HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR CAKE SMASH SESSION
✔Schedule session around 11 to 13 months age.
✔Think about a theme and colors you’d like to use.
✔Do a practice run at home with tiny cake or whipped cream so baby gets used to the idea.
✔Pick an outfit that matches your chosen theme and colors
(I have selected outfits available email for more info.)
✔Size down! You don’t want clothing too big or baggy
✔Outfits will get messy so keep that in mind
What to Expect
Picking out a Set or Theme
If you don't know where to start that is totally okay, it can be so overwhelming. I offer a variety of options available to choose from on my website.
These are smaller sets made for your child's ages so family images cannot be achieved on this. It is designed to be proportional to your little one. I have a large selection of backdrops located on my site for you to choose from. I can also custom make a set or order on from my distributor (additional charges might be applied). If you would like a specific theme that I don't have on hand, please allow 2-3weeks before your session for shipping and creative time.
Examples of sets (baseball, winter, wall flowers, camping/woodland, balloon (colors are picked by parent) toy story, princess, flower, tea party.) If you would rather use more of a solid backdrop and more of a clean look that can be an option as well. The options are endless.
Family session Portion
If you have the package that includes a family session. This is done at the start and will be the portrait portion. A fancier outfit is usually used during this part. A plain backdrop or my bedroom/ living room set with chair, sofa or bed prop will be provided to choose from. Only immediate family is included.
The beginning starts off with milestone pictures, in which we capture the personality of your little one on the set. We typically have time to get through 2outfits, depending on the cooperation of your kiddo. Start with your favorite outfit. If it is a theme session and I have the outfit this is what we will start with. Most kiddos have about 15-20 min in them before a possible breakdown. I’m superfast so most outfits only take about 5-10 min to shoot.
The actual Cake Smash
After the outfit portion, your little one will get in their cake smash gear (this could be still the same outfit or a simple bowtie, bloomers, crown and tutu) I will take a few pictures before introducing the cake. Once we bring in the cake, the photo session takes approximately 10-15 minutes. I let your baby set the pace, as some littles dig right in and destroy the cake, and others need a little bit of encouragement and sometimes even help to get into their cake. Be ready to get your hands dirty and help your little one gets past all that frosting to the cake underneath!
Choosing or Making a Cake
I provide a simple nude cake with theme toppings approximately 6-8 inches around for all sessions. Due to concern for allergens a release form will be needed. If your child has allergies, you will then need to provide a cake. I am also happy to recommend some local bakers if you would like a more elaborate cake. Mariano’s & Jewel are great options as well. Whether you are making the cake, or having it made, please consider the following items:
Please make sure that the cake is placed onto a cake round (something that can be used to transfer the cake easily from one surface to another) A piece of cardboard cut into a circle and covered in aluminum foil works just as well if you are making the cake yourself.
Think about colors and how it will work with the set. Icing that is dark and certain colors like Red or bold colors smeared on baby’s face may not be a great look depending on the look of the set it also can stain babies face. If colored frosting you may need to bring your own outfit or you can purchase the outfit I have for additional cost.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator 4-5 hours before the session to allow the frosting to come to room temperature.
Do not use hard icing like fondant! buttercream or whipped icing is best
What to Wear
Choose the theme or color of your little one’s cake smash first, and then you can choose the outfit. Amazon, Etsy is a wonderful resource for buying custom made outfits that will make this photo session memorable.
I also have a few select clothing options for the portrait & family portion (please ask me if you would like to know what I have available, since my inventory is constantly changing). For the cakes smash I have bloomers, suspenders, bowties, head pieces, overalls, outfits and other small props.
Portrait Outfit - A nice outfit of some sort, a little fancier that what you would normally wear on a daily basis. I have a handful of outfits for selected ages (I'm working on providing a link, for the time being please email for more info)
Custom Onesie: Many of families opt to have a custom onesie made with the babies name and first birthday details. Etsy is ideal for your purchase
Cake smash Outfit: A cake smash outfit that the baby can get messy in. For little girls you can opt for tutus, onesie or a dress, for little boys you can get suspenders, bowtie with diaper cover. My favorite is bloomers and a bowtie or headpiece. I have a collection of themed outfits, bloomers, head pieces and Bowties and suspenders for little boys that you are welcome to use.
all custom clothing options are wonderful for keep sakes to put in a memory box and add some photos
We hope that your little one makes a huge mess! That’s the whole point of this session, and most of the fun of the day. But if they don’t that is totally fine as well. Not all babies like the texture. A little trick to add the effect us photogs use. We put some cheerios, puffs or their favorite treat to stick into the cake.
We will finish the session with a bath session a prop tub (little tub) with bubbles. I will shoot during this experience as well. Afterward I have a large Utility Sink with removable shower head made for babies and a changing table that allows you to fully clean your little one. I have towels, Aveeno sensitive lotion and shampoo, so please bring a clean outfit for you and them for the ride home.
Things to Bring
Cake (if you choose not to use one I provide)
Cake Smash Outfit (if you prefer your own)
1-2 additional outfits for Baby
Change of clothes for parents, just in case (include socks
diapers (I have selected sizes in my studio to use)
Sippy cup to help wash down the cake
Snacks - I have puffs in my studio (think cheerios, or puffs) in case they don’t like the cake. We sometimes have to hide them the cake to make it look like your little one is actually eating the cake. Ssshhh.. If you don't tell, we won’t :)
DO'S & DONT'S
✔Please ensure baby has had plenty of rest. Sleepy babies are the number one cause of unsuccessful photo sessions.
✔Please be sure to schedule before or after their nap time. Baby should be awakened at least 15-20 minutes before session, instead of right before.
✔If your baby has a fever or is not feeling well on the day of the session, then it needs to be rescheduled. We will not get good results and good smiles if your baby isn’t feeling well. Just put the cake into the freezer for safe keeping. Take it out of the freezer with enough time to let it thaw prior to the next session.
✔Let your baby have cake at least a couple of times before the cake smash session a week or two prior. This way they will be familiar with cake enough to move past the exploration phase, and they can get excited about it like the rest of us! Feeding them cake ahead of time also helps determine if your baby has any allergies or sensitivity to the icing or food coloring. But believe it or not, many babies think the texture of the icing feels weird. Some babies don’t like it at all and get upset when it won’t easily wipe off, and some babies are very interested in it and examine it very seriously. Try to even Let them eat it on kitchen floor or any hard surface floor as most kids are so used to sitting in highchairs.
✔Go with the flow, sometimes nothing goes as planned! Try to go with it anyway, you never know what amazing photos you might get!
✔Baby should be fed properly but not full, kind of tricky but you want them to have interest in the cake. Bring snacks/bottles in case they need a pick me up.
❌Give baby finger or mouth staining foods before their session. This includes suckers, candy, gum or heavily colored snacks. Pieces of candy given by parents will not be photo shopped out of images.
❌Pacifiers/smoothies are allowed for soothing purposes but will not be photo shopped out of images so please use them wisely
❌Please leave siblings and others home unless they are included in the session, distractions can really affect a session (Both Parents are more than welcome to come)
❌No tight clothing, marks on skin can add to tons of over editing and less than desired edit time and quality.