Cake Smash Tips and Tricks

In my blog, I like to not only share my recent work but also put together some tips and tricks for getting the best out of your sessions that I’ve gathered together over years of doing them.  Here’s a bit of a compilation post with links to the best advice I can give you for cake smash and tub splash first birthday photo shoots (a lazy flashback episode if you like).

Frequently Asked Questions

If you prefer to have a read through some quick and easy cake smash and tub splash questions and answers – then here’s my Frequently Asked Questions for first birthday sessions.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t just get in touch and ask me if you have other questions that aren’t featured here or just want to talk through your requirements. Get in touch and I’m happy to help.

Can I use my phone/camera in the studio ?2013-12-04T21:21:52+00:00

Sorry but no.  Obviously you can use your phone for making and receiving calls but I don’t allow any videography or photography inside the studio.  If you are caught recording or photographing the session, you will be asked to leave and the session will be terminated without refund.  All in all, that’s a horrible situation for us all to be in so please respect my copyright.

What size and format are the digital images?2014-06-18T13:08:30+00:00

Any digital images that you purchase will be sized at 10×8″ at 300ppi so perfect for printing up to this size or slightly larger (you have more flexibility on size when it comes to canvases as they are printed at a lower resolution).

How do we see our images?2019-06-07T18:31:11+00:00

About two weeks after your session, I’ll have your images edited and uploaded to your private online gallery.  There’s no sales or viewing session to attend. I’ll email you a link and a password and that will take you straight to your finished images.

How much are additional prints and digital images?2019-06-07T18:34:04+00:00

I believe in complete transparency when it comes to pricing so you won’t get any nasty surprises.  You’ll already know what your session fee includes in terms of images, and you can simply order more from your online gallery if you’d like to – there’s no sales or viewing session to attend.

Here are the prices for additional digital images and prints. 

Is there a minimum spend?2019-06-07T18:38:55+00:00

There’s no minimum spend or nasty pricing surprises with any of my photography.   You’ll already know the price of your photo shoot and what’s included and if you’d like to order more, you simply do so from your online gallery.

How much does a cake smash session cost?2019-06-13T18:37:21+00:00

A cake smash and tub splash session (you can do both in a single session if you want to) includes your three favourite digital images and costs £95.  You simply select your favourite images form your private online gallery – there’s no sales or viewing session to attend – you can order more if you’d like to directly from this gallery.

How long does a cake smash take?2019-06-13T18:45:45+00:00

We book the studio for an hour for a cake smash / tub splash session but generally speaking, sessions take about 45 minutes if you are starting with a clean shoot and doing both the cake smash and tub splash sessions.  We move through things reasonably fast as your baby’s attention span is understandably pretty short lived at this age.

Where do sessions take place?2023-12-05T13:23:18+00:00

Sessions take place at my warm and cosy studio in Crawley Down, West Sussex.   You can find out more about it including the address and directions at My Studio Page.

Do you provide the cake?2019-06-13T18:51:51+00:00

I don’t provide the cake as it would be too complicated to meet everyone’s design needs, not to mention the problems arising from allergies but of course, there are lots of cake makers out there that you can use.  Alternatively, there are some supermarket bought cakes that can be great – you just need to look and see if the icing is soft enough to make it smashable or you can make your own – I recommend fresh cream or butter cream icing as having the best squish factor.

When should I book my cake smash photo shoot?2019-06-13T19:00:45+00:00

I’ll always do my best to accommodate last minute session requests but the studio can get busy, especially if you need a Saturday appointment.  You can book your session up to three months in advance and so I recommend booking early to make sure you get a session date and time that suits you.  If you’d like your photos to be ready for the big day itself, then book in a a couple of weeks before so I have time to get everything ready for you to see and order.

How long will it be until I see my pictures?2019-06-13T19:05:56+00:00

Each of your images is professionally edited and so there will be a bit of a delay before you can see your images while I get everything ready for you. This can vary according to a number of factors but generally, it’s about a two week wait before your images are uploaded to your private online gallery.  I’ll be able to advise you better on exact waiting times at your session.

Can parents / siblings be in the pictures?2019-06-13T19:07:20+00:00

Of course.  I’m happy to includes parents and siblings in images at the start of the session before the cake comes out.  After that, they can relax and watch the fun unfold.

What is a cake smash photo shoot?2023-03-22T12:59:49+00:00

A cake smash photo shoot pretty much does exactly what the name would suggest. You put a birthday cake in front of a one year old and let them just explore, play and occasionally eat until their heart’s content.  The resulting images are bright, colourful and fun and the perfect way to celebrate and commemorate the important milestone of reaching the end of your baby’s first year.

