TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR BABY’S CAKE SMASH SESSION
WHAT IS A CAKE SMASH SESSION YOU ASK?
Once upon a time, a genius decided to take the words “cake” and “smash” and put them together..giving us this seriously adorable first birthday tradition!
The cake smash session is a milestone photoshoot that typically occurs when the child turns one year old where they are presented with a cake to eat or smash or both or none if we’re being honest. Cake smash sessions are a fun way to celebrate the milestone of your little baby turning one.
Cake smash sessions are about capturing personality and letting your child do that through play. Now that you have a better understanding of what a cake smash session actually is, let’s take a look into what a cake smash session is with me in particular.
CAKE SMASH SESSION
Tangram Photography’s unique cake smash sessions will focus on minimal decor so your attention is drawn to the child captured. Each session will be unique. The focus is to capture the babies personality throughout the session.
WHAT I PROVIDE:
My prop stash is always growing, and what I can provide will depend on the theme and color scheme that you have chosen for your session. But generally speaking, this is what I typically have on hand.
Styled background and white floor
A cake stand and wooden spoon
Small pieces of decor like florals, starfish, and decorative boxes.
WHAT YOU PROVIDE
Baby’s outfit and headpiece
Puffs or other small treats that baby likes
A water cup
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A CAKE SMASH SESSION?
BACKGROUND SET UP, PROPS.
If there are specific props that you want to bring, please do! I will have the backdrop set up when you arrive and we can make any adjustments with any additional props or accessories you bring along.
HERE'S SOME THEMES THAT OUR STUDIO DESIGNED TUDIO
TIPS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR CAKE SMASH SESSION
If you’d like to use your portraits to display at baby’s birthday party I recommend having your session take place when baby is 10 1/2-11 months old. This will give you time to make prints and order any products that you’d like to display.
SCHEDULE YOUR CAKE SMASH SESSION KEEPING NAPS IN MIND
Naps or bedtime should always be top-of-mind when scheduling a cake smash session. The idea of these sessions are to capture your child’s personality so we want to make sure that they are well rested. If your child is on a schedule and naps every day at a certain time of day, I will work around that schedule. If your child is not on a schedule but tends to be the happiest during certain portions of the day, let’s be sure to schedule the session during that time.
BRING THEIR FAVORITE SNACK
Bring some puffs or small snacks that baby likes! This is a great little trick to help us get some great images even if baby isn’t interested in smashing… we just stick them right into the back of the cake! Also, have a sippy cup or bottle nearby in case baby gets thirsty or needs a break.
Avoid getting a chocolate cake. It looks… gross. (insert poop emoji here, lol) I also suggest avoiding cakes with a lot of red icing.
LET THEM BE A LITTLE HUNGRY
I always recommend that you feed your child before they come to a session so they are not starving and fussy, however with cake smash sessions sometimes it can be beneficial if your child is slightly hungry. Still feed them of course, but if they are still a bit hungry when they get to the shoot, they may be more likely to dig into the cake. If they’ve just eaten a full meal, they may not be as interested in eating more when they see the cake.
WHERE TO GET A SMASH CAKE
Because there are so many different food allergies out there these days (dairy, wheat, sugar, etc) I always ask that my clients provide the cake. This gives you full control over what’s inside of the cake! I highly, highly recommend getting a smash cake from a professional bakery. Homemade cakes can be beautiful but they’re often very dry and the icing is hard. We want a simple cake with soft icing. A “naked cake” with white icing is always a great choice for any theme!
For size, a 6-inch cake with 2-3 tiers is ideal. If it is too big it won’t fit on a cake stand or between babys legs. Also, you’ll want to make sure that the cardboard base isn’t massively bigger than the cake itself. The base should be no more than an inch or so wider than the cake itself.
Again, don’t forget to let the cake sit out for a few hours prior to your session. A cold, hard cake will be difficult for baby to smash and won’t feel good on their little hands.
And remember… no chocolate cake or red icing! Also, fondant is beautiful but you’ll need to keep an extra close eye on baby during the smash because fondant is difficult to chew and could present a choking hazard. (This also goes for any decorative details on the cake, including things like toothpicks and wooden dowels.)
If you’re picking up your cake the day before your session please remember to take it out of the refrigerator a few hours in advance so that the icing can soften. A hard, cold cake is no fun to smash!
Be prepared to participate! Some babies don’t quite get the hang of the smash right away so you may need to get your hands into the cake to help them get started.This session is a special occassion for your little one, so we want to make this day all about baby!
This is going to be messy. Really messy. So be sure to bring an extra outfit for baby and possibly one for yourself!
Our favorite cake & dessert vendors
I do have baby soaps and towels at the studio to help you clean baby after the cake smash, but if there is a particular soap that you prefer to use on your little one please feel free to bring that with you. Icing can be very greasy so soap is almost always a necessity!
THE BIGG I can give to any Mom planning a cake smash session is to relax. Little ones can sense stress and we want them to come into a happy, positive environment! It’s totally normal to go Pinterest-crazy and have a lot of grand ideas for your session but remember that baby is the one who is really running the show. Some one-year-olds really love digging in and getting covered in icing, and some just don’t like getting messy. If it’s their first time having something sweet like cake they may dislike the taste. It’s totally normal and every baby is different! Don’t get discouraged if we’re not getting the reaction you hoped for… we’re still going to get really beautiful images that capture this huge milestone and show your baby’s personality.
I like to use my own son's images as an example… we did get the one portrait of his looking somewhat happy but for the most part,he absolutely hated cake. And of course, in the moment it was frustrating because we put so much work into planning the perfect photoshoot for their little ones. But I look back now and it just makes me laugh. I’ll never forget his sweet little face, full of cake and drama!
Regardless of how your little one feels about the cake, pretty much every single smash ends like this, with an icing-covered baby crawling (or running) away!
LET’S SPLASH AFTER THE SMASH!
It’s true, a lot of babies aren’t a fan of the cake. But, not to jinx anything, I Getting messy with smash cake all in your toes may not be fun, but everyone loves to splash water in bath!
IS CAKE MAYBE NOT YOUR THING?
No problem! You can bring your little one in to smash anything you’d like. I’ve done doughnut, strawberry, watermelon, and pasta smashes myself, but I’ve seen some other really adorable ideas!
Got something fun in mind? Reach out and let’s chat!
If you’d like to learn more or schedule a first birthday session for your little one please feel free to explore my site and reach out when you’re ready.
If you haven’t already scheduled yours, please Contact Me ASAP. Thank you!!