Archive for 'Cake Smash'

Miss M has grown into a spunky, busy & bright little girl over her first year! We knew that containing her in a studio setting for a cake smash just wouldn’t work, so her mama and I decided on an outdoor, summer themed Watermelon Smash! Set in her grandparents backyard, we gave her space to crawl/walk around, play and fully be herself. (With the pool nearby, full caution and safety measures were observed at all times) She hung out in the shade, wandered around the sidewalk, refused to touch grass (like shuddered at the thought of it actually), and we created some beautiful portraits. Then, we sliced up a personal sized watermelon to see what she thought about it! A little apprehensive at first, she soon figured out just how tasty a cold slice of melon is on a warm summer’s day. (It also doubles as a fancy hat!) Just as delicious as a cake smash, but unique to her Summer birthday. Her parents also wanted to use the photo session to make a HUGE announcement!! Scroll through the photos to see what Miss M had to say!

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Dr Seuss 1st Birthday Party Gilbert AZ Kristen Carter Photography (2)First birthday parties are always a huge celebration! And when the theme is Dr Seuss, it goes over the top. Deven’s Dr Seuss Pool Party birthday party was amazingly colorful, full of details and so much fun for all of his friends and family. His mom spent weeks gathering items and then putting it all together in their home, with printables from Etsy, turquoise, red & yellow pinwheels ordered online and Dr Seuss boardbooks that will be added to the boys’ book collection after the party. There was delicious food with cute name-tags and the main course was Grilled Cheese Truck, parked in the driveway. read more

Miss A celebrates her 1st birthday next month, and her parents (and auntie) wanted to use some of our session photos for her invitations and decorations, so technically she’s only 11 months in these photos, shhh…. We had a blast! Her party is Mary Poppins themed, and mom found this amazing outfit on etsy to coordinate. The location is a gorgeous historical building in my hometown of Modesto and is open to the public during certain hours (for tours and visiting), and they were gracious enough to let us use the grounds and side of the mansion for our session. Isn’t it just perfect? A little bit of Merry Old England in sunny California. First birthday sessions are always exciting because every baby is different; some can sit, some stand, some will walk a few steps and sometimes, they take off running. Miss A was confident taking steps while holding on to daddy’s hand or a wall, but would freeze as soon as she was on her own. We had hoped that *maybe* she’d take her first steps in front of my camera, but all we got was one shaky step and a plop on the ground even with mama bribing her with a cell phone (baby’s favorite toy!). The session ended with an entertaining cake smash. Grandma picked up cupcakes from a local bakery and Miss A was dressed in a cute tutu & matching onesie, and everyone was ready for a smashing good time. Ha! She proved us all wrong. Not all babies appreciate super sweet frosting or the foreign texture on their hands. Dad helped her out by eating the frosting, Mom broke it up into pieces and fed it to her, making for a happy baby! I especially love the photo of her serious face covered in frosting. So cute! Happy Birthday Miss A!

This is a story of laughter, fun and tragedy. (At least in the eyes of my friend’s one year old). We spent the morning at the park in Queen Creek, playing in his Cozy Couple Car, pulling him and Mr Bear in the wagon and climbing up and down the playground structure. He giggled, wobble-walked all over the sidewalk and just generally had a GREAT time while I snapped photos to celebrate the milestone of his first birthday. And then (cue dramatic music) his mom did the unthinkable. She tried to give him a cake! Oh no! What a horrible mommy, offering him ooey gooey frosting covered rainbow cake for breakfast! Now, mind you, he LOVED the cake she served on his actual birthday last week. He dug in with both fists and devoured it with joy, wiping frosting all in his hair, his belly button and somehow in between his toes. So, of course, we assumed that he’d do the same thing on this morning. He proved us oh-so-wrong. He hesitantly stuck one finger in, licked it, and then dismissed the whole idea in favor of the playground. Flexibility and quick change are always paramount at kids’ photo sessions, so we rolled with it, letting him play some more. Then, we walked him back to the cake area and tried again, this time with some “help” from mom. By his reaction, we were obviously trying to poison him. He sat right down and yelled at us. We were both giggling at the hilarity of the situation, I took a few more photos for posterity and then we got to work cleaning him up with the ton of baby wipes we brought with us. Poor Mr B glared at us for a good 2 minutes after being cleaned; but as he’s only 1, he forgot when we played on the slide again. All was well in the world. Just don’t try to feed him cake.

Myles First Birthday Cake Smash Kristen Carter Photography Gilbert AZ 7

I’ll be playing catch-up on this blog for a long time considering I’ve been photographing kids & families for almost 4 years now and have only JUST started sharing their stories and images here. This is one of my adorable nephews; We live a state away but I love being able to capture milestones in the lives of my family members. Mr M turned one, so in the Spring while I was visiting, we took him out to a local (to them) farm, played in the orchard and then borrowed the barn for a super fun cake smash!

