Smash & Splash Session Guide

What to Expect for your Smash & Splash Session

Hi There,

In case we haven’t met yet – I’m Eva from Eva Elizabeth Photography. I created this guide to help make your photo experience as easy as possible.  I’ve used my years of experience to put all my best tips from prepping baby to planning outfits in one place!  If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it is that every session is different so nothing in this guide is mandatory – just tips and ideas I have found that often lead to the best results that I want to share with you! Most importantly – plan to take a breathe and spend some time loving on your family at your session! Scroll on through and start getting excited for your session day!

Can’t wait to see you!
– Eva

Preparing for Your Session Day


Decide on an indoor (at home or in a studio) or outdoor session. I only recommend outdoor in June-September and depending on the day you may need to skip the splash portion if it gets too cold in the evening to be wet. Keep in mind where your little one will be most comfortable for genuine smiles and exploring a cake & bath. Many kids this age do best at home where they are most comfortable and can explore freely. However if the family portraits are more of the priority an outdoor session with a cake portion at the end is also a great option. For an outdoor session please provide a blanket that you are ok with getting cake/frosting on.


You will need to provide the smash cake (or other food) for your child to eat. Think about colors, size and texture that your child will be open to touching and you will like the look of it can be more neutral or dark for more contrast. The cake can be home made, store bought or from a professional baker. Babies tend to like a softer cake (they can really dig into) with less frosting. Many families either take some clothes off or bring an additional outfit for getting messy. I have a variety of cake stands I can provide.


I highly recommend the kitchen sink or a basin (which I can provide) for your splash portion (bathtubs – including beautiful ones are typically too deep/large for them to stay safe and get beautiful images). It is best to add at least some bubbles or milk to the water so it is not perfectly clear to see through the water. Other options are fruit, flowers, or any other themed items that float. You will need to provide anything you plan to add to the water and be sure you have tested it at home before your session in case of skin irritation.

Final Details

If you haven’t already it’s time to fill out or update your session questionnaire so I can get to know your family a little beforehand.  This will help me get to know your family (don’t forget pets and any grandparents that might there) before hand. 

**Please let me know of any medical concerns (baby, mama, and family)that may need to be considered for safety during the session.**   

I will send a final email 2 days before your session to check in one last time and make sure all the details are in order.  This is the perfect time for any last minute updates.

What to Wear

For Everyone:
– Choose outfits everyone is comfortable and feels good in
– Stick with 2-3 colors that coordinate
– Soft, deep and neutral colors are all great
– Limited patterns that aren’t too overwhelming
– Check everyones finger nails – your hands will be in the pictures!
– Think about everyone’s feet – barefeet, socks or shoes are all good choices but everyone should coordinate
– Accessorize with jewelry but avoid watches

For Her:
– Choose your outfit first
– Say yes to the dress (wrap dresses with some movement look great on every body shape!)
– Maxi skirts or jeans and a fitted shirt (with texture) are more casual alternatives
– Short sleeves over the upper arm or layer with a sweater/jean jacket
– Movement is beautiful (light, flowy, ruffles) in dresses
– Texture is beautiful (lace, crochet, velvet)
For Him:
– Button ups, Polos or Henley’s are all good shirt choices (try to avoid busy patterns)
– well fit pants – jeans, colored pants, or khakis

For Baby:
– Focus on textures and flow of the clothing – Make sure clothing fits correctly and is not riding up and covering their face (colars) or showing a diaper (wear bloomers) while you are playing with them – You can’t go wrong with baby thighs

For Siblings:
– Dress them up in something a bit more than their typical play clothes (all the adult guidelines also work for the kids!)
– Accent anything that is especially adorable for their age (overalls, rompers, twirly dresses)
– wear tights or bloomers under dresses for little girls
– Accessorize with – bow ties, suspenders, flower crowns, hair bows.
– Avoid all logos and characters, bright/neon colors and frilly costume dresses for girls

Need more help? Pinterest has tons of outfit inspiration and color palettes.

Or better yet, want to have someone else do all of this outfit planning for you? CLICK HERE to check out Style and Select – for $15 they will plan the outfits for everyone in your family and tell you where to purchase each piece (with options to use what you already own too and put in a budget to stick to!)

Your Session Day

Most importantly, this is baby’s photo session and we will do everything on baby’s schedule. I am very easy going and patient so please do not worry about things not going exactly as planned (they never do)! Most important is that this is a fun and memorable time for all of you to capture together.


  • Give your little on a test run of cake a couple days before their session so they are familiar with the texture and taste ahead of time.
  • Tidy the rooms you expect to use for pictures. Most families use the kitchen/dining room, living room, baby’s room and sometimes the master bedroom.
  • Your home does not need to be perfectly clean just hide away what you can -especially brightly colored items that could be a distraction in the background.
  • We can move items to the other side of the room as needed when I arrive (also bathrooms are a great place to hide things and close the door!)
  • Feed your little one about 30-45 minutes before I arrive

When I Arrive

  • Have everyone ready in their “picture clothes” when I arrive.
  • I will always start with any sibling and family pictures so your little one can be with you to start. I will get one of everyone looking and smiling but overall this will be focused on playing and snuggling together.
  • Any favorite items that you have (special blanket, lovey, family heirlooms, etc) always make the pictures more personal so please let me know if you have anything you’d like to include!
  • For your little ones more formal portraits I will most likely just follow them around in their element for a while – it is totally fine for them to crawl, walk, wander etc away from me and I do not expect them to look and smile.

Smash & Splash

  • Most family’s do the smash on the kitchen island or dining room table. We can also move the dining room table and do it on the floor (I can provide a floor mat if needed).
  • You many change your little one into a different smash outfit.
  • Be prepared that while some kids LOVE to smash a cake others are not all that interested and that is OK and many love the splash more
  • When we are ready to get cleaned up I will have you prepare the water for the splash – typically in the kitchen sink or the basin (I can provide)
  • I do suggest a shallow bath so we can see all those adorable rolls and adding some milk or bubbles to the water to hide private parts.

You did it! Plan on a nap that afternoon – you will all be exhausted! Within 1 month of your session date you will receive a gallery link to your beautiful slideshow. This is the highlight of the experience so wait for everyone to be together and don’t forget the tissues!


1. Older siblings will run the show and that is ok!
2. I will always try to start with sibling & family pictures since we all know their excitement for pictures will fade fast!
3. Stay flexible – Even if you feel they are not at their best thats ok – continue to smile through and do your best to keep things fun and light.
4. Follow their lead & keep it fun – If they need to be active we can play a game or if they want to be held then we will start with some family snuggles. (Avoid promises that will not work well in the pictures or disappear quickly – like oreos, chocolate, suckers or toys they will never put down). 5. Prepare them ahead of time that they will either get to join in on the cake fun once the little has a chance to get started OR plan a special treat just for them to either join the little one in front of the camera or have near by.

A Final Note

I can’t wait for our session together!

Hopefully you found this information helpful. If you have any questions or concerns leading up to your session, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

My goal is to serve you the best that I can! This is going to be a fun session! Relax and enjoy making these memories with your family that you’ll get to treasure forever. 

Watch for that final email 2 days before your session date and I’ll see you soon!

– Eva