I first worked with Liam when he was a tiny newborn, and you can view the images by clicking here. I was so excited when his mom, Jennifer, emailed asking to schedule a First Birthday session in the studio for him!
After discussing potential dates, they chose one, and we sent over a few things. All clients receive our easy to read style guide and links to our Pinterest inspiration board. First Birthday clients who are choosing to incorporate a cake into their session get a cake tips sheet! Believe it or not, the kind of icing you choose is important. We have a preferred baker (she can even deliver the cake to the studio!) that we highly recommend, but Publix also does a pretty good job if you’re looking for something super simple. The studio has a Publix located very close by, so we provide our clients with the bakery phone number. Picking up from that Publix means you’re spending less time in the car trying to balance a cake on your lap, and that you don’t forget your cake. (yep, it’s happened more than once!) If you’re not loving the idea of including a cake, no worries! Plenty of clients opt to not include anything while others pick something less traditional like a pie or donuts.
The day of Liam’s session, the family arrived and we spent a little bit of time chatting about how the past year had gone for them with parenting! I couldn’t believe how big Liam was compared to the first time I’d met him, and how beautiful his giant blue eyes were. (And just in case you’re wondering, his eyes are not edited in any way - they actually look just like that!) I loved the adorable gingham checked romper and moccs that Jennifer had dressed him in for his solo portraits. Since Liam was pretty comfortable with me right off the bat, we started with just him and then worked mom and dad in and out for a variety. I loved all of Liam’s expressions and smiles and his ADORABLE two little bottom teeth! He also had the most unique way of sitting with his ankles perfectly crossed. I’ve never seen a baby do this before, and I’ve photographed a LOT of babies. During milestone sessions with babies, I’m always looking for the special and unique things that they do because I want their mom and dad to be able to remember them always. I like to imagine that twenty years from now, there will be conversation about how Liam used to sit with his ankles crossed just so…. and out comes the photograph to see exactly how it looked.
After we finished up with that part, it was cake time! Most clients will either strip their baby down to a diaper with a cover or a onesie, and some will have a second outfit. Again, it’s a matter of personal preference! If your baby hates to be wiped down, choosing to have them wear clothes will definitely eliminate some of the surface area that will have to be wiped afterwards. ;) Just something to think about when deciding!
Liam was immediately interested in his cake and needed no help or encouragement to explore it. If your baby is hesitant, don’t worry! I have a bag of tricks up my sleeve to help encourage them in non stressful way. Be prepared to offer a taste of icing to them if they’re slow to warm up! I also like to point out that even if your baby hates cake, their First Birthday session is NOT a “failure”. The whole point of the cake portion is to see how your baby reacts. You get to watch all the funny expressions and moments without being worried about capturing it, and it’s just as special regardless of whether they dive into the cake or fling it off to the side. Either way, you’ll have beautiful and authentic images of how everything organically unfolded and a story to tell your child someday!
If you're expecting a baby or already a parent and looking for a newborn, maternity, or family photographer, I would love to work with you to create images that you will love for a lifetime. Watch this video to hear about my philosophy and see how I work in the studio so you can determine if I'm the right fit for you. I can't wait to meet you!
Lily Sophia Photography specializes in newborn, baby, maternity, and family photography in Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding areas.