Pandemic babies – sounds ominous, right? It’s not really that scary but it is very real for our little friends. I have recently seen a rush of one year olds hitting my studio. Since Pandemic stole their parent’s chances of having Fresh 48 and newborn photos done, many parents are taking the opportunity to go big on first birthdays.
I absolutely adore cake smash sessions (seriously, what beats cake, a warm bath, and bubbles?!) but I’ve come to realize the need to conduct them a little differently due to recent times. Here is my list of tips for parents trying to capture those precious memories while ensuring their little person still has a fun time doing it.
- I book my cake sessions to have a bigger buffer of time. I set some things up and let the kiddo watch and observe. Since I’m still wearing a mask, it can be hard for them to see facial gestures and get over the stranger danger. A little bit of extra time with no rush, is very helpful combating that. They get used to me and I have time to figure out what makes them happy.
- Many of my Pandemic babies have never experienced nor tasted sugar, much less cake. If your baby has never tried cake, it can be a scary experience because of the different textures and strong flavors. A week or so before your shoot, let them try a little bit of what you’d like them to eat at their session. It will help take some of the mystery away.
- You don’t have to use cake! I’ve had two rib sessions lately and the kids loved it! Pancakes, spaghetti, pizza, burritos, mashed potatoes – are all great alternatives to traditional cake. And if you are using cake, bring their favorite snack to hide in the cake. No one will be able to tell if it’s covered in frosting.
- Be prepared to sing and dance, and have a cellphone keyed up with their favorite music. The little gal pictured up top adores Native American ceremonial songs played by her daddy. He knew this and was able to facilitate some great smiles and smooth moves using these songs. There is no shame or modesty at a cake smash!
- And finally, more often than not, there will be tears. Be patient and know the world is a very scary place especially when you haven’t been out and about much. It’s an experience for all of us – but more times that not, we will get those smiles and your kiddo will have a fun.