Frequently Asked Questions - Cake Smashes
Hopefully this FAQ section will answer many , if not all, of your questions about a cake smash session. Should you have anything else that you would like answered or if you would like to receive a full information pack, please get in touch with me via the contact page or send me an e-mail at and I will respond promptly.
When do I need to book?
Ideally, your session will be booked as far in advance as possible as I can be booked up for some months, especially if you are hoping to book over a weekend. I only accept as many bookings as I can reasonably shoot, edit and return to my clients for proofing in my targeted time frame of two weeks.
Whilst a cake smash is a first (or second) birthday celebration, you may want to consider booking around the 11-month mark if you are intending to use the images for a party invitation or to display at the party.
Consider your child's best time of day when you schedule their session. After a morning nap seems to work best. I currently take session bookings on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday and weekends.
How long will the session last?
Usually between 1-1.25 hours which includes shoot time plus time to change outfits between segments. The length of the session may, of course, be shorter or longer than this as it is more about trying to achieve a great range of images than filling an allotted time with the shoot.
Portrait session: 10-15 minutes
Cake Smash: 25-35 minutes
Tub Clean: 5-10 minutes
Who may attend the session?
Family members are very welcome to attend the session and the studio will comfortably hold a number of people however do bear in mind that children can become distracted by too large an audience.
Where may the session be held?
Cake smash sessions are scheduled at my studio which is located in Freshwater on Sydney's Northern Beaches due to the level of set-up and clean-up involved.
How should I prepare for the session?
Your input to the planning of the session is invaluable in making it run effectively. Have a think about what you would like to get out of the session and whether there are any particular props that you would like to include. Ideas for cake smash props include bunting, balloons and a special birthday outfit. I have many items available for you to select from, or you are invited to bring along your own.
Please bring along a clean towel and change of clothing for the birthday child.
The cake is included in the package or you may bring your own for a reduced session fee. I MUST be informed of all food allergies and intolerances at the time of booking.
What happens if I need to cancel or postpone?
People get sick and circumstances change meaning that occasionally cancellations or postponements are unavoidable. I require as much notice as possible for changes to our booking and I will show you the same courtesy. Should the postponement occur within 36 hours of the booking, there will likely be an additional charge to cover the cost of a new cake.
I require payment of the session fee upon booking to hold your appointment and this will be forfeited in the case of an outright cancellation without mitigating circumstances. Subject to availability, I am happy to reschedule to accommodate changes due to illness.
What is included in the session fee?
A pre-shoot planning session to discuss your requirements (usually by e-mail or telephone);
The photographic session which will last for an estimated approximately 1-1.25 hours and include a mini portrait session, the cake smash and a tub clean up;
Full use of all set design props and a co-ordinating giant cupcake (cake may be removed from package for a reduced session fee of $215);
Private online viewing gallery containing a minimum of 30 professionally-edited images in both colour and black & white at low-resolution and watermarked from which you may make decisions on further print and digital file purchases;
One 10x10" cake smash montage and high-resolution digital file;
Two 5x7" prop lab prints;
A review session is optional and may be held to review images and to place print orders and any frame requirements. I have samples of many sizes and finishes of print and frame available for inspection.
What does "low-resolution" mean?
Low-resolution files (72 dpi) are digitally compressed files that have been purposely reduced in quality for screen display only. They will appear pixelated when printed. Low-resolution files are provided by the Photographer solely for the purposes of reviewing the session images for print selection and for upload by the Client to social media sites such as Facebook, and for sharing electronically with friends and family. They may not be printed as no print-release is provided with these files. The files will also all feature a light watermark.
High-resolution files (300 dpi) are available for purchase as singles or as collections.
Professional lab prints are available for purchase at very reasonable prices starting from $25.
Why do you recommend using a professional print lab?
I have discovered the real value of printing with a professional lab through personal experience.
Commercial outlets often produce prints with a strong colour cast that does not match the original colour file. This colour cast can be particularly apparent in skin tones, completely ruining a beautiful shot.
Pro lab prints are made using Kodak Supra Endura paper which is guaranteed to stand the test of time, lasting up to 200 years with minimal fading.
With professional print labs you are guaranteed a better quality and more colour accurate image. After all of the effort that went into planning, preparing for and taking part in a professional photography shoot, please do not underestimate the importance of subsequently purchasing a high-quality printed image.
What is a model release and do I have to sign it?
When you book a photographic session with me, I will ask whether you are prepared to sign a model release. This is a requirement to enable me to utilise your session images for commercial purposes such as offering you a sneak peak on Facebook, producing a session blog with some of my favourite images or adding images to my website.
You are under no obligation to sign this release if you would prefer your images to remain private.
If you have signed a model release, I will provide a sneek peak to Facebook within 24-48 hours of the session.
Can I purchase a session as a gift?
Absolutely! Gift vouchers are available for all of my sessions including maternity, newborn, babies, family and mini-sessions and last for six months after issue. What a great idea for Baby's birthday present!
How long after the session can I expect to see my images?
I endeavour to provide you with your session proofs within two weeks of the session. If you have signed a model release I will happily release a "sneak peak" to Facebook as quickly as a day or two after the session. if you require prints or products ready in time for the birthday party, I recommend factoring an additional couple of weeks allow for the print lab turnaround and delivery.
Once prints have been ordered, you can expect to receive these within 10 days. Print and product orders are placed with my print lab every week or 10 days.
How do I book?
Send me a personal message via my contact page:
Tel: 0400 872791
I require payment of the session fee to secure your session. This ensures that no other bookings will be taken for this time and date. Deposits may be made by Australian bank transfer, cheque, cash or Paypal.
All print costs must be paid in advance of the order being submitted to the printer.