What is a cake smash?

A cake smash has become a rite of passage for many babies celebrating their first birthday and is currently topping my list of favourite things that originated in the US and thankfully came to the UK. Also on this list of favourites is, of course, McDonalds, closely followed by Black Friday, Facebook, Friends and Budweiser.

My take on the traditional cake smash session is called a Smile, Smash & Splash session which I have created to make the most of this milestone birthday. We start with a mini-portrait session so a special outfit is a must, followed by en epic cake smash and then a fun splash in the tub!

What makes my cake smash Lincoln sessions epic I hear you say? Well, there a few things that I feel allow me to describe my cake smash sessions this way…

  • A completely unique set up created just for your child

  • Recommendations for sourcing keepsake pieces to make your session special

  • A custom made, beautiful & tasty cake handmade for your session

  • The time to ensure your child enjoys their session so we can create beautiful images

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A completely unique set up created just for your child

One of my favourite parts of my Smile, Smash & Splash sessions is getting to know the child (or children) that will be having the session - what they enjoy doing, what their favourite things are, what the parents like or what they would like the child to be interested in as they grow up…all the perfect start for a unique cake smash session in Lincoln that will be personalised to them.

I specialise in cake smash photography in Lincoln that is creative, detailed, colourful and elaborate - a real celebration of their birthday! Once you’ve booked their session, I encourage parents to explore cake smash themes and together we create something that represents their child, that is full of personal details (whether created for the session or brought from home) and that they will love to look back on. Having said that, if you envisage a completely plain backdrop, with just your child and a cake I can of course do this for you, but my personal style is to create something over the top and personal that could never truly be replicated.

I have enjoyed taking popular cake smash themes such as woodland, girly and flowery and adding personal elements such as name banners and sentimental items from home, however with time my cake smashes have become even more elaborate and I love it! Recent themes have included adventure, movies, dinosaurs, Hey Duggee and elephant bubbles - all themes based on the loves of the parents or the child and I can’t think of a more perfect celebration of a child’s first birthday. I have some amazing themes coming soon too and I enjoy finding creative ways to make even similar themes different to each other so if you’ve seen an idea you like that I’ve already done, be assured I WILL find a way to make it unique!

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Recommendations for sourcing keepsake pieces to make your session special

Once the theme has been decided, or we have a general idea of where we are going with it, I will create a comprehensive list of the pieces I will supply, make and source for the session, along with a list of suggested items that the families may wish to supply in order to bring additional personalisation and character to the session with recommendations of where to source these items. I have worked with many Etsy sellers on custom pieces so have a curated selection of my favourites that I share with my clients as appropriate.

I will spend a lot of time researching co-ordinating pieces such as clothing, props, cake toppers and decor that suit the theme to bring all the elements together, saving you hours of internet trawling. I then detail my recommendations, where to find them and even discount codes if I have them! I always recommend that if you are having a birthday party for your child, that we use any elements we can from the party in the cake smash session so you not only make the most of the money spent on these often one-off decorations but you get gorgeous photos of them too!

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A custom made, beautiful & tasty cake handmade for your session

After my first couple of cake smashes using a simple, store-bought, chocolate cake, I realised that it would look much better in the photos if babies were covered head to toe in vanilla sponge and icing that didn’t remind parents of their babies early days of nappy explosions! After trialling store-bought sponge cakes (too hard to smash and not enough variety) I looked into having a professional cake maker hand-make the cakes for my sessions. I’ve never gone back and absolutely love working with Hannah at So Sweet Cakes on beautifully custom designs that are designed to fit the specific theme of your cake smash session.

Once the theme has been chosen and your cake booked, Hannah and I set about brainstorming designs that look great, taste amazing, take into account any allergies, and have a personalised element to them. I include a custom-made, one tier, sponge cake iced with yummy buttercream in all of my sessions and whatever your precious one doesn’t devour you are welcome to take home all boxed up! I am obsessed with providing a unique experience to all my clients and the cake is one of the most important elements of this. There are so many ways to make even a simple, beautiful cake unique and I love to incorporate the theme into every cake we provide.

If you are looking for something even more custom to suit your theme and have the budget for a larger, more celebration style cake this is something we would be excited to discuss with you.

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The time to ensure your child enjoys their session so we can create beautiful images

I can spend an hour or two creating the set for your child’s cake smash before your session, adding items you’ve brought from home when you arrive, so my time is heavily invested in ensuring you have images that you love from this special session. Your session can last from one to two hours which allows plenty of time to ensure your child is comfortable in their surroundings as I spend time interacting with them before even picking up my camera so they can get to know me a bit first. This helps them trust me and helps them enjoy their session even more.

It’s a very unusual environment for one so small; visiting a place they may not have been to before, with lots of new things they want to touch and play with, to then be presented with something they’ve probably never been allowed to eat before - it’s not surprising if they need a bit of a time to get used to things! There’s plenty of singing, silly noises, clapping and cheering to make your little one feel settled so they enjoy their experience - it’s their 1st birthday after all, this is a celebration!

Having a longer session, also gives us plenty of time to create portraits in addition to the cake smashing and tub splashing fun that you will really treasure. I start all sessions with a mini portrait session in a special outfit and depending on your child there may be opportunity at the end of the session also when a tastefully covered photo of them with their bum on display is a must! These are often some of the favourite images from the session, so pure and innocent, not to mention perfect to display on their 18th birthday!

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If you love my cake smashes at much as I do and want me to create something unique and exciting with you to celebrate your little one’s milestone birthday you can find out all the detailed information, pricing and book online here. I’d love to see you in The Cabin soon!

Ali x