What to Expect During Your Child’s Cake Smash Session

Cake smashes have become a rite of passage for most one year old’s in the last few years. While more and more parents are enticed by the idea, here’s what you should expect during a cake smash.

Is the cake included?

Depending on the photographer or studio, you may have to supply your own cake for the shoot. Be sure to grab one that’s going to be tasty. The budget for your cake depends on you and how decorative you’d like to make it. Please keep in mind that sometimes just because it looks great doesn’t mean it tastes great. The main part of a cake smash is to have your little one stuff his or her face with the sugary goodness. On quite a few occasions I’ve had parents get upset that their child didn’t want to eat the cake at all. Instead, we got only pictures of him poking at it, like a toddler would with vegetables.


Outfits are of course a major part of any photo session. Whatever outfit you choose and whatever frosting color you go with, please remember it may stain their clothes. No matter where you go for your photo shoot, it’s best two bring two changes of clothes. One for the shoot and one for the aftermath. That way instead of trying to wipe your kid’s clothes off so you can head home, you can switch it out real quick without leaving you, your child, and your car a mess.

More than just the cake smash

Every cake smash photo session that I have done involves nice pictures beforehand. Props are generally included, like a #1, a birthday hat, or even balloons to celebrate the big day. This step allows the child to get more comfortable with the surroundings and the flashes. While it is perfectly fine to just dive right into the cake smash, extra photos can be nice to have if the cake doesn’t entice your little one.

What will your kid be photographed on?

One of the slight issues some parents may have with cake smash shoots is what their kid will be photographed on. Depending on the studio, it may not matter and you could have all the options in the world. However, most backdrops aren’t cheap, and trying to clean stains off of hand painted canvas is almost impossible. Your photographer may offer to only photograph if a clear tarp is laid down, or if they are only photographing on vinyl for easy cleanup. If you do want something specific please ask your photographer about their process on this first.

Photographing a little one can be difficult at times, sudden outbursts and general unhappiness can happen. A good practice is to make sure your little one has recently had a nap and has had enough food to be satisfied.

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