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  • Writer's picturelouise pollitt

Cake Smash & Splash - A Birthday Celebration with a difference!

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

One of the many reasons that I love my work as a professional newborn baby and child photographer is the satisfaction I get from helping my clients to document babies first year in the world.

When a family visit my photography studio with their new baby, innocently sleeping, curled up as if they were in the womb, I know all too well that they are only so small for so long, so capturing this for brand new parents is super important. Clients often reach out years later to say thank you for capturing these fleeting moments, moments that pass by and are often so hard to remember (I know because I have to children that are no longer babes)

After a year of parenting a small one, the first birthday shoot is so exciting, and baby has transformed into a real personality - gone have the newborn cries and in their place are some serious characters - and thats what makes cake smashing so much fun to do!

Cake smash & Splash

First birthday cake smash photo shoots are so very popular right now. I often get asked... 'what?! Cake Smash?! What's that then?' so for the uninitiated, a cake smash session literally involves the baby ‘smashing up’ a beautifully iced and themed birthday cake in celebration of this all-important milestone.

The magic happens when the child gets well and truly stuck into the cake. I snap away, capturing photographs to record the fun… and the mess!

After the smashing fun - baby gets in a cute little tin bath and we pop the bubbles on and carry on snapping away - its also an extra wash for baby which is always helpful for mum.

What to expect during a cake smash photo shoot

Babies can be shy, outgoing, clingy, expressive - so we start every session, letting baby get acquainted to the new surroundings, and once settled (and besties with me!) we get some lovely clean images. This can be in mums fave outfit, or something they choose from my collection (I have lots of choice!). The goal is to take some lovely portrait images of a clean baby in an untouched set up... before the chaos begins!

My sessions differ to others, as I create completely bespoke set ups for my clients - and most of my sets are hand crafted so that they are just right for you and your child. The smash should say something about your little ones personality and sometimes people replicate their child's first birthday party theme, which is a lovely idea. I'm all about creating something different and new and really making your session stand out from anyone elses! My style does lean towards the more natural and vintage sets, but I can create anything you would like, and I do love balloons too!!

Finally, the cake is revealed. Made to order and to cater for any allergies the child may have, the cake is a giant iced cake, usually sat upon a cake stand.

Some babies can be a little reluctant at first.. some get stuck straight in (see below!). Sometimes babies don't feel like they should make a mess, after all, we spend our lives cleaning them and baby wiping everything, but with a little encouragement, they all usually get stuck in!

Messy fun for everyone!

With a little encouragement from the parents and I, it’s usually not long before my studio is covered with sponge and icing and the cake smash is underway! I'm usually also covered - but don't worry - I love it!

A cake smash session often requires the parent’s involvement too, so I’ll also advise parents to come in clothing that they don’t mind getting covered in cake.

Once the cake shots are done, baby is then placed in a warm tin bath and they are able to splish and splash about in the bubbles. I also switch on the bubble machine as this is usually a fave with babies - and creates the cutest images, also a practical way of cleaning them up after the cake smash fun.

A cake smash photoshoot is definitely a sensory experience for everyone!

Precious memories

The arrival of a newborn, the first time a baby sits up independently or a first birthday celebration – these are all special moments in a child’s life that parents love to capture through photography.

Perhaps if you have a baby under one, you’ll consider a cake smash for their first birthday? It’ll certainly be a birthday celebration to remember!

I urge all my clients to invite family and friends to this occasion - its a celebration after all, and its a great way to all spend babies first birthday!

Want to know more, or are you thinking of booking a cake smash session??

Email me at or give me a call on 07773711569

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