First Birthday Sessions

Below you will find information on first birthday cake smash sessions, and other ideas if a cake smash isn't your thing! None of these fit? Then plan a family session and get photos of the birthday kiddo, non-theme just updated images!

How to Plan the Best First Birthday Cake Smash Ever

Your child’s first birthday is a huge milestone not just for your little one, but for you as a parent and your whole family. And one of the best ways to celebrate that milestone is with a first birthday party and cake smash! Giving your child their own cake to smash and photographing them is a great way to remember this moment and to capture their blossoming personality.


Whether you’re thinking about having a professional cake smash session with a photographer or having your own cake smash party, we’ve put together a few suggestions to help you plan the perfect cake smash for your child!


Choose the right cake

For a perfect smash, get a plain vanilla sponge cake. This type of cake is especially soft and crumbles easily, so your one-year-old will have no problem tearing it apart. And think carefully about your frosting choice. Go for a bright color that will show up well in photos, but avoid colors like red, which often looks too much like blood, and brown, which looks like…well, you know.


Pick a cake smashing outfit

You want your little one to look cute, but they’re going to get messy so don’t choose your favorite outfit to dress them up. A cake smash is a great chance to choose a colorful, fun outfit that they may not normally wear. Think neon tutus or a colorful onesie. Or you can even keep it simple with a diaper and a colorful bib.


Determine your theme

One of the most fun things about children’s birthday parties and cake smash is choosing a theme! You can go with a color palette, like pastels, silver, and gold, or a specific color. Or you choose a character, animal, or another theme. Check out Pinterest for theme ideas or even look at your child’s nursery or favorite toys to give you a little inspiration. When you do a cake smash session with a professional photographer, they can help create a set that fits with your theme to get the perfect images.


Have a practice session

Chances are this is your child’s first time encountering a cake, and they may not know what to do. Some little ones shove their hands right in, while others are a little more uncertain. If you want your photos to go smoother, consider having a practice session with a small cake. Sit down with your child and play with the cake with them to show them just how fun it can be!


No matter what theme or colors you choose, your cake smash for your child’s first birthday can be an absolute blast! Just remember in all the planning what this party is really celebrating—your little one is growing up and moving on into toddlerhood, and that’s definitely something to cheer for!


What to Do for a First Birthday Session Instead of a Cake Smash

I’m sure you’ve seen cake smash photos everywhere, from Pinterest to Facebook to Instagram. These photos are super fun to do, but they’re not for everyone, and there are many ways to celebrate your child’s first birthday with a professional photo session that doesn’t involve cake.


Maybe your child has food allergies or just isn’t super into sweets. Maybe you want images that better represent your child’s personality and life or that mean more to your family. If that’s the case, or if you just aren’t into the cake smash, here are some other food ideas for having messy fun without frosting!


Go for noodles

Spaghetti is one of the most fun foods to watch little ones eat, and it makes for great photos! Plus, you can choose how much sauce you add and have a little more control over how messy things get.


Keep it healthy

If you’re a little more health-conscious or your child just loves fresh fruit, why not choose a watermelon or a variety of fruits? This option is just as colorful as cake but makes your images a little more unique. You can even choose fruits based on the time of year, giving your photos a great seasonal feel!


Have a taco fiesta

Who doesn’t love a good taco? Add in a piñata and some festive decorations, and this theme can be super fun! Just keep in mind that tacos can be pretty messy too.


Build (or destroy) a gingerbread house

If your child’s birthday falls around the holidays, a gingerbread house can be a great alternative to a cake smash! This option gives your little one more pieces to play with, but still all that sugary goodness.


Add some color with popsicles

Nothing says summer like a popsicle! If you’re looking for a really colorful theme, popsicles are the perfect warm weather choice. Not only do these sweet treats make for fun photos, but they can also feel good on your little one’s gums and help soothe them during the session.


Scream for ice cream

Not into popsicles? Go for a different cold treat with an ice cream sundae! You get all the messy fun of a cake smash, plus ice cream makes for an adorable theme for your photo shoot.


Enjoy some donuts

Add some variety to your images with donuts instead of cake. Go for different icing colors and flavors to add interest to your images—and to see what donut is your child’s favorite!


Celebrate with breakfast food

Whether you prefer pancakes or waffles, breakfast food can make for a fun, unique first birthday session. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day!


Look to your child’s favorites

The best way to choose an alternate food for your child’s first birthday photo session is to choose what they love eating most. Using their favorite food will encourage your little one to jump right in and allow your photographer to capture some amazing images!