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A “smash the cake” photoshoot can be an amazing way to celebrate your child’s first birthday. It will be a surprise for your 1-year-old to taste a cake for the first time, while you can capture his or her reactions and save this beautiful memory. Whether you’re doing it yourself (DIY smash the cake is a new trend) or hiring a professional photographer, here are six useful tips from one of our best photographers -Alona Cohen -on how to plan a successful smash the cake photoshoot.
Tip #1: Pick The Right Color And Ingredients For The Cake
Asking someone to bake the cake or make it yourself would be a great option. It is cost-effective, and that way you can make sure the cake is safe for your baby (Oftentimes this is an event in which your child is trying out something new, he or she could have an allergy to some of the cake’s ingredients). You can let your little one taste the ingredients weeks before you do the photoshoot so that there won’t be any emergency.
Putting a toy inside the cake can add a surprise for your little one while encouraging him or her to smash it, but you need to make sure the toy is big enough so that the baby won’t mistake it for food. If you’re buying the cake from a store, make sure the coating is not fondant, which is hard to cut through. And a vanilla sponge cake would always be easy to smash by your baby’s little hands.
No matter where you get the cake, picking the right color is a must. The celebration can look bloody if the icing is red, while blue is harder to get rid of afterwards. White icing might work, but you need to have another color for the background to make the cake stand out. It’s best to just have one color for the cake so that matching decorations will be easier to find.
Tip #2: Go Easy On The Decorations
Whether you’re doing the photoshoot outside or in a studio, the decorations don’t need to be too elaborate since the baby smashing the cake will be the primary focus. Each decoration, including the baby’s outfit, can be in a different shade of the same color. Balloons are always a go-to because they can also keep the baby engaged. Some other options include circles, bunting, and streamers. After picking out the decorations, you also need to make sure that the backdrop has a neutral color. You can talk to your photographer about where to put the baby (usually in the middle) and all the other props in order to have the best photos.
Tip #3: Make Sure Your Little One Is Comfortable
Some babies might enjoy tasting the cake. Some might not. While it’s funny to see your little one’s reactions, you also need to calm your baby down if he or she doesn’t like the sweetness. You can play your child’s favorite music or have some snacks he or she likes in your pocket just in case they are not cooperating. If it seems that your baby is bored and confused - you can show him or her what to do yourself. Your baby will most likely follow your lead in no time.
Timing is also important. Planning the photoshoot before or after your child’s nap time can make your little one look energetic in the pictures. If you feel nervous about doing the photoshoot and throwing the birthday party on the same day, then do them separately. The photos don’t have to be taken on the actual birthday.
Tip #4: Be Prepared For The Mess
It will get really messy everywhere when your baby starts smashing the cake. Even if you think you will be careful, it’s not the worst idea to have another outfit with you (for both of you) so that you won’t be too stressed about getting dirty. You can also wear something nice and take pictures with your baby before he or she destroys the cake.
Prepare a way to clean up the mess before you set up everything is crucial. Doing the photoshoot on a tiled floor, plastic mat, or any other materials that are easy to clean can save you a lot of time. You can buy a simple tablecloth and use it as the background, or put it on the floor. Once you’re done, you can just fold it and throw it in the garbage. Another option is to use a beautiful wrapping paper to create a cute, disposable background.
Tip #5: Save Money By Choosing The Right Photographer
Though having a smash the cake photoshoot is not going to break the bank, it would be nice if you can save some money by choosing the right photographer. One way of doing it is to look for someone who does a family session and smash the cake together. You will get both while just paying for one. In Partify, you will have many options for photographers, one of them is Alona Cohen, who gave us the tips for this blog. They all offer affordable deals and make the photoshoot stress-free for parents.
Another low-cost option is to be the photographer yourself. While it might be a little harder to do it yourself, you can still use all the tips above and get help from your friends and family members. Taking tons of pictures throughout the whole smashing the cake process will get you the best ones. One way or the other, the memory you have with your child will be unforgettable.
Tip #6: Relax and Have Fun
You might be worried that your kid is not going to sit perfectly for the pictures or the mess will be too hard to clean. But worrying too much will make this photoshoot lose its point, which is documenting the memories that you and your family will cherish. Delegate tasks and responsibilities so that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Relax and have all the fun!
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Written by: Natalie Wong.