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Tips to prepare for your baby's first birthday cake smash session

Charleston cake smash photographer

11 month baby wearing a vintage lace nd pink velvet romper, boho wicker chair and pompas grass and green eucalyptus in backgroups.  She is wearing a green and white floral halo.
Tips for preparing for your cake smash session

Your baby's first birthday photo shoot is one of the most important events in your life! They only turn one once, right? What colors will you choose? What will your baby wear? Will they cry? Will they like the cake? So many questions! I have been photographing babies for over 8 years and have a pretty good idea what works and what does not. I really adore this age. While I have photographed babies 10, 11, 12, and 13 months, I feel the cake smash session tends to go really well when baby is 11 months. This gives you time to order prints or party announcements before baby's big day.




Time of day

As a Charleston studio photographer, I have to be flexible with time. While we book a birthday date months in advance, the time is left open. A couple weeks before the session we will reach out to choose a time that is after a nap and meal time. A well-rested and full-bellied baby is best!

11 month baby holding her head sitting on a vintage crochet beige blanket, wearing a green and white halo and a deep pink and taupe lace romper.  Background has pompas grass and eucalyptus .
Tips for your child's first birthday session



Bring your baby to the studio dressed in an easy to removed romper or sleeper. Plan ahead; how long will it take to get to our Goose Creek studio? Sometimes a baby will fall asleep in the car. Even if we have to delay the session by 20 minutes to let your baby sleep, that's ok. At Bella Marie Styled Photography we only book one client a day.



11 month baby smiling sitting in a green and white floral canopy on a white fluffy fur.  She is wearing a vintage lace short dress and lace bonnet.
All smiles in her vintage baby dress and bonnet

Once you arrive to our cozy home studio we will sit together and chat while you look through the beautiful dresses and outfits in our client wardrobe. The conversation between myself and the parents also creates a comfortable environment for the baby.



Bbay is sitting in front of her cake with icing on her cheek, a big smile.  She is wearing a neutral romper with a cream floral headband, green and white floral in the background.
Big smile for cake smash session

The Cake

Your cake should be set out in the morning if it has been refrigerated. Room temperature is best so that the cake is soft for the baby. We usually suggest a nakes cake or neutral colors for the baby's cake smash. HOWEVER, it is perfectly fine to choose a color of your choice if it goes well with your theme. In regards to cake, we also welcome Pie or Pasta for baby's first birthday experience!



Baby is looking up at the camera with her fingers in her mouth.  Large cream color cake in front of her and greenery and white in the background.
Baby's first birthday cake in neutral colors

Not all babies will like how the texture of icing feels. Especially if they never touch their food and are fed by their parents with a spoon. We do encourage our clients to "practice" with a little muffin or cupcake at home. Another trick we use is adding little Puffs in the cake- babies will grab for those which creates adorable photos!




Bath after smash!

In our home studio we offer a bath after the cake smash- this can include warm water or not. Sometimes we just pop the baby into the tub in their diaper- who can tell? Or we can add warm water if the baby loves to splash. Sometimes a non-smiling baby will finally break into a big smile in the bath. We offer a vintage basin or a clawfoot white tub.

Do you want to add a mop hat for the tub or a large flower bonnet? You can choose- we have so much for our little clients.





Ready to book?

Please send me an email right here on my website and include your special date. I am here to help you plan and create a fun and memorable experience for your little one.


XO- Angie

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