Cake Smash Photography: Capturing Cake Smash Joy

Cake smash photography is a popular subgenre. When the baby reaches the age of one or in the toddler stage, parents want to capture their kiddos’ adorable, timeless memories. 

Instead of making elaborate plans, they concentrate on influencing their children’s moods. Babies have their own minds and moods when it comes to working; you can’t get anything by forcing them, but you can get something by giving them to play with. 

Since it is for their birthday, what could be better than cake? 

That’s how the smash cake photography ideas came about. 

Today, you’ll learn the primary lessons of kid photography as well as the best cake smash photography tips and ideas.

Let’s get started

What is Smash Cake?

What is Smash Cake

The smash cake is exactly what it says—”smash” is a term for “crumble up something.” 

This cake is typically small in size and is tasted by the child on his or her first birthday. Since a one-year-old child is essentially lawless, they will probably dig in with their hands or smash their face into it. Every parent wants to keep these priceless moments forever because they look adorable while playing with cake.

Smashed cake can be decorated in a fancy way, but it is for celebrating a one-year-old baby’s or toddler’s birthday. This is because you can take a baby’s fun cake-smashing shots. If you go deeper into the tradition or culture, this can also be their first feeding, so it should have less gluten and sugar. 

What is the Purpose of Cake Smash Photography?  

You know, the exact purpose of cake smash photography, in a word, is to have FUN

It sounds weird to buy a cake for smashing. But anyway, this is an intentional purchase to create cute scenes of a one-year-old baby.

This trend is common in the US and the UK, where parents let their kiddo have fun on their special days with something sweeter and even produce delightfully cute and adorable photos.

But you know It’s Mexican in origin. When a baby turns one, the tradition known as the Mordida involves pushing the child into the cake so they can take their first bite.

This milestone photoshoot is typically all about smashing and making a mess everywhere with the cake. Because kiddos feel really happy when they make a mess and throw things. 

When the cake is placed in front of them, they sometimes dive their faces into it, spread it around them, or even take a bite of the falling cake and make sounds like “Num! Num! Num!” 

Sometimes they make cute faces while eating or even cry; all this happens while smashing cakes.

Cake Smash Photography Tips & Ideas  

Baby photography is one of the few things in life that feels so rewarding and achievable. Though it is more challenging than other genres of photography, you can’t resist their cherubic, joyous expression. 

As you know, they have their own mood and style, and you can’t force them to do anything; they do as they want. Consequently, it would help if you changed your style to match their mood.

We’ve compiled some tips for cake smash photography that help capture their innocence and adorable slashed faces beautifully



Since babies are the main focus of smash cake photography, safety always comes first when taking pictures of the kids. The first consideration is the location for the cake smash photo session. The floor is the safest because there is no chance of tripping or falling, and there is a lot of roaming around here and there.

Place the entire setup on the floor, but make sure to tap it on whatever surface it’s on, like a high chair and table, to avoid hurting the baby.


Choose a plain colored vinyl or seamless backdrop because it is both effective and inexpensive for lighting setup. The awesome backdrops are necessary for so many reasons—they don’t wrinkle or need ironing, are sturdy, and are easy to store.


Lighting setup is important for every photography genre. Indoor cake smash photography benefits from bright, soft, and cheerful lighting, whereas smash cake outdoor photography benefits from soft natural light. 

Soft natural light wraps the babies evenly and gently, free from the harsh shadow lines. Make sure you don’t use a flash because children feel bothered and distracted. The simpler, the better.



The baby is just one, so he/she doesn’t know what happens to his/her surroundings. If you take a lot of props, he/she may ruin them or be afraid of them and then start to cry. 

You should add some alluring props that give your photos more impact and produce striking results. For example, use crayons, balloons, and fairy lights, but use them according to the theme and color.

Remember that birthday cake smash photoshoots are all about the baby, so let the cake and the baby be the main attractions.


A colorful, simple, and fun birthday decor brightens up the house for the big day. So it would be best if you avoided visually colored chaos.

Choose primary colors or analogous colors from the color palette. Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. It creates harmony in the decor.

You can also decorate your home with seasonal colors like red, orange, and yellow in the fall; white, sky blue, and navy blue for the winter; and neon colors for the spring and summer. 