What is a tub splash photo shoot?2023-03-22T13:00:31+00:00

A tub splash photo shoot is the perfect companion to a cake smash session although it works just as well on its own if your baby enjoys bathtime.  You choose one of my two miniature bath tubs, we fill it up with warm bubbly water and let your little one splash and play. If you’ve had a cake smash just beforehand, it’s a great way of them getting clean as well as creating some fun photos.

Can we cake smash and tub splash in one session?2019-06-13T19:13:23+00:00

Yes absolutely!  You can celebrate the milestone of your baby’s first birthday with both a cake smash and a tub splash (it’s all included in the £95 session fee) or you can choose to do just one – it’s entirely up to you.

What type of cake smashes best?2019-06-13T19:16:20+00:00

Some people prefer to get a cake professionally made, some people bring their own or some buy one from a supermarket.  Whichever you choose, I don’t recommend chocolate cake as it can look a bit like poo in the finished images.  Buttercream or fresh cream icing is ideal for the maximum squish factor – royal icing can be a bit tough for little fingers to get into.  Any kind of decorations are great from personalised cake toppers, tons of colourful sprinkles or fresh fruit – whatever suits your style.

Do you have a cake stand?2019-06-13T19:17:59+00:00

I have a clear perspex stand that is perfect for round cakes of 8-10 inches.  You’re welcome to bring along your own if you prefer but a cake stand isn’t a necessity.

What should my baby wear for a cake smash?2019-06-13T19:21:31+00:00

It’s completely up to you although obviously it’s likely to get covered in icing and so I don’t recommend anything that you aren’t prepared to say goodbye to if the stains won’t come out (that’s particularly the case where the icing is a dark colour).  Some people prefer their little ones to be full dressed (although I do recommend bare feet), some wear just trousers or a pettiskirt, or some smash in just a nappy although a nappy cover can look a bit nicer.  There are lots of specially designed cake smash outfits available now that they have become so popular so auction sites, Facebook marketplace and Etsy can have some beautiful things.   Unfortunately, I don’t let you borrow my outfits from the studio for the actual cake smash as they would quickly get ruined so just bring along something that you love.

What tubs do you have?2019-06-13T19:24:00+00:00

I have a choice of two miniature baths for your tub splash – a vintage styled tin tub and a more modern miniature claw foot bath.   You can see both if you take a quick flip through the cake smash category on my blog. 

What props do you have?2019-06-13T19:38:04+00:00

My range of props and accessories is growing all the time, but I have a large pink and blue number one that is perfect for the clean part of the shoot. I have a range of tub splash accessories to choose from, and a good selection of bunting that you are welcome to borrow. If you have specific ideas, it’s always worth getting in touch to find out what I have and how we can create your perfect set of pictures.

Can we bring our own props?2019-06-13T19:41:11+00:00

You’re welcome to bring along your own props and accessories to personalise your session and create your perfect set of photos to remember the occasion by.

What do we need to bring to our session?2019-06-13T19:43:46+00:00

You need to bring along your cake, an outfit to smash in and bubble bath and a towel if you are adding in the tub splash portion of the session.  There’s an article on my blog with much more information about other things you might like to think about here – What to Bring to your Cake Smash Session

Can twins share a cake smash session?2019-06-13T19:45:44+00:00

Yes, twins are welcome to share a cake smash and tub splash photo shoot and the price doesn’t change of course.  I’ve done sessions where the twins have had a cake each but to be honest, it works better if they share otherwise they constantly want what the other one has!

Do you edit the images?2019-06-13T19:47:45+00:00

Each of your images is edited to make sure everything looks at its very best – that’s why you have to wait a little while after your session before you see them.

What backdrops do you have?2022-04-10T11:21:36+00:00

I have a range of backdrops you can use for your child at a photo shoot and you can make a choice on what  you would like when you arrive at the studio.  However, if you’d like to take a look in advance…

Do you have a bubble machine?2022-04-10T11:19:59+00:00

Bubbles are the ideal accessory with a tub splash photo shoot and I have a bubble machine that’s capable of producing loads of them at the time and saving us having to puff ourselves out doing it.

I don’t want my baby to have sugar, what are the alternatives?2019-06-13T19:58:16+00:00

It’s understandable that you don’t want your little one to have too much sugar if they’ve not had it before.  They actually don’t usually eat a great deal of the cake during a cake smash (sometimes they do but usually not) as it’s more about exploring the textures of it.  However, you can make cake with a sugar free alternative and I have had some clients use fresh cream flavoured with fruit like blueberries and strawberries as an alternative to icing and that’s definitely been very popular.

