DIY Smash Cake Shoot

When it came the time for our son to turn 1, I wanted to mark the occasion with a smash cake shoot. Photography in general is quite expensive in New Zealand, and we had already paid $500NZD for a pregnancy and new born shoot, so didn’t want to venture down that path again when he turned 1. I spent some time on YouTube and Pinterest looking for DIY ways of doing a smash cake shoot at home.
I found quite a lot of inspiration and decided that I would give it a try myself.

The first thing I got was a large white sheet – and laid it out half on the floor and half up the wall. Luckily we have a large extra lounge downstairs that is tiled, and was the perfect blank canvas. I just taped it to the wall in a kind of L shape. I left it there for about a week – so that any creases would disappear. For backdrop decoration I bought some thick blue streamers, taped these up on a piece of string so that they hung down so they touched where the sheet met the floor.  Next I blew up some little balloons and placed them around the “set”. The reason I chose to use a white sheet, was so that there were no skirting lines, and you could not tell the floor from the walls. An all white backdrop also make the cake and Keaton stand out.

(Unedited Picture)

The camera I used was a Nikon D5000 – I used a tripod so that all the pictures would have the exact same backdrop, and would be easier to follow the whole cake smash process.

The cake I made was a bit of a fail – the icing was a bit too runny – so where I wanted these nice swirls in the icing, I got a runny blob – but he seemed to enjoy it anyway.

(Unedited Picture)

Keaton just wore jeans, suspenders and a black bow tie – I did not want his clothes to stand out too much – so the simpler the better.

(Unedited Picture)

He was a bit apprehensive of the cake at first, and was not sure what to do. Eventually he got the hang of it and started to have fun. I will never forget this day – as it was the day he got up and started walking properly for the first time.

I did all the editing of the pictures myself using Adobe Photoshop – I am a real novice at Photoshop, so again watched tutorials on how to get creases out of fabric etc, and managed to remove most of them so the backdrop looked “professional”.

All in all I am really happy with the way the pictures came out, and am really happy with my DIY skills. I love a challenge, and this definitely was one.



  1. Great use of color, Claire. The blues and the yellows made the photo of your little man pop! Thank you for sharing. Glad I found you on Meetup Monday Link up

  2. These are great, you may just have a new "hobby" on your hands! I bet all your friends and family with little one will want you to take their first birthday smash cake shots! And Keaton is adorable. Congrats.

  3. These definitely look professional! Love the backdrop and your son is so cute! Thanks for sharing at the Manic Mondays blog hop!