I love specializing in baby and children’s photography. One of my favorite types of children’s portrait sessions is a cake smash session! I wanted to share two recent sessions with you all today along with so tips that will help you have a great cake smash session with your baby.
These images are from two very different sessions. The first is an in home session taken at my client’s home in Broomfield Colorado, the second is an outdoor session at a beautiful little park in Westminster Colorado.
Cake smash sessions have become a tradition for a baby’s first birthday however they come with even more challenges than your typical session. I want your session to be awesome so here are a few tips to help you make sure everything goes smoothly.
#1. Choose a theme: This can be a simple as choosing two colors to use or the session can be themed around the season, your baby’s favorite character, animal or toy. Either way the session should have a theme or color scheme that ties everything together. Most parents will choose to use the colors/theme from their baby’s first birthday party. I can also incorporate your birthday banner if it is paper or cloth, not plastic and not too large. (Flag type banners show in these two sessions work best)
#2 Clothing: You will want to bring 2 outfits for your baby’s cake smash session. The first will be for traditional portraits only at the beginning of the session, the second will be for a few traditional portraits and then for the cake smash. I personally love when parents go all out for the cake smash outfit. Although some prefer a simple look my style fits more with the all out approach. I love girls in tutus, rompers and other custom outfits. Don’t forget the details like leggings, chunky necklaces (make sure they are baby safe, large beads, stretchy string) and classy hair bows or headbands. For boys, items like suspenders, bow ties are adorable. Leave the feet bare though, there is nothing cuter than baby toes dipped in frosting!
#3 Cake: Getting just the right cake is hard. If you are signed up for my Milestones package (babies first year package) you will receive a free cake at your one year session courtesy of Baker’s Alley Cake Co. If you are not you can order your cake from him, 4 inch smash cakes are only $20.00 and can be customized to your theme. Let him know it is for a session with me and we will work together to make sure your cake and decorations are perfectly coordinated.
If you choose to make your own cake please make sure it is either a 4 or 6 inch cake or giant cupcake. Remember that the majority of the images are going to only show the side of the cake so the majority of the decoration should be on the side not the top. Also please avoid having any choking hazards such as figures, candies, or fondant decorations on the cake. The cake should be placed on a cardboard baking round that is the same size as the cake and is not metallic. This allows us to easily move the cake onto a cake stand for the session.
If you choose to order it from another company I highly recommend choosing a local baker not a box store (Walmart, Target, King Soopers etc.). Also please give them the instructions above to make sure that your cake photographs well.
Also if the cake needs to be refrigerated make sure to pull it out at least an hour before the session so that the frosting will be soft and messy!
#4 Location: Ok here are few tips on both indoor and outdoor sessions. Hopefully they will help you choose which will be the best fit for you.
Indoor: Indoor sessions work best in an area of your home with hardwood or tile floors. This allows me to use one seamless backdrop without worrying about wrinkles or rips. Cake smash backdrops are made from seamless paper and will be taped to your wall and floor with painters tape to make sure they are secure but can be easily removed without causing any damage. There are a variety of color options so we will plan one that matches the theme and other decorations for the session. Indoor sessions are typically easier when it comes to clean up however keep in mind that all of your portraits will then take place in your home on backdrops.
Outdoor: Outdoor sessions during the warm months are a lot of fun. There are many beautiful parks and open spaces to choose from and outdoor sessions require fewer decorations since Colorado already offers so many beautiful backdrops. If you choose an outdoor session don’t forget about clean up however. You will want to bring both baby wipes and a ziplock with some wet rags to clean up baby after the session.
#5 Getting baby ready: I highly recommend that you let your child try cake at least one time before the session. Typically the best tactic is to give your baby a small slice of cake or cupcake about a week before the session, let them touch and eat it so that on the day of their session they know both what it tastes like and what it feels like.
#6 Patience: A cake smash typically takes around 15-20 minutes with the majority of the final images coming from the LAST FIVE MINUTES. Why is that? For the first 10-15 minutes baby is still checking out the cake, checking to see if its ok with mom and dad if they eat it, trying to figure this out. During this time let baby be baby. I like to get a variety of images with baby looking at the cake, eating the cake and looking at the camera or up at their parents. I will let you know when I am ready for you to try and get a cake covered smile from them, or if it is time to help them out a bit getting to the cake, however it is best until I signal you to just let them explore and take their time. It is normal for it to take some time for them to get messy so don’t stress it if your baby doesn’t dive right in.
Hopefully these tips will help you getting ready for your session. To book please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is best to contact me at least 1 month before your babies birthday, or two month if you want to have the images back for birthday invitations.
More information on cake smash sessions https://truthphotographyllc.com/portfolio/first-birthday/
More great sessions coming soon. Make sure to follow my blog to make sure you don’t miss the images when I post them. >>