Central PA First Birthday Photographer

Harrisburg Baby Photographer Shares Tips for Cake Smash Portraits

The first year of your baby’s life is an incredible time of learning (for both you and your baby) and constant changes from one day to the next. Their first birthday is an incredible milestone, so why not celebrate with the time-honored tradition of cake smash portraits? As a Harrisburg baby photographer, I love celebrating little ones with these one-of-a-kind portrait sessions!

If you want to make sure your baby’s cake smash session is as smooth and successful as possible, you’ve come to the right place. Follow these top tips for your cake smash portraits.

Consider the Photography When Ordering Your Smash Cake

The cake, of course, is an essential prop for cake smash photos. While I’m happy to source a cake for you for an added fee, most of my clients prefer to get their own cake so they can get exactly what they want.

If you’re getting your own smash cake, though, make sure you think about how the cake will photograph. I suggest cakes with either white or pastel icing. Chocolate cake doesn’t photograph well, nor does chocolate icing or red icing. Frosting with very deep colors and strong dyes can stain your baby’s skin, and we want to make sure they look fantastic for the rest of their portraits.

Make sure you also tell the bakery that it’s a smash cake so they don’t put anything inside the cake to stabilize it, like a stick which can be dangerous. I also recommend that you don’t get a cake with fondant because this can present a choking hazard.

Consider a Practice Run Before Meeting Up with Your Harrisburg Baby Photographer

Not sure how your baby will react to the smash cake? You can do a practice run to let your baby try it out. Get them a small cake or a cupcake a day or two before your photo session and let them play around with it, discover that it’s tasty, and figure out how to dig into it.

Don’t Stress About Your Baby’s Reaction to the Cake

Every parent wants those adorable pictures of their baby covered in cake and giggling with absolute glee. I’d love to get those for you too! Truthfully, though, some babies love their cake smash and others don’t. Your baby may just not like the feel of the cake or frosting on their fingers.

All of that is okay! I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve to get great portraits, and honestly, portraits of babies that aren’t quite sold on their cake can be precious too. They’ll bring back memories you can laugh about, so don’t worry about how your baby will react to the cake.

Plan Your Schedule Accordingly

Over my years as a Harrisburg baby photographer, I’ve learned that you can’t rush portraits, especially when there are babies involved. Your baby might need some time to get comfortable with me and get comfortable in front of the camera, and that’s perfectly fine. Just make sure you plan your schedule accordingly so you’re not feeling rushed.

I also do my first birthday portraits a bit differently from some photographers. I take the cake smash photos in my studio in the morning and then you go home to get your baby cleaned up and rested. We’ll meet back up in the late afternoon for some gorgeous outdoor portraits. Make sure you arrange your day so you can take your time and enjoy the milestone experience.

Bring Outfit Options – Your Harrisburg Baby Photographer Can Help

Trying to figure out what you should have your baby wear for their cake smash portraits? It’s always a good idea to bring several different options. You want your baby to be comfortable and be able to be their active, mobile self, and that might mean that your favorite outfit isn’t the best choice. I can help you decide between your options at the studio.

Relax and Enjoy!

This is your baby’s first birthday – have fun! You earned it! Relax, enjoy the session, and be joyful. It will make your baby’s photos even better because they take their cues from you so they’ll be happier and more relaxed too.

Booking a Harrisburg Baby Photographer for Your Baby’s Cake Smash Photo Session

If your baby’s first birthday is coming up, let’s start planning! Book your cake smash portrait session at my Harrisburg studio today.

Mechanicsburg First Birthday Portraits Tip: Choose a Long-Term Family Photographer

The little boy whose Mechanicsburg first birthday portraits are featured in this blog, TJ, is one who is especially close to my heart. I’ve had the absolute joy of watching him grow and photograph his adorable milestones throughout his first year. Along with his newborn portraits, I created TJ’s six-month sitter session portraits and, recently, his one-year portraits.

Not only is TJ the happiest little cutie, but his portraits make me reflect on a topic I wish more clients knew about: the benefits of using the same photographer for all your baby’s milestones and your family portraits.

Why Use the Same Photographer for Your Mechanicsburg First Birthday Portraits and Other Milestones

Finding a family photographer you love isn’t easy. Did you know that you could do yourself a favor in multiple ways by revisiting them for every milestone and portrait session as your family grows?

As a portrait photographer who specializes in newborn portraits as well as maternity, family, baby, child, and senior photography, I have had the honor to do this for countless families in the Mechanicsburg area. There are several perks beyond the convenience of never needing to find a new photographer again.

Portraits That Feel Personal

When you visit the same photographer numerous times, it lets us get to know you and your family. With every photo session, we understand your aesthetic tastes and your personality better. Each session’s portraits will feel more and more authentic to your family.

Comfortable Photo Sessions for the Whole Family

The best portraits always come when my clients are comfortable enough to be their genuine selves. Sure, getting experience in front of a camera helps, but it also comes from getting to know your photographer. When your family feels at home during your photo sessions, it allows me to capture more authentic smiles and it makes your sessions more enjoyable.

