Everything You Need to Know About Cake Smash Photoshoots
Updated: Jun 13
What is a cake smash shoot?
Cake smash photography started in the US, celebrating a big birthday milestone and these are also often used for the birthday party invitations. Usually, the cake smash is for the first birthday, but it can be for any birthday at all. I have seen photos of 30-year olds doing cake smash photos and it looks like just as much fun!
Why should you book a cake smash shoot?
They are only young once, and these photos will last a lifetime! If you're doing a cake smash for your one-year-old, they might not really know what's going on, but for older kids it is such a fun experience and a perfect birthday present.
How much does it cost?
My 2022 price is $250 for a Cake Smash Photoshoot, and all digital photos from the shoot are included so you do not have to buy the photos individually. You do have to buy or make the cake yourself. If you're wanting to do the photoshoot without a cake, it turns into a regular Milestone photoshoot instead. This is $225 - the discount is because clean-up becomes a lot easier.
How do you choose a theme for your child?
I have many themes to choose from, you can see them all here. If your child is old enough, you can ask what they like, and otherwise you can go for what your favourite is. Many of the themes can be customised with different balloons colours. If you have your own specific idea, get in touch as soon as possible. With enough notice I might even be able to build the perfect set up for your child.
What happens during the shoot?
We start off with photos without the cake. This is also a great time for parents/siblings to join in for a few pictures. We might have a hard time getting a little one to stay in place, so if you have a little explorer make sure you wear comfortable clothing to keep putting your child back in place and I will be ready to snap each time!
Then we switch it up and do just the cake.
Next is the most important part, the smashing bit! We put the child behind the cake and see how they react. Nine times out of ten young ones will just look a bit confused and unsure of what the task is, so this is when the parents can show how it works and help out with the smashing. Sometimes, I give them a spoon as this might help them catch on that this thing is for eating.
At the end, we can do a little 'splash' in the bucket for the littles ones if you like. This washes all the cake off and gives some awesome photos especially if your kiddo loves bath time. Sometimes it is the most fun part of the shoot!
What if my child doesn't cooperate?
I always try to schedule the photoshoot during the best time of day for your child, at a time when they are usually the happiest. I have lots of playful props, bubbles and songs at hand to try and get the best out of your child, and I will go above and beyond to make it all happen smoothly.
However, sometimes we might want to try again if it's just not happening - kiddos can just be tired or overwhelmed or teething. Usually we can try later in the same day or a day later, and there is no charge for a retry within 2 days.
My little one tore down the balloon garland of the Unicorn theme during her photoshoot. If you have a little destructor, don't worry, I am used to it and we can always build it back up or just go with it!
Should we buy a cake or make it ourselves?
It totally depends on your preference and your own baking abilities. While sometimes an elaborate cake can make the photos better, oftentimes a simple cake with some decorations can be just as good.
If your child has specific allergies, you might want to bake the cake yourself so you can be sure it is safe.
The best cake to 'smash' is a sponge and cream base and buttercream icing in a colour that works well with the theme or you can use whipped cream on top for ultimate smashability.
Where is the photoshoot going to be?
All cake smash and birthday photoshoots are at my home studio in Te Anau. I will send you the address before the photoshoot along with some prep info.
When should you book?
The photoshoot is usually done about 1-4 weeks before the actual birthday. You will be able to have the photos ready (possibly even printed) to show your guests at their party. We can also try for the actual birthday date, but you never know if someone gets the sniffles and we have to reschedule.
For most themes, you can book anywhere up to a few days before the shoot date. If you are specific about balloon colours or if you have your own special idea you want me to create, please give me as much notice as possible so I can source everything.