Planning & What To Expect
Ready for your little one to dress cute and smash cake to celebrate their birthday milestone? These sessions are SO.MUCH.FUN!
Only the second half of the session involves cake smashing . We will shoot another setup beforehand to give you a well-rounded gallery of images. It is important to have photos of your baby to document them at this age separate from the cake smashing ones.
Theme: I need to know the theme you would like for your little one at least 3 weeks in advance. The earlier the better so that I have time plan and coordinate the setup with you. I may need to order items. The more simple the better. My smashes are not crazy elaborate so that the focus is all on the star of the show which is your baby! If you give me a color scheme- that works best! Then we can decide on a few additional items to be added. For example. Gold and Pink colors are super popular for girls. If you see a pictures anywhere on my site that you just love, let me know, and I can definitely see how we can incorporate that!
What should my baby wear?
I usually do a setup with the baby before the cake smash portion of the session. I have some clothing available in my Client Wardrobe that you are free to utilize during the shoot free of charge! I'm always adding to it so check for updates often! Parents can also bring a nice outfit to use for one of the setups. Once we're done with those photos, we move on to the cake smash! Most parents either find a cute outfit or have their baby wear only a diaper cover for the smash. I recommend matching the outfit to the cake you choose
It's all about the cake!
The clients must provide the cake because there are so many different food allergies out there these days (dairy, wheat, sugar, etc). This gives you full control over what’s inside of the cake, as well as the design! I highly, highly recommend getting a smash cake from a professional bakery. Homemade cakes can be beautiful but they’re often very dry and the icing is hard. Avoid getting a chocolate cake! It looks… gross. I also suggest avoiding cakes with a lot of red icing.
The cake smash cake – The cake size, and colors, and even frosting type are VERY important. A massive cupcake cake works, but I prefer a 5-6 inch layered cake.
When you go to a professional baker they use fondant frosting. Fondant frosting is really hard for kids to break into and destroy a cake. Also, (truth here)it doesn't really taste good. Keep the cake ingredients to soft frosting (butter cream), and whipped cream
Fondant will also not work! The babies cannot dig through a hard covered fondant cake. Colored icing works best, and should be coordinated with your cake smash outfit.
Avoid candies, dark cake batter, and sprinkles that can cause choking hazards. (inquire about adding a cake to your package, and I’ll take care of coordinating that piece of the session if you prefer!)
It is SUPER important that your cake be easily transferred from the box, to the cake stand, or floor. Be sure to specify that you need on on a cake board that will either not show through, or is not one with the cardboard edge.
Little cupcakes, or tiny pre-made grocery store cakes do not work. We need something big enough to make an impact, and give them time to play in it.
What do I bring to my cake smash session?
- 2 outfits (1 before cake smash and 1 during)
- Extra clothes for baby to go home in
- Box or tupperware for cake
- Extra water for baby (Babies get very thirsty once they start eating the cake!)
- Baby’s favorite toys & snacks, just in case!
Here are a few tips to help with planning your baby’s first birthday portrait session:
If you’d like to use your portraits to display at baby’s birthday party I recommend scheduling your session when baby is 11 months old. This will give you time to make prints and order any products that you’d like to display.
Bring some puffs or small snacks that baby likes. This is a great little trick to help us get some great images even if baby isn’t interested in smashing… we just stick them right into the back of the cake!
Have a sippy cup or bottle nearby in case baby get thirsty or needs a break to wash down all that yummy cake.
Buttercream or whipped icing is going to be the smoothest, making it easiest to smash.
Fondant is beautiful but you’ll need to keep an extra close eye on baby during the smash because fondant is difficult to chew and could present a choking hazard. (This also goes for any decorative details on the cake, including things like toothpicks and wooden dowels.)
Be prepared to participate! Some babies don’t quite get the hang of the smash right away so you may need to get your hands into the cake to help them get started.
This is going to be messy. Really messy. So be sure to bring an extra outfit for baby and possibly for yourself!
I do have some baby soaps at the studio to help you clean baby up after the cake smash has finished but if there is a soap or body wash that you prefer to use please feel free to bring that with you. Icing can be very greasy so soap is almost always a necessity!
Rescheduling advice for Photo Session.
We know how much you planned to do this session, and then your little one gets sick. You try and push through, its only 30 minutes, they will fine, Right? Unfortunately, It's been our experience that if baby doesn't feel good the entire session is photos of the baby crying. Our advice? Reschedule. The photos aren't date stamped and if the photos are a few days before or after their birthday, it really won't matter. We don't have a reschedule fee. We totally understand, things happen. As a mom myself, you can't plan everyday to be perfect. If your baby has a cold, or has run a fever in the last few days, reschedule. If they had an ear infection or you've given them ANY antibiotics or Tylenol in the last 24 hours, reschedule. Also, if ANYONE in your house is/has been or is in contact with anyone who might have been throwing up, PLEASE reschedule.