If your baby's first birthday is approaching, you're probably excitedly planning a birthday party to celebrate this big milestone. You might also be considering doing a photo shoot with them - also known as a cake smash.
Cake smash photo shoots can be a super sweet way to celebrate the end of their babyhood, and surviving the first year of parenting. But, these photos aren't always as easy as they might seem. Here are my top tips for a successful cake smash.
Tip #1: Plan ahead
A successful cake smash takes lots of careful planning. Schedule the photo shoot for a time when your baby is most likely to be in a good mood, well-fed, and rested. If your little one is booked in for their one-year vaccinations, it's best not to plan your cake smash for the day or two afterwards as they may be a little out of sorts.
Also, plan the location and setup for the shoot, including the decorations and the cake. If you're planning on doing it outdoors, try to avoid the harsh midday sun and opt for the beginning or end of the day when the sunlight is softer.
A successful cake smash photo session with your baby takes a lot of careful planning. (Photo by me - Amy Tong Photography)
Tip #2: Choose the right cake
Choose a soft, moist cake with buttercream icing that your baby will enjoy smashing and eating. Avoid using fondant or any decorations that could be a choking hazard. You should also avoid chocolate cake flavours or bright red icing as these can look unsightly in photographs. The best options are a light vanilla spongecake with a soft pastel buttercream icing.
Tip #3: Dress for the occasion
Dress your baby in a comfortable, easy-to-remove outfit that will not interfere with the cake smash. Consider adding a tutu, a bow tie, or a hat to match the theme of the shoot. You may also like to photograph your family together or your older children, so ensure that you're all wearing clothes that will work well together.
Tip #4: Be patient
It's important to be patient and go at your baby's pace during the photo shoot. Allow your baby to explore and play with the cake in their own way, and capture those candid moments.
A first birthday photo session is also the perfect time to update your family portraits with all the members of your family - even your furry ones! (Photo by me - Amy Tong Photography)
Tip #5: Finish off with a cute little bath
After making lots of mess, you'll need to clean up your baby. Why not make it into a photo opportunity while you're at it!? At my cake smash sessions I always finish off with a bath in my sweet little mini clawfoot bath. Babies usually love spashing around in the bubbles.. and it's a great way to get them cleaned off after all that sugary mess!
A splash in a bath after their cake smash is another opportunity to create some gorgeous photographs that you and your family can treasure always! (Photo by me - Amy Tong Photography)
Tip #7: Hire a professional photographer
By now you might be realising that cake smash photography is a little harder than it might seem! To ensure that you capture high-quality photographs to memorialise this special milestone, you might want to consider hiring a professional baby photographer like me with experience in cake smash photography.
I'd love to hear from you!