I’m sure you’ve seen cake smash photos everywhere, from Pinterest to Facebook to Instagram. These photos are super fun to do, but they’re not for everyone, and there are many ways to celebrate your child’s first birthday with a professional photo session that don’t involve cake.

Maybe your child has food allergies or just isn’t super into sweets. Maybe you want images that better represent your child’s personality and life or that mean more to your family. If that’s the case, or if you just aren’t into the cake smash, here are some other food and non-food ideas for having fun without frosting!

Keeping with the food ideas

1. Spaghetti is one of the most fun foods to watch little ones eat, and it makes for great photos! Plus, you can choose how much sauce you add (use butter for both a cleaner look and smooth skin) and have a little more control over how messy things get. 

2. Build (or destroy) a gingerbread house: If your child’s birthday falls around the holidays, a gingerbread house can be a great alternative to a cake smash! This option gives your little one more pieces to play with, but still all that sugary goodness.

3. Popsicles or Ice Cream: Have a summer baby or just a baby that likes cold stuff, throw in a colorful mess sesh with popsicles. Popsicle photo sessions make for some fun pictures and can feel good on a little one’s gums to help soothe and comfort while we snap away. Not a popsicle fan, swing for the cream. Maybe an ice cream sundae?!?!? Whip cream, chocolate, and cold vanilla ice cream….oh yeah, you can’t resist!

4. DONUTS! Add some variety to your images with donuts instead of cake. Go for different icing colors and flavors to add interest to your images—and to see what donut is your child’s favorite! Bound to be some funny faces in there when you throw in a donut they were not expecting like a bacon covered donut or apple fritter. 


Non-food ideas

1. Have a fiesta: Make it a crazy mess of a party. Throw in a piñata, some some festive decorations, and a few noise makers and this theme can be super fun!

2. Look to your child’s favorites: Maybe they are into blocks, Lego’s, dolls, trucks, stuffed animals, whatever it may be. Create a theme that surrounds them with the things they love, just go crazy with it! Imagine your little ball of join surrounded by stuffed animals and only their head is poking out, CUTE! 


Whatever your first birthday picture ideas, just have fun with it. Talk to your photographer and see what’s possible. This is an important milestone to capture that precious little one’s personality!

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