Yesterday, you read about preparing for a newborn photo session.  Today, we’ll keep moving forward and discuss how to prepare for your little one’s first birthday photo session.  I’m also going to throw in some tips for toddlers, as well, because I’m good like that! 😉

Ok, so the first birthday.  It’s an exciting time for everyone…there are parties to plan and lots and lots of memories to capture.  Here are some things to consider when preparing for the photo session:

1. Clothing

It can be nice to prepare a favorite outfit, mixed with a special new birthday choice.  The goal of this session is to remember everything about your child at this very moment. If she’s a she, but hates dresses and frills, then by all means, bring her in pants! We want to catch the smiles, and the best way to do that is by making your little one as comfortable as possible.  Also, think about a diaper cover (if you are going to try to capture any photos sans clothing). Designs on diapers, especially larger sizes, can be very distracting.

2. Snacks

Yes, snacks are important.  Make sure to bring some favorites like rice puffs or Cheerios to keep your baby happy between takes.  Also, a cake or a cupcake sometimes makes a great focal point for the birthday girl/boy.  I love the cake “smash” trend, and I am happy to accommodate!  Snacks also work well for toddlers.  I promise, even the most stubborn two year old will smile for fruit roll-ups…sometimes the mantra of the day becomes “I won’t bribe my children……..after today!”

3. Props & Toys

Feel free to bring “stuff” along for the ride!  A favorite toy or blanket.  The family dog.  Hats, bows, ties, jewelry, etc., etc.  Sure, I can provide lots of choices of backgrounds in my studio, and I have some chairs and stools and fun “stuff” to add…but you’ll want your photos to contain personal memories.  Some of the best images are created because they mean something to you personally.  Let your little one’s personality shine!

4. You

I get asked for the “kids only, ma’am” session all. the. time.  I totally get it.  I sometimes hate jumping in front of the camera myself.  But?  When your one-year-old becomes your eighteen-year-old, he/she will want to see the memories of YOU, too.  And guess what?  Your son/daughter WILL NOT CARE that you didn’t have your roots done/lost 10 more pounds/bought new clothes/had your glasses on/[insert more excuses here] in those pictures….not one bit!  Come prepared to jump in a photo or two; you’ll be glad that you did!  

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