Cake Smash – What to know, how to prepare

1st birthday, duckies, props, balloons, smash the cake, beyoutiful moments photography


What you need to know

Some photographers offer packages that include everything while others only offer a place to shoot. Some parents are content to have the photographer provide everything, with little indication of preference; while others seek greater creative control, deciding on and bringing the cake, the outfit and everything else besides. The choice is ultimately yours, but whatever your preference, the following information should prove useful. First thing’s first, book your cake smash session at least two months before you want your session to take place.

How you should prepare

The Outfit

Choose an outfit first so that backdrops and props can be coordinated appropriately. Don’t be afraid to ask for the photographer’s advice. They may even have a selection of clothes and accessories that you could use.

Think about what you want your child to wear. Remember that whatever you choose may end up covered in cake and icing, so stay away from fancy clothes. For this reason, many parents simply put their ones in nappies for the cake smash.

The Theme: Backdrop, Location and Props

A strong starting point can be choosing a favourite toy, book or character. A theme can then be planned around it. Well known characters make for well known colours ensuring easy cake design and available accessories to purchase and add to the mix.

The location can range from a wide open grassy space to a studio style session with a backdrop and acrylic floor. Get inspired by looking online.

The best advice is to keep it simple. One trend with cake smashes is to have lots of balloons, banners, and other knick-knacks in the background. These can look great but they can also appear messy.

If banners and balloons are really your thing, have the photographer include them in a few of the shots as opposed to all of them.

The Cake

Purchasing your own cake can keep the cost of the session down. Make sure the colour and the style of the cake match up with the baby’s outfit and the backdrop. A big “1” candle can be useful in maintaining the baby’s interest.

Go for a professional cake at a medium size, with whipped or butter cream frosting so the cake is easy to dig into. Avoid fondant. It is tough to break and can be a choking hazard. Consider whether your baby is allergic to things like wheat, egg, refined sugar etc.

Avoid darker cakes as these can be messy. Colours such as pink, white yellow and light green photograph well and match with most backdrops. Avoid chocolate and red. They don’t look so good when wet.

Finally, have your baby try the cake at least twice in the weeks leading up to the session. This breeds familiarity and gets them out of the exploration phase. It is also a great chance for you to find out which type of cake your baby prefers, whether they have any allergies and if they even like the texture of icing.

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