Haven’t we parents suffered enough with Anne Geddes‘ cheeseball photos? You know the ones: babies dressed as sunflowers and butterflies and little fairies fast asleep on tree trunks (wtf?!). She’s hugely popular, I know, but that doesn’t mean I like her.
Now there’s a new breed of photographers to loathe: those who stage ‘cake smash’ photo shoots. As the name indicates, cake smash shoots entail presenting a baby or toddler with a whole cake to taste – and then destroy – in front of the camera. And the trend is picking up among families wanting to capture “special” memories of their little ones.
“It brings out the personality of the child,” Burlington, Ontario mom Jen Pate told the Toronto Star (she marked her son’s first birthday with one of these shoots). No offense to Pate or the countless other parents out there who actually pay someone to bake a cake and then pay a second person to destroy said cake, but what are you thinking? It’s all so contrived!
I get it, I get it – not everyone is into the candid-style kids’ photographs of which I’m personally a fan. And not everyone has access to a quality camera or sharp shooter. But, still, there’s something so incredibly tacky about these portraits. They’re overly staged, that’s for sure, but they’re also so… unnecessary. I mean, if parents really want to capture their precious little angel “exploring” a cake, they should bring their camera to their kid’s first birthday (guaranteed you’ll get the same results).
In the Toronto Star article, cake-maker Sonia Macaluso says she had her first request for a two-tier cake for a smash shoot last summer. (Personally, I’d flip out if my kids smashed up my culinary creation but, then again, I don’t bake for a living.) She has since received at least 20 similar requests and she expects the cakes will represent 15 percent of her business this year (the cakes cost $25 to $35).
Photographers have offered up tips for getting the most out of your cake smash photo session, including this one: “Avoid red frosting, it can turn a fun shoot into a horror scene.” Um, hi. This is enough as a horror scene as is, thankyouverymuch.