Baby Shower

How to do a Cake Smash Photoshoot

If you are planning a Cake Smash for your baby, you need to know how to do a Cake Smash photoshoot for the best photos and the most fun!

Cake Smash has become increasingly popular in recent years. And my social media feed is often full of adorable one year olds doing Cake Smash on their first birthday.

Not only does Cake Smash make beautiful photos, but it’s also fun. And it’s a real centerpiece of a First Birthday Party.

So how to set up a Cake Smash photoshoot? Well, we decided to ask the experts!

Heather Barrett, a professional photographer from Heather Elizabeth Studios in Cincinnati, is an expert in photographing Cake Smashes. So we asked her to share with us her top tips for setting up a cake smash, and taking the best photos of the event! Here’s what he had to say…

How should you set up for a Cake Smash Photoshoot?

how to make a smash cake photoshoot

When setting up a cake smash, I always start with a backdrop that is at least 6 feet wide. I prefer 7 feet, and a white paper floor (this allows for easy cleaning). Then I started adding the props. I try to choose props with complementary colors, tones, and varying heights and textures to create visual interest. Size is also important when choosing props, it should make sense to the theme.

What props/accessories do you need for Cake Smash?

cake smash first birthday

I use balloon garlands in many of my cake smashes. And I always have balloon garland tape, glue dots, and hundreds of balloons on hand. I also always wrap my cake smashed in a hot bubble bath in a clawfoot tub. So I always have bubbles, a bubble machine, a bubble bath, and warm fluffy towels on hand to end the session. I also have several different cake stands to fit the different themes I shoot.

baby cake smash bath

What’s the best way to get a baby’s attention for Cake Smash pictures?

Dog toys, music boxes, and cell phones are some of the best ways to get baby’s attention for pictures. Sometimes, if there are older siblings, I will make them dance behind me or sing a silly song. But a lot of what I shot was the baby playing with the cake self-directed taking them while they were unprompted.

What is the best type of cake to use for a Smash Cake?

smash cake set up

In my experience, the best type of cake to use for a cake smash is a white 6-inch cake. It’s still big enough to decorate nicely but not so big that it takes over the baby and demands the focus of the image. When deciding on the design for your cake, I suggest avoiding lots of red or black frosting. Those colors probably didn’t photograph well when they were smeared all over the baby. I work closely with a local bakery who designs each of my cakes to suit the theme and colors I shoot for. This ensures that the entire set is cohesive and beautiful.

What are your favorite themes for a cake smash session?

how to make cake smash

I’ve shot hundreds of cake smashes but I’m not sure I have a favorite theme. I think my favorite themes are the birthday boy/girl ones. Parents usually choose a theme because it marks the moment of where their child is at that particular time in their life. Some parents choose a cake smash theme to match the theme of the first birthday party. Then they have pictures to accent the party decor. Other times, families choose themes with colors that complement their decor so they have gorgeous art to decorate their walls. It’s important when choosing a theme that you consider how you plan to use images.

Any other Smash Cake tips or advice?

how to take a photo of a cake smash

I always suggest parents before the cake smash session to practice. Grab half a dozen cupcakes and let your child play with icing and cake. This way they get used to the texture. Be prepared to get messy! At the end of a cake smash, there was icing everywhere including me and the parents.

About the Author

Photo by Author

Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mother of three. She started Darling Celebrations in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating life’s special events.

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