Baby Cake Smash Photoshoot!

To celebrate my niece Olivia's first birthday, my big sister and I wanted to do something a little bit special. Having been inspired by baby birthday cake smash photos that we'd found on Pinterest and elsewhere on the internet, we got a little (a LOT!) overexcited and decided to give it a go ourselves.

You will need:

  • A colour scheme: choose this before you go any further
  • A backdrop: we used this white party table cloth (120cm x 180cm but bigger is better), you could use an old sheet or non-crease paper in whatever colour you choose
  • A wall or backdrop stand: we moved the sofa and used that wall to stick the table cloth to
  • Masking tape (the stronger the better): to stick the backdrop to the wall/stand
  • Balloons: we went for pink and purple, obviously buy them according to your chosen colour scheme
  • Cake stand (preferably not glass as that is not baby proof and your baby will be guaranteed to knock the cake over at some point)
  • Camera: if you want great photos, use a DSLR or another digital camera (but a smartphone will do if that's all you have!)
  • A baby (obvs): dress them in something old/cheap/doesn't-matter-if-it-gets-dirty OR let them just be in a nappy - much easier to clean!
  • A bath ready: trust me, baby will need a wash afterwards!
  • A BLIMMIN' AWESOME CAKE!: we bought this rainbow pinata one from Asda - buying a ready-made cake is fine because they look good and are effortless (will be smashed up in due course)
How we did it:

Let's just say it was a team effort!

Together we set up the backdrop, stuck on the balloons and confetti and made the whole thing look cute and girly. I set up the lighting and did the photography and Lucy tried very hard to keep her little baby daughter on the backdrop and not spreading cake all over the floor!

First (whilst Olivia was napping - smart move Steph and Luce!), we set up the backdrop and decorated it with pink star confetti, 1st birthday banners and balloons and finally, the cake!!
We then took a few test shots before we put Olivia down to test the lighting/framing.

Then it was time to put the baby down. We started off by putting her in a non-precious (but so very cute) pink party dress and quickly took some photos of her looking blimmin' adorable (and clean).


When she figured out she couldn't really move in the dress, and started prodding the cake, we thought maybe just a nappy would be a good idea!

Now it's time for a little 'expectations vs reality'

Expectations (from Pinterest):


Olivia really didn't like getting messy. You'd think this was every parent's dream(!) but just this once, we wanted her to get herself covered in cake. But nope, she wasn't having it! And when we tried to place her hands on the icing and smear cake on her (you know, for effect) she screamed... and screamed... and screamed.

In between the many tears, we did manage to get a few shots of her looking fairly content. Although it did take some bribing with a banana. (What kind of 1 year old wants to eat a banana and not a birthday cake?!)

When Olivia really had had enough, the dogs decided to get involved instead. And it's not like we discouraged them either (the photos were too cute!).

The result:

Well, it didn't exactly go according to plan. Olivia really did not want to smash up her birthday cake, or eat much of it. I now know why they say to never work with animals or children!!

Somehow though (740 snaps later), we did manage to get some gorgeous shots of the little munchkin to share on Facebook on her birthday and frame/make canvases/post all over Instagram/send to every family member on the Whatsapp group.

It may not have been as fun for Olivia as we had hoped, but it was certainly fun for us and my goodness did she look cute!!

She'll thank us later.