Smile, Smash & Splash Session FAQs


A lot of mess and some really cute images! I love to celebrate birthdays, especially that milestone 1st birthday, so these sessions are all about having some nice photos taken first before the cake smashing madness begins, ending with a bubble-filled splash in the tub! Add in a totally unique setup just for your child and you will receive a gallery full of images to treasure.

Please see the full Smile, Smash & Splash session information here for details and photos from my sessions.

when should i book my session?

If you want your images to display at their birthday celebrations, share on social media on the day or for invitations I recommend booking 4-6 weeks before their birthday to allow enough time for editing, viewing and purchase. If you want the images to display at home and to be a true reflection of them as close to their birthday as possible I'd recommend booking in on the most convenient date just before or after their birthday.

when will my session take place?

These sessions are held during the week, working around childcare and any groups or classes and of course any plans you may already have for their birthday celebrations!

do we need to bring anything?

Before your session we will have discussed a custom theme for your child's session so there may be elements of this you need to bring with you on the day but this will be discussed on an individual basis as will change from session to session.

how long does a session last?

Sessions last between 1 and 2 hours, with a lovely outfit for their portrait session followed by either an outfit of your choice or one of my themed outfits if appropriate. We begin the session with a mini-portrait session, followed by the cake smash and ending with the clean up in the tub. If baby is happy to do so after their tub session, and time allows, I may take a few more photos of them at the very end of the session.

will i get to choose the theme?

This is one of the best bits! We will work together to create a custom theme for your child so the images are really personal to you and unique for your child. There is so much we can do and it is all about personal preference on the style you would like for the session.

i'm not great at ideas, what kind of theme could we do?

I love doing a 'Twinkle Little Star' theme in a colour of your choice, I think this works really well for one year old's as it's the last time they really feel like a baby and this is a popular theme to celebrate that. Woodland is also very popular and unicorns or mermaids are of course perfect for little girls! Being a big Disney fan a princess or Mickey & Minnie theme would be a lot of fun! If you type in 'cake smash' on pinterest there are loads of great ideas too that we can adapt to make them unique to you.


I include a yummy custom made cake from Mason’s Bakes in every session. This is a lovely large cake, made specifically for smashing and whatever your child doesn’t eat you get to take home - win win!

can i provide my own cake?

You are more than welcome to provide your own cake if you wanted something more elaborate for your session, or have someone that wants to make your cake as a gift. If you are interested in us providing something more elaborate (such as a three tiered dinosaur cake complete with edible dinosaurs), we can work with you on creating something completely unique for the session (for an additional fee).

what if my child has allergies?

If your child is allergic to anything that could be found in a cake or a certain type of bubble mixture please let me know ahead of the session so we can address this individually.

how much do you provide for the setup?

I can provide air-filled balloons, confetti and themed pieces to create an engaging setup which can all be discussed with you when we plan your bespoke setup. If you are planning a themed birthday party it's always great to get the most for your money and use some decorations for your cake smash session too!

what should my child wear?

For the mini portrait session I recommend a smart casual outfit that suits the theme of your session as the portraits will be taken within your set. I think bare feet look great with most outfits but with smart outfits shoes usually finish the look nicely. A bare chest and braces look great for the cake smashing portion, or if you have a personalised outfit with a hat they look fantastic! A tutu skirt with a jumper and boots, bare legs or tights is probably my favourite outfit for a girl!

i have twins, can they both be included at the same session?

If you have twins, triplets or more then we will definitely do their sessions together, but please let me know when booking as we may need to increase the session fee to accommodate the additional cake(s) and decorations if required.

Can my child's older siblings be included in the session?

I will do my best to include any older children for a few photos, or to help smash the cake towards the end of this portion, however if you did want them to be in more than this you can add a child session onto your booking and we will have plenty of time to photograph all of your children at the same session. We can also work out a bespoke price on the digitals and packages too for purchasing your images. 


If Mum and/or Dad want to be in a handful of photos during the session too, maybe even smash a bit of cake yourselves, that's great! We can also work out a bespoke price on the digitals and packages too for purchasing your images. 

can i take my own photos?

You are welcome to take a couple of behind the scenes photos of me photographing your baby during your session to remember this exciting time in your child's life, however these shouldn't be close ups of just the baby in a set up as these are the images you have paid me to take and a phone photo will not do them justice!

Please do not take any photos of any other elements within The Cabin as seeing this for the first time is all part of the experience of booking a session with Mama Bear Photography so we like to keep some details a nice surprise for future clients.

The camera on my phone is really good, why should i hire a professional?

As someone who takes thousands of photos on my phone I know they are invaluable in capturing those fleeting or funny things your children do every single day, but they cannot replace quality, beautifully crafted imagery that is meant for the walls and albums and this is what professional photography will give you. I will do everything in my power to coax natural smiles and laughs out of your child so the photos don't look forced or awkward, whilst showing them a really good time too so they remember the day fondly and want to keep coming back.

Do you edit the images?

During your session, I will likely take around 200-400 photos. This consists of numerous angles of each pose and often very similar images, re-takes due to blinks, focusing on different areas and so on. Using my creative discretion, I only delicately edit the very best images including removing unsightly blemishes, colour correcting, detail enhancing and creative development to create the final photo which is what you will see when you receive your online gallery.

how many images will i get?

Images are not included in the session fee and are available to purchase separately. For a Smile, Smash & Splash session, you will have a minimum of 50 images to choose from when ordering.


You don't need to choose any package when you book your session. Once you've viewed your online gallery you will then need to choose your images and the relevant package (whether it be one of the three collections or digital only) at that time. Payment will be required in full upon ordering your images and you can pay via card or BACS.

do you share images on social media?

I love to share a sneak peek of an image from your session within 24 hours of the shoot where possible. I may also use any images from your final gallery on my social media pages as well as my website or blog as a promotional tool and most parents love to see their child being featured in this way. If you would prefer your child's images not to be used in this way that's fine too, please just let me know before your session. 

How long does it take before we can see the photos?

I usually say between 4-6 weeks however at busier or quieter times this could be more or less and I will aim to keep you updated on this.

How do I access THE PHOTOS?

You will be sent an email giving access to an online, password protected gallery where you can view, share and order your images and any products too.

how will i choose from all the images you've sent me?

You don't have to choose! My pricing has been created in a way that you get the very best savings when you purchase all of your images. I have added the option to add all your images to each of my packages to ensure the value is retained and you get to receive some beautiful prints and artwork too. Personally, I can never choose a few images from a gallery of my own children so I don't want you to have to choose either! I also offer a lot of images within my gallery so that when purchasing all images you get a lot of value from your investment.

If we order wall art or prints, how long will my order take?

This all depends on the specific products ordered and individual timescales however I would generally say between 2 - 6 weeks and your order will be fulfilled. All can be discussed further at your viewing appointment and I will keep you updated along the way too.

how do we receive our order?

The price of my products includes delivery, this could be in the post for smaller orders or we may hand deliver larger orders to prevent any damage to the pieces and you are also welcome to collect your order by appointment. All will be discussed with you individually upon ordering.




The Session

For detailed information on the Mama Bear Photography Smile, Smash & Splash sessions click below.

Prints & Products

For information on the beautiful products within my Smile, Smash & Splash collections, and a more in depth breakdown of pricing, download my brochure.