Serving the Metro Detroit, Michigan area

Newborn, Cake Smash, Maternity Photography

Arianna was back at the studio recently for her first birthday session! It’s always so nice to see my newborn clients again. This is such a fun milestone to celebrate. I love being a Mt Clemens birthday photographer, but today, I’d love to give you some tips to make your cake smash session run as smoothly as it can.


This is so hard. Sessions can run wild so fast. We all want those Pinterest worthy smiles, drooly grins, kids diving into their cake. But remember, this birthday session will document your child at this stage in life. Of course, they smile at home, they giggle for you. But they are learning, thinking, growing, and sometimes, learning what’s going on, requires some serious faces. Embrace that look, even if it’s not a perfect smile. It’s your baby’s perfect mood at the moment. They’ll smile eventually for your photographer. Don’t rush it.


Schedule your session right after a morning nap if you can. When they wake up, give them a snack to tide them over. You want them well rested. At this age, they are teething, and a nap can really help set them right for photos.

Limit guests

This is not the time to bring grandparents or other family members with you. As fun as it sounds, and even though your child loves their grandparents, it gets overwhelming so fast. Not only for your child, but also for your photographer. Trying to keep a nervous child’s attention while multiple other people in the room are talking to them can be a daunting task. Let the grandparents enjoy the photos after their session!

Tears Happen

Every time. Almost every parent says “oh they are always so happy at home”. It’s a trap I tell ya! Remember, its a new place, they don’t know where they are. My light flashes, people want them to eat a cake they are unfamiliar with. Parents always scoop the kids up when they are nervous, and now we want them to sit and eat alone. It’s just a weird setting. So be ready to comfort and encourage through some tears. They’ll get through it with some help. Maybe sit and eat a little cake with them, or sing a song. Try to avoid scooping them up, because it’s harder to get them to sit back down. Bring a favorite toy, or a favorite book, something to distract them from their emotions until they are more comfortable. But also, embrace the photos of their teary eyes. They won’t always cry to be near you. Soon enough they will be driving down the driveway to go hang out with their friends.


Bring some small snacks your child likes. Maybe they love goldfish. I love to stick those cute little orange crackers in the back of a cake for a child that isn’t ready to dive into the cake yet. It gets them interacting and sitting still. And gives my camera the illusion they are eating cake until they are ready!


You’ve spent the last 6 months or so of your child’s life teaching them to use a fork and spoon. And now all of a sudden we want them to dive in with their hands and make a mess. Not only that, but frosting is a unique texture, it can be cold, sort of brittle, or greasy. Not a lot of kids really love the feel of frosting. So when they are home and hanging out in the highchair, put a spoonful of frosting on the tray for them to smear around and taste.

Think Outside the Cakebox

I understand why we use cake for their birthday sessions. But remember, this is a time to document what makes your child unique. Consider going away from the bakery, and choosing a food that your child can’t get enough of. It might be Mac and Cheese, Cheerios, spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, tacos, or donuts. Whatever they can’t get enough of. It will make a fun memory for you to look back on one day when they are picky eaters.

birthday girl on white bedding
one year old with pink headband
Mt Clemens Birthday Photographer
birthday girl emotions
Mt Clemens Birthday Photographer

Cake by the talented Amber’s Cakes