Baby’s first birthday cake smash photography: Why it’s becoming so popular among Singapore parents

June 12, 2017
  • Those priceless photos
    1 / 7 Those priceless photos

    What’s a birthday without cake? And who says that the pretty confection is meant to be eaten?

    A long-standing tradition that may have originated from the US, first birthday cake smashes have gained a following in Singapore over the past three years, largely due to social media.

    It gets messy, but the photos are priceless.

    Related: 5 tips on how to make the most out of your photo studio package

    (Photo: Littleones photography)

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  • A fun way to mark the first birthday
    2 / 7 A fun way to mark the first birthday

    At least five photography studios in Singapore are cashing in on this celebratory trend.

    While most are done as a fun way to commemorate a baby’s first birthday, studios tell Young Parents that they have seen older kids coming in for a smashing good time, too.

    “We’ve even had adults doing a cake smash for their 40th birthday,” says Maryann Koh, head photographer at The Studio Loft.

    (Photo: The Studio Loft)

    Related: 10 tips for planning your child’s first birthday party

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  • Cakes are included in some packages
    3 / 7 Cakes are included in some packages

    Bambini Photography introduced the service last year after parents repeatedly requested for it.

    Previously, the team was worried about the culture of being wasteful, and disrespectful to the bakeries.

    These concerns, they realised, were unfounded after a chat with cake-makers, who were more than pleased to offer people happiness through their creations.

    “We decided to give it a go and soon realised that it is nothing more than capturing the curiosity of babies with the fanciful cakes that their parents prepared for them with love,” the Bambini team wrote on its blog.

    It now partners with Creme Maison Bakery, which supplies the confections for the birthday shoots.

    The Studio Loft works exclusively with Little House of Dreams and Little ones Photography gets its cakes from Temptations.

    White Room Studio and Firefly Photography provide parents with recommended bakeries

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  • Every baby reacts differently
    4 / 7 Every baby reacts differently

    Photographing babies is challenging enough, but when you throw a cake into the mix, you never know what to expect.

    “We’ve found that those shoots when the baby tries the cake for the first time are more limited,” say Littleones’ managing director Emily Newell and creative director Kate Griffiths.

    Photographer Tay Yong En from Bambini agrees, adding that during the shoot, the child might not know what to do.

    Related: Breastfeeding photos: Jen Pan’s 3-part series

    (Photo: Littleones photography)

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  • Familiarise your baby
    5 / 7 Familiarise your baby

    The trick, these experts share, is to let your baby touch and eat cake a few weeks before, so he is comfortable with it on the day of the shoot.

    From Maryann’s experience, almost all cake smashes end up with the birthday stars crying “because they don’t like the mess”.

    Even though you may end up with a teary baby, those cute crying shots hold great memories of that age, Yong En adds.

    She recalls having a baby boy who was so fascinated by the party setup, he grabbed the props, instead of the cake, and tried putting them in his mouth.

    Related: 5 tips for taking better photos of your child

    (Photo: Firefly photography)

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  • Plan it around his schedule
    6 / 7 Plan it around his schedule

    If you want your child to be this excited during the shoot, it’s best to plan it around his schedule.

    Most shoots take between an hour and 1½ hours, so it’s important that he has been fed and is well-rested.

    “The outfit will get covered in cake, so don’t choose one that you don’t want to get stained,” Emily and Kate remind, adding that if you decide to go with only a diaper, consider using a diaper cover.

    Remember that some babies will dig right into the cake, while others will be more apprehensive. “It’s all about having fun, so just go with the flow,” advises Elaine Lim, the creative director at White Room Studio.

    It’s also about capturing memories as a family, so get ready to join in the action with your little one, as well.

    (Photo: White Room Studio) 

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  • Where to go
    7 / 7 Where to go

    Bambini Photography
    Fees start from $499, and include a cake from Creme Maison Bakery and 20 high-resolution images that can be printed up to 10R size.
    Where #10-24 Oxley Bizhub 2, 62 Ubi Road 1

    Firefly Photography 
    Packages range from $200 to $300 (cake not included), depending if the shoot is in the studio or outdoors. All unedited images and a minimum of 40 edited photos will be given in soft copy.
    Where #07-19 A’Posh Bizhub, 1 Yishun Industrial Street 1

    Littleones Photography
    Its packages start from $300, and include a cake from Temptations and an acrylic photo block.
    Where 5 Walton Road

    The Studio Loft
    Fees start from $400 for a baby cake package and $500 for a giant cupcake package. All confections are from Little House of Dreams. The fees include four edited images in digital and 5R print.
    Where #09-39 Oxley Bizhub, 71 Ubi Road 1

    White Room Studio
    Its packages start from $450 (cake not included) and come with four edited images in digital, as well as three 5R prints and one 8R print.
    Where Level 2, 219 River Valley Road

    Related: All-female photo studio broke stereotypes

    (Photo: White Room Studio)

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