Family photographer and celebrating first birthday at home

Leigh on Sea, Essex

I get quite few inquiries about cake smashes, so I thought a blog on family photography celebrating baby’s first birthday and some examples of what it can look like, is appropriate to share. Only because I don’t offer cake smashes the way I did before pandemic.

It was during covid times when I was seeing my clients mostly outdoors, or in their homes, when I started to observe the meaning behind the images we created.

What I used to love about the cake smashes as we know it, was the wonder and curiosity on baby’s face. They either loved it or didn’t and it was funny either way.

And that actually didn’t change. The difference is only in the setting. 

The photoshoot is still split in 3 parts – photos of baby and family photos, cake and bath (but nothing is set in stone).

What I love about at home photoshoots though, is the inevitable inclusion of the whole family. In the traditional cake smash session, it was all about baby and very little involvement of siblings and parents, trying to keep the baby in proximity of the cake. Whereas celebrating at home is more about the joy all around that this milestone represents – after all, it’s first of many! 

Like any family photoshoot, it will feel and look different for everyone. You will pick and choose the activities that YOU love doing right now – after all, you want these photos to represent the phases and stages you are living.

We come up with a plan for the pre-cake part or we just go with the flow. The first photos can be taken inside or out in the garden, using their toys they love playing with now, as well as capturing you with them – these are important! 

You can have cake, but it’s not mandatory. Some clients have a cake in the middle of the kitchen table for everyone to tuck in, this family opted for a picnic in the living room. I have some clients who celebrate their child’s birthday with outing on which they invite me. This is not one fit all. You celebrate your way!

The way we approached this photoshoot was very organic. Having 2 very little children, it needed to feel inclusive. Even though big sister loved the cake more than the birthday girl, she had so much fun just watching what was going on around her. And it was beautiful to watch. We didn’t have clear plans, but the dad was dedicated balloons blower and the big sis was a pro at entertaining us all. Her giggles made us giggle. The cake from Wilma’s bakery was just stunning and really tasty too. Although little one wasn’t too impressed, she had great fun with the wooden spoon and her expressions just made us laugh out loud (just like her sister btw).

We traditionally finished with a bath. And although kitchen sink wasn’t an option, we went for the big tub.

The most adorable moments happened after the bath in the nursery and the light was just so perfect too.

Below are some photos from the photoshoot.

If you wanted to mark your baby’s birthday occasion with some photos to look back on, get in touch.