35+ Unique 1st Birthday Photoshoot Ideas And Tips

Every parent wants to come up with unique first birthday photoshoot ideas for their munchkins because firsts are always special. First birthdays are celebrated in a grand way.

Among the host of planned activities, such as theme, decorations, gifts, and cake, a photoshoot remains the most important. A photoshoot is an excellent way to look back at the celebration and create wonderful keepsakes.

Read this post as we bring you some interesting and creative first birthday photoshoot ideas to let you kick off the fun and make everyone smile. Make every moment of your child’s birthday celebration count with these ideas.

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35+ First Birthday Photoshoot Ideas And Tips

Whether you have a beautiful girl or a handsome boy, make use of these ideas to make the first birthday party super special.

1. Balloons

1st birthday photoshoot ideas with balloons

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Nothing says a celebration like balloons, and this quintessential décor for a birthday instantly conveys a theme that’s celebratory. You can capture one-year-old birthday photos with your little one holding a single bright balloon during the actual birthday party celebration. Alternatively, you can set up a photo station with a bunch of rainbow colors and other decorations to bring in the mood. This also lets other guests take photos of their own and create magical moments. Bonus: A balloon bouquet always makes the young ones smile from ear to ear!

2. A family photo

Family portrait for 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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One birthday photo idea is a family shot. It’s also the best time to get creative family photos of parental poses. Once the solo shot of the birthday baby is done, it can be just the mom and dad or even include other members of the family, like cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. You can have a few staged shots and some fun candid moments too. A popular pose you can try is with parents on either side holding the hand of the child. Along with capturing the beautiful baby pictures, you can also showcase the family’s strength and the bond shared by mother, father, and child.

3. Number one sign

1st birthday photoshoot ideas with a number-one balloon

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The number one sign is one of the best photoshoot ideas for your tiny tot’s first birthday, a birthday. You can have a classic number-one balloon, or you can even unleash your creativity and form a one out of toys, flowers, or other props. Continuing this tradition on every birthday ensures all beautiful moments during every birthday are captured and stored forever, making you nostalgic.

4. Messy time

Messy playtime-themed 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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Every child likes to get messy, and capturing them in their element on their special day is one of the best photoshoot tips and tricks to rely on. What you can do is have an outdoor party in your backyard where you give your child the freedom to splash in a puddle of water, play with mud, smear paint on themselves, and whatnot. Let them loose and capture these candid moments filled with laughter. Yes, it does sound messy, but that’s the beauty! Trust the photographer to capture some amazing shots while your little one enjoys their day.

5. Little man or lady

Dressed up look for 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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Every parent loves dressing up their little one. On their special day, you can dress your little one up into a man or lady for a photo session. Just imagine your boy wearing tiny suspenders and a bow tie and your girl donning twirly tutus and long strands of pearls. This instantly ups the cute factor in your photos. You can even bring other outfit ideas to the photo session.

protip_icon Quick tip
You can also choose a floral theme for your child’s first birthday shoot. Use flowers as a backdrop, get lots of bouquets, and DIY a floral crown for your baby.

6. Bubbles

Outdoor playtime photoshoot for 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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Bubbles are a thing of fascination for all children alike. If you’re looking for an outdoor photoshoot, then you can consider including bubbles in your birthday photos. They bring instant excitement, and if you’re looking for amusing or entertaining candid moments, this is the best idea. The photographer will be able to capture some priceless expressions of your child during the shoot.

7. Cake smash

Cake smash for 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

Image: IStock

A new birthday photo idea that’s been making rounds of late is the cake smash setup. If you’re into following what’s trending, don’t slip up on this opportunity. You can either get a cake that matches your child’s outfit or the actual birthday party theme and set up the photo session in front of a beautiful custom backdrop. Now it’s time to let your child dig into the cake and get messy. They may smear the cake all over themselves and try to eat it or just play with it. Although messy, the expressions you’ll capture are priceless.

You can dress your little one in white to get gorgeous cake smash photos. Stephanie, a mother of twins, decided to DIY her babies’ outfits for their photos. She writes, ”For the cake smash portion of the shoot, I decided to dress the babies in pure white onesies with the numeral ‘1’ composed of buttons on the front. I have been seeing button art all over Pinterest lately, so naturally this popped into my head as I was brainstorming how to decorate their clothing. I bought several different sizes of buttons in their respective colors, pulled up a classic number ‘1’ on my laptop for reference, and played around with the buttons until I got them just right. Since I knew these shirts would only be worn once, I used hot glue to secure the buttons to the garment. If I were going to make these for repeated use or as a gift for someone else, I would have used stitches instead (i).”

8. Birthday shoot with props

Little genius-look for 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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Every child has a favorite toy, so you can get your child something to play with during the photoshoot. A prop can come in handy to keep your child distracted and occupied, enabling you to get the best photographs of your child on this special day. Props help calm a child down and make them feel at ease. This is what you want to show in your photos. You don’t want pictures of your child looking scared or uneasy.

9. Sports

Sports baby 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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If you’re a family who is into sports, you can combine your love for sports with a creative photoshoot on your child’s first birthday. You can do anything from a basketball-themed party where all the décor and cake are in tune with your favorite team. Alternatively, you can organize a small photo session with different sports for your child and watch them grab a ball and play. You can easily spice up the photo shoot by dressing your child up in a team jersey.

10. Bath time

Bathtime 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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There’s nothing more adorable than children splashing and having fun in the bathtub. You can turn this cuteness into a photo session with first birthday decorations in the backdrop. If the birthday child has siblings, you can squeeze them all into the bathtub and let them have fun. Although this is not a huge party celebration, it’s definitely worth the photo session. You can throw the actual birthday party on another day.

11. Movie theme

Movie themed 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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Turn up the fun at your child’s first birthday by including a movie theme in the party. One way for the entire family to do this is to dress as characters of a movie of your choice. Otherwise, each member of the party can sport a different character. Your child will be fully dressed, looking cute, and ready for a quick photo session. This exciting experience will create some moments you can cherish forever.

12. Twinning

Twin babies 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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A great photo opportunity for the whole family is dressing up alike or twinning with the birthday child. You can wear similar outfits and capture some beautiful memories. A group photo brings out the bond between mother, father, and child and evokes different emotions. This idea is best for the fall birthdays, where the changing leaves can be captured in the backdrop.

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Turn your adorable little munchkin into a magician on their first birthday. Set up the frame in a wizardly theme, create some props, and let the abra-ca-dabra begin!

13. Animal

Wild animal themed 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

Image: IStock

The first year of a child is when they start to learn about things around them, including animals. Does your child resonate with a dog, cat, or even a zebra? If yes, you can pick up their favorite animal and dress them up in that manner. You can create colorful backgrounds of a forest or a home, depending on the animal, and click away! You can even play animal noises in the backdrop, so they get into the character.

14. Unicorn

Unicorn-themed 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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Children have an undying obsession with unicorns, so why turn this into a photo session. You can make them wear a personalized outfit of a cute unicorn, arrange a variety of props around, and even have a magical backdrop that completes the setup. With such a magical theme, the photos will turn out to be nothing short of magical!

15. Growth collage

Baby growth milestones 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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With a little bit of patience and a whole lot of creativity, you can make this amazing collage come to life. This involves a photograph of your child from the day they were born until their first birthday. You can keep the one leading up to the first birthday relatively simple and make the big day special, with extra décor and props.

16. Clouds

Cloud-themed 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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From a young age, you can teach your children to reach for the stars. In this magical photo opportunity, you can make your child’s fairy-tale dreams come true. Other than clouds, you can create the entire sky with stars, the moon, the sun, and whatever your heart desires. This is even an excellent DIY opportunity for the family to make the stars and clouds from scratch. All in all, your child will look like they’re in seventh heaven!

17. Swimmer

Seaside 1st birthday photoshoot ideas

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Whether it’s at the beach, in a pool, or a makeshift water body, you can bring in summer vibes with a swim-themed photoshoot. You can dress your child in a cute swimsuit and sunglasses and even have them pose next to a sandcastle! Besides, you can use props like a beach towel, an umbrella, a volleyball, and more to make the picture truly come to life.

18. The real gift


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Even though they’ll receive many gifts for their birthday, the child is surely the show’s star. Take a cute snapshot of your child placed inside a gift-wrapped box. This can be useful because it temporarily holds them, stopping them from moving around too much while you take images.

19. Picture with grandparents


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As your baby grows, their pictures with their grandparents will be treasured memories. You can consider including Grandma and Grandpa in the first birthday pictures. Posing the grandparents on either side of your child will allow you to take a touching snapshot of them celebrating their baby’s birthday. This setup allows you to take a lovely and unforgettable photograph, whether you use a high chair or have them hold the little one.

20. Beach party


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Family photos at the beach are always enjoyable, and beach-themed birthday photoshoots can also be a great option. This is especially effective if your child’s birthday comes during the summer. As there is much for your child to discover, these pictures will likely be packed with activity. Take a lot of pictures of people interacting with the baby or take a picture of your baby engrossed in amusing themselves alone.

21. Hot air balloon


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A creative approach is to attach some helium balloons to a basket resembling a hot-air balloon. Place the basket in a park or your decorated living room for a stunning backdrop. The fact that your baby is safely positioned in the basket makes this idea quite appealing. The balloons will most likely hold their attention for a while, and the basket will keep them in place, preventing them from roaming or crawling away.

22. Pajama party


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Arrange a cozy pajama-themed photoshoot where your baby can rest and play in their favorite sleepwear. Pillows, blankets, and plush animals can be used to create a cozy ambiance. You can take candid photos of your child playing with their stuffed