Do you want an easy and stress-free cake smash photo session?
Then these tips are for you whether you are DIYing it yourself or hiring a professional cake smash photographer (like me! *wink*) As a Chattanooga cake smash photographer, I've photographed a lot of first birthday cake smash sessions and implementing these 6 tips are the best way to ensure a successful cake smash.
Tip 1: Introduce cake and icing to your baby before the session.
Giving your baby a chance to try cake and icing at home helps in 2 ways! First, it gives them a chance to try something new in a comfortable environment with low stress. A photo session can be overwhelming for a one-year-old anyway and being expected to try a new food at the same time might be too much for them. Second, some babies just don't like cake and icing or don't like the feeling of being "dirty" with all the icing on their hands! It could also be a texture that your baby might not enjoy and that's ok! By trying it ahead of time, you know what to expect when you get to your photo session.
If your baby doesn't like icing, consider a naked cake or a different type of treat for their session. If your child enjoyed their cake at home, then you can be pretty confident that they will have a blast at their first birthday cake smash session. You know your baby best and making the experience as easy for your child as possible will make for the best photos!
Tip 2: Schedule your session around your child's nap time.
You want your little one to be in the best mood! After a nap and a little snack is the perfect time for photo sessions. Your baby is rested and not too hungry but still has room for some cake. A studio cake smash session is a good option because you can schedule the session at the time that is best for your child. But if you have your heart set on outdoors, choose a location with lots of shade or adjust your baby's schedule if needed in order to take advantage of that beautiful golden hour lighting right before sunset.
Tip 3: Dress your child in an outfit you don't mind getting dirty.
This one goes for you too, Mama! At a particularly successful cake smash, everyone usually gets a little icing on them at the very least, photographer included. If you have a special outfit that you want your child to wear but don't want to risk getting cake on it, consider planning 2 outfits for your session! As a cake smash photographer, I always plan to get photos of my little clients looking cute with their chosen theme before we bring out the cake so it is easy for Mom or Dad to change outfits real quick before we start the cake-smashing portion of the session if needed.
Tip 4: Bring a change of clothes for after!
This is also a tip for you as well! I love getting icing kissy faces with Mom and/or Dad at the end if they're willing and if they don't have cake on them by that point, they usually do after. I also suggest bringing a plastic baggie to put the cake clothes in to take home so the mess stays contained. It also doesn't hurt to bring extra wipes as well. I always provide extra wipes, baggies, and paper towels for my sessions but i'd rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them. Since my studio is in my home, my clients also have access to the guest bathroom if they need to put their little one in the bathtub before they go. I love it when my clients make themselves at home with me!
Tip 5: Select the right cake.
The best smash cakes are soft and easy to, well, smash. Also, make sure you're choosing the right cake for your child's age and dietary restrictions, if any. If you're feeling up to it, you can bake your own cake or order one from a bakery. As a Chattanooga cake smash photographer, I have several local bakeries to recommend to my clients. The cake from this session was made by my favorite grocery store, Publix.
Lastly, avoid decorating the cake with any small or hard decorations that could be a choking hazard. Or if needed, we can always remove some of the decorations before we let your baby loose on it but after we get photos of the beautiful cake. I like to get photos of the cake by itself both before and after it has been smashed.
Tip 6: Bring extra little snacks your baby loves in case we need to "fake it".
This is one of my favorite tricks. I've only needed to use it a couple of times but in the event your baby isn't interested in smashing or eating their cake, I place their favorite little snacks on the back of the cake so that the photos look like they are eating cake, even if they aren't. The best snacks are the little fruit-flavored puffs or yogurt melts or even Cheerios!
Bonus tip: have fun!
The cake smash is a celebration of your child's first birthday, so don't stress too much about getting the perfect shot. Don't worry about the mess and just enjoy the moment. Whatever happens during your child's first birthday cake smash photo session will be a memory you can look back on and laugh for years to come.
Lastly, let them eat cake!
And let me photograph it! If you want more information about how I photograph first birthday cake smash sessions, check out my Cake Smash page! Or feel free to fill out the contact form below! And keep scrolling for more photos from this groovy boho first birthday cake smash!