is a complete sensory seeker. They love squishing mash potato through their fingers at mealtime, they will smear themselves in spaghetti and will attempt to put anything and everything in their mouth. The destroyer loves crumbling food and is naturally attracted to anything they can finger paint with. This personality type is fully engaged in a cake smash session, they are so deep in concentration they rarely acknowledge your presence! The Destroyer finds the experience extremely satisfying and will obliterate the cake with no encouragement or staging.
- The Explorer: is happy to touch and taste the cake in short bursts until something in their surroundings captures their attention. The Explorer is into everything, they are delighted by objects that roll when pushed, light-up toys and toys that play musical sounds. The explorer adapts well to new people and situations and is generally very happy go lucky souls. Their attention is easily diverted back to the cake smash by adding an extra dimension to it, using hidden objects and introducing a spoon for drumming.
- The Teetotaler: is not too keen on icing sticking to any part of their body. An indication of this is flicking food off hands at mealtimes or becoming anxious by touching certain food textures The teetotaler is a refined baby who prefers a clean face, hands and feet. An extra long-handled spoon for drumming the cake, some staging or the introduction of a more pleasurable yummy treat or sensory activity is best for children who have sensory aversions to food textures.
All babies LOVE the warm bubble bath at the end. Not only does it clean them off, but it also calms them and brings them down from all the excitement gently. Chances are, your little one will be so exhausted and relaxed after a bath they will fall asleep on the way home.
Cake Smash Photography Tips for parents
As a Mum of three and baby photographer, I know all too well how unpredictable kids can be at this age. The last thing any parent wants is the dreaded meltdown at the most inopportune time. The good news is there are some things you can do to minimize the chances of this happening during your photo session.
- Determine your child’s level of sensory sensitivity before booking. If your baby hates cake, let us capture some images with the cake first and then substitute it for another exciting activity they are more comfortable with
- Discuss your child’s sensory reaction and personality with your photographer to decide on what will work best for your baby
- Clear the entire day and avoid extra activities before the session
- Make sure your baby has had a nap
- Make sure your baby has something substantial to eat.
- Avoid having visitors that day
- Avoid overstimulation by bringing an audience
- Avoid fussing with hair and outfit changes
- Expose them to what they will be wearing ahead of time. Some children are sensitive to certain fabrics and many babies dislike hats – especially when elastic is involved!
- Avoid bringing toys to the session unless you wish those items to remain in all your images. Taking a toy away leads to a very unhappy baby.
- Baby’s sense and react to your stress in getting ready and out the door. Be organized and ready to leave an hour before you actually need to. If things don’t go to plan getting ready, it’s important to stay calm.
- Keep an open mind and be in the moment. Cake smash photography is candid not posed. Those images you’ve found on Pinterest are not your child and are just one of the 800 the photographer captured that day. I’m all about capturing your child’s beautiful personality rather than trying to outdo your best friend or replicate other peoples moments.
Want more information about our cake smash sessions? Contact us to schedule a complimentary phone consultation.
To get you excited, here are a small handful little first birthday stars experiencing an all-inclusive studio cake smash and rustic outdoor cake smash.