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The Ultimate Guide to Cake Smash Photoshoots: A Nashua Photographer’s Perspective

The Ultimate Guide to Cake Smash Photoshoots: A Nashua Photographer’s Perspective


Celebrating a child’s first birthday is a significant milestone for any family. One delightful way to commemorate this event is through a professional cake smash photoshoot. These sessions have become a popular trend among parents who want to capture the joy and innocence of their little ones as they dive into a cake. As a professional Nashua photographer specializing in newborn, maternity and cakesmash, I have had the pleasure of capturing many such heartwarming moments. In this blog, I'll delve into what a cake smash photoshoot entails, why it’s a must-have for your child’s first birthday, and how to prepare for a successful session.


What is a Cake Smash Photoshoot?


A cake smash photoshoot is a whimsical and fun-filled photography session where a one-year-old child is presented with a cake to play with, eat, and inevitably, smash. The concept is simple yet incredibly charming: a beautifully decorated cake is placed in front of the child, and their reactions and interactions with it are captured in a series of candid and posed photographs. The result is a collection of images that showcase the child’s personality, curiosity, and joy.


Boho themed Cake smash photo taken by Nashua, NH photographer Vanessa Keo at Vanessa Keo Photography.


The Magic Behind Cake Smash Photoshoots


The magic of cake smash photoshoots lies in their spontaneity and messiness. Unlike traditional portrait sessions, there is no pressure for the child to stay clean or composed. The messier, the better! The cake smash photoshoot captures genuine expressions and reactions – from tentative touches to full-blown cake destruction. These photos are not just about the cake; they tell a story of discovery and celebration.


 Why Choose a Cake Smash Photoshoot?


1. Memorable Milestone: Your child’s first birthday is a significant milestone. A cake smash photoshoot offers a creative way to celebrate and preserve these fleeting moments.


2. Unique Keepsake: The photos from a cake smash session are unique and personal. They serve as a wonderful keepsake that you and your child can look back on for years to come. Additionally, these photos can be turned into an album or wall art for you home.


3. Fun Experience: Both the child and the parents enjoy the experience. Watching your child explore the cake and express pure joy is a moment worth cherishing.


4. Versatile Photos: The photos can be used for various purposes such as birthday invitations, thank you cards, and even framed wall art.


Interested in booking a session? Vanessa Keo Photography is located in the Nashua area and serves all of Southern New Hampshire and Northshore Massachusetts.


Preparing for a Cake Smash Photoshoot


As a Nashua photographer specializing in cake smash photos, I’ve found that a little preparation goes a long way in ensuring a successful shoot. Here are some tips to help you get ready:


1. Choose the Right Photographer: Look for a photographer with experience in cake smash sessions. They should have a portfolio showcasing their work and an understanding of how to engage young children.


2. Plan the Theme: Discuss with your photographer the theme or color scheme you envision. Whether it’s a favorite cartoon character, a seasonal theme, or simply a color palette, having a theme helps in coordinating the decorations, outfits, and cake design.


3. Select the Cake: If your photographer does not provide a cake, opt for a cake that is not too sweet or rich to avoid any tummy upsets. Many parents choose a simple vanilla cake with buttercream frosting, which is soft enough for little hands to smash.


4. Outfits: Dress your child in an outfit that matches the theme but is also comfortable. Many parents choose special cake smash outfits, but keep a backup handy in case of any wardrobe malfunctions. Outfits can be found at your local target, Amazon or handmade shops on Etsy.


5. Props and Decorations: Your photographer will usually provide all the props and decorations, but feel free to bring any special items that you’d like included. Banners, balloons, and personalized signs add a nice touch.


6. Timing: Schedule the shoot around your child’s nap time to ensure they are well-rested and in good spirits. Typically, mid-morning or early afternoon works best. If you are looking to use these photos for Baby’s invitations make sure to book your session in advance to give time for editing and ordering of any tangible items.


The Cake Smash Photoshoot Process


On the day of the shoot, arrive at the studio or the chosen location with all your prepared items. Here’s what you can expect during a typical cake smash photoshoot with a Nashua photographer:


1. Setup: The photographer will set up the backdrop, props, and cake according to the planned theme. This usually takes a few minutes, giving your child time to acclimate to the new environment.


2. Warm-Up Shots: To help your child get comfortable, the session might start with a few warm-up shots. This can include simple portraits or playing with props.


Beautiful cake smash photo of baby girl touching cake taken by Nashua Photographer Vanessa Keo of Vanessa Keo Photography


3. The Smash: The main event is the cake smash. The cake is placed in front of your child, and the fun begins. The photographer will capture a mix of candid and posed shots as your child explores the cake.


cute boho themed cake smash photoshoot taken by Nashua, NH photographer Vanessa Keo


4. Clean-Up: After the cake smash, there’s usually a quick clean-up session. Some photographers offer a “splash” session, where the child gets cleaned up in a small tub, providing more adorable photo opportunities.


5. Review and Selection: After the shoot, the photographer will review the images and help you select the best ones. These photos are then edited and prepared for final delivery. Delivery can take a few weeks. Be sure to inform your photographer if you need a photo by a certain deadline.


Tips for a Successful Cake Smash Photoshoot


1. Stay Relaxed: Children pick up on their parents’ emotions. Staying relaxed and cheerful will help your child feel at ease.


2. Encourage Exploration: Let your child explore the cake at their own pace. Avoid rushing or forcing them to interact with it.


3. Bring Snacks: Sometimes, children are hesitant to try the cake. Having some of their favorite snacks handy can help encourage them to dig in.


Adorable close up shot of 1 year old eating cake during her cake smash photoshoot taken by Nashua Photographer Vanessa Keo of Vanessa Keo Photography


4. Be Prepared for Mess: Embrace the mess! Bring extra wipes, a change of clothes, and be ready for a fun, messy experience.


A cake smash photoshoot is a joyous celebration of your child’s first year. It’s an opportunity to capture their budding personality and the pure delight of exploration. As a Nashua photographer with a passion for these sessions, I can assure you that the memories created during a cake smash photoshoot are truly priceless. With a little preparation and a spirit of fun, your child’s cake smash photoshoot will be a delightful experience for the entire family. Whether you’re planning a grand celebration or a simple, intimate session, the key is to let your child’s joy shine through every photo.



Interested in booking a session? Vanessa Keo Photography is located in Merrimack, NH and serves surrounding cities such as  Nashua, Bedford, Amherst, Hollis, Manchester and much more!


Submit a booking inquiry here to check availability and pricing packages.  

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