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Setting up a cake smash photo session doesn’t entail a ton of work and the results are often hilarious and worth it. As a family photographer, I’ve set up several and they’ve always turned out to be some of my most memorable sessions (for the family as well!). The idea around a cake smash session is pretty simple: set up a cake and let your little one have at it while you capture their adorable expressions. They’re usually done to mark the milestone one year birthday, but can really be done at any age.

Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to set up fun cake smash photo session to make it go as seamless (and mess-free!) as possible:

– You may want to cover your floor with a nice looking disposable or vinyl cloth. You can find inexpensive vinyl tablecloths in all sorts of designs, colors and patterns at discount places like T.J. Maxx or Homegoods for as little as $5.

– The cake smash is more about the experience vs. culinary taste. So don’t splurge on an expensive cake. You can pick up a plain one at any grocery store and add your own sprinkles and toppings. Or make one from a cake mix. The advantage is that you can decorate it as you’d like to fit your color theme. You can also have extra toppings on hand and have your child add them to capture as part of the experience.

– Think about taking the cake session outdoors. An outdoor setting like a backyard or park gives a great natural feel to the session. Plus clean up is easier, especially in a backyard when you can just hose down everything once you’re done.

– Think about coordinating your cake with what your child will be wearing. I prefer that the child only wears a bottom cover so you can see the full effects of the cake. Plus it’s much easier to rinse them off and you won’t get as many garments soiled in the process. You can think of adding decorative touches by using a bunting, special party hat, tie (if a boy) or hair accessories for girls.

– In my experience, babies don’t often know what to do with a big cake in front of them. They’re probably in awe of this super delicious treat (or might not even know what it tastes like!). A good way to ease them in is to have the parents offer a small taste and encourage them to explore. Instead of having them dive right into it which can lead to tears right off the bat.

– Don’t forget to capture the little details – like feet covered in cake crumbs, little hands and fingers and capture the session from all angles (top, down, side, close-ups and far away). You’ll be surprised by how many shots you can take from just a baby and a cake with all these angles.

Are you ready to take on your own cake smash session? Here are some examples of adorable cake smash photos to get you inspired!

Here is cute little Asher which I captured for his one year old birthday. we decided to do a family session outdoors and the cake smash was the icing on top at the end. If you’re capturing other family photos, it’s best to do the cake at the end to contain the mess.

Here is adorable Austin who was turning one during the time of this session. We brought the cake smash to the backyard and it was a breeze to clean up afterwards with a hose. I love the coordinating party hat with cake sprinkles, which was something I discussed with the mom beforehand.

(via I’m Topsy Turvy) Don’t forget details! I love this close up of little toes totally covered in cake and frosting.

(via The Frosted Petticoat) This pretty in pink and turquoise cake smash captures all the pretty details, from the coordinating flower headband to cute bunting in the background.

(via Designher Momma) How can you not love this cake face plant? This is one to save for the wedding slideshow for sure!

(via Kristin Eldridge Photography) Based on Dr. Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish book, this cake smash is so bright, fun and full of colorful details.

(via Flickr: Limelight 31 Photography) There’s no doubt as to who’s in charge of this cake smash here!

(via Flickr Angie Kuna Photography) Here’s an idea for a more dressed up look with a tutu and coordinating party pom pom’s.

(via Heidi Hope Photography) Check out this little guy going to town on his special day. I love the tie and bunting for a decorative party look.

(via Cyndy Gatewood Photography) You can’t make these expressions up. That’s what so fun about setting up a cake smash!

(via Amara Ritchie Photography) I love this angle from the back which shows a not often seen unique perspective.

(via Done Brilliantly) Finally, a cake smash to top them all. Yes, it can get messy, but the hilarious fun will be a priceless memory to remember!


Agnes Hsu is a mom of three and has been inspiring parents and kids to get creative with easy activities and family friendly recipes for over 10 years. She shares her love for creative play and kids food to her 2MM+ followers online. Agnes' commitment to playful learning and kindness has not only raised funds for charity but also earned features in prestigious nationwide publications.