Albuquerque Baby Photographer | First Birthday Cake Smash Portrait Tips

Now that the holidays are over, I'm finally finding a few minutes to catch up on some blogging. I'm very excited to share Aubrey's 1st birthday cake smash session! I also thought I'd share a few of my best tips for a successful cake smash session.

Choose a Color or Two

I love simple cake smash sessions that really keep the focus on the birthday boy or girl. Choose one or two colors to use on the cake, in a backdrop, and of course the birthday outfit. This will make a cohesive multiple image display when it's time to print.

Try to keep the rest of the background simple. Clear clutter out of way before the session.

Have Help

At the minimum, you will need at least one extra set of hands while you photograph the cake smash session. The assistant can keep placing baby back by the cake when they start to move away. You don't want to be scrambling to put a frosting-covered baby back in place and trying to pick up your camera at the same time.

Some babies are a little hesitant about digging into the cake. Assistants can also help introduce the baby to the cake and make sure things get a little messy. My enthusiastic eater Aubrey didn't need much help eating the cake. She was happy to dig right in herself and Natalie loved joining in the fun, too. They dug a big hole in the middle of the cake and got frosting everywhere. I even caught Natalie licking some off her toes.

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

The type of cake and frosting matters! I prefer to shoot yellow cakes, the color shows up well in the photographs. Avoid chocolate or dark colored cakes, they can look a bit gross in photographs. A small round or square cake with several layers provides good height but doesn't overshadow baby.

Light to medium-colored frosting, but not white, photographs best. Dark red frosting can look like blood and deep blues, greens, or purples might stain baby's face. Choose a light, fluffy frosting instead of fondant is easiest for baby to make a mess with. Plus, it tastes better!

You'll have outfits and baby to prepare for the portrait session, so consider placing an order for a smash cake at your local bakery. It'll be one less thing to worry about.

Prepare for a Mess

Cake smash sessions are supposed to be messy! Try laying down a roll of paper to help catch the cake and frosting. Cover a larger area than you think you might need to catch the crumbs when your birthday girl starts moving.

You might want to take off the birthday outfit and use a diaper cover before letting baby loose on the cake. Unless, of course, you love scrubbing dirty clothes.

I love ending cake smash sessions with a warm bubble bath. You can clean up and get a few more precious images of the birthday girl!

Visit the Studio

From start to finish, first birthday cake smash sessions take a lot of work. Consider visiting my home studio for your session and leave the set-up and clean-up to me. You can book a newborn portrait session package that includes a first birthday session or book the cake smash separately.