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Fabulous Cake Smash Photos – My Top Tips

Posted on 22 Jan, 2023 by Sarah Hart

Your baby’s first birthday is a BIG deal. I’ve put together my top tips for ensuring you receive some fabulous cake smash photos from your baby’s first birthday cake smash photoshoot:

  • Book a really great professional baby photographer, who’s work you absolutely love. As an experienced baby photographer, one of my key skills is quickly getting to know what kind of personality your baby has so I can get the best of them. If they’re confident and happy-go-lucky, it’s likely I’ll have them giggling in no time. If they’re a little shy, I’ll go slowly to ensure, they get used to me first. Held at a studio, your photographer will create a set up based on your choices and ideas. AND of course, most importantly, you’ll receive a set of beautifully captured images. It takes the stress out of you having to try and take the photos and so instead you’ll be able to watch the cake smash unfold and enjoy the moment. You also have the benefit of not having to clear up the mess afterwards!
A butterfly design for a cake smash photoshoot
  • Keep the set up simple. Discuss with your photographer, your favourite colours or a theme but resist adding in too many extra props. This way the main focus of the images remains your baby. Plus, your baby is more likely to concentrate on the cake in front of it, rather than additional props such as balloons etc.
  • Colour co-ordinate your baby’s outfit to match the set-up. Here at Sarah Hart Photography there’s a selection of cake smash outfits for boys and girls for parents to select from. But clients are always welcome to bring their own outfit too. I also offer a mini portrait session before I shoot the cake smash part so, it’s a great opportunity for your little one to wear a smart outfit or dress for this part.
top tips for cake smash - coordinate the outfit to the set
The parents of these gorgeous babies chose well for their little one’s portrait session before the cake part of the photoshoot!
  • Arrange the cake smash for a time that will suit your baby. There’s no point booking a 11.30am slot if that’s when they always take a nap! We’re unlikely to get the best out of a tired baby.
  • Select your cake carefully. If bringing your own cake to a session, make sure you choose/make a cake that uses buttercream. Take the cake out of the fridge a few hours before the session to ensure it’s not too hard. Buttercream makes for a messier cake smash than fondant/hard icing on a cake ….all the more fun for your baby. I use a fabulous local and reliable cake maker (Cakes Unlimited UK) who matches my colours or theme requests to a set budget for each of my cake shoots. You can see some of her designs here: Stand Out Cake Smash Designs For Cakes
a variety of different cake smash designs
  • Bring along a pot of familiar favourite snacks. Sometimes babies find the cake too sweet or unfamiliar to their usual foods. We can hide the snacks behind/in the cake, if they decide they’re not fussed on the cake. No-one can tell from the images that it isn’t the cake they’re eating!
  • Introduce you child to messy play before their cake smash photo shoot. It’s amazing how many children don’t like the feeling of food on their hands! Try to encourage your baby to play with some food at home to get them used to the squishy sensation between their fingers?


  • Parents shouldn’t wear their best clothes – you are more than likely to get cake on you! If you want some nice family portraits at the beginning of the shoot, you’re welcome to then change in to some spare clothes that you don’t mind getting a little messy. Icing-covered babies may want a cuddle mid-way through the cake smash – you have been warned!!

I hope these tips help to create a stress-free and enjoyable cake smash experience for you and your baby! If you have any questions about these sessions, send me a message and I’ll be happy to chat.

Sarah x

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