When planning for my little girl's smash cake session, I went back and forth between wanting something super fun, trendy, or her Teepee. What I really wanted was something classic & dramatic. Then I remembered this spot in a place that has tons of meaning & history. I had my wedding day photos taken in this same exact spot. I can't wait to bring Ellis back to this place and take photos of her in a white dress.
There is something so sweet about watching your kiddo enjoy cake. Its fun, it's messy, and you just are at the mercy of sugar paste all over your kid. While my first instinct as a photographer is to tell you to hire someone to take the photos, I know thats not in everyone's budget (especially if you own a nice dslr that you wanted to have to capture all your baby's years). Here are a few tips for a sweet smash cake session (this is before or after the party):
- Time of Day: Choose what works best for nap schedules! Nothing is worse than an unhappy kiddo eating cake. Also, pay attention to natural light.
- Location: Unless the temperature is perfect (not freezing and not hot) find a climate controlled space. Too cold, your kiddo will be cold and the frosting won't be fluffy, too hot, and it will be a melty mess. If you want to put a blanket down, just know that the risk of tripping/slipping is higher. If anything, find a clear floor space (thats easy to clean) and an empty wall.
- The Cake: Make sure the cake is as soft and fresh as possible. If the cake is still frozen/firm from the fridge/freezer, you won't get the smeary goodness you are looking for. If you are having it made for you, make sure to get some great photos of it before little one destroys it. Take lots of photos! (Hint: white cakes are gorgeous, and wash out easier than colored cakes. Opt for colors lighter and less saturated)
- The Outfit: This is your call! If you choose white icing, cake washes out so easy! I love the dress ellis is wearing, so I would not sacrifice it for a photo if I hadn't already learned that sugar, butter, & cream rinse out with warm water. If you want a naked baby look, opt to finding a cloth diaper or shorties to cover the diaper. No shoes. Those suckers don't wash as easy as clothes do. Also, when taking photos of your kiddo sitting, opt for no shoes. Bottoms of shoes are ugly (moccasins & socks look cute). If you little gal is wearing a dress, put a diaper cover on her (you'll cringe every time you see her diaper with her legs open in photos).
- Be Ready: If you want photos of the clean before, do that with no cake in sight. Once the cake is on their level be ready to shoot photos! I chose to do this by myself, and in hindsight I wish I had brought along an assistant. I had to drop the cake and run. So I didn't get nearly as many before the mess photos as I'd like! Keep the camera high away from sticky hands. Your baby is gonna want you. LIKE REALLY WANT YOU. All of a sudden you're gonna have the inclination to not want to touch your messy baby. It's normal, don't feel guilty. But feel the need to have towels, wipes and a change of clothes ready.
Have fun! Be creative! Take photos that you can see yourself framing and hanging up somewhere! It's a lot of fun taking photos of your kiddos. We'd love to do a smash cake round up! Share your links to your kiddo's sessions/blog posts!