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First Birthday Cake Smash Session

First Birthday Girl Boho Cake Smash in Nebraska

YAY! It's Finn's Birthday!

That's all it takes to make this sweet girl happy. A "YAY FINN!" and she's clapping her hands, bursting full of joy. Her happiness is absolutely contagious.

I've loved documenting Finn over the past six months. Her mom, Malori, happened to find me through word of mouth and it's been fun ever since. We first met to do Finn's six months/sitter photos and have continued to remain in communication ever since.


There are so many reasons I love baby portraits. But I especially love seeing your babies personalities evolve. From shy to reserved to goofy and silly, it's so pure.

((Here pictured to the left is Finn at 6 months - she's grown so much!))


Malorie's friend helped her design this gorgeous cake and it couldn't have been a better fit for the studio, with it's fresh eucalyptus and clean white canvas. After seeing the cake, the vision came together quickly. We needed the red brick wall, with some pretty whites wrapped over a stool, and lace. Our natural wood floors fit the setting perfectly, and made for a super easy cleanup instead of using rags. There's just something to be said about simplicity!

First Birthday Baby Boho Cake

Don't get me wrong, there was a time I went all out of decorations. And I'm of course more than willing to help you set it all up! For someone who tends to maximize by habit, I've learned to appreciate more minimalism. And these days, I love to capture the authenticity of the moment and worry less about the rest. The look on your babies face as they taste the cake's sugary sweetness. The joy as they realize Mom doesn't care this time. And I especially love to capture little details, so when you go back through your album, you can see how tiny their hands and toes were once and live through the moments all over again.


Baby girl first birthday photoshoot

We ended up splitting this First Birthday Cake Smash Session/Family Photoshoot into two parts and it worked out perfectly. On Monday morning, Malori and Finn met me at the Studio bright and early. The sun was peaking in perfectly and drenching the room with a beautiful, hazy glow. We got our set up all set up, place the cake right in front of Finn and waited to see what she might do. Without any other distractions, we were able to just let Finn do her thing. Her eyes glazed over, "This all for me??" and delicately she poked her finger into the cake. With a little encouragement from Mom, at last she realized this was her moment to be as messy as she could possibly be.

Note: When booking your baby's first birthday session, I would recommend setting a date about 1 month in advance. It's important when we set a date that we allow ourselves some wriggle room in the case someone gets sick or we need to reschedule the date. You can expect to have sneak peeks delivered within 24-48 hours, however your final album will be delivered within two weeks. If you are planning a first birthday party and would like to have some prints set up, you'll want a 3-5 business days to plan for your images to be delivered. You can select to have your prints done on my website!

Nebraska Family Photographer

Midwest Family Photographer


Setting the Hiatt's family session with Finn a few days later was much better. That way we could accommodate Dad, pup and have an outfit change/clean up in between! Plus it just made her cake smash session all about her!

Despite pushing our date back, we still ended up having some pretty crazy winds but regardless this crew showed up and we were able to capture some gorgeous shots of their little family.


Note: Should you wish to add on a family session, please make this request known at the time of booking. You may need to consider additional arrangements based on the time.


Additional Notes:

When preparing for a cake smash session, there's a few things you should note. Contrary to belief, you're crazy little monster who will smash down the cupcake at home all over your walls and the chair they're sitting on, MIGHT be more reserved at the time of their session.

So let me be the first to tell you, it is completely normal! I've seen it time and time again!

That's why I like to designate about 45 minutes to these sessions. This gives us plenty of time to set up our photoshoot backdrop with any props you may have brought in and just set the tone. Maybe we need to play their favorite song for some ambiance. Or change the temperature of the room or provide them a softer place to sit. Whatever makes your little one comfortable and feel in a safe place to just be themselves, that's what will do. Personally, I love to separate family sessions that way it makes it easier for your Birthday sweetie to enjoy their session to themselves and without distraction.

I'm patient and completely understand sometimes these sessions take a little extra encouraging. Bring an extra pair of clothes for their ride home, some wipes and maybe even an extra something for you if you're wanting to sit in on the session too!

This is also a good time to remind you, if your baby doesn't like cake, we can smash something else! Be sure to consider your littles tasting and palette before selecting a dish, as it will make all the difference at the time of our session.

Alyssa Herold is a Midwest Wedding, Family & Lifestyle Photographer based between Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. To visit more of her work visit:

Alyssa Herold Midwest Wedding and Family Photographer in Nebraska


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