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Cake smash - Tips

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Tips, what to wear and all of the messy and fun details!

I LOVE a cake smash session, they are adorable, unpredictable and messy!! All of these attributes make for awesome photos and a photoshoot to remember!

If you have a cake smash with me here are a few things to keep in mind!


Safety: SO important!! A baby may be allergic to wheat, egg, refined sugar among other things. For that reason, I always ask you the parent to bring the cake.

Style: I LOVE to design new themes, call me and let's plan!

*Do this prior to getting the cake as you can then get the cake to match the theme!

*Want to do something a bit different? Not a cake but maybe doughnuts or their favorite food!? Yes, please!! Let's chat!

Babies reaction: I'm going to be totally honest with you, not all babies dig into their cake, get messy and smile. Since being a Vancouver BC cake smash photographer since 2009 I have the experience to know it is actually quite rare and generally quite the opposite.

On average your babe will sit there for a minute, look at this 'weird-looking never before seen thing' in front of them, and either start to cry or start to crawl away. For real lol. BUT don't let that scare you away, If you follow my tips below and follow my lead at the shoot we will get some really fantastic authentic photos!! Tears, smiles, and looks of question, confusion, and all of the adorable expressions your baby might make!

No matter what, let it be what it will be, and know I will do everything I can to get those smiles!

*I LOVE to get siblings and parents involved in the smash too if you want to! This first started as more of a need to calm the baby but after time it became so fun to have the rest of the family join that I now offer the option to get involved for all of my sessions!


*Does your child have a favorite, book, toy, character they love?

*Is there a room decorated in a specific color, theme?

*Do they have a favorite food? I LOVE to do 'fave food smashes' in lieu of cake!

*Do they have a favorite animal?

*Are you having a first birthday party? What will the theme be? Do you want it to match the smash?


*If you're having your session with me, you do not need to bring a cake stand!

*I do suggest a professional cake, the results of the photos will be that much better! See some local Vancouver BC cake vendors HERE

*You don't need a 3 or even 2 layer cake, keep it to a medium to small size!

See inspiration photos below and for more head HERE.

*Pink, white, yellow, and light green photograph well, and match with most backdrops. I like orange as well. It is vibrant and makes the photos pop. Avoid chocolate, red and blue – the first two don’t look good when wet and the last is tough to clean.

*Go with whipped or buttercream frosting so it’s easy to dig into. Avoid fondant – it’s tough to break and can be a choking hazard. Sprinkles? Absolutely, if you can get them on the cake without having to modify your design.

*Keep the cake simple and for some pizzazz add a great cake topper!

*It should be close to room temperature when it is time to smash.


Practice: Remember the baby is just one year old and is often shy of exploring a new texture, shape, or taste. Especially when surrounded by adults making funny noises and clapping to egg them on. So, take away the anxiety. I suggest that parents practice at home, before the session, with a cupcake. Icing on top, preferably the same colors, and a similar environment i.e. everyone sits on the floor. This isn’t a foolproof solution but it has given me good results. By the way, a smaller portion may help uncover any allergies not known to parents earlier.

Make sure your baby is well-rested and isn’t starving before the shoot: Yes, you want them to smash and eat the cake, but if they are starving, they are going to be grumpy. And if they are tired, they are going to be grumpy, too. You want your baby to be happy and smiling in the pictures! So if your baby has recently napped and had a little food, they should be good to go!


See my Pinterest board HERE for inspiration

Few tips:

*Depending on your icing it may stain or be hard to wash so I might not suggest wearing anything super special or knitted

*If your little one will be wearing suspenders be sure they fit well and don't fall off of them when they sit down!

*Try the outfit on at least a week prior and get your baby to sit in it to make sure it fits well when sitting!

*Avoid large logos or sayings on the front as when they sit down they may not be visible, especially if they are sitting behind a cake!

*****IF you have a top you REALLY want your child to wear that says 'first birthday' or 'birthday girl/boy' then let's take some extra time and take photos of your little one wearing that outfit before the cake smash! Be sure to book a session that will allow time for this! Let's chat about this if you have questions!


- The cake

- A few of your child's favorite toys in case they need a break or something to distract them

- A change of clothes for the baby

- A change of clothes for you and any siblings that may be coming (things can get really messy and I like to get the parents and siblings in photos too!!)

- Small snacks like cheerios and puffs that we can hide in the frosting if needed!


*Are you wanting the photos for the party? Need them for a particular date? What are you going to do with the photos? Print them, make a banner, etc? Give yourself LOTS of time so you don't add any extra stress! Book at least 2-3 weeks prior to needing the final photos!

*If you are booking with me, keep in mind my weekends book up quite far in advance so if you know you want to do da smash book the date sooner than later and book it a month prior to needing the final photos if you can!

If you would like to book a shoot with me please get in touch and I look forward to planning with you!!

:) LL

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