It's all about the cake!
Over the past few weeks, it's been my privilege to welcome N and C to my new studio for their 1-year-old cake smashes. I've found being a photographer for cake smashes is like a hidden journey into the differences that we have as individuals. There's been exactly one constant with the cake smash sessions - that you never know what to expect.
For many of these children, it's the first time having something so sweet, so colourful, so....sticky. Instead of being fed it, they're encouraged to use their hands...to have fun, to make a mess. For me, it's less about the act of eating the cake than of the firsts they encounter along the way. Of the joy of sticking their hands into the cake, patting it around. Of perhaps crawling through it. Of experimenting with it and determining that the brightly-coloured cake before them - and all of the sugary stickiness it entails - is something to devour.
With a cake smash session, I start off with portraits of the little one and with mom or family members so that we have some gentle portraits celebrating the first birthday before the messiness of the cake ensues. (This also ensures that the child has time to warm up to the photo session and the new environment before the cake smash photos start.). I'm happy to pull out a variety of backdrops and props for this non-cake portion. The second half of the session is then all about the cake...with a backdrop and floor drop of your choice, it's time to go dig in to the sweetness that is the child's first cake experience.
A cake smash preview gallery generally has 50-70 carefully-edited photos in colour and black and white for you to review.
...so back to the story. N and C.
Sweet little N wasn't too sure what to make of his cake, but loved the cuddle time with mommy that started off his session. When we brought out the cake, he stared warily at it. After some careful deliberation, N determined that the best way to eat cake was - what else? - with saltine crackers. He would happily place them on top of the cake, only to take them off and eat them when served with a nice dollop of yummy white frosting.
C was a touch reserved at first, but once again broke out into all smiles when she had time to play with mom. We pulled out a rocking horse, which she took to be pretty darn cool. Mom had brought an absolutely adorable pink tutu for C for the cake smash, so at the halfway point, we switched C into it. With a gorgeous pink smash cake in front of her, C loved it. She very much enjoyed sticking her fingers into it and dipping them, and then also realized that the cake would make a lovely item to crawl through. By the end of the session, pink frosting and cake was everywhere.
It's a fascinating process.