Birthday Bash: Cake Smash | DIY Photography Tutorial | Cambridgeshire Photographer

May 24, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


What better way to celebrate a first birthday than with a Cake Smash!


Cake Smashes are so much fun to do and watch, plus you can get some great pictures bursting with personality. All you need is a backdrop, good lighting, a hungry subject and a cake – oh, and a photographer if you didn't want to attempt it yourself. And as you can see from my latest cake smash, you don't need the prettiest of cakes either, though it does make for better photographs. I've a list of recommended bakers, and one in particular who does intolerance baking, so feel free to ask for a referral.

Disclaimer: The cake in this shoot was baked my me, I know I know I should stick to my day job but my little man's first birthday snuck up on me too late to order and store-bought cakes have an obscene amount of sugar! I'm no sugar saint but 45g per slice seems a little excessive for a barely baby. 

Back on topic. You honestly don't need a professional photographer for a cake smash unless you want to mark the occasion with a framed wall print or to finish off a First Year album – I've done mine just because it looked fun and may pull the digitals out for his 18th birthday (yes, I'm one of those mums). But while I tend to opt for all-about-baby simplicity in my set-ups, you could go to town with yours...

- You can do it in dress-up, a favourite outfit or even in their birthday suit 

- Decorate the backdrop in bunting, balloons and streamers

- Have a bubble bath ready for when you're finished, I do this one with my clients. For my own son, I just got the hose out! 

I personally love the simplicity of a coloured background as it focuses the eye on the smiles and squeamish or cheeky expressions that keep flowing throughout the session. 

Cake SmashAiden's First Birthday Cake Smah, 20/5/14

Five top tips for your DIY Cake Smash

1. Stretch a plain sheet or roll of seamless background paper to a frame or a couple of chairs, making sure there are no creases or ripples in the fabric/paper. Leave plain or decorate to taste. I'd recommend shooting in the garage or kitchen, with the set-up facing the light, or if it's a still day head out into the garden.

2. When selecting your cake, opt for a moist light-coloured sponge. Avoid chocolate cake and red icing as they resemble things that you don't want pictured smothered across your child's face.

3. Have a bath run, a big tub next to your set-up or washing up bowl full of soapy suds at the ready

4. If you're not comfortable with your child eating cake due to sugar or colourings, consider commissioning someone to bake you a sugar-free or even veggie cake if you want it to look pretty and can't bake yourself. A sugar-free sponge is easy to make (shredded carrots make it extra moist) and cream cheese frosting can be made with fruit sugar, which is sweeter, healthier and you need far less. Also, although it might not taste sweet to us, it will to our little sugar virgins. I can recommend a few fantastic cake bakers/decorators, too: if you want to know more, leave me a comment on the blog and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

5. Lastly, consider hiring me. If you want to take the hassle out your photo shoot, to sit back and watch the fun and have a collection of fully-edited memorable photographs, then get in touch!


For £75 you get all this...


- An at-home studio, set up in your home and decorated to your taste.

- A 30-minute photo shoot
clean-up, no I'm not going to make a mess and leave - I promise! The beauty of my set-up is that it makes clean-up easy!)

- A cake (allergies can be catered for by may cost extra – and no, I won't be baking the cake!)

- A collection of fully-edited images for you to download from your gallery and treasure forever, including a ready-to-print collage perfect for framing or adding to a memory book


To book, simply email me at or call for a chat on 0770 327 4439


Cake SmashAiden's First Birthday Cake Smah, 20/5/14



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Hello and welcome to Caroline Ann Photography's blog where you can see some of my latest work and personal projects, pick up some photography tips from the odd tutorial and get a sense for the services I offer. Caroline Ann Photography specialises in Children and Family Photography, serving mostly the Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Herfordshire area but travels around the UK on request. 
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