Planning For Your Cake Smash Session

June 15, 2021

Somehow this first year is flying by and you have likely already begun to think about celebrating your baby’s first birthday. A cake smash session is a super cute, fun way to let your little one’s personality shine and celebrate just how much they’ve grown in one year!

WHAT MY STUDIO PROVIDES FOR YOUR SESSION

I take the stress out of all of this for you! My prop and accessory collection is always growing. I provide everything we need for the session: 

  • Backdrops and floors: Often times this is a solid color backdrop and floor, or solid color backdrop and wood floor.
  • Balloons: helium balloons and or balloon garlands
  • Simple banners
  • Paper tissue poms and paper fans
  • Small themed props or pieces of decor to match the theme or color of a cake smash i.e. stars, dinosaurs, melons, hearts, cars, etc.
  • Simple greenery and floral pieces
  • Cake Stand
  • Outfits, hats, and headbands: Most often families like to use what I offer. However, you are more than welcome to bring your own clothing options as well.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO BRING FOR YOUR SESSION

  • The Cake! Due to allergy and diet concerns, cakes are not provided by me and must be brought by families. I have a whole other post completely dedicated to everything you need to know (and do!) for the cake. Click HERE for that post.
  • A bottle or sippy cup with water or another drink of choice. This is for baby to have something to wash down that cake!
  • Favorite snacks like Puffs, Cheerioes, etc.
  • Baby’s favorite toy or noise maker from home.
  • Extra outfit for baby to go home in.

babies with cakes for their first birthday cake smash sessions

 

LET’S PLAN YOUR CAKE SMASH!

This moment is a once in a lifetime celebration that deserves the best celebration possible! Your session is thoughtfully planned and designed with your preferences in mind.

  • SCHEDULING: I recommend scheduling your session 3-4 weeks prior to baby’s actual birthday if you are planning to use the pictures at their first birthday party. If there’s no rush, 1-2 weeks before their birthday works wonderful as well as the week of! Timewise, I highly recommend scheduling a time that does not interfere or come close to your little one’s napping and eating schedules. I can start/schedule as early as 8am. I have many families whose little one’s are used to getting up early to go to daycare and 8-9am is their best time. That’s totally ok for me! A happy baby is the best baby!
  • DECIDING ON COLOR OR THEME:  I like to chat over the phone first to discuss all your ideas and thoughts about what you’d like to have. It’s a whole lot easier (and more efficient time wise) than reading through lengthy emails. Once we’ve chatted, we will create and use a Pinterest inspiration board to gather ideas on colors, theme, and style. I’ve found this helps tremendously!
  • BUT WHAT WILL THEY WEAR?: With over 70 outfits for boys and over 80 outfits for the girls, its safe to say that I have something for everyone! All the options that will best suit your session’s style/colors will be carefully chosen and ready for you when you arrive. You will be able to look through and decide which ones you like best. I have plenty of hats for the boys and headbands for the girls!
  • REMEMBER THE SNACKS I RECOMMENDED BRINGING?: These are a great and sneaky way to peak the interest of your little one if they aren’t so sure about the cake just yet. They reach for those familiar favorite snacks, get a little icing in the mix, and it helps capture those cute images of them with icing all over their little nose and cheeks.
  • MOM & DAD! YOU’RE GOING TO BE HELPING: Even pre-COVID, I had a relatively hands off approach with these sessions. Many babies have stranger danger or some degree of hesitancy with me. Having mom and dad right next to them and helping put baby back in place has hands down made babies much happier, less tears, and they relax and let their little personalities come out and shine! If they’re going to smile for anyone, they absolutely will do it for mom and dad.
  • THE MESS:  Not all cake smashes are super messy, but there are some babies who REALLY love that cake and take the art of smashing to another level! I have plenty of baby wipes, towels, and tear free soap to make sure the cake and icing doesn’t make it into the car and car seat. Make sure to bring an extra going home outfit for baby and for yourself too in case you get cake on you too!

columbus ohio babies with cake smash photo session

 

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE SESSION

When you first arrive, I’ll take a little time to just sit and play with your little one. They’ve never met me. They’ve never been here before. It’s a completely new experience for them and that needs to be given a little time for them to adjust. I’ve found jumping right into pictures can often times lead to a meltdown. So let’s avoid that. This little bit of time gives them the opportunity to warm up to me. It also helps them understand that you aren’t leaving them here like you would for daycare or a babysitter. When they see you chatting with me while I’m playing with them, it shows them mom and dad trust me….so they can trust me too. We’ll then look over the outfits, choose your favorites, and get your little one changed into an outfit for their “regular” portraits first (the non-cake smash background). During the session itself, I move at a decent pace to keep baby interested, engaged, and hopefully not wearing out their smile! As soon as I capture their regular portraits, we’ll move on to the cake smash part!

ADD SOME SPLASH AFTER THE SMASH

A popular add on to cake smash sessions is the “splash”. Every baby loves their bath time! This is a cute way to capture some big smiles and help them clean up a bit before you head home! 

first birthday cake smash and splash session

 

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS WHEN YOU’RE HERE FOR THE CAKE SMASH SESSION

As the mom of a teenager now, I look back and there are plenty of things I wish I would have done a lot differently. One of those things, and the biggest thing I highly and completely recommend for your cake smash session, is don’t stress out, don’t strive for perfection, and to just RELAX and ENJOY the session! All of us want and hope for Pinterest perfect, stress out over every detail, and drive ourselves bonkers trying to get our little peanut to behave perfectly. Listen. I’ve totally been there once upon a time. I absolutely 1000% get it. Let me tell you, I regret it. I missed out on so much because I was too worried about perfect. I see families come into the studio the same way and it breaks my heart because I know they aren’t enjoying things as much as they could because they are SO stressed out trying to make everything perfect. Relax, breathe, and just enjoy the moment! Remember: this is a completely new experience for your baby: new environment, new person (me), new stuff all around them, and a new food they’ve never had before. It’s big, it’s on the floor, and it’s pretty sweet which is another really different and new thing for them. Even if your little one isn’t behaving Pinterest perfect, it’s totally ok! We absolutely will capture super cute, very adorable, and personality perfect pictures of your little one.

Do you have any questions or concerns? Want to learn more about these sessions? I’d absolutely love to chat! Please feel free to contact me! I’d love to hear from you and plan your little one’s first birthday!

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