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How to Create Your Own Smashcake Photoshoot

Smashcake photoshoots are a blast! However, they can also be pretty pricey.

I could not bring myself to pay hundreds of dollars for a professional smashcake photoshoot for Will's first birthday. So instead I started creating a Pinterest board of all my favorite smashcake photos and set to work on creating my own smashcake photo session.

Supplies Needed:

  • Lighting & Location
    • I used my dining room because it is near two huge windows for ample natural light; as well as wood floors for easy cleanup.
    • I also used two continuous portrait lights for more lighting. Find similar lights here.
  • Bunting & Banners for backdrop
    • I created my own 'one' banner and my own 'zoo animal & dot' bunting. I'll be posting tutorials on how to create both of these soon.
  • Cake Stand
    • I received the cake stand that is pictured as wedding gift. Similar one here.
  • Smashcake
    • I purchased my 5 inch, double layer, smashcake for $11 from Harmons! Order yours here.
  • Candle
    • I purchased my '1st' candle at Target a while back and haven't been able to find it since. Similar candles here and here.
  • Cleaning supplies
    • Keep cleaning supplies near by for a quick cleanup once your munchkin has 'smashcaked' themselves out!
  • Camera
    • Learn more about my camera equipment that I use here.

Note: you can add a huge variety of other props, banners, or bunting to your photoshoot. These are just the items that I used.

I used the additional props of a book and birthday hat. 'You're One' book pictured can be purchasedhere.

Steps to creating a photoshoot

  1. Move any furniture not needed for the shoot. I moved our dining room table for William's photoshoot.
  2. Hang banners & bunting. Tip: once you hang the banners take a look at your photoshoot area through your camera. This helped me to know where I needed to hang my banners and bunting so it would be visible in the shots.
  3. Incorporate props. I added in the cake stand and cake stand before adding William to the shoot.
  4. Take a few practice photos. I like to take a few practice photos and tweak my camera settings to my liking before adding in my subjects…especially very active subjects!
  5. Optional: Music. I turned on the 'Baby Einstein' Pandora station for William. He loves their songs and it instantly makes him smiley.
  6. Add your munchkin to the photoshoot area & snap away!

This was one of my favorite photoshoots I have ever taken of Will. He and I had a blast smashing his cake to pieces, and I got a good kick out of it as well.

Happy Smashcake Photoshoot!

Sarai Hansen


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