How to Pull Off a 1st Birthday Photo Shoot

Everybody wants adorable photo memories for their child's birthdays, especially for their first birthday. When my first daughter, Ava, was close to turning one year old I began thinking of ideas that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg to create, meaning: 

1st Birthday Photo Shoot
  • The location had to be open to the public at no cost, and local
  • I needed to use my own props
  • I needed to use my own Nikon D600 DSLR and my husbands help
  • The weather needed to cooperate since more than likely it would be outdoors

We decided to use a local park not far from us since it had a variety of backgrounds including a lake with fountain, private barn across the street, and nice rocks and landscaping throughout the park. We've seen many family and engagement photo sessions performed here as well. 

Ava's birthday is the first week of June, so we decided to do the photos at the end of May. I quickly regretted picking a busy park on a hot and humid day! Ava was squirmy and distracted, cars passing by were affecting the barn background shots, and people were everywhere in front of the lake, not to mention the sun was blazing without tree cover, so they were messing up my picture perfect moments! Did I mention hot and humid?! Anyone from Georgia or who visits Georgia during this season can sympathize!

We finally got some test shots in and decided on the best background of the general park since we weren't succesful with the lake or barn locations. I don't use photoshop or any editing software except features that Picassa offers, so it's important for me to capture the image as close to what I'm looking for right then if possible. For the props I got a few balloons from a grocery store, some of Ava's favorite animals, a stool I repainted at some point, and a chalkboard sign and cute outfit I had picked up at the Cracker Barrel a little bit ago. 

 

Here are what I consider to be some of the more successful shots: 

And here are a few that didn't make the print list of perfection:

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR OWN CHILDREN? I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

HAPPY PHOTO SHOOTING!

Mindy Sullivan