I'm not sure when the cake smash photo session became a thing, but it's here and I LOVE it!! If you're on Pinterest and you have a little one, you know what I'm talking about. Sure sure, giving your one year old a cupcake at their birthday party and letting them get messy with it has always been a blast. But now we're talking about setting up a special photo shoot with an adorable outfit and encouraging them to just go nuts. I have been looking forward to this for months now!! Of course there is some planning to do, but here are some tips to help you out!
THE CAKE SMASH OUTFIT:
First, we needed the outfit. Naturally off to Etsy I went and found an awesome shop, Stitch to my Lu. She's got great onesies and "birthday suits" which is what I found completely irresistible!! She has a bazillion different designs and patterns to choose from. DEFINITELY check her out!! I went with the turquoise, red, grey, and black chevron set which included the hat, tie, and diaper cover (you can see it in photos below) - how cute is it!?!? Man, I want Kenzo to wear it every day! Thankfully, the cake and icing washed out of it easily so he's totally getting another wearing out of it on his actual birthday (Christmas day) and at his party in January! ^_^ Like Leslie of Stitch to my Lu on Facebook and tell her I sent ya!
THE CAKE SMASH PHOTOGRAPHER:
Next up, we had to find a photographer within our penny-pinching budget. This wasn't easy, but we found a local dad with great rates and an in-home studio (he's in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn - just a 30 minute walk from our home in Bay Ridge, though it was snowing, yuck, LOL). If you're in the area or anywhere in NYC actually, check out Austin Personalized Photography. Through January 2014, he's offering my readers a 1-hour 1-backdrop mini-shoot for $75 (this is a 50% discount!!) aaannnnnd you get all the digitals on a CD! Did I mention how awesome he is??? You can do cake smash, holiday photos, head shots, whatever you like! If you're so inclined, please follow him on Facebook, pinterest, and instagram!
THE CAKE SMASH CAKE:
Finally, I had to figure out the cake... A lot of moms, myself included, are very health conscious, especially when it comes to what their babies eat. I researched on google and pinterest to find a healthy cake without added sugar and also egg-less, since my little guy hasn't had eggs yet and can you imagine if he has an allergy and went into anaphalaxis in the middle of the photo shoot?! geez!! I found a great recipe for cake and icing here. The cake was just flour, bananas, unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, a wee bit of oil, vanilla, and baking soda! Nothing to feel guilty about at all (actually my hubby loved it and has requested I make it again...SOON)!! The icing called for just cream cheese and applejuice concentrate, but I was worried about being able to make that myself without a mixer. So, I resorted to the sugarless store bought icing and felt very bad about it, especially when I read the back that said excessive consumption can have a laxative effect! AGH!!! I also added food coloring, because hello, I had to get the icing to match birthday boy's outfit!! Ahhhhhh mom of the year. But alas, it's a one time thing, how much harm can a bit of icing do eh? Thankfully he took all of one lick of the icing and decided it wasn't for him. He didn't even try my wonderfully healthy cake! >_< LOL! Kids!!
My little guy was just not really into the cake, and this was not ideal for a smash cake photo session! So we resorted to 2 cheats... 1 was putting some puffs in the icing, on the side away from the camera. This got him to start picking at the cake. He got a little messy but nothing major so next I had to get in there and start breaking up the cake myself and handing it to him. The result is it looks like he did it all himself. Cheating, yes. Cute, YES!! He did finally get in there and start throwing it around, as you can see from the video!
THE CAKE SMASH INSPIRATION BOARD:
I spent some time on Pinterest collecting ideas of poses and backdrops and outfits and cakes I liked. Check out my inspiration board here!
And now, without further ado...
THE CAKE SMASH RESULTS!!!!
Here are some collages I put together with my favorite photos:
As you can see, it was a real mess, which is exactly what I wanted!!! But that leads us to...
THE CAKE SMASH CLEANUP:
Cake + icing + baby = big time MESS!!! Our photographer used a backdrop made of photo paper that he could just fold into itself and throw away. This was a GOOD choice on his part!! Keep in mind your little one will not stay in one place. He'll crawl or walk or run around, with icing all over himself! So someone will have to be in charge of picking him up repeatedly and putting him back in the right spot. This person will likely get icing all over themselves as well, so make sure they're not your best clothes, and should not be working a camera! I highly recommend bringing a video camera to catch the antics (see above video - priceless)! As for cleaning up afterwards, if you do the shoot at home it's easy, just throw them in the bath after wiping off the big clumps. But if you're at a studio, I recommend LOTS of wet paper towels (or wipes) and some clothes you don't care much about to get them home in. That said, surprisingly the icing (food dye and all) came out of everything it came in contact with for us. Phew! Also lucky was that baby had no rash or reaction, despite being sticky for at least an hour before we got home (yeah, we stopped to pick up some Turkish kebab on the way home haha!).
So, you're dying to do a cake smash now right!?!?! Reply below with questions or comments!!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!