Posts tagged Photography
How to prepare for a "Smash the Cake" photo session

The “Smash the Cake” sessions come from the USA & get trendy: so fun, so colorful & an amazing occasion to capture candide moments of the baby!

Such a photo session can be done when the baby is about 1-year-old: he needs to be able to sit without falling head over feet & to have the capacity to reach things. Still, it’s better when the baby is not much able to stand up or walk, so he won’t escape the scenery!

What about the cake?
The cake needs to be colorful to attract the baby’s attention. Avoid red & brown colors as they’re to close to natural “fluids” 😬. The cake also needs to be soft & creamy so it'll be messy and this is the fun part of it!
As the baby will be sitting with his legs around the cake set up in a low cake-stand, a 2-tiered cake will allow him to reach the top of the cake & then dig in. A higher cake would only work if it stays on the floor. It depends if you want the “fallen cake” image! The only thing we don’t want is the baby’s face being hidden by the cake.
Be generous with the food coloring for the frosting (to go natural, here are great tips!).
I know it’s not great for health but a sugary frosting will help the baby getting back at it.

What about the scenery? As it will get messy, I’d advice to set up the decoration behind the baby with washable items (rather than disposable ones). Be aware that there will be some food left on the ground so if you’re doing this outdoor & you’d prefer to avoid ants & insects to be attracted to the area, put a large cloth underneath the baby & the cake.

Which colors to choose? You can pick up a theme & coordinate the baby’s outfit & the decoration. Bright colors will create a dynamic & fun atmosphere.

Help is necessary as 1 person will take pictures when the other one will interact with the baby. To motivate the baby to touch & dig in the cake, don’t hesitate to show him that he can do it. Have also noisy & colorful toys to be shook around to get the baby look towards the camera.
I advice to be only 2 persons around the baby as the idea is to keep him focus in the cake or looking at the camera if possible. Too many distractions won’t help.
Keep siblings away too.

When is the time to have this session? Take into account the nap times & the lunch break. The baby needs to be fully awake & not completely full otherwise he might not be interested into the cake. Avoid having the photo session done before or after the birthday party, as it is tiring for everybody.

To the parents: during the session, with or without a professional photographer, you will - yes, it’s an affirmation 😂 - get messy too. Just because it’s fun, because their baby is having fun, it’s hard to resist not to go & help the baby picking the cake, helping him to smash it. So get dressed accordingly. You can also prepare a large cloth to roll the baby up in the way to the shower if it’s reachable. Or prepare a big bag to put away the messy clothes & have clean extra clothes. Baby wipes & kitchen paper rolls will be very helpful too.

How to value our images again

Until I was a young adult, a photo was a physical object, often placed in a photo album or pinned on a cork board, maybe even framed and hang in the wall. Sometimes, the photos would be kept inside the envelop given by the photo lab, put away inside a shoe box. I remember, as a kid, those precious moments when we would pick up a photo album from the shelf, and then, sitting on the couch, we would turn those thick pages and laugh about old-fashion poses / outfits / haircuts / decoration  - pick the one you prefer.

Then an unmaterial world became more and more important. Internet took a larger & larger place in our lives. And new ways of life, like travelling more, moving more during the day, created new needs & new habits. And new tools came up: smartphones & tablets, allowing us to be connected everywhere & 7/24.

By the time social medias trapped us, we found ourselves sharing photos & videos on a daily basis. And even though I say "photos", I mean digital files. And when I say "sharing", I mean posting on social medias, to whoever is connected at that moment. 

Back then, we had to have a camera. Now, we don't actually need one, as most of us own a Swiss-knife phone, this mix of a phone, a camera, an organiser, a directory, a timer and a compass (this is a non-exhaustive list).

Then, we were quite mindful about the photos we were creating as films were not cheap and we had only 24 or 36 poses/chances. Now, as long as our battery is still charged, we can shoot.

Then, we had to go to the photo lab, wait a few days and only then, we got our photos, protected in a special envelop, keeping both photos & films safe. Now, we press the button and we create 1 or 10 images, even videos, instantaneously. And they are kept inside our phone, maybe our computer or our "cloud".

Nowadays, photos are the victims of some kind of "image inflation": the more images we create, the less value they have because the process of creation is much more a reflex than a need: there is no real purpose behind those images. We just create them, we don't go much further. Like we'd keep thousands of undeveloped films. 

Were our photos better then than now? No :). But at least, they existed in real life, and their value comes from what they represent but also from that physical existence.

Yes, it's me. I'm so happy those pictures were taken. Little treasures to illustrate my childhood memories.

Yes, it's me. I'm so happy those pictures were taken. Little treasures to illustrate my childhood memories.

I know, people say that digital images will survive through time; that since digital ages, we always managed to save them, from one kind of support to another one. I really hope so and I will do my best to update my back-up supports. 

The extra-investment of time & money to print our images is not only a way of saving up our images from a hard-drive crash. It does one extra-thing: it adds value to our images

Small efforts for big results: 

- go through the thousands of images (8 551 right now for me...)

- delete the bad ones (it creates more free space to take more pictures ahahah)

- select the best ones (use the "favorite" heart-shape to select them)

- find websites or app to send our files too (I'm helping you on that!)

- order what we want and then wait for them to be delivered (it'll feel almost like Christmas!).

 What I think (I could almost say "What I feel") is that the experience of looking at an image on a screen can't be compared to the experience of seeing, touching (maybe cropping with scissors & sticking it on the wall with colored masking tape) a printed-out photo. Almost like having a conversation on skype with friends compared to sharing a coffee on a sunny terrace with them, you see? 

This is a gift we offer to ourselves, to our kids and the next generations: to be able to hold a photo in our hands & to remember -or discover- the past. 

Here are some websites & free phone applications you can print your images out from very easily:

Websites: PhotoBoxPhotoWeb (French),, PosterXXL, SmartPhoto

Applications: Lalalab., CheerzShutterfly, Free Prints, Print Studio and a special one for create postcards: InstaCards

Of course, on all those websites & apps, we can create photo albums too! So don't be shy, print your images out :D! 

Enjoy your prints & memories!!