Minutes turned into days, which turned into weeks and months, and before you know it, your baby is about to turn 1! First birthday sessions, also known as cake smash sessions, are the perfect way to capture this big event. First birthday sessions are one of my favorite things to photograph, because they allow me to work with parents and really tap in to my crafty side and get creative! A lot of planning goes into first birthday sessions to document such a monumental milestone in your quickly developing child! These sessions are an adorable and fun way to capture their personality.
First birthday portrait sessions start at $200. Clients can opt to add more digital files, a splash session, portraits with siblings and parents, and additional decor to the set.
Booking Your Session
I typically advise parents to book their child’s cake smash session no later than when their baby is 9 months old for several reasons. First, we will need to plan out your session! Will there be a theme? What color scheme would you prefer? What kind of cake are you looking for? I will need time to put the order in with my baker, and order necessary props in enough time for them to arrive for our session. I generally photograph the session around 11 months, before the baby is walking.
Delivery of Images
My turnaround time for photos is generally 2 weeks, but in the busy season (September-November), it can take up to 3 weeks.
Most session take place in a studio setting, where weather and lighting is controlled. If you are interested in an outdoor cake smash, keep in mind that my outdoor sessions take place within an hour after sunrise, or an hour before sunset, so naps will have to be planned out! Outdoor sessions are so much fun, but I tend to use less props during these.
Planning your Session
When you book your cake smash with me, I will be there through every step of the way when it comes to planning. You can have as much, or as little to do with planning as you’d like!
Here are some of the things to think about:
- What colors would you like to be used?
- What theme are you looking for, if there is one?
- What do you want the cake to look like? Would you like me to provide one, or are you going to have your own baker make one? I recommend using a 6 inch round cake and please try to avoid red, black, or brown frosting.
- Avoid fondant.
- Will you be choosing an outfit from my client closet, or will you be providing your own? Etsy is a great place to find custom outfits.
- What will you be using these photos for? Invitations to the party? You will need some time to get them sent out, and I will need time to edit them and get them sent to you!
- Do you have some personal items that will go nicely with the colors and theme that we will be using?
- Will you be adding on a splash session at the end? If so, do you prefer a bubble bath or milk bath?
- Will you be adding on a parent or sibling portion to the session?
What to Bring
A few outfits for the beginning portion of the session, when we take the milestone portraits. You may also choose from our client closet.
- An outfit for the smash portion
- Snacks for baby, to put on the back of the cake if they aren’t interested
- Clear juice or water
- Change of clothes for parents, just in case
- Favorite toy
- Any items that you would like to add into our set
How to Prepare
- Do a practice run with a small cake before hand so that your child can get used to the cake
- Let your child play with frosting a few days ahead of time
- If you are providing the cake, take if out of refrigeration a few hours in advance
When you arrive for your first birthday session we will begin with the milestone portraits. If you added on parent / sibling photos, these will take place during this time as well. This will typically last up to 30 minutes. After that we will take some quick shots with our cake smash set before the cake comes out. Then it’s cake time! This is the fun part, when we get to see how your baby reacts to the cake, and what kind of mess they are getting into. This can last up to 20 minutes. If you added on the splash session, we will quickly wipe off excess frosting and have your baby take a dip into the little tub!
Try to keep in mind that babies have a mind of their own at this age! When it comes to one year olds, its important to be able to go with the flow! Some babies dig right into the cake and are full of smiles, and some might be shy, or not like the cake. I am fully prepared for both outcomes! Sometimes babies need a little time to warm up to new people and surroundings and thats ok! This is why I like to book first birthday sessions around your child’s nap and feeding schedules. A well rested and fed baby is a happy baby! All of their expressions, whether they are smiling, laughing, curious or crying will be captured, and you will love to look back on them together as a family!
I look forward to creating your Childs cake smash session together! Contact me today to schedule your session.
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