12 Sweet 1st Birthday Photoshoot Ideas

A first birthday is a major milestone and one that’s definitely worth celebrating with a photoshoot. If your little one has one coming up, here’s our list of 12 sweet 1st birthday photoshoot ideas to help you begin to plan.

1. Don’t forget the snacks and pre-photoshoot nap

6-Month Baby Photoshoot Ideas
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On this subject, Danielle Blewitt Photography writes, “You want to make sure you show up for your photo session ready for a great session. To prepare yourself and little one, make sure everyone is well fed and well rested.” This is important advice, so be sure to keep it in mind!

2. All-one-color photoshoot

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Does your child have a color they’re drawn to, or is there a color you love to see them wearing? Use it as the overall theme for your photoshoot backdrop and your child’s outfit! This will work with almost any color of your choice, so the sky is really the limit here when it comes to creativity.

3. Outdoor cake smash

1st Birthday Photoshoot Ideas
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We’re big fans of the ridiculously cute and funny “cake smash” trend as a 1st birthday photoshoot idea. If you haven’t heard of cake smashes yet, the BBC writes that they’re “where a one-year-old gets very messy with a cake and a professional photographer captures the moment.” It’s a super popular way to celebrate first birthdays in particular.

Because it’s so messy, we’d recommend executing this 1st birthday photoshoot idea outdoors if weather allows. Consider taking the photos in your backyard or, if you don’t have access to any outdoor spaces of your own, renting a space like this urban farm in Goodyear, AZ, this expansive family farm property in Ponca City, OK, or a comparable location in your area. Just make sure the host will be okay with your child smashing a cake on their property, and that you don’t leave any mess behind (you can always reach out to ask the host questions/make requests by clicking “Message Host” in any listing).

4. Use a “1” cutout as a photo prop

intimate yet spacious event hall in houston
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Want a 1st birthday photoshoot idea that’ll make it so that, 100 years from now, everybody knows the purpose of your photoshoot? Include a big, three-dimensional “1” as the backdrop! For instance, if you’re a fan of sparkly glitter and gold, you’ll love this 8-inch photo prop from Whatever’s Handmade on Etsy. Or if you prefer a simpler look, there’s always this adorable wooden number one from ZCD Gifts.

5. Homemade “ball pit” photoshoot

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This great idea comes to us from mQn Photography. All you need are an inflatable swimming pool and a bunch of colorful, lightweight plastic balls like those you’d find in a ball pit. They write, “Not only will this prop bring some lovely colors into the photos but it gives your little one something to interact and have fun with too.”

6. Whole family photoshoot

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For at least part of the photoshoot, you can bring in the rest of the family: parents, siblings, grandparents, even cousins are welcome at a big family photoshoot! With this photoshoot concept you can create a reminder of how much your child’s relatives love them, and something they can look back on years later.

7. Matching outfits

White Cyclorama in Gorgeous Creative Space
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You can buy matching outfits for the whole family – wear the same clothes in baby sizes and adult sizes, so that everyone in the family matches each other! Etsy has a ton of endearing options in this category.

8. Birthday party photoshoot

Unique & Colorful Kid Friendly Entertainment Space atlanta rental
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Instead of scheduling a separate photoshoot, one thing you might do instead is throw a first birthday party for your little one and have candid photos taken there! The photos will look a lot more natural, as well as being more genuinely representative of your child’s life on their first birthday.

9. Balloons as a prop

Baby Shower Backdrop Ideas
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More generally, one of our top 1st birthday photoshoot ideas is to find ways to make the experience fun for your little one, because their birthday is all about celebrating them (not to mention that the photos will come out looking better if they’re happy)! In terms of more specific recommendations for ways to do this, our first suggestion is to entertain your new one-year-old with a couple of bunches of balloons.

10. At-home photoshoot with a twist

modern elegant home in cedar park
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One of our more unusual 1st birthday photoshoot ideas is to find a homey space that’s available for rent by the hour through Peerspace and pretend that it’s your own home for the duration of the photoshoot. Instead of going to the trouble of trying to get your home camera-ready (which can be tough when you have a young baby at home!), you’ll be able to walk right into someone else’s space and have it be fully prepared for photoshoots.

Take, for example, this modern home in Cedar Park, TX. Full of natural light and simple, mostly white and neutral decor, we can’t think of a better place for a simple birthday photoshoot. Notably, this space was “designed by a photographer with other photographers in mind,” which you can definitely tell. Check out their Instagram @austinphotostudio for more examples of what it looks like to do a photoshoot here.

Or read one of the literally hundreds of positive reviews, like this one: “The space is full of natural lighting and worked perfectly for my photo sessions. I can’t wait to return to this beautiful location again!”

11. Cute animal costume photoshoot

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Perhaps your little one’s birthday falls sometime near Halloween, or maybe you simply love dressing them in adorable costumes. Whatever your reason, you can never go wrong with dressing your one-year-old up like a little lion, elephant, chicken, or some other animal (you’ll find tons of costumes all over the internet, so your options are practically unlimited).

12. Blanket fort photoshoot

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This is another cozy, easy-to-execute photoshoot idea! Simply build as aesthetically pleasing a blanket fort as you can – here’s a guide to building one from Pretty Providence – and snap photos of your child playing in it. You’ll both have a blast, and you’ll get some seriously sweet photos in the process, all without needing to leave your home.

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