When you’re coming in for a first birthday cake smash photo shoot, one of the first things you need to decide upon is what to do about your cake. All cakes look much the same after a one year old has squished them but here’s a bit of advice from my experience.
- Don’t use chocolate cake. It looks a bit iffy in the finished photos if you get my drift.
- The best cake smash cakes have messy squishy icing so buttercream styles work better than royal icing styles.
- If you’re using buttercream, remember to take it out of the fridge a good while before your session to soften up. That stuff sets like rock.
- Shop bought cakes (and I’m not criticising them – you have a 1 year old, who has baking time?) tend to have stiffer icing because they need to transport them without them turning to mush. There are squishable ones but it’s worth checking the squish factor when you’re buying.
- Professionally made cakes can look amazing but they come with a price tag that reflects the time it has taken a talented person to make them. Cool if it’s within your budget but I’d always say not to be afraid of chucking butter icing on a value sponge. Sprinkles hide a multitude of sins.
- On the subject of candles and toppers, there are some lovely ones available with personalisation and attached mini bunting (can’t resist bunting even on a cake). They are lovely but they tend to come with a spike on the bottom so you can poke them in your cake. Your baby will pretty much always go for them within the first few minutes and then have to take them away so they don’t end up in their eye / nose / ear. Gorgeous for their actual birthday but I wouldn’t spend a lot of them for a smash as they don’t get in many pictures.
- Worried about sugar? Well a lot of babies do more playing than actual eating (there are exceptions. I’ve had to shoot double speed on a few occasions so they didn’t wolf down too much and get sick). One client however used fresh cream and fruit and it worked brilliantly.
- Got a child that doesn’t like cake? That’s more common than you’d think. It’s likely to be a lot sweeter than anything else they’ve had before. It’s worth having a pot of familiar snacks with you so we can fake it if they don’t want to eat the cake. Raisins hidden in icing? No-one can tell it isn’t cake they’re eating.
- Bring extra wet wipes. OK, not strictly cake related this one. Your little one can get cleaned up properly in the bath if you’re doing the tub splash part of the session. However, it’s a lot more pleasant for you to get them undressed if you can at least wet wipe their hands and feet a bit first.
- This one’s not cake related either but if you’re planning to go out after your session, bring along a change of top. Your baby will be squeaky clean after a good splash in the tub but 9 times out of 10, you’ll have a fair amount of icing on your clothes. No-one loves a cuddle more than an icing covered baby.
There you go – my advice for preparing you and your cake for the perfect cake smash photo shoot.
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.