DIY Cake Smash - The do's and don'ts

I think that a cake smash is the perfect way to celebrate and photograph a baby who is about to turn one. On the days leading up to Noah's 1st birthday we decided to take on our very own DIY cake smashWhat I thought would be a very stressful and messy catastrophe ended up being a truly enjoyable and memorable experience. We managed to capture a dozen images that I absolutely love and will treasure forever.

I've had a few people ask for tips and advice as they wanted to do their own cake smash too so I thought I would share my do's and don'ts. 


  • Decide in advance where you are going to take the photo's. The ideal spot would be an area that is large and flat and one that gets a lot of natural light. You can buy backdrops but I had Noah sit in front of a neutral wall on laminate flooring.

  • Be prepared. Have your babies outfit and smash cake ready the day before. I like babies simply in their nappies or a fancy cloth nappy for a cake smash. I would of liked to of made Noah a matching party hat if I had of had the time. 

  • Set your camera and test the lighting right before you sit your baby in front of that cake. Take a few test shots because you don't want to start clicking away and then realise you have missed those vital first shots because your images are way too dark or out of focus. 

  • Take photo's of the cake on it's own before your baby gets in on the action.

  • Make sure your baby is in a good mood and well rested because you don't want any tears and tantrums in those photo's. Have fun with it. If you are having fun your baby will have fun too. 

  • If your baby becomes bored have someone wave some toys about to make them laugh or distract them. 

  • Don't stop taking photo's. I literally did not stop clicking because I didn't want to miss one movement or one expression. Everything happens so quickly that is better to take too many than not enough.

  • Have dozens of towels, wet wipes and cloths ready because it will get really messy. As soon as the shoot was over we wrapped Noah up in a towel and took him straight for a shower because there is only so much mess that wipes can handle.  


  • Don't do it on your own. You need someone there to help as you don't want to keep having to rearrange the baby and the cake when handling the camera. 
  • Don't put too much pressure on yourself or the baby, you will become stressed out and they will pick up on it.  

  • Don't over do the background and the props. For me this looks too busy and takes the focus away from the baby and the cake. 

  • Don't be afraid of the mess, embrace it! 

Have you had a DIY cake smash? Do you have any do's and don'ts that you would like to share? 


  1. Great tips! I'll remember these for when we do ours in a few weeks :) x

  2. Awww! It sounds like a lot of fun!
    Cake smashes were not at all popular when my two were little! I wish they were!

  3. Bookmarking this post for next year!!

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

  4. We've now had two cake smash sessions and loved both of them! Your tips are perfect - embrace the mess! x

  5. Thanks for this post! My baby will be one in Jan and planning on the smash cake photo shoot. This really helps! xx

    My art blog:

  6. Adorable, the cake looks so cute too! x

  7. cake smash is most enjoyable time to spent with your children and have his birthday photographs.

  8. Great tips! I always think cake smash photos look great!


  9. That looks like great fun!

    Kirsty Fox

  10. I've never heard of cake smash before but it sounds amazing fun!

  11. I always wanted to do with this with my little ones but just never did it - I'm gutted cause the pics look like he had so much fun!