What if my baby doesn’t like the cake?2019-06-13T20:02:57+00:00

You would think that babies would automatically be keen to dive into the delicious treat in front of them and have a good old play but quite a lot of babies don’t like to get their hands dirty.  The good news is that you don’t need total cake devastation to have great cake smash photos and there are a few tricks that we can use to get them interacting with the cake.  Firstly, patience – they just need some time to get used to the idea. I also have miniature wooden spoons at the studio which are great to encourage interaction without having to get messy hands.  We can also hide some familiar treats at the back of the cake as that can help to get them diving in – or at least looking like they are!

Do we see images in colour and black and white?2019-06-14T09:55:50+00:00

I present all of your images in colour and then I’ll add in black and white copies of some that I think particularly suit it. Of course, if you’d rather have an image in black and white then just ask and I’m happy to switch it over for you.

When is the studio open?2019-06-14T10:17:50+00:00

My studio is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

How long do you keep the images?2019-06-14T10:19:57+00:00

I keep your images for 18 months following your session date and after this point, they are permanently deleted so if you are purchasing digital copies, I can’t stress enough to back them up safely.

Can I bring my dog to sessions?2019-06-14T13:35:46+00:00

I love dogs and they’re welcome at my studio.  When you’re combining a dog and baby portrait, the only advice I have for you is to wait until your baby is able to sit up unsupported as otherwise it’s very difficult to pose them together.  Probably don’t bring them if you are having a cake smash as that’s probably just a disaster waiting to happen – even the best trained dog is probably going to be unable to resist all that cake!

Can I order gift certificates?2019-06-14T13:47:23+00:00

Yes, you can order a gift certificate for any of my photography services. You can order a personalised voucher by following the link below…

What payment methods do you accept?2023-02-25T15:22:27+00:00

My preferred method of payment is bank transfer although I also accept credit and debit cards through the Stripe facility.

How many pictures do you take in a session?2019-06-14T17:51:47+00:00

This is question that I get asked a lot and it’s a really tough one to answer as it depends on so many things.  If I’m photographing a baby and they’re in a great mood, then you have lots of photos where if they are finding things a bit difficult then you get less.  Gun to my head, if I had to offer an average image count, then I’d say that you can expect to find about forty fully edited images in your finished gallery but that can vary wildly so it’s probably not a very useful statistic for you.

If we buy digital files, can we print and share them?2019-06-14T17:54:26+00:00

When you buy a digital file from me, the copyright stays with me as it would with pretty much all other photographers out there.  However, that’s just a legal term that I retain as the creator of the image.  You’re able to print and share the image as much as you’d like to – the only things that you can’t do is sell the images or claim that you took them.  Other than that, they are yours to do as you wish with.

Can I have a first birthday shoot without a cake smash?2019-06-20T09:55:17+00:00

Of course, when you book a first birthday photo shoot, you are welcome to cake smash, tub splash, do both or do neither.  Whatever works for you.  I have some first birthday props such as number 1’s that you’re welcome to include.

What Size Cake Should I Get?2019-07-27T10:33:54+00:00

Your choice of size and design of cake obviously totally depends on the style you like.  Babies tend not to eat that much cake really although there have been exceptions so it’s not necessary to get anything too big (unless you fancy cake to take home with you and I’m not ever going to discourage that!).  6-8″ is fine.

When do I need to pay for my session?2019-08-10T14:35:25+00:00

You need to pay for your photo shoot when you book it.  If your session is more than two weeks away, then you have the option of paying a £20 deposit with the balance being due the week before your session.  Otherwise the full balance is due on booking.

How does the Order Gallery Work?2019-11-13T16:27:59+00:00

My online gallery should be fairly familiar to you if you shop online but in case you need a bit of extra assistance, you can click on the button below to access a help document that walks you through how to access your gallery, choose your favourite images and place an order.  Of course, if you are having problems, just get in touch and I’m always happy to help.

Cake Smash & Tub Splash Photo Shoots

A cake smash and tub splash photo shoot is the perfect way to celebrate and commemorate that extra special first birthday.   We start with a clean shoot and mum, dad and siblings are welcome to get involved here as well for family pictures if you’d like to.  Then it’s time to get out the cake for some smashing fun!  After that, it’s time to fill your choice of tub with warm and bubbly water for more great pictures and a good old icing removal clean up.  Each session includes your three favourite digital images (chosen from your online gallery, there’s no sales session) and costs £95.

Cake smash and tub splash sessions are also included in my baby photography club – the Joey Club so if you have a little one (under four months) take a look at that to find out more about capturing your first year together.

2022-04-10T11:45:22+00:00July 1st, 2019|Cake Smash|

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