Cake Smash & Splash Photoshoot Tips for Great Results

August 04, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Cake Smash & Splash Photoshoot Tips for Great Results | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Cake Smash & Splash Photoshoot Tips for Great Results Has your life become blessed with the presence of a little one? Is your new bundle of joy now a whole year old? Why not celebrate this moment of your life by letting your child taste cake for the first time? And if the weather's warm, how about letting your little one have a nice cool splash in the tub? You can have both of these fun and memorable moments when you sign up for a Cake Smash & Splash photoshoot with me.
If this is your first time booking for the session itself, there are some tips I would like to share with you before you get started.

Cake tips

What child doesn't love sweets? Bear in mind that this may be a whole new experience for your child to taste cake for the first time, so keep these tips on hand:

  • Bring your own cake. You can make it yourself or order from the store, either way the cake is not included in your package.
  • Leave out the high chair. I've taken photos where there's no barrier between the cake and the child being photographed. This is a choice made deliberately for a reason. High chairs can make a child feel uncomfortable with the height, plus they will feel restrained when placed at such a height. The point of this type of photo session is for your child to enjoy themselves and have that authentic joy caught on camera; you won't get it if they're in a high chair.
  • Vanilla is usually a win-win cake flavour, no matter what. Children are still learning about things like flavours and what they like or hate in terms of food, so keep the cake of choice a pleasant experience.
  • Keep the frosting soft. Soft frosting is much more malleable and fun for a child to grasp at and play with while smashing the cake. In contrast, fondant can be tough for a young child to get hold of and make for a less than appealing texture to both play with and chew on. 
  • Don't bring chocolate, coconut, or nut-based cakes such as peanut butter or hazelnut. Allergies in children are a very real fear for parents so the less likely you trigger something along those lines, the better your child will look when captured on film and the less likely an emergency you'll have on your hands.

Outside or in a studio?

As a mom myself I know firsthand how messy kids can be! That's why I generally recommend to parents that they plan for an outdoor session with their little one. When outside, the need for a lot of props is not necessary and much of the mess from smashing the cake and then splashing in the tub ends up on the ground where minimal cleanup is needed. That being said, studio smash & splash photoshoots can also provide that sense of professionalism you may be looking for, especially if the weather is not the greatest (rain for example).

Whether inside or out, planning ahead with a few props (not too many—keep things simple for your child) can help minimize mess.

Outfit ideas for your little one

Colour coordination is key. Having the exact same colour for everything can make everything blend together, while different shades of the same colour can make certain elements pop. Try picking one accessory your child looks adorable in and basing the colours of the setting. Try to keep the cake frosting colour coordinated as well for best results. 

Most importantly, pick multiple outfits you can both change out of easily. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is going to get dirty during these sessions, even when it's time for the splash part.


Photos by Cheryl - Cake Smash & Splash Photoshoot Tips for Great Results - splash examplePhotos by Cheryl - Cake Smash & Splash Photoshoot Tips for Great Results - splash example

Practice makes perfect

If you feel more comfortable about the idea, there's no harm done in doing a practice run of the photoshoot. Kids may not know what to do when presented with a bath when it's not bathtime, or know what to do with a cake when they see one, so some instruction will be needed on your part. 
You also need to keep in mind that even the actual photoshoot may not go the way you envisioned. Maybe your child won't be as interested in the outfits you handpicked as you are even after the practice run; maybe your child will resist their bath; your child may even cry instead of being happy to taste cake. You have to remember that even though you're the parent and are paying for this session, your child is the one being photographed and their limits and needs must be met. 

Letting children get comfortable and exploring these things takes time. Try giving your child a cupcake first as a test run, and give them permission to experience and react well (or maybe badly!) to the different sights and textures. This step will help your child have fewer surprises on the day of the actual photoshoot and a more pleasant experience while eyes (and a camera) are on them.

Be patient, and have fun!

Expecting the unexpected is a great plan for any kind of photo session, and it's especially needed when it comes to photographing children. Sometimes children at 1 year of age will cry, however that makes for memorable moments as well. Once your child gets used to being the center of the attention in the room, there will be lots of moments full of smiles and laughter as well. Go forward with the session with both an open mind and happiness; your child is guaranteed to follow suit. 

Ready to celebrate?

Cake smash & splash photoshoots can be an absolute delight for you and especially for your child! With some planning and preparation beforehand, these sessions can create warm fuzzy memories for everyone to enjoy. After all, a child is only 1 year old once; let's make this a wonderful day for them and for you all. 

If you've got a little one you want to celebrate, you can get started by viewing my rates. If you think my skills are what you're looking for in a child photographer, give me a call. I love planning for these photos!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.


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