Cake Smash Photos | Raleigh’s First Birthday Photographer

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Raleigh, North Carolina’s Cake Smash Trend – Have your cake and wear it too!

Who doesn’t love cake? If you are expecting or already have a little one I don’t have to tell you about the biggest trend in baby photos right now; First Birthday Cake Smash photo sessions are more popular than ever websites are full of themes, smash outfits and cake ideas. Etsy vendors provide entire coordinating sets and Pinterest is overflowing with ideas. Moms are letting their little ones celebrate a big milestone in a big way – with a tiny cake all of their own. Allowed to dive in, eat up and spread the joy (and icing) as far and wide as possible, the messier the better! This photographer FAQ page will help you prepare for these special photos (or click here to see Raleigh studio cake smash photo session availability!)

So what exactly goes into the perfect first birthday session?

You bring the baby and the baked goods, we will provide a set that coordinates with your theme and matching balloons – and clean up the mess when it’s all said and done! When your session is booked we will discuss your vision for the celebration. Whether you have a specific theme in mind or just a general idea, we will create something special and unique to your child. We start with a 5-10 minute session before introducing the treats (if you have a first birthday outfit that you do not want messy, this is the time to pull it out!) and then we bring out the goodies.  When it’s all said and done you take home your sugary baby and leave the mess to us!

What to Expect

Well, you just never know! Some babies dive right in and chow down and others take one look at that cake and burst into tears. Most babies fall somewhere in the middle; a little hesitant but with some coaching from Mom or Dad (and occasionally a big sister!) learn to enjoy their new treat. The cake portion of the session typically lasts 15-20 minutes but these session times will vary. Whatever your child’s level of interest in their cake, the results will be priceless.

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The Cake:

There are some things you can do in advance to ensure adorable smash memories. The cake takes center stage in these photos so have a professional baker make something beautiful. While grocery store bakeries do sometimes offer free 1st year birthday cakes keep in mind that this “prop” will be the main theme of the photos and choose accordingly. The design should be fun, creative and very decorated – stripes, dots, sprinkles, rosettes, unicorns – the more the better! A few helpful tips:

  • White cake is a better option than chocolate
  • Light/bright colors work better than darker/saturated colors (which will often stain the skin)
  • Choose a whipped or buttercream style icing vs. fondant
  • Cake stands look adorable but tip easily – if you do bring a stand we will grab a few shots on the stand and then move the cake to the floor
  • Have your baby try icing before the session in the weeks before the session – that is the only way you can anticipate how your little one will react to a sweet, new texture (and ensure that there are no allergies!)
  • Bring along baby’s favorite bite sized treats; hiding a cheerio/puff/etc. in the icing can mimic “grabbing” shots even if your little one is less than thrilled with the sticky situation

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The Studio Not Your Style?

Smash Sessions can also take place at area parks. These sessions take a bit more planning on your part but the results are precious and can be added to a half or full family photo session.

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How to Schedule your Session:

Our online booking calendar will show you upcoming availability. We prefer at least a week’s notice to plan and design (and purchase supplies for) your customized birthday set. We will discuss your ideas (if you don’t have any ideas, leave it up to us!) and would love to see a photo of your cake design in advance to make sure we match just perfectly!

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Season Moore is a Raleigh, North Carolina Photographer that has been specializing in contemporary newborn, baby, child, family and senior portraits and editorial, commercial and headshot photography since 2005. Sessions are held at her Raleigh studio, or on location in Raleigh - Durham, North Carolina and surrounding areas.  Contact Season using the Contact Page on this site, at or at 919.341.0190. Follow Season on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest for more photos, updates and promotions.
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