Feature Friday: Tips for a Successful Smash Cake Session | CT Smash Cake Photographer

A Smash cake session is a super fun way to celebrate your child’s first birthday. These are captured a little differently than traditional portrait sessions. We aim at capturing the reactions, curiosity & wonder of being a one year old on their birthday. Some babies absolutely love the experience, while others are taken back by everything that is being thrown at them. Here are a list of my top 5 tips for having a successful smash cake photography session.


tips for a successful smash cake Photography session with CT Smash Cake Photographer Elizabeth Frederick Photography


Outfits Matter

You’re welcome to bring 1-2 different outfits for your little one’s cake smash. Any additional outfit changes may only upset baby and make it difficult for them to have the fun experience we want them to have. If you have questions on where to buy your session outfits, I’m happy to provide some shopping inspiration!

Let the baby have cake & eat it too

Many children shy away from new tastes and textures. If you want to increase the likelihood of your little one eating cake, I suggest you let them try it one to two times prior to the session. This lets them get used to it and start developing a taste for it. Give them time to play and explore with it and never force them into it. Making one part of the session more familiar, may make the new surroundings, lights and camera more palatable for your little one.

Circus Smash Cake Session | Triplet Smash Cake Session | Triplet First Birthday Photography Session | First Birthday Party | Cheshire, CT Smash Cake Photographer Elizabeth Frederick Photography

Mom will need an outfit too

You read that right. Bring an outfit for mom too. Or at least don’t have plans for right after & come in your painting clothes. Mom will & does always get messy too. A typical 1 year old does not just stay. Mom, or dad, is usually wrangling the baby & gets messy also. While we are talking clean up, a package of wipes & plastic bag for taking clothes home are always a good idea to bring too.

Mom gets messy too. CT Smash Cake Photographer

Schedule for Success

To best ensure that your little one is happy during their session, please let me know their normal schedule so we can schedule around nap time. Taking photographs during nap time often leads to unhappy babies. Morning sessions often work for many babies.

Monsters Inc Themed Smash Cake Photography Session | Monsters Inc Birthday Party | Monsters First Birthday | Cheshire CT Smash Cake Photographer Elizabeth Frederick Photography colorful & vibrant smash cake photography


Have snacks on hand

It’s always best to keep your child’s favorite finger foods on hand just in case. Examples are Cheerios, Puffs, Yogurt Bites, etc. When all else fails, we will use them as bait to get the baby to the cake. A sippy cup with water is also a great idea just in case he needs a break.

Relax & have fun!

It’s understandable as a parent that you want a great session for your child. But, the very best thing YOU can do is relax and let me do all the hard work. Your little one can tell if you’re stressed, so enjoy the process and don’t worry if you feel it’s not going perfectly – every baby is different and I’ve worked with all kinds. Don’t worry Mom and Dad, I’ve got this!


BONUS: Don’t limit yourself to just cake! 

Not sure a smash cake smash is the best option for your child? That’s absolutely fine. We can do a birthday session, or change it up with donuts, spaghetti, or taco, um.. definitely tacos. I would love to hear your suggestions!


Check out some of my favorite smash cake sessions here. I would love to discuss your ideas for a smash cake session. I am always on the hunt for fun, unique & exciting smash cake sessions. Love the cakes you see? Contact my amazing baker You’ve Been Cupcaked!  For allergy free options, Dee’s One Smart Cookie provides amazing cakes as well.


  1. Some great advice and gorgeous images!

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  1. Some great advice and gorgeous images!