Beyond the Cake Smash! Other beautiful ideas to record First Birthday Memories

By Natarsha March, 2018 QLD Family Photographer of the Year Finalist

Your gorgeous bub is turning one. Congratulations! And you want to make sure you capture them in all their cuteness before they lose their delicious “babiness”. So, what style of first birthday photo session are you going for?

You have probably seen some cute photos of your friends’ kids doing a Cake Smash and think “This is a great idea!”, but I want to let you know what I discovered after doing several years of cake smash sessions. While it is true that some babies really get into it, the reality is that the majority really don’t enjoy the experience of the cake smash photoshoot at all. Most of the time, within minutes of getting started, the little cherubs are crying and covered in cake and icing after having it smeared over them in the hope they will smile and look like they are eating it.  Not ideal!

When you think about it, a cake smash could be a scary experience for a bub:

  • Many have never tasted cake before and are very wary of it
  • They don’t know what is happening with everyone standing around staring at them in anticipation
  • They are often half naked and teething at that age which isn’t going to help them feel secure and happy.

It is important to me that ALL of my clients have a positive and enjoyable photography experience, so seeing this reaction in these precious kiddos never sat well with me. What I also realised, is that once we washed them up, changed into their nice clothes and popped them outside in the garden they would relax, and the smiles would flow freely. Cute portraits galore!

So, I stopped offering cake smash sessions, and now offer birthday portrait sessions in our studio and surrounding gardens at Family Photography by Natarsha March.

While cakes no longer feature, we still capture “First Birthday style” photos with the use of props like balloons, crowns and bunting flags and most importantly featuring the milestones that go along with turning one.

From the big smiles….

To standing up (even if it is with some help from a chair or mum and dad!)

Capturing the special connection they have with their parents…

…. and even themed pics like crawling around like a cute little monster

With a bit of planning, we can also create impressive time-lapse imagery.

Why not aim to create a “Watch me grow” series like we did for Evie over the three sessions she came for – newborn, sitter and birthday!

Or maybe a “Then and Now” photo like we did for the Davey triplets with images from when they were in the NICU. Look how far they have come!

And classic timeless portraits like this image of Bryce sitting in the garden. The combination of chubby cheeks and a thoughtful stare is a winner!

There are so many options for super cute birthday photos, without the mess or tears!

As Evie appears to be saying here “Ta Da!”

If a fun, relaxed First Birthday shoot sounds more suited to your family, please get in touch with Natarsha for more information.

About the author

Natarsha March is one of Brisbane’s leading newborn and family photographers based in Bunya on Brisbane’s Northside. An Associate photographer in the AIPP with many national and international awards to her name, she offers a luxury experience in her unique indoor/outdoor studio space.  Her baby-led photography with a natural and relaxed style is extremely popular, with more than 600 Brisbane families boasting her artwork in their homes.
Contact Natarsha today to create custom artwork for your own family.

A few more beautiful First Birthday photographs from Natarsha…

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