Tips for Planning Your Cake Smash

a little boy sitting on a blue blanket on top of grass, about to smash his face into the white cake that is sitting in front of him that has the number 1 on written on the front.

Your baby is about to turn one and it’s time to celebrate! What better way than to let them stuff their face with a delicious little treat. It’s your birthday and you can smash a cake if you want to! If you have already booked your Belly to Birthday journey, you’re in luck because a cake/dessert is included!

a collage of 3 images, all in a blue bedroom. the large picture shows a close-up of a smiling little boy. the bottom left image is the same little boy, taken from a bit farther away, as he's holding his light blue stuffed animal. The bottom right image is the same little boy, looking directly into the camera smiling, as his parents sit on either side of him looking at him smiling.

The family session before the cake smash

Cake smash sessions are a great way to commemorate the past year of your family’s life. When booking your cake smash, you have more options to choose from than you may initially think. When planning a cake smash/birthday shoot, you have the choice of whether you would like to do it in your family home or at an outside location, or a little of both- there is no right or wrong, it’s all up to your personal taste! Cake smashes don’t even have to be done with cake, you can choose any snack or dessert your little one desires. If they have any particular food they are obsessed with at this stage- we can use that as inspiration as well.

Including the Family!

a collage grid of 4 images consisting of one family. the top left image, the baby girl is sitting in front of the camera, with her finger in her mouth smiling and her parents are sitting behind her in background smiling at each other. the top right image shows the baby standing in her crib, looking off to the right while she laughs. the bottom left image is in the family's kitchen. the baby sits on the kitchen island, with a smashed white & pink cake sitting between her legs on a cake stand. her parents are on either side of her- dad is kissing her cheek and mom is looking at her smiling. the bottom right image, the baby is now in the kitchen sink getting a bath. her tongue is out as she observes the water from the faucet.

Including a cake smash portion into your one-year-old/family session always proves to be a great & memorable choice. If you choose to go this route, we would start off the session with some group family photos and then branch off into individuals of the baby with each parent, and siblings or pets if there are any. In the mix of capturing group and individual photos, I’ll also be photographing the birthday baby all on their own- whether it be one of their giggling fits, them playing with their toys, or even walking around exploring their surroundings. Once I feel like the family portion is complete or we start to lose the baby’s interest, we’ll finish the session with the cutest part of the day- the dessert smash (Sugar ’em up!)

At-Home Cake Smashes

a collage of 2 photos. the photo on the left shows a baby boy sitting on a kitchen island, he is laughing and clapping his hands together as he looks into the camera. the right photo is just of the babys legs, as he still sits on the island. a cake stand is now between his legs, holding up a white and yellow cake that has the number 1 written on it. the baby boy's hand is messily grabbing the top of the cake.

a baby boy is sitting on top of a white kitchen island. there is a crumbled up cake lying between his legs, as there are crumbs all over him and the counter. he is looking off to the left, sticking his tongue out to taste the crumbs on his face.

Yes- we can smash cake just about anywhere! Do you want a cute at-home session or maybe outside, somewhere close by? Both options make for great photos and memories. Cake smash sessions that take place in your family home would primarily be focused in the baby’s nursery, your living room, and the kitchen. Home sessions make it a bit easier to include any fur babies you may have, especially if you don’t feel comfortable enough to have them be a part of any family sessions that take place outside. Your pets are a major part of your family and have a special bond with your child- it’s important having them be a part of the milestones! Using your home as a backdrop shows off what your day-to-day life looks like, and even gives your baby a chance to show off some of their favorite toys and belongings. Kitchen cake smashes always end up with incredibly cute results (and having it done in the kitchen makes the cleanup a bit easier). 

a baby girl in only a diaper is sitting in her playroom. the wallpaper is a colorful map of the world that has pictures of animals scattered across. There is a wooden layered bookshelf that holds numerous baby books. the baby is sitting in front of the book case, holding a book as she looks into the camera.

a collage of 2 photos. the left photo shows a family sitting on the floor in the living room of their modern home. the father is petting his small dog, while looking at his baby girl that is sitting in his wifes lap. The wife is on the right of him, holding the baby who is petting their larger dog. the mom & daughter look into the camera smiling. the image on the right is a close up of the baby girl as she looks into the camera.

Outdoor Sessions

a collage of 2 images. the photo on the left is of a couple sitting in a field of yellow buttercups. the husband (on the left) is looking into the camera smiling, as his wife looks at her pregnant belly. the image on the right is of their son, now sitting in the same field of yellow buttercup flowers, with a white & yellow cake sitting in front of him.

a close up photo of a baby boy, sitting in a field of yellow flowers (the flowers and background are blurred). He has cake crumbs and icing all over his mouth and hands.

Having an outdoor cake smash gives you a bit more freedom in terms of where you would like your session to take place (especially if you aren’t in the mood to prep your house). Some popular options I see families gravitate towards are local parks/playgrounds they frequent or somewhere significant to them like where they once did their maternity shoot or wedding photos. 

a family outside. the dad and mother are on either side of their baby boy, kissing his cheeks. the baby looks into the camera smiling, as he holds his mothers face

What Dessert to Choose

a collage of 3 images. the left is a close up of a baby girl as she stuffs a donut into her mouth, as a pink cake with the number 1 written on it sits in front of her. the middle image is taken from above, as the same little girl crawls away from her tipped over donuts and cake.  the image on the right is of the same girl looking directly into the camera as she places her fingers on top of her pink 1 cake.

Traditionally, 1st birthday celebrations include cake but it doesn’t have to be cake! As we celebrate their entry into solid foods, you can really choose any dessert or snack that your baby loves as well as accommodate any dietary needs. To make it easy and hassle-free for you I have a working relationship with some local bakeries that can help me supply you with your choice of cake or vegan donuts/cupcakes, which can be purchased a la carte if you do choose to go the traditional cake route. The regular cake will be a vanilla frosted vanilla cake, but you have the option of choosing which accent color to add to your cake for the piping and “1” on the side. However, not every baby likes or can have cake/dessert on their birthday and that’s okay! I’ve also had the chance to meet some little ones who prefer a different snack- like broccoli and hummus or spaghetti. We’re flexible and we like to try to cater to what the birthday baby wants and loves! If your cake smash/birthday session was booked through the Belly to Birthday Package-then you’re in luck! One of the perks to purchasing a Belly to Birthday Package is that it comes with a complimentary cake/dessert for your one-year/cake smash session. If you booked your cake smash session outside of Belly to Birthday- you have two options to choose from. If you would like, you could purchase a cake, vegan donuts, or vegan cupcakes a la carte from me or you could supply a cake/dessert on your own- the choice is yours! (Either way, I will bring a cake stand and some paper towels:))

a collage of 4 images. one long vertical image on the left and a column of 3 short horizontal photos on the right. all the images show a baby girl snacking on broccoli and hummus as she sits in her height chair in her family's modern kitchen

a baby girl sitting on a blue blanket in grass. she is staring directly into the camera and she is stuffing her face with a huge chunk of cake.

Want to see more adorable at-home sessions? Check out some fun At Home with Baby or my other Philadelphia Family Sessions!

Contact me today to book and plan your Cake Smash!

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