Pick a theme to guide your choice of colors, props, and activities for the party. It makes things more fun and memorable and allows for capturing priceless photographs of a baby and family portraits.

3. Select the Right Camera Settings

Select the Right Camera Settings

Right Gear

In contrast to auto mode, which limits your ability to take control of the camera’s shutter speed and aperture when taking pictures of babies, manual mode is ideal for taking photos of babies.

Ensure your camera’s lens is either a macro or a prime lens. If it is macro, you can take closure, wide, and detailed shots; if it is prime, you can move to take shots easily according to the baby’s mood.

Perfect Your Exposure 

Once the setup and styling are done, sit the baby in front of the backdrop and place the cake for smashing. However, first, you need the perfect cake smash photography exposure settings.  

The more you know about the exposure triangle (shutter speed, ISO, and aperture), the better you can capture the picture. However, it loses quality if the images are very brighter or darker.

A Fast Shutter 

If your shutter speed is quick, the quickness of the motion will eliminate any unwanted blurriness; the faster, the better. As a result, the minimum shutter speed is around 1/200.


The aperture should be f/4 or lower for individual portraits and f/8 for family portraits. As a result, pick the aperture for portraits depending on the distance between Baby and Cake and your focal length.


Choose an ISO as low as possible without hampering shutter speed. When taking photographs indoors, you must use a high ISO setting.

4. Compositions

Right Angle

Babies don’t stay still for very long, and if you force them to, they might start to cry. As a result, choosing the proper angle for the shots might take a lot of work. So you need to move and understand their mood and reaction. You can determine the correct angle after that.

Fill the Frame

Fill the frame

Fill the frame—not the props but the center of attraction, the baby. Take a variety of shots up close. When photographing kids, get down to their eye level so you can engage with the baby easily. 

Tell a Story

Tell a Story

Stories tell the details of the scene, which convert into visualization, another level of creativity. So set the scene as if the baby is the story. Take your shots wide and close so you can focus on their adorable activities with the other elements. Smashing the cake is all about the mess. So take closure shots of how babies make messes with their tiny hands, sometimes possibly with feet. 

Variety of Shots

Before the baby smashes the cake, take a few clean family portraits and detailed shots of the cake and decor. Capture their adorable shots from eye level, overhead, or 45 degrees, and use every angle possible for a wide, medium, and close shot. 

5. Keep in Edit 

In photography, consistency in the photos is a key factor. Editing can help you maintain a consistent style in your photography. 

Photo retouching, image editing, and color correction can be challenging to handle if you have the proper knowledge of post-production. We recommend enlisting the assistance of a professional to assist you with your post-production workflow and creating adorable, wonderful, timeless memories.


What is the difference between a smash cake and a regular cake?

The only difference between a smash cake and a regular cake is the thickness and size. Compared to regular cake, which can be thicker and longer, smash cake can be one or two thin layers thick and 4 to 6 inches in diameter.

What are smash cakes made of?

Since smash cake is exactly like a regular cake, no different ingredients are required. However, to make it healthier, you can use low sugar for the babies, and on the icing, you can use natural edible food color to make it colorful.

What type of cake is best for a cake smash?

Vanilla or chocolate sponge cakes are the best for a cake smash. They’re soft and crumbly, perfect for little hands.

What do I need for a cake smash photoshoot?

A cake smash photoshoot is an adorable way to photograph a baby who has just turned one. It is a timeless photo to make a memory for the parents and child. In this photo shoot, you need some elements. These are-
– Themed backdrops with props
– Adorable outfit for baby
– Natural lighting
– Wiping cloths

What size is a smash cake usually?

A smash cake should be between 4 and 6 inches in diameter. The larger, the messier! So single layers can be more effortless. 

Wrap Up,

Thank you for sticking around for the entire cake smash photography segment.

Hope you get a clear picture of what to think about and what not. Utilizing those ideas and tips will make your photograph more creative. Share your thoughts in the comments; if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask.

Outsource Photo Editing, Easily.


About the Author

I'm also on

Amy Grace


Commercial Photographer, Writer

Amy Grace has been engaged in commercial photography for a long time. She has enough proficiency and skill set in photography and has nailed the task up to the mark and has helped a lot of entrepreneurs create a brand. Aside from photography, Amy has passion for travelling.

Read more from Amy Grace

Pixel-perfect Image Editing Solution for Ecommerce