My top considerations for first birthday cake smashes

I know, I know. Everything I do looks effortless, right? Like I just “lucked” in to it, yeah? Like all this wonderful stuff just happens around me and I'm lucky enough to have my camera in hand to capture it. Oh look! A cute baby! Click click click. Done.

Not so.

Here's the headline.

Children and baby photography is hard! They're unpredictable and every single one is absolutely an individual from the day they are born. It's only from working with hundreds of families, babies and toddlers that I'm able to make things look so easy. But the truth is, along with experience, it's well thought out planning that helps my sessions flow so well, so I thought I'd share a few of my top tips for smooth cake smashes as a little window in to my photography soul!

Relaxing in to his first birthday photoshoot

Warm them up

It's no good sticking a cake in front of a baby in a new, weird space and expecting them to just charge ahead getting stuck in- most babies need some settling in time to get used to their surroundings and to build some trust, so I always take my time to begin. Toys, games, songs, Mummy/Daddy cuddles. Whatever they need to relax in to it. It's also a great time to capture really natural images of them at whatever stage they are at- sitting, crawling, cruising, giggles, singing and even shouting!

Drinks are essential during a cake smash

Drinking up the cuteness!

When I'm ready to move on to the smash section of the shoot, I always check parents have a drink on hand for their little one. Cake is delicious and frosting is essential for a cake smash session. It can be all too tempting for baby to grab handful after handful of the stuff, which can cause it to build up in their mouth before they have time to swallow, so it's imperative to have a drink on hand! Being cute is thirsty work!

Happy feet...

...are slippy feet! It's great to explore textures as a baby, and they don't just use their hands for this! Feet and toes often end up covered in frosting too which is super cute image wise, but if baby is at a walking stage this means we need to be extra careful that they don't slip! I always have a parent or spotter within arms reach of baby to save the day and if there's a lot of mess a quick wipe up is all that is needed to keep baby safe.

Bath Time

Not only is this more often than not babies favourite part of the session as they splash away- it also serves in a practical sense, cleaning baby off before they head off to enjoy the rest of their day. My bath tub has non-slip pads in it to avoid any deep sea diving, and I add bubbles or bath formula provided by parents (to avoid skin reactions) to again, clean them off, but also to protect their modesty! A parent/spotter is always within arms reach with the strict instructions to place hands on the baby if they attempt to stand in the bath. I've never had a baby topple out or hurt themselves as I'm always one step ahead.

The Takeaway

I absolutely can not stand waste, especially waste of food, and even more so, waste of an amazing bespoke cake! Babies rarely “smash” their cake, but “baby eating a bit of frosting and maybe one slice of cake photoshoot” really doesn't have the same ring, does it? That's why you are, under no uncertain terms, not leaving my studio without your boxed up leftovers! Ok, so it may not look as pretty as when we started, but it definitely tastes amazing and is the perfect treat with a brew whilst your baby sleeps off their first birthday celebration adventure!

Want to know more?

If you've considered a first birthday portrait session for your little one, you can find more info here. Cake Smashes are always very popular, but did you know I also do fruits smashes, or donuts, or any food your baby loves is a possibility! If you don't like the idea of the mess, I have “fake cakes” too. Message me now for more Little Wonderland information.