First Birthday Planning Guide

Thank you for choosing me as your child’s photographer. I am sure you cannot even believe your little one is about to turn one year old! That first year passes so quickly and I am so excited to document such a momentous occasion!


NAP TIME:  Please be sure to schedule your 1st birthday photo session with me around your baby’s nap time. Rested babies are happy babies.

THEMES AND COLORS:  I love a good theme, but it’s best to keep it minimal. For me as an artist, it is more important to see your baby, rather than the decorations. A small banner or garland works perfectly. Etsy is a great place to find these props.  A few balloons in the color(s) of your choice work great too. If there is a theme you prefer, please let me know in advance, so I can do what I can to accommodate.  Pinterest is a great resource for color schemes.

OUTFITS: We will have time for a few outfit changes, so feel free to be creative when choosing!  Boys look great in blue jeans paired with suspenders or a tie. Or a onesie and a cute hat will do the trick. For girls, a fancy dress, ruffled bottoms, leggings, and tutus are always perfect. Rompers are pretty adorable as well.

*For cake smash sessions, we will start with formal photos, saving cake smash for last, so please plan outfits accordingly.


Cake Smash Photo Sessions have to be the most fun session to be part of. Let’s face it; all
babies love to explore, and this is the perfect way to celebrate their first birthday in style.

LOCATION:  Outdoor cake smashes are brilliant!  But sometimes the season or the weather doesn’t allow for it.  In that case, it is best to plan to have your session at your home for easier clean up.  The best place in your house is usually the dining room or kitchen, or wherever there is a 10×10 space (furniture can be moved out of the way) and hard floors, not carpet, work best.


THE CAKE: The cake is the second most important part of the session. If the photo package you chose did not include your smash cake, please make sure you have a proper one for photographing. Giant cupcakes or small tiered cakes photograph best.  Also, it is important to remember that baby will be smashing the cake into a thousand pieces. I recommend a simple yellow cake. Please try to avoid chocolate as it doesn’t photograph as well. Fondant is pretty, but it is not easy to eat with your fingers. A classic buttercream frosting is best. If you refrigerate the cake before the session, please allow plenty of time for the cake to soften and warm to room temperature.

*It is a good idea to introduce cake to your baby in the weeks/days before your session to he/she can get familiar with it.

THE MESS: Giving a cake to a baby does create a mess. Please make sure to have LOTS of wipes/towels on hand for easier cleanup.


  • A large spoon or utensil in case baby needs help digging into the cake.
  • A small toy to distract baby and keep them still for the photos before the cake arrives.
  • WIPES – LOTS of wipes!
  • Your baby’s favorite snack (such as puffs or cheerios) in case we need to stuff them into the cake to get your baby’s interest.
  • A change of clothes (if we are not meeting at your home).

Have a question?

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