Seven Tips for the Perfect Cake Smash Session | St. Louis & Washington, MO Baby Photographer

A cake smash photo session is a fun, joyful way to commemorate the milestone of your little one’s first birthday. Capture your baby’s surprise, curiosity and delight as he/she digs into a birthday cake!  The session takes place at our studio, which is full of fun props, backdrops, and outdoor scenery (weather permitting). 

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Lots of people inquire and book these sessions with our studio.  I have to admit, these sessions are a ton of fun and much easier than most people think!  What goes into planning the perfect smash?  Here are some tips:

1. Theme or Inspiration.  
When a client books a Cake Smash Session with my studio, I ask if they have a birthday theme.  I don't always like the way this sounds because if the client doesn't have one, I don't want them scouring Pinterest in a panic! The truth is, a specific theme isn’t necessary! We have decorated and shot many of these sessions with themes as simple as "Blue and White” or “Tribal."  Don't get too caught up on finding the perfect theme.  It's more about their reaction and fun with the cake than the props around them!  If you do have a specific theme like “Alice in Wonderland” or want a background that is more elaborate, we can do that too!

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2. Wardrobe: Less is More!
Since the session could end with cake and icing everywhere, most parents prefer a diaper-only-look!  I have quite a few diaper covers available at the studio.  I also have bowties for boys, and headbands and tutus for girls.  Of course onesies, rompers and basic jeans look adorable as well, but keep in mind “Simple is Best” for this messy session!

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3. Decor & Cake: Let us the hard part!
We will order your child's cake based on your ideas and theme.  Our baker is extremely creative and will either make a large cupcake or a small round cake, both with fun, yet simple embellishments.  We pick up your cake, so it's one less thing you have to worry about handling on picture day!

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We also create a custom set based on the theme and outfit. We research your idea and design a background that matches your vision to document this important milestone. We have a die cut machine, which comes in handy for banners and 3D shapes!  If you have decor you would like in the set, that's welcomed too!  We have so much fun creating these sets!

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4. Save the Cake for Last!
If you're planning on family photos, in addition to the cake smash, we always start the session with those poses. After those are completed, you can change baby into another outfit for some individual one-year portraits.  Then, it's time for cake! We try to have the set all ready to go before your session, so all we have to do is bring out the cake and let baby start smashing!

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5. It's Smash Time!
Once we bring out the cake, the photo session usually takes about 10-15 minutes. We want your baby to set the pace, as some little ones are eager to dig into the cake and others are much more hesitant.  If your baby is shy about touching the icing, you may have to get in there and show him/her how it’s done!  This usually gets them going!  If not, sticking baby's favorite snack, like a puff or cracker, in the icing, is a good way to get them interested.  A drink cup is always good to have on-hand, since they may want to wash down the cake, too!

6. Whatever Happens, Happens!
A cake smash session is a great way to show off your baby’s unique personality in a relaxed and carefree way.  Some parents are disappointed if baby doesn't smash the cake right away. Patience and a break for baby are sometimes necessary, but I assure you we will get some good pictures of this event!  No matter what their reaction is, it is a unique memory and will be fun to look at years from now! 

7. The Clean-Up.
We take care of the cleanup in the studio; you just have to clean up your little cake-eater!  We have a bathroom where you can wash baby in the sink.  We also make sure you have access to Aveeno Baby Wash and plenty of bath towels, so baby is mess-free before heading to your car. It's also nice to bring a simple baby outfit for the ride home!  And if there is any cake left over, you get to take it with you!  (That's for all of your efforts!)

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We adore Cake Smashers so be inspired by visiting our blog for the latest sessions in our portfolio!


Dana Marquart

Photogenics on Location, 100 West Front Street, Washington, MO, 63090