Vanah Lynn

Family fun, party planning & crafty fun!

1st Birthday Photoshoot – Tips to Get the Best Photos!

1st birthday portraits - little girl in a tutu
Follow us on Pinterest for recipes, DIY & more

Are you looking to capture stunning first birthday portraits of the little cutie in your life? Look no further! These baby 1st birthday photoshoot tips are an excellent resource for snapping beautiful photos of your one-year-old. From cake smash photos to classic one-year-old pictures, this guide has got you covered. And don’t forget to leave a comment on how the cake smash photoshoot went!

The tips and tricks in this article are nothing short of amazing! From utilizing natural light to choosing the perfect backdrop, you’ll learn techniques that will help you produce unforgettable photos. Plus, you’ll find plenty of inspiration with the included photos of other fantastic baby portraits.

Whether you are a professional photographer or just a parent hoping to take the perfect first birthday pictures, this guide is a must-read. With these useful suggestions, you’ll be sure to capture the essence of your little one’s first year of life. So pick up your camera and get ready to create some cherished memories that you and your family will treasure for a lifetime!

Baby First Birthday Photography

Before The Photoshoot: Plan Ahead for the 1st birthday photoshoot

Pick a Theme for Cake Smash Photoshoot

Choose a theme or a color scheme for the photoshoot. Once you have a theme in mind you will need to buy or make decorations in coordinating colors. A simple crepe paper garland can be made in any color and are cheap to make.

Also, choose a location for the photo shoot. Will you do an indoor shoot by a window or are you able to have an outdoor photoshoot.

If you will be having an indoor photoshoot you will need a photo backdrop. The backdrop will get very messy if you are having a cake smash. A white sheet or a large roll of paper (that can be thrown away after the shoot) work very well.

For an outdoor shoot, you will not need to buy a backdrop, find a beautiful spot outdoors that will add to your photos!


1st birthday photoshoot - candy themed first birthday photo - 1 year old cake smash photography


When it comes to 1st birthday photoshoot for your baby, it’s important to remember that your little one should be the star of the show! While it can be tempting to want to include lots of cute and fun props, it’s important to exercise a little restraint so that your baby doesn’t get lost in all the excitement. Instead, try to limit yourself to just one or two carefully chosen props that will enhance the overall look and feel of the photos. And if you want to change things up, you can always switch out the props for different shots! Some great options include your baby’s favorite toy or blanket, a cute birthday hat, a chalkboard sign with their name and stats, balloons, balls, and even a chair or stool for them to sit on. With just a few carefully chosen props, you can create beautiful and memorable photos that truly capture the essence of your baby’s unique personality.

1st birthday photography - baby in a rainbow tutu for 1 year old cake smash photography


Have some fun here but don’t go crazy. Choose 1-3 different outfits. Changing babies too many times will just make them cranky. For little girls, I love putting them into tutus for their 1st birthday portraits.

For whichever outfits you choose make sure it coordinates with your theme and background. Also, keep in mind if you are doing a cake smash, make sure your baby is wearing something that you are okay with getting ruined at the baby first birthday photography session.

baby first birthday photography - baby girl with donut background


If you are brave enough for a big mess, do a cake smash session with your one-year-old. You will get some unforgettable shots of some messy fun!

The type of cake you chose matters! You will want a white cake; it looks better in the photos. You can make a small cake or purchase one from a bakery. I love this funfetti cake recipe, and the sprinkles inside will add a pop of color to your photoshoot.

The frosting of the smash cake should not be white, white is easy to overexpose while taking your photos. Plus, a fun color of frosting will add a pop of color to your photoshoot. Frost the cake with this buttercream frosting.

The cake should be at room temperature when doing the cake smash. A cold cake and frosting will not smash as easily as a room-temperature cake. And the baby can easily get bored if this happens. The frosting will also smear more when room temperature and you defiantly want this for your photos!

Skip a cake stand and highchair in your cake smash photos. A cake stand can get broken or knocked over while the baby is smashing the cake. And if the baby is in a highchair, you will miss out on some excellent photos of a messy-legged baby!

1st birthday photoshoot baby in a bathtub splashing water

Happy Baby

No one wants a photoshoot with a grumpy baby. Make sure you choose the time of the day when your baby is the happiest. The baby needs to be well-rested and feed before the pictures to ensure the best results.

Bring a snack and something for your baby to drink if they get thirsty.

At The Photoshoot: Tricks on the Day of the 1st birthday photoshoot

Perfect Lighting For 1 year old cake smash photography

Inside Photos:

An inside 1st birthday photoshoot needs to happen in a well-light room near lots of windows, but no direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will create harsh shadows in your photos. Turn off the lights in the room and the flash off on your camera.

Make sure no one is in the path of the light (the windows) or they will create shadows in your photos.

Outside Photos:

If you are doing outside photos, find an area that is in full direct shade. If you are seeing harsh shadows on the ground, they will show up in your photos.

Have a Helper

I would suggest having someone else help with your photoshoot (dad, grandma, grandpa…) Someone that you trust to help keep your baby in the photo location. And they can help make your one-year-old laugh or focus their attention for a few moments.

mommy and me pictures - little boy with his mom

Mommy And Me Pictures

If you are able, hand your camera off to your helper for a few Mommy and me pictures! These are some photos that you can treasure and help you remember this special day.

It would be fun to coordinate outfits for these pictures. Maybe baby wears your high heels or a picture of you twirling your baby around.

1st Birthday Photoshoot Photo Tips

Take hundreds of photos during the 1st birthday photoshoot and get as many angles as possible. Don’t expect every photo to turn out. You may only get a handful of really good photos, but that is okay. The more photos you take the better chance that you will capture the perfect 1st birthday portraits.

While taking the photo get down at their level. Kneel on the ground, so that you are not always taking shots from above.

If a photographer is taking the photos, be sure you communicate what shots you would like to capture during the cake smash photoshoot.

Your photoshoot may not go the way you wanted, and that is okay. You need to be flexible and read the signs your baby is giving you.

1 year old cake smash photography- baby smashing a cake

1-Year-Old Cake Smash Photoshoot

Before letting your 1-year-old get the cake make sure you get some before shots (and after shots too!). And then let the baby go to town on the cake. If he/she is unsure of the cake, help them out a bit and put their hand in the cake and then into their mouth.

Make sure to get close-up photos of cake-covered baby legs and fingers, and a little cake bottom crawling away!

If you are doing a cake shot away from home, bring extra clothes and towels to wipe up your baby afterward. You also need to be wearing clothes that you are okay with getting covered in cake (someone has to pick up the cake-covered baby after the photos are taken).

After The Photoshoot: Editing Tips to Get the Best Cake Smash Photos

After the photoshoot, you will need to edit the photos. I love using Snapseed on my cellphone or Lightroom on my computer. Play with the exposure and shadow settings, to find what makes your photos look the best.

If you took some photos against a plain white wall, you could edit your photo to add some text, such as your child’s name, birthday, and favorite things. If you captured mommy and me pictures you could add in some hearts. 

1 year old cake smash photography - baby boy with his face in a cake

Capture stunning photos of your little one’s 1st birthday photoshoot with these helpful cake smash photoshoot tips! Make sure to capture that cake smash moment and use the perfect lighting and backdrop. Pin this article for easy reference whenever you need photography inspiration for your little one’s first year of life.

baby first birthday photography

Are you looking to share your latest photoshoot experience? If you have taken some fantastic Mommy and Me pictures, we want to hear all about it! Join the discussion and tell us all the exciting details about your photoshoot. To make the next photoshoot even better, let us know how your 1st birthday photoshoot tips worked out. If you loved them, show us some love and leave a comment and review. In addition to this, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest posts. As a bonus, you will also receive party ideas and recipes to help you plan the perfect gathering. You can also check out what we are loving on our Pinterest page; see you there!

1st Birthday Photoshoot – Tips to Get the Best Photos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: