6 Tips For A First Birthday Photoshoot

First birthday photoshoots with family have very quickly become one of my favorites to photograph! By one year, you’re starting to see your hard work pay off – suddenly that fussy newborn that never slept is giggling, smiling, and toddling their way into mayhem.

My first birthday photoshoots are always quick (30 minutes or less), and are often in the morning. Toddlers tend to be at their best right after breakfast! While it can be hard to get everyone up and out the door before 9:30 am, I promised you’ll be rewarded by a much happier baby.

All of my first birthday photo sessions include photos of the birthday child, as well as photos with family (entire family, mom with baby, dad with baby, etc). While I do offer cake smash sessions, those must be booked as a Full Session so we have enough time to fit everything in.

I’ve put together a quick guide highlighting some of my tips for one year old photo sessions!

1) Bring water and a small snack.

Always, always bring water. It’s amazing how often a cranky baby is just thirsty, and a quick drink of water gets the tantrums to stop! Stick with a straw or sippy cup, otherwise photo day will be the one time they decide to dump the entire bottle down the front of their shirt.

Depending on the time of day, I also recommend bringing a small, relatively mess-free snack – Cheerios, puffs, and string cheese are always a hit. Avoid anything that might stain their skin or outfit, or that can be sticky (M&Ms, Skittles, anything that melts).

2) Don’t forget the diaper bag!

I tell all my clients with small children to bring their diaper bag with us on the session. Not only is it nice to have wipes and extra diapers on hand, the diaper bag is a great place to stash phones and keys during your session.

3) Leave the toys in the car.

While you should bring your diaper bag, make sure to leave the toys in the car, unless you want them photographed. I am more than happy to include any of your child’s favorite things in your photos, but it can be a commitment to include the Bright Red Blinking Fire Truck in every single photo, once your child has realized it’s nearby! It’s next to impossible to put a toy back in the diaper bag without tears, so only bring a toy if you are okay with it potentially being in every single photo.

4) Double check earring and necklace length.

If you have a baby who is fascinated by long earrings and necklaces, and you don’t typically wear them, you may want to skip them for this session! For some families, a baby chewing on mom’s necklace is an everyday occurrence, and I will happily include those photos in your gallery. But for my clients who don’t regularly wear jewelry, just know that your baby might be fascinated by this new toy near their hands!

5) Bring a drool bib for teethers.

If your baby is teething, you may want to bring a drool bib for your session. Without fail, it seems like a huge majority of my one year olds are teething during their session, which means wet shirts and shiny chins! I’ve really loved muslin drool bibs during first birthday photoshoots, as they’re easy to incorporate into family photos without standing out.

6) Wear weather appropriate outfits.

Unless your session is in July or August, the weather can be wildly unpredictable for your session! Even though you may have picked out the perfect outfit months ago, if that outfit is no longer going to work for the weather, I very strongly either finding a new outfit or adding layers. A cold baby is just as miserable as a tired baby!

Additional Info

More information on my family sessions.

Cake Smash Tips for Parents (note: must be booked as a Full Session)

What To Wear For Family Photos

If you’re interested in a first birthday photoshoot for your little one, or have questions, feel free to contact me!

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