I’m Lea, a photographer from Willenhall, West Midlands that provides many different services - including cake smashes! Chances are you’ve probably heard of a cake smash - but most people haven’t really got a clue what it really involves! Here is a little guide to get you started - it’s also how I usually run my sessions if you’re considering booking in!
What is a cake smash session?
It's one of those things that have migrated over from the US! It's pretty self explanatory, you give a toddler a cake and let them go to town on it. Some eat it, some beat at it until it's mush, others wouldn’t touch it at all. I usually find you never really know how your little one is truly going to react until the day of the session.
What happens first?
I usually spend the first 5-10 minutes of the session talking to the parent's. I find that with the little ones growing up (usually coming up to their 1st birthday), they're a lot more aware of the world and being thrown into a new situation can make them a little uneasy. I want the session to go well, so I allow them time to take a look at their surroundings and settle in before they're put in front of the camera.
Pre cake Smash Portraits
I start the session with normal portraits. Sometimes clients bring their own clothes or I can supply them with something to wear depending on size. I usually like to use a neutral backdrop for these picture, keeping props to a minimum and focus on capturing their facial expressions and personality.
I start this section of the session by taking some images of the background and cake alone before introducing your little one. I find it's nice to be able to compare the before and after to see how much mess they've made (as that's definitely the whole idea!)
Your little one is then changed into their cake smash outfit and introduced to the cake.
Every little person is unique, but I find that during those first few minutes with just them and the cake there is always the same response. As you can imagine they've spent their life so far being told no, that they're not allowed to play with their food or make a mess, so the first few minutes are usually filled with confusion. What? You're saying I can actually touch that massive pretty cake? I don't believe you, it must be a trick. I always see their brain working and imagine what's happing in there. You see them looking at it, then looking at their parents as if to say 'why aren't you telling me I can't mess with it?’ Pure confusion!
Usually if they haven't attempted to touch it themselves within the first few minutes of exploring, I tell parent's to put a little bit of butter cream to their mouth so they can taste it. Or even put their hand to the cake so they know it's ok to touch it.
Some kids love the mess, some love to smash, some hate having things on their hands and are happy for it to be fed to them by someone else! I generally find you won't find out how your little one will be until they're in that situation.
Post cake smash splash
Once we've got enough images of your little one with their cake, I usually bring in a tub and fill it full of warm water with bubbles for them to sit in. There is nothing worse than having to wipe down a child covered in butter cream with baby wipes so the tub is a god send! Plus it gives us another opportunity to get a few more gorgeous pictures for your gallery.
I usually add a little bubble bath, so please feel free to bring your own if your little one has sensitive skin. I will also happily supply a towel, but wont at all be offended if you want to supply your own.
Who supplies the cake?
I offer two options, I can supply the cake for £25 or you can bring one with you. I usually find that, out of ease, most people choose to have their cake supplied so it's one less thing to worry about on that day. I always have my cakes made to colour match the decorations for the sessions so everything is cohesive.
Please let me know if I'm supplying the cake if your child has any allergies or suspected allergies. I also like to add a little bubble bath to the tub to offer a little more dignity when shooting from above - so this is also something to consider when thinking about allergens. If your little one has sensitive skin or needs specific bubble bath etc I’m more than happy for you to supply your own.
What happens to the cake after the session?
That's completely up to you! If I've supplied the cake then it will come with a box so if it's salvageable then you're more than welcome to take the rest home to eat! If you don't want to then don't worry, I will happily dispose of it.
I do have a selection of outfits that can be used for your session, depending on sizing. If you want to bring something specific to wear that's ok. Just keep in mind that for a session like this colour coordination is important for all of your images to look like the ones advertised on my website.
Colour scheme of the session
I have quite a few different setups for cake smashes, some for girls, boys and natural set ups. If you have a colour scheme in mind then please let me know on booking - I will try to tailor to your needs as much as I can.
To book your little ones Cake Smash session with me today please visit one of the following links to get in touch!