Before my 15month old daughter turned one, I started looking into photographers for her Smash Cake Photoshoot. I knew I wanted to have one because they are SOO cute! I also figured that pricing would be decent since it’s not like there’s outfit changes, multiple backgrounds, or that it would even take real long. Boy was I wrong!! In my town in KY, the average smash cake photoshoot cost $400. You would then have the digital images that must be printed out, so you’re having to pay even more. This was just outrageous in my opinion. It was at this moment I decided I would DIY her smash cake shoot. Now, do remember that I take photos for a hobby/work since I’m an Instagrammer but that in no way-shape-or form means that I’m some pro photographer. I’m not! But I did want to let ya’ll know since a few things I listed I used for this are because I also use them for Instagram, which is why it made sense for me. But trust me when I say, anyone can do this & you can do it for much cheaper than professional places charge.
Since I was having a Unicorn themed birthday for Cora, I knew I wanted this to be the same. I wanted to be able to display some of these photos at the party & they match everything. I used the same color theme in the photos as I did for the party, made everything very easy & cohesive!
Do not plan to have your babe wear the same outfit for her smashcake photoshoot as the party. It will get way to messy! Because of that I also didn’t want to spend a lot on a outfit for the photoshoot. I found the perfect inexpensive dress here. The straps on the dress were a little long for Cora so my mom quickly hand-sewed them up. It only took a few minutes & the dress was perfect for the shoot. We actually still have it, and the cake ended up coming all out too so it’s reusable.
You can use all kinds of different backdrops for these photos. You can have it outside during warm weather, against a wall in your home, or even order an actual backdrop. I ordered an actual backdrop stand that came with white,black, and green canvas. This is one of those items that like I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to buy. I use this in other Instagram photos so it was worth it for me to buy. I also chose muslin backdrops instead of paper because muslin is cloth, therefore the cake will wash out. The paper backdrop would just end up being ruined & thrown out. You can check out the backdrop stand I got here.
The decorations will be related to the theme of course. You can use balloons, streamers, paper fans, props, all kinds of different things for your photoshoot. Whatever you think is best for your theme! I came across the cutest Unicorn themed paper fans on Etsy. I figured I could use these at the party as decorations, and for the photoshoot I could put them on the backdrop behind her. They worked out perfect!
This cake will be destroyed and most likely not edible by the time you’re done. I say most likely not edible because Cora really only damaged the top of our layered cake so we ate the bottom afterwards lol! I know our local Walmart sold smash cakes for like $6 which is super affordable in my opinion, especially if you don’t want to have to make it. I was taking photos on a Sunday since I’m off work and my Walmart Bakery isnt open on Sunday so I made mine. It was still super easy! I used a small 6 or 8inch cake pan, made 2 layers, iced between and all around. The cakes getting destroyed anyways, it doesn’t have to be perfect…trust me! I did order a small cake stand on amazon that I figured I could use this for many parties to come.
You do not need to have a professional camera for the photos. Smart phone cameras are super-awesome & would work out great if you don’t have a camera. I had just recently gotten a camera because of Instagram. Use as much day light as possible no matter what though, and always test your lighting first. Natural light makes the best photos! I set up in our room with huge windows. Remember that not every baby is going to take to smashing the cake. Cora had some trouble and didn’t really like getting dirty. We ended up “making” her get dirty aka putting some icing on her face, and she started screaming 😡 . But hey, mad face photos turn out super cute too! All the faces and movements your baby is doing, will all turn out making cute photos. Babies are cute period, right! So don’t worry about stressing over the perfect picture, it will happen! Then you can just go to your local CVS/Walgreens to have them printed! Super easy, super affordable. I saved a ton of money doing it this way, plus it was fun! I totally recommend just taking your own Smash Cake Photos!