I think it’s about time we had a realistic look at smashcake sessions. I’ve talked to friends about this who have seen all the pictures photographers take of cute babies in tutu’s or ties smashing a cake to bits and appearing to have the time of their life…this is rarely the case I’ve found. I’ve heard stories of photoshoots where babies are seeing a cake for the first time at the shoot and so obviously have no idea what they are meant to do with it.
My first ever smashcake session the little girl cried as soon as the cake was there, everything was fine until that moment. We got her big sister involved thinking it might help her get into it but no such luck! But the joy of photography is you can change your angles and aperture settings to give some illusion that all went well so the mum can get some good photos out of it, or I can hope the mum is like me and doesn’t mind the ‘crying’ photos.
Next shoot was with my nephew when he turned 2. I thought being a year older might make a difference but I couldn’t be more wrong. After one lick of the icing he stabbed the cake with a fork and started running around the park like a lunatic instead.
Another shoot the little girl didn’t care, the mother didn’t seem to either, and I watched as the other baby came and tested the cake out instead. You just never know how these things will go!
You can’t even tell he was crying anymore!
Wednesday’s shoot was no exception. I was shooting little Elijah and he has pretty much one of the most organised mums I’ve ever met. She brought cakes, outfits and decorations. I just had to bring my camera! Everything was going ok right up until the cake was set up and the costume was on then the waterworks started. We weren’t sure it was going to end so we took a detour to the playground to see if that would cheer him up and everything went ok after that.
I’m not going to lie, I really like this photo
Once he was all happy cake #2 came in handy and he started smashing it up on his own and cake was flying through the air. That day I realised taking a dustbuster to shoots might be a good idea for easy cleanup.
I’m not a parent so I have no real advice to give, kids are kids and you just never know what mood they’ll be in at the time which is another reason I prefer to let them be themselves, nobody wants to watch a toddler turn into tiny satan! I’d probably suggest making sure they like cake, double check they’re going to be ok in whatever outfit you want them to wear, and most importantly be a happy camper during the photoshoot and make it seem like it’s tonnes of fun, or they won’t. Unless the photographer you’re hiring is an octopus with two heads, it’s hard to make a child laugh and take a photo at the same time. Sometimes they might need some encouragement just on getting a handful of cake to start them off. Don’t stress about time factors either. No child is going to understand they have 30 minutes to trash a cake, we spent nearly 3 hours at the park on Wednesday and I wasn’t leaving until I was happy I had enough photos everyone could be happy with!
If anyone has any tips themselves on how they survive a smashcake session I’d love to hear them!