Updated: Sep 6
Your baby is turning the big O-N-E and it's time to celebrate! If you're planning a cake smash photo session at home, here are some tips for easy planning and an awesome session:
1) How to Choose a Location In Your Home:
The first thing to consider is the background for your session. The easiest set up to do in your home is to find a light or neutral color wall (approximately 8-10 feet in length if possible) with which to place the scene in front of. Ideally, you also want to have another 10 + feet cleared in front of the wall so that the decorations, baby, and cake can be placed as well as room for the photographer to position. Decorations should be placed close to the wall so everything is behind the baby (space permitting).
Once you're chosen the background in your home, take a look at your floors. Wood or tile would be preferable for easy cake clean up. If you have carpet throughout your home, you could also purchase a large piece of plexi-glass at the hardware store that would cover the floor that the baby and cake sit on.
If you're tight on space, another option would be to decorate the high chair and do the session in the high chair. You could also move the cake smash outside. Weather permitting, the cake smash could also be set up in your yard or garden.
2) Picking Decorations:
You can make your cake smash as simple or ornate as you wish. I'd be happy to help you in your planning if you want my input. I recommend choosing 2 main colors to work with in your set up. There is also plenty of Pinterest inspiration for themes and props. A simple set up suggestion would be a banner draped across the wall or small floor level balloon bouquets on each side of the baby. Please note that when choosing balloons, I would strongly recommend getting balloons that are not shiny / reflective / metallic. Regular latex balloons are a better choice because the shiny balloons reflect a lot of flash that is used. When you're ready to decorate, make sure to get down on baby's level to place everything low so it will be in the photo with the baby and not above him/ her.
The theme wouldn't be complete without an outfit! When deciding on what to wear, consider the colors in your theme and choose something that would complement that. The outfit will likely get messy from the cake so make sure it is an outfit that you are okay with getting dirty.
3) Cake Considerations:
When choosing a cake design, keep the main colors of your theme in mind so that everything coordinates. In most cases, I would recommend to avoid red or brown frosting or filling (unless you are doing a specific theme with these colors). The reason is sometimes the red or brown frosting on the baby's mouth or face can look like bodily fluids / functions.
Most smash cakes are smaller in size and are 1 or 2 tiers. You can choose to place the cake on a cake stand for the smash or just on the floor. Some people choose to add a candle or cake topper; however, this is optional.
4) Preparing Your Little One:
If your baby is not familiar with the texture of a cake or doesn't like when their hands are dirty, you may want to consider having the baby practice by playing with a cupcake or slice of cake beforehand so they are more comfortable handling the cake.
On the day of your session, remove the cake from the fridge 30-45 minutes beforehand to give the frosting time to soften. Depending on the frosting used, it can harden when the cake is cold and be harder to rip into for the smash part. Although we may not realize it when cutting a cake with a knife like we normally would, the softened cake will make it easier for the baby to manipulate.
I hope you found these tips helpful when planning your baby's smash cake session!
I look forward to taking photos of your baby's big milestone.
Jessica M. Photography is an Arlington Heights, IL birthday, baby milestone, and cake smash photographer. She services the Northwest Suburbs including Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Northbrook, Barrington, Schaumburg, Mount Prospect, Glenview, Deerfield, Vernon Hills, Park Ridge and more throughout Lake and Cook County in Illinois.