Ever since I found out I was pregnant with Riley, I knew that when she turned one, I wanted to do a cake smash photoshoot. Originally, I was planning on hiring a professional to take these for us, but given that her birthday is a week before Christmas and we threw a huge first birthday party for her, I decided to save some cash and take them myself. So today I’m sharing my DIY cake smash photos because seriously these are some of my favorite photos of my baby girl, and I’ll also be sharing a few tips I learned along the way.
So let’s go ahead and see them, first, k? Out of the 600+ photos I took, I narrowed it down to these. Don’t judge me. I’m just obsessed with her.
Cake Smash Photoshoot Tips
- Try to schedule the photoshoot around their nap time. I don’t care how delicious that cake tastes, if your baby’s exhausted, I promise you you’ll regret taking these darn photos in the first place. There. I warned ya.
- Have props handy. Riley was super bored just sitting on the sheet and honestly, she just wanted to go crawl and play in the grass, so I knew she’d be interested in her necklace but I also had flowers and balloons handy just in case.
- Don’t freak out if they don’t like the cake. Riley cried the first time we did a cake smash with her. After her birthday party (a few days before these photos were taken) we tried doing a mini cake smash session and baby girl cried hysterically when her dad took her hand and pushed it into the cake. She wasn’t having it. So just go with it. When that happened, instead of forcing her to dig into the cake, I just started taking bits of frosting and smearing it onto her face and her leg and that gave me the messy effect I was going for without her having a meltdown.
- You don’t need to spend a fortune to take nice photos. For these, I used an old white comforter I had in a closet, a cloth backdrop that I had bought for her baby shower, a couple inexpensive balloons from Party City and we made her cupcakes – funfetti cake mix for the win!
- Go with the flow. If your baby’s in a good mood, try to snap as many photos as possible before they get cranky. But understand that things happen. Half way through our photoshoot (before I could get all the shots I had planned out in my head) the backdrop fell onto the blanket and Riley also fell onto her back. Initially, I was like, greeeaaaaat. But instead of panicking, I decided to work with what was in front of me. And you know what? Those turned out to be my favorite photos of the day (check them out below). Funny how things work out that way, huh?
- Bonus tip – use a preset to edit. Editing photos can either be easy or a total pain in the butt. I personally love using presets to edit my photos in Lightroom and if you wanna check out MY PRESET that I developed for the Lightroom mobile app, you can buy it here. Use code RILEY5 to grab it for just $5.
So there you have it! Those are Riley’s first birthday cake smash photos! What do you guys think? Isn’t she the cutest?! Proud mama over here, that’s for sure!