I am super bias because this little cutie is my soon to be one year old, Asher. Instead of cake smash for his first birthday pics I opted for a new trend, the donut smash! Honestly, it was $.75 a donut, available last minute (hello 3rd kid) and the icing is WAY easier for clean up so those reasons basically made the decision for me.

My goal for our session was to capture a few of him standing, crawling, laughing, and of course, gobbling up his sweets! If you’re about to book a cake smash for your first kid, you may not know this but most kids don’t know what to do with the tower of goodies in front of them! It takes several minutes of just patiently waiting but eventually they work up the courage to go for it. HA! I kept the camera on him the whole time and just waited for those magic moments.

To capture all of these, it took about an hour. I gave him lots of breaks and tried to bring items to the set that he would naturally enjoy or find interesting. The table I used to display the donuts is one he pulls up on regularly in his playroom. I knew the minute he saw it with something new on top, he would climb up to take a peek. Sure enough, that’s what led to those gems below.

I set us up in the brightest and most neutral space in my house on a very sunny day right after he’d had his morning nap and lunch. Nobody wants a cranky baby in their photos so make sure you consider what time of day will be best for your home based on natural lighting and their naps! If you’d prefer to have them on a blanket outside which is also super cute, choose the early morning or late afternoon (whenever the sun is not directly overhead!).

Items you’ll want for your shoot: balloons, a small cake or donuts, a few favorite toys or sentimental item, a book you love to read together, and a neutral and coordinating outfit that matches your theme. If you book me I can supply a low table, cake stand, a bucket, a rocking horse (lamb) and white backdrop if needed. I would encourage you to relax as much as possible during this shoot so they don’t feel on edge that you’re waiting for them to perform. If they can sense it, they will likely not be excited about that type of attention and want the photos to be done very quickly.

First birthday pics should be fun and are a really sweet way to remember your baby before they take their next step toward toddlerhood. Capturing them while they’re playing, crawling, walking, pulling up, etc. are great ways to get them just as they are in this phase. Fair warning, after this shoot, they’ll be difficult (but not impossible with lots of patience!) for future family photos for at least 2-3 years! HA!

And another tip, don’t ever bribe toddlers with chocolate. It melts all over their hands and faces and gets all over those beautiful clothes. If you have to bribe, stick to mini marshmallows once we are done so they’re not on a sugar high during the shoot!

Without further adieu, I give you Asher’s adorable donut smash. Enjoy!

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