Disclaimer: I received a complimentary cake from Sisters’ Kitchen. All opinions expressed are my own.
Having a photo shoot for a baby to stuff his face with birthday cake is a relatively new trend. It takes the traditional first bites of birthday cake up a notch. You can add props, a professional photographer and a custom cake or you can do everything yourself. Either way, you’re sure to get great pictures to celebrate baby’s first birthday.
We recently had Cake Smash pictures taken in honor of Andrew’s first birthday. It was a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate a huge milestone. We didn’t have the pictures taken with my girls so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Here are some ways I planned for our Cake Smash pictures.
I would start planning a few weeks before the big event. Book an appointment with a local photographer (if you’re using one), research local bakeries, and get your hands on the perfect outfit. Pinterest and Instagram are great resources for ideas. I love for everything to have a theme. A simple color combination is often a good place to start. Following a theme gives continuity between the cake, outfit and decorations.
Etsy is a great place to find one-of-a-kind outfits. I love the idea of diaper covers and ties for baby boys. Tutus and crowns are also a cute option for little girls. You can even do the whole thing in a cute onesie. Be creative and remember that your baby is the star. Don’t forget to photograph any special details about the outfit.
Andrew’s outfit set the theme for the whole photo shoot. I originally ordered an outfit on Etsy but unfortunately it didn’t come in time for the shoot (due to weather). I had to go with Plan B – a baseball themed diaper cover for his upcoming birthday party, homemade party hat, suspenders and a bow tie from Valentine’s Day. Even though it wasn’t my original idea it worked out well.
The Birthday Cake
The cake is obviously a large part of the cake smash photo session. It could be something homemade, store bought or even a custom cake from a bakery. I love the idea of incorporating a giant number “1” or even the baby’s name. I always bring along pictures of my vision. I find that people really want to make you happy, and a picture is a great way for them to understand what you’re looking for.
I was in search of a giant cupcake for Andrew’s photo session. I had a specific style in mind, but since I don’t know the difference between baking soda and baking powder I knew I’d be looking for some outside help. Jennifer from Sisters’ Kitchen in Meriden, CT worked with me to make my vision come true. I sent her a picture of the outfit Andrew would be wearing and she helped design a custom cupcake that would bring the theme to life. She suggested using a red chocolate shell for the base (yes, the bottom is all chocolate!), blue frosting and white non-perils decorating the top. She topped it off with a big red number “1.” The cake was exactly what I wanted and Andrew couldn’t agree more!
You can take great smash cake pictures at home by yourself. Set up a spot with good natural light, a sheet as a background and begin shooting away. Hopefully the delicious cake will keep your wiggly one-year-old from walking (or crawling) off and allow you to get some great shots!
If do-it-yourself pictures aren’t really your thing then I’d suggest hiring a great photographer. I’ve found great deals on Groupon and Living Social for area photographers.
While I’m sure I could have gotten some great shots on my own, I decided to hire the same photographer we used for Andrew’s newborn pictures. I love that she’s willing to try any of the poses I suggest. She’s also very calm and patient (with me and my kids!). Getting pictures taken of my family is something I always enjoy.
There are a lot of options to decorate for the photo shoot. Balloons, banners, pom poms, streamers. Think about the overall theme you’re going for and go from there. I found a lot of great options at the party store, online, and on Etsy.
Since we decided to go with the baseball theme for our photo shoot, we incorporated baseballs and a bat as photo props. I love that it adds a little bit of playfulness to the pictures. We also hung two banners in the background in the colors of the shoot. I didn’t want to add too much behind Andrew because I wanted to make sure he and the cake were the star. I love the way it came out.
Let Them Eat Cake!
A Cake Smash photo session celebrates a first birthday in a fun and yummy way. I ran into a few unexpected obstacles while planning Andrew’s cake smash but I stepped back and went with the flow. It shouldn’t be a stressful day. Enjoy this special day in your little one’s life and let them eat cake!