A cake smash is a fun and delicious way to celebrate baby’s first HUGE milestone! And yours too! You survived the first year! Babies can react differently to the process, so I’m here to help you out! After 12 years of cake smash with Dahlias and Daisies Photography, I’ve learned a thing or two! Some babies tear right in while some are a tad daintier about the process. However, your little one handles the mess, here are 5 great tips that will help your make the most of your upcoming cake smash session!
In my 2 years of shooting cake smashes I’ve learned one thing. Boys get upset when they get their hands dirty, and girls get upset when they see me (more on that at #2). I know, sounds off right? We think of boys as dirty and rough and tumble but that’s not quite the case at 10 or 11 months old. Most boys will get very upset once their hands get dirty. Admittedly this can cause some cute moments when they decide to go in face first instead of letting the hands get dirty! I can usually tell how bad the reaction (screaming) is going to be by how long they stare at their hands after the first touch! A great way to combat this is to let them play in mashed potatoes the week before your session. Get them used to that gooey ooowey texture! Why mashed potatoes? It’s about as close to the consistency as cake icing as you can get and mashed potatoes rock!
This is a problem I mainly see with girls. If I know ahead of time, there are many precautions I can make that will help put baby at ease. My biggest one, no eye contact. Usually once a scared baby and I lock eyes the water works begin! So, I just don’t. As much as I want to ogle over baby, those precious leg rolls, and make a new bestie I’ll refrain for the sake of the cake smash! I’ll send you into the studio to get comfortable for a few minutes without me there which also helps a lot! When I come in I’ll stay hidden behind my light and camera, again never making eye contact with baby.
So this one is pretty serious. I know from experience that most allergies will not show up the first time a baby is exposed to an allergen, but it’s still a great idea to try and rule out anything before your session. Usually eggs and dairy are the culprit in cakes.
Give a baby a cupcake at least a week or two before your session and see if there are any reactions. At least this way you can now place an order with one of the allergen free bakeries. These cakes are usually much more expensive but at least your covered! I’ve even done “cake smashes” with other things like watermelon (what a mess, water everywhere!) and yes…one mom brought a head of broccoli which baby happily chewed on for 10 minutes while I took pictures!
I always schedule my cake smashes immediately after baby’s naptime. Cake smash can be overwhelming for little ones, more so than any other type of session. So, it’s best that they are rested and ready to play. Make it a boring day at home beforehand. I once had a fussy baby at a late afternoon session and mom literally said “ I don’t know what’s wrong?! We went to a baby shower today and she was all smiles and then we went to the museum afterwards and she was flirting with everyone.” That baby was exhausted!
The most important thing to remember when preparing for a cake smash photoshoot is to relax and have fun. The goal is to capture your baby’s joy and excitement (and sometimes disgust) as they dive into their first cake, so don’t worry about making everything perfect. Inf act, most babies cry at some point during the session. And as the mother of older children, I’m here to tell you that those pictures will be just as cherished in year to come as the smiling ones!
With these tips in mind, you and your little one will be ready for a successful and fun cake smash photoshoot. We will talk about picking themes and sets in a different post! Have fun and enjoy the memories!