Gotta love a baby who is stubborn and decides that walking is overrated. He could stand, step, but had no desire to actually walk when crawling was just as fast. And how cute is his “Kisses” shirt, while he blew us kisses?? One is such a super fun age!!

The cake smash trend is growing in Arizona, with more parents requesting it for the end of a first birthday milestone session. I always advise to pick a cake with white or pastel frosting; avoid red (makes babies look like vampires!) and be prepared for your child to totally question our sanity and just give us dirty looks if they’ve never been introduced to sweets or frosting before (it is a weird texture to squish)… We always bring a ton of baby wipes, an extra towel or two and sometimes even all of that isn’t enough!

Luckily for us, Mr M had NO problems digging right into his cake and getting both fists going. He devoured it, not just smashing but really eating it! I love my sweet chunky baby and cannot wait to see him again real soon.

Lots of love!

Nadine & Ryan contacted me while pregnant with Miss E asking about a full year’s program of photo sessions. We decided that a 5 session “Watch Me Grow” Plan was perfect for them. Every baby is different, so is every “Watch Me Grow” plan. We usually plan for maternity, newborn (first 2 weeks), lifting head and smiling (3 months), sitting and laughing (6-7 months), crawling or standing (9-10 months) and then first birthday (with cake smash)… Or any combination of these milestones, depending on how many sessions a family wants. I wasn’t blogging over the course of their year of photos, so I’ve decided to make one awesome GIANT post of our sessions together. Follow along as I recap Baby E’s first year!

When we first started talking about the style and location of their belly session, Nadine & Ryan wanted something with desert. Since most of their family lives out of state, they really wanted to show off the scenery that Arizona has to offer. We decided on the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, especially after seeing that the desert wildflowers were in bloom! She had a tiny bump of a belly, even at 34 weeks, so we kept laughing that her maternity session was the only time anyone would tell her to stick out her belly more!

Kristen Carter Photography  Watch Me Grow Blog Belly

Little Miss E made her debut in the summertime, which made for fun outdoor newborn photos as well as sunny indoor shots. Big brother is a furry lovable guy who wanted to be in some of the photos too. Safety of the little one is always priority #1, so the image is a composite with dad holding the leash and mom sitting down right next to baby off-camera. Thanks to the warmth of the day, and her full tummy, she slept great while we posed her, and their family photos are some of my favorites to this day!

Kristen Carter Photography Watch Me Grow Blog Newborn

Our next session together was timed perfectly for holiday cards and gifts, with us meeting up in October. The weather was brisk, but beautiful and their choice of outfits fit perfectly with the landscaped area that we selected as a setting. I love the 3-5 month age, as they are starting to develop a real personality! Even at this age, Miss E’s spunk and spirit was showing!

Kristen Carter Photography Watch Me Grow Blog 3 Months


We kept in touch over the spring and decided to hold her 9 month session at the Mesa Arts Center for its bright colors and fun areas that kept a VERY active little one contained and entertained. We wandered all over the grassy areas & Miss E showed off her quick crawling ability and her fearlessness! This girl gave me the best smiles when she knew she was doing something she wasn’t supposed to be, such as crawling off the steps! She wasn’t walking quite yet, but it was very soon after our session that first steps turned to running!!  Kristen Carter Photography Watch Me Grow Blog 9months


Our last session of Miss E’s “Watch Me Grow” Series took place just a couple weeks ago. Although her birthday had passed already, we decided to present her with a pink cake (baked by the very talented Brandi of Custom Created Cakes by Brandi). Some babies are a little wary of cake and don’t really get into it. Not this little one!! After the first taste, she dug in! Both hands (and face) covered in pink glittery frosting. She even decided to “paint” the rocking chair!! So much fun and giggling, mostly by mom & I. Plus, Nadine & Ryan wanted a way to announce to their friends & family whether big sister E would have a brother or sister! Of course, I obliged the request and cannot wait to photograph another member of this beautiful family in 2014!!

Kristen Carter Photography Square Cake Smash Pink TutuKristen Carter Photography Watch Me Grow Blog First Year

<3 Kristen



Cake smashes are probably rank right up there with newborn photos for me! I have had the pleasure of photographing this family since big sister was one, and now little brother has celebrated the big one year! I flew out to California to capture Mason’s birthday, and the theme this year was Mickey Mouse (his party post to come in a few days), so we decided a Mickey Mouse themed cake smash was in order! I found inspiration from a few photos on Pinterest and made up the streamer background from scrapbook paper, and the awesome cake was made by Le Gateau Bakery in Walnut Creek, Ca. And since cake is messy, what better way to clean up than by playing in the splash pad?? Big sister LOVED jumping & splashing about although little brother wasn’t near as excited about it.

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Mickey Mouse Cake Smash Kristen Carter Photography Scottsdale AZ First Birthday.jpg
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All in all, it was a super fun way to spend a morning! Getting messy, splashing about, and having lots of laughs with a fun family! <3 Kristen