A Cohesive Gallery of Portraits

While I cater to your aesthetic tastes in each session, photography is an art form at the end of the day, and every photographer has a natural style. When you get all your portraits from the same photographer, you can more easily display your portraits together because they’ll all have the same artistic style.

Hiring Your Long-Term Family Photographer for Mechanicsburg First Birthday Portraits

Looking for a photographer who can grow with your family? Contact my Mechanicsburg studio today and let’s chat!

Your Guide to 1st Birthday Cake Smash Photos

Your beautiful baby is turning one: congratulations! You’ve made it through that magical yet chaotic year of infancy, and now it’s time to celebrate while also capturing this amazing milestone in your baby’s life. What better way to do that than with a first birthday photo session?

As much fun as a first birthday photoshoot is, it can be intimidating if it’s your first time. Where do you begin? How do you plan for it? What should you bring? Don’t worry, I’m here to help with your ultimate guide to your baby’s 1st birthday cake smash photos.

What Can I Expect from a First Birthday Photoshoot?

While every photographer has their own process, I’ve been working with one-year milestone photos for many years, so I’m happy to guide you through my process when I book a first birthday photoshoot near me.

We always begin with a consultation. This is when we’ll discuss your vision for your baby’s portraits and what you want from your photoshoot. We’ll talk about where you want your session to be, what specific types of images you love, and so on. I can also answer all your questions about outfit ideas for your baby, how to prepare for the session, and so on.

I offer first birthday photo sessions in two parts – usually on the same day if the weather permits. The first part is a cake smash session for your baby in my studio early in the day, where we’ll capture all those adorably messy cake smash photos. All that fun tends to make babies pretty tired, so I’ll then send you home with your baby so you can get them thoroughly cleaned up and they can enjoy a nice rest.

Then, we’ll meet back up outdoors in the late afternoon/early evening (or “golden hour” as it’s often called) for a small outdoor session. Throughout the session, you can relax, watch, and enjoy as I capture a mixture of posed portraits and candid photos that showcase your baby’s personality. We can also incorporate you and the rest of your family into these photos if you would like.

Afterward, I’ll hand edit all the best photos from your session. We’ll schedule a viewing and ordering appointment for two to three weeks after your photo session. That’s when you’ll see all your baby’s beautiful photos in a presented slideshow and you can choose the images and products you want.

Where Do I Get a Cake Smash Cake?

If you want to make it simple, I can source your cake smash cake for you for an additional fee. However, a lot of families choose to get their cake from any local bakery, or you can even bake it yourself if you’re so inclined. There are a few things to keep in mind, though.

First of all, if you’re getting the cake from a bakery, make sure to tell them that it is for cake smash pictures. Sometimes bakeries will have a stabilizer stick inside the cake, and you want to be sure there isn’t one for a smash cake.

Second, while you can get any color and type of cake you want, there are a few things to avoid. It’s best to steer clear of chocolate cake or chocolate icing because it doesn’t photograph well. The same is true for red icing. I also suggest getting a cake with icing instead of fondant, because fondant is hard to chew so it can present a choking hazard.

Do I Need to Do Cake Smash Photos for My Baby’s First Birthday Photos?

Absolutely not! Your baby’s first birthday photos are memorializing a special milestone in your family’s life, and you can make it whatever you want it to be. While 1st birthday cake smash photos are a popular tradition, you can do whatever you want for your photos.

Should I Choose a Theme for My Baby’s Milestone Photos?

Whether or not to have a theme for your baby’s milestone photos is entirely your decision. Some families want their portraits to center around a special interest the family has like their favorite sports team or their baby’s favorite cartoon. But a theme isn’t necessary. When I’m doing a 1st birthday photoshoot near me, I typically combine candid photos of the baby being their amazing self with some first birthday décor so the occasion is clear to see.

What Should I Bring to My Baby’s Cake Smash Photo Session?

When you’re getting ready for your cake smash photography session, there are a few items you’ll want to bring along. These sessions generally last one to two hours, so bring anything you might need to keep your baby (and you!) comfortable during that time. That can include diapers, wipes, bottles, snacks, and so on.

It’s also a good idea to bring an extra outfit for your baby’s trip home. I always save the cake smash photos for the end of the session because babies get MESSY! Still, you’ll want to bring anything you need to clean up your baby afterward as well as an outfit for them to wear on the way home. You might get messy in the process too, so it’s a good idea to bring an extra outfit for yourself as well.

Making Your Cake Smash Photos Special

Your baby’s first birthday is an amazing occasion to celebrate, and I’d love to help! Now that you have the lowdown on everything you need to know, it’s time to get your session on the schedule. Contact my Camp Hill photography studio today.

The happiest little man! :)

Look at awesome little Aiden and his Mamas! He is such a happy and adorable guy! He has definitely got to be one of my most easy going kiddos to work with…just the cutest! <3