Photographing a cake smash – 1st birthday – family photography – Buckinghamshire

What is a cake smash?

What is a birthday without cake?! Over the recent months, your baby has been trying out new foods in their weaning journey, so why shouldn’t they have a cake to celebrate their very first birthday? (Unless they have allergies of course!)

You choose a set to reflect your favourite interest or colour for your baby, we give them a cake, and they do what babies do best when they are a one year old and given a whole cake in front of them…. get messy! The results are super cute. There is something gorgeous and sweet about a baby (potentially) covered from head to toe in frosting, smooshed all over their face.

Baby face covered in cake frosting

Don’t worry if mess isn’t your thing – we finish with cleaning up in the bath.

Why choose me as your photographer?

The simple and most honest answer? I love kids!

There are loads of local photographers out there and each one will have their ultimate ‘why’ they chose that career. The main reason I moved into photography and then chose to be a newborn specialist, and a cake smash photographer is that as a Mum of 3 myself, I know how important photos are.

was so keen to document everything in that first year they were each born as it passes way too quickly. They achieve so many milestones in that first year and the age of newborn to a year is my absolute favourite. I would have so many more babies if my body could take it and I could keep them in that newborn stage for longer!

I worked with children in a nursery, then as a private nanny, before exploring photography and moving into it full time after the birth of my second child. Many previous clients comment on my positive interaction and patience with their children, and it makes me so happy that this is what shines through during a photo session. 

“Not only are her finished photos so beautiful, she is so patient and engaging with my boys”

Leanne Phillips

What should my baby wear for the cake smash?

There are 4 smash options to choose, starting from £50; birthday splash, simple smash, smash and splash, custom smash and splash.

Clothing can vary between a full outfit, (fancy dress or 3 piece suit), to a nappy cover and accessory. Depending on the theme you choose for the smash set, a particular style may suit one more than another. You can opt for an outfit change for the latter two sessions which also include birthday portraits either in the cake smash set, or a separate set – the best of both if you can’t decide on what to wear!

I email a preparation guide to you once you have confirmed the booking (see here for details on the booking process), to help with choosing suitable outfits. The prep guide includes more specific details and suggestions on how to dress your baby for the photo session.

Some of the gorgeous outfits from smash sessions:

Do I need to bring the cake?

No – I provide these in all my cake smash sessions and it is factored into the session fee. I want this to be as easy and stress free as possible for you, so I take care of the cake. By working with a local baker in Aylesbury, where I am also based, the cakes are all designed to perfectly match the set. You only need to choose and provide the outfit you wish your baby to wear.

When do I need to book?

It is best to book a cake smash photoshoot around a month before your baby turns one. Many parents like to include the images of these milestone sessions on birthday party announcements, so it is great to get the session scheduled with ample time before the actual birth date. 

I recommend booking ideally 8 weeks in advance. The baker and I both need adequate time for planning and accommodating in our diaries. We can sometimes squeeze in last minute bookings though, so do get in touch even if you have only just considered a cake smash photoshoot and the date isn’t far away. 

I have a newborn – is it too early to book?

It is never too early to prepare for a birthday celebration! I offer package sessions which are perfect for those who like to be prepared; Baby to birthday, and Baby’s First year. These are very popular and are often booked during the second trimester, ready for the newborn photoshoot. 

What if my baby doesn’t like the cake?

In my years of experience as a cake smash photographer, it is quite rare for a baby to completely refuse to go near the cake. Some babies do take a little while to warm up to the idea of touching or eating the cake – others dive straight in, occasionally face first! I have lots of methods to encourage the baby to try touching, and sometimes that is all that is needed. Other times, they will still refuse to get involved.

There is no need to worry if they really don’t like the cake smashing part of the photoshoot,

99% of babies love a splash in the bath for the last bit of the session!

The images from this part are just as special and a beautiful memory of this milestone. Those cheeky smiley faces, and trying to catch bubbles are utterly gorgeous – sometimes the favourite!

An advantage of the baby not completely demolishing the cake, is that you can take the remainder home to enjoy. Of course, you are welcome to take home any remains, however deconstructed it may be!

I don’t want a framed wall art of a cake smash – can I just get digitals?

Yes – I offer digital bundles as well as the option of print collections (which include matching digitals), individual wall art, and multiple aperture framed wall art. In the digital world we are experiencing, digital images are often sought after, and although wall art is something I absolutely adore, I also want to meet desires to own the digital images.

That being said, people so frequently leave images stored on a computer, on an external device or USB in a drawer and never get round to printing them; please don’t leave your beautiful images unprinted. Part of my job, after creating the moments of treasured milestones, is to help you decide on how to be able to enjoy the memories of these images, and share them with others, through print.

Check out this related blogpost about some products I offer: Displaying your photos

Can I have some family photos at the same time?

Yes, this is included in the custom smash and splash option (session fee – £125). You will be provided with a preparation guide for choosing your family wardrobe for photos all together, along with a separate guide for the cake smash part of the session. You can choose to have the photos taken within the cake smash set, or on a separate background for a more classic portrait.

If you would like to get booked in for a cake smash session, just pop me a message via the contact page, and I’ll aim to get back to you within 1 working business day.

I can’t wait to chat with you about the birthday celebration of your little one! I love that age!

Booking process – newborn photography and family portraits – Aylesbury photographer

Booking a photographer

Choosing a photographer to capture a special chapter in your life – a new baby, an update of family photos, a reason to celebrate a particular story in your lives – can feel like a big job. I want to take out all the possible stresses of this task and for it to be an easy process so that you can be fully informed and confident in knowing what you are receiving before you book a photographer.

Family; Mum, Dad, 3 sisters

Let’s dive right in with the steps from making the inquiry, all the way through to  holding the beautiful images of your family that you will treasure. I’m here to look after you through every step and make this simple and easy for you, and we will have lots of fun along the way!

Making an inquiry 

When using the contact form on my website (here), your message will ping over to my email. I’ll be smiling already when I see your inquiry! I’m so thrilled for you – I get excited for each message I receive, ready to discuss taking gorgeous family pictures for you. I love what I do and I want to share that!

I will respond to your inquiry within 1 working business day. My response will detail pricing, availability, and the options for photo session types so that you can see exactly what I offer with all the information you need to know before confirming a booking.

Deciding to book

You’ve read all the information and want to book – yay! My mind will begin whirring away with possible plans for your session from the moment you decide that I am the right photographer to fulfil your needs. No two photographers are the same as we each have our own essence of creativity, and I get very excited that you love what I create in my studio work. I can’t wait to schedule your date in my diary. Now for a little paperwork….

Deposit and contracts

The next step involves:

1.) completing the booking form

2.) signing a contract of terms and conditions

3.) paying your deposit of your chosen session

Completion of the 3 things secures your date with me officially and then we get planning!

The full session fee amount is due to confirm a booking, or £50 of a package session with the balance paid at least 48 hours prior to the session date. Session fees confirm your booking and pay for the planning and time of the session. Images are  ordered separately at your presentation viewing, and not included in the session fee.

Scheduling and preparations

If you have booked me for family portraits (outdoor location or in the studio), headshot photography, maternity photography, or a cake smash photo session, we schedule a set date. If you have booked a newborn session, I book you for your due date (this is a temporary date). I only fill my diary with a certain amount per month to ensure I can accommodate all bookings regardless of when the baby actually arrives. When the baby arrives, you share your baby news with me, and we book a date from there.

When you have completed the contract and deposit, I will email over a prep guide. This details studio address and directions, clothing suggestions, tips for a successful session, and details of your preferences for the photosession.

Related post: What to wear for a family photosession 

I adore this red and black combination; striking, complimentary, and non distracting

I will be in touch to check in during the weeks leading up to your photo session, and I can answer any questions you may have. For maternity photography and newborn photography sessions, you will also be sent a questionnaire to complete, which will help with further planning and styling of your session.

This pop of colour against the blue is stunning

The day of the photo session

The day arrives! You will have all the guidance prior to this day, knowing exactly what you need to bring to either my photography studio, or to meet at a location in the gorgeous countryside of Bucks. On arrival at my Aylesbury studio, you can take a seat and relax through a newborn photo session, or with all the family, we get straight into fun with photos! My aim is always for you to enjoy the time spent in my studio while I create some incredible images for your family. On location, we make our way to some beautiful favourite spots of mine, usually on a gentle stroll while stopping along the route to capture precious family moments in action.

The presentation and ordering appointment 

In the 2-3 weeks following your photo session with me, I will be choosing the best images from your gallery, and begin the first stage of edits on a sample of this gallery. You will be invited back to studio to view your images, and make your order. You will have already received the product pricing guide in your initial contact to me, so there are no surprises of pricing and what is available in the form of wall art, print collections, and digital collections.

The presentation viewing is often an emotional one. It is my job to create stunning images that you feel connected to, these are precious memories of that point in your life, and frequently those emotions come out in tears – not to worry though, I stock tissues too! I’m there to help you every step of the way, and can assist with tips on ways to frame your images in the best and most effective way.

Receiving your order

I will complete the editing on your chosen images (I love this bit – making those final tweaks to make it perfect), and fulfil your order. Approximately 4 weeks after your ordering appointment, I will invite you back to collect your gorgeous wall art or print collection. I love seeing the look on client’s faces when they see their images in print for the first time, it makes my heart flutter every time.

This triplet frame was chosen to hang in their hallway.

In a blink, children reach the next milestone; sitting, walking, starting school – my oldest will be at secondary school in just 18months! I want to capture every moment of my children, and be able to mark those memories for you too.

Get in touch  – let’s make some memories!