Cake smash photography has become an increasingly popular way for parents to celebrate their baby’s first birthday. As its name suggests, this photo session involves letting the birthday boy or girl dig into a small cake and get as messy as they want! The result is a set of adorable photos that capture the joy and excitement of a baby’s first experience with cake.
The Origins of Cake Smash Photography
While cake smash photography has exploded in popularity recently, its origins can be traced back over a decade. The trend is often credited to photographer Kate Parker, who devised the idea in 2005. Parker sought a creative way to photograph her son’s first birthday. She let him go wild with a cake and photograph the delightful “smash”.
The trend quickly caught on with clients who booked Parker for their children’s first birthday sessions. Before long, cake smash photography became a sensation, with photographers around the globe offering their unique takes on the messy milestone session. Today, cake smash photography is a standard way for parents to document their baby’s first birthday.
Capturing the Milestone
Several elements go into creating the perfect cake smash photo session. Here are some tips for capturing the magic:
While special smash cakes can be ordered, a simple cake from the grocery store works fine. Opt for a small 4-6 inch cake that baby can quickly demolish. White, chocolate, or marble cakes photograph nicely. Top it with a candle for the full first-birthday effect!
Cake smashes are often done right in the baby’s home. A highchair on a backsplash or tiled floor is ideal. The space should be contained, but allow room for your little one to get messy! Natural lighting also helps capture the joy on the baby’s face.
Let your baby go wild in diapers, pants, or bloomers. Pastel colours like light blue or pink pair nicely with cake tones. Avoid outfits you care about keeping pristine! The messier your baby gets, the better.
Have some themed props on hand to spice up your shots. Number blocks, letter boards, and birthday hats help identify the milestone. Fill the background with balloons or streamers to round out the first birthday feel.
Capture the entire progression from first taste to finger painting the cake everywhere. Get down on baby’s level for those broad smiles and nearby for hands-grabbing cake. Be ready for spontaneous laughs and shrieks! Also, photograph the baby enjoying a bath afterwards.
Popular Trends in Cake Smash Sessions
Much like wedding photography or newborn sessions, cake smash trends come and go each year. Some popular current trends include:
Choose a cake styled around your baby’s favourite book or show. Popular themes include Dr. Seuss, Peter Rabbit or bears and woodland creatures. Your baby becomes part of the story!
Odd Food Choices
Photographers have gotten creative with alternatives to cake that make for hilarious photos. These food smashes include avocado, popcorn, or pancakes stacked high.
Classic White Cake
You can never go wrong with the traditional white or chocolate cake. A simple backdrop showcases your beaming baby best!
Take your cake smash outside with a picnic cake surrounded by flowers in the grass. Natural lighting takes these photos to the next level.
Brothers/Sisters Join In
Include older siblings for family photos with cake-covered faces. Let them dig in, too, or cheekily take some icing on their fingers for baby.
Capturing a Milestone
That first taste of sugary cake is a memory you’ll treasure forever. Cake smash photography preserves your baby’s spontaneous reaction for years to come. The photos become keepsakes you’ll want to share and display proudly. Though cake smashes have become trendy, their appeal lies in capturing an authentic moment. Let your baby make a mess and have fun while you focus on snapping behind the scenes. When done right, cake smash photography produces images you’ll laugh over fondly with your kids once they are grown. Sweet, messy cake all over their grinning baby faces – what’s not to love?