I first photographed Viola as a tiny little newborn! Not every session I shoot is blogged because of the sheer number. I only blog three times per week, but shoot 20-30 sessions per month. So… you can see how the math doesn’t allow for it.
I saw Viola again at our annual Santa event when she was around 6 months old, and just loved getting to see her family. Right before her first birthday, her mom emailed us. She confessed that she hadn’t thought she needed a First Birthday session, but now that Viola was almost one, she was feeling very nostalgic and realizing that she couldn’t keep Viola little. She didn’t want to forget all the little details of what Viola was like at one, and asked to schedule a First Birthday session for her. Photographs of your baby are (unfortunately) the only way to freeze time. I look at my seven year old biggest girl… and I’m still not sure how it happened so fast! It’s hard for me to remember what she was like as a baby by my memory alone, but fortunately for me - I have countless photographs of her and all the little details I never want to forget.
The family was on vacation the next week and had one day open that I fortunately also had open on my calendar since my weekend was already totally booked. I was thrilled to be able to see and photograph them again! I love seeing babies for milestone sessions, and seeing how much they’ve grown and changed since their newborn session. Viola definitely kept so many of her features from when she was a newborn. Her parents also opted to work with our baker for her smash cake, and chose a pretty pastel pink rosette design. The cakes from our preferred baker are DELICIOUS, and she’ll even deliver to the studio right before your session time. That’s one less thing to worry about, and less stress. If you haven’t tried driving to the studio with a cake in a box balanced precariously on your knees or the floorboard…you haven’t lived dangerously Haha. Oh, and if you have dairy/egg allergies or are vegan, she can accommodate that too! Just ask us for her information when booking and we’ll gladly provide it to you! Whether you opt to use our preferred baker or not, we’ll provide you with a cake tip sheet. Believe it or not, the type of icing you use matters - and the tip sheet will get you all squared away!
On the morning of their session, the family arrived and had brought a pink crocheted dress for Viola that her mom wore as a baby! Lisa didn’t have any bows for her, and asked if we had any on hand. I grabbed a few from our collection and found one that worked perfectly for her dress.
We do have a small selection of clothing available for babies and children as we’ve found that most moms celebrating first birthdays want to dress their babies themselves. We’ll send you a great style guide to plan what to wear in advance of your session, and are available to look through the options you’re considering as well either in person or by email. Making your entire experience fun and stress-free is important to us!
We started with just Viola for solo portraits, and she was such a happy little girl. She thought I was hilarious, and we got lots of smiles. During sessions I add in parents and don’t really have one set flow - I work with my littlest client and whatever mood they happen to be in! Sometimes a one year old will need a snack or a snuggle break, and we’ll take one. They run the show since they don’t exactly take direction. ;)
After we finished with the portraits, I asked if they wanted to change Viola into something else to smash the cake. They decided to keep her in her dress. Icing does wash out pretty easily, especially when it’s in a pastel color, but if you want to ensure that your child’s first birthday outfit stays pristine, it’s best to bring another option. You can dress them in a camisole (we have a few on hand) or strip them down to just a diaper/diaper cover or pants/shorts.
When the cake was presented to Viola, she immediately touched it. She wasn’t super interested in eating it until her parents came to have some fun with her. She was definitely more interested in poking the icing than eating it.
Clients should know that every baby reacts differently to cake and how they reacted at their party (if you had one) may not be how they react in the studio. Many babies do not “like” their cake at their party. Parties are a TON of sensory overload for young babies. At the end, when the cake is served, they’re often tired and totally over it all. Additionally, a bunch of people staring at you is not exactly a low pressure situation. A smash cake is not a required part of First Birthday sessions, but they sure are cute and lots of fun!
When Viola’s mom viewed her images from the session, she emailed us with her image selections and this sweet note below:
“Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for these beautiful images. You managed to capture Viola's personality perfectly! I initially wasn't sure that I needed a first year photo shoot, but I am more than 100% thankful that we went ahead with it. We couldn't be happier! You are always so fun to work with. Thank you and Caroline for being so accommodating and just wonderful people all around.”
Here are a few images from this fun little girl’s birthday celebration in the studio!
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.