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Cake Smash Sessions

Set up, break down and all the messiness in between.

I recently had the opportunity to do not only one cake smash session, but two cake smash sessions! One of the sessions was for one of the sweetest clients and her little boy who just turned a year old. The second was actually for my son who also turned one. 

Life is funny, though. I was thinking for so long how I wanted to do a cake smash session now that I had a studio space, and *poof* not only one opportunity but two opportunities arose. The following images are from my client’s cake smash session, but you can check out some of my son’s cake smash session by checking out this blog post.

If you are interested shooting a smash cake session, here are some tips and things that I learned along the way.

Seamless Paper Backdrops Are Your Friend

I honestly feel that seamless paper is a bit on the expensive side for a photographer – especially for cake smashes. However, there isn’t a better background available for clean up. I would not want to have to worry about staining or completely ruining my fabric backdrops with cakes. On top of that, paper backdrops provide the most (you guessed it) seamless background available.

 I highly suggest trying out seamless paper for cake smashes. While the cost is higher, it is so easy to just rip off a chunk and wrap all the mess up to go into the trash.

cake smash session

Have Towels and Wet Wipes on Hand

Babies are messy. Babies + cakes are even messier. Do yourself a favor: Have a towel or two on hand so you can wrap baby up while getting them clean. That way they aren’t touching everything else in your studio space and spreading the cake love onto your equipment. Wet wipes are great for wiping cake off the floor, walls and baby (obviously). I would keep some in an easy-to-reach place for both you and mom.

lighting diagram

You Only Need Two Lights

Cake smashes are great for beginning photographers (who are learning lighting) because they really only need two lights. Matter of fact, you could probably only get away with one if you really wanted to.

These cake smash sessions were shot with two lights both with 35” octaboxes. One of the octaboxes was to light up the cake and the other was aligned to light up the baby. You can see how I set up my lights in the below diagram.


If you want to do a cake smash – go for it! They are really easy to set up and break down, but being prepared for a mess will save you a lot of trouble! Just have fun with the set up and let the little ones dive in; it couldn’t be easier for you.

cake smash

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