A sparkly, pink 1st Birthday Cake Smash!

Gracie did so well at her cake smash to celebrate her first birthday! She was feeling a little under the weather, and definitely wasn't too sure about the cake, but we did manage to get some gorgeous smiles!

Cake smashes are something new that I am adding to my photography services. Below is some information about what to expect from your cake smash session...

I really love cake smashes! They are definitely unpredictable, but they are so much fun. I like to set parent expectations before we start - have you heard the expression 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink'? A bizarre expression, but there we go - well, the same applies to toddlers! 'You can lead a toddler to cake, but you can't make them smash it up!'... you also can't make them eat the cake, and sometimes you can't even make them smile.

So, setting parent expectations is key! Most 1 year olds have never had anything like birthday cake before. They would probably tuck into a nice plate of apple or carrot sticks, but when presented with a beautifully decorated, very sweet cake, they just don't know what to do. If you really want photos of your baby enjoying eating the cake (and not regarding it in a mildly suspicious and sometimes completely disgusted way), then you should introduce them to sweet food at least a few weeks in advance of your cake smash session. If they are used to a bit of sugar, they are more likely to want to get stuck in. If you're not keen on giving your 1 year old cake (which is completely fair enough), just prepare to enjoy those baffled 'eww' faces when your baby tries cake for the first time. These are always some of my favourites - they are so funny!

My cake smash set ups are very minimal. Just your baby with a cake and some wooden spoons on a nice sparkly backdrop. I like the simplicity of the images and the fact that the focus can really be on your gorgeous little one.

Quite often, the best, most smiley photos from the session are the ones of the toddler playing with the wooden spoons before the cake comes out. Then I always get some funny ones of them not quite knowing what to do with the cake when it comes out. My photos are very natural and not staged, so I just capture the reactions as they happen. You really can't force a toddler to smile, but having a few happy helpers on hand (Mum, Dad, Granny, etc) is always good for a quick smile or two throughout the session.

The session happens at your own home. I bring all my kit with me, including lighting if your house is a bit dark, so that you and your little one don't have to worry about travel on top of snack times and nap times. Being in your own home makes for a much less stressful environment for everyone. Plus, you can put your little one straight in the bath if things get super messy!

To keep the costs down for you and to cover any type of food allergies, you must provide the cake yourself. This can be any sort of cake you like, although I do not recommend a chocolate cake, since brown mush isn't particularly photogenic! Generally, I recommend a plain victoria sponge, and a pot of ready made icing/frosting to cover your cake in. You can go for sprinkles, or a candle, or other decorations too - it's entirely up to you!

The session can last up to an hour, so there is no rush if nap time runs a bit late. Generally, the little one has had enough after 20 or so minutes of being entertained by cake!

The best time to do a cake smash is entirely dependent on your baby's schedule. Generally, after a nap and before a meal works well for a content baby willing to do a bit of cake exploration. We can always stop for a break or a snack if needed. The whole session is very relaxed, and I take my lead from your child. We give it a go and see how the session progresses, adjusting as needed, depending on their mood.

So, here is the 'quick list' of a 1st birthday cake smash:

  • 1 hour of photography coverage in your own home.
  • The package includes travel for up to 10 miles from New Milton. Any further and there may be an extra charge for travel.
  • You provide the cake for smashing. I provide everything else (backdrop, equipment, lighting, wooden utensils).
  • Your choice of gold or silver sparkly backdrops.
  • No limit on photo downloads. You receive every photo included in the price, so you can choose your favourites or download the whole gallery. The total number of images will depend on how long your little one is willing to participate in the cake smash. The total number will be no less than 25 images.