A child’s first birthday is usually a big deal. Beautiful parties with family, friends and the guest of honor all smiling and celebrating the day. I was recently asked if I would be willing to help mark a little boy’s first birthday by photographing a ‘Smash The Cake’ setting. I have to admit that I’ve never heard of such a thing. But being the adventurous type that I am I said, ‘sure’.
It was a Saturday afternoon. In walked mom, dad, brother, grandmother and the smasher of honor! After taking a good amount of standard portraits of the birthday boy and his brother the time had come to get on with the task at hand. It wasn’t time to blow out the candles. It was time to smash the cake!
We set the cake at the end of a rectangular table and set the little guy in motion after the colorful and cream covered cake, complete with bright red and blue clumps of sugary delight. At first he didn’t know what to do. Moments later he began to inch his way over to the cake like a lion stealthily approaching its next meal. Before long his hands were immersed in the cream topping. Rather than lick the icing from his finger tips he looked at his mother and communicated with his eyes, “clean me!” His mom did what any respectable mother would do in this situation, shove his hand into his mouth and giggle, ‘yummy’!
This was all the encouragement our little guy needed. Within seconds he was fist deep in the cake. It was all over his face, hands, legs and belly. His eyes were like saucers filled with joy.
Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. The shoot was a success!
Who knows what the next trend in children portrait shoots will be. Today’s mothers are so creative and I’m happy to play along with all of their crazy ideas. It keeps things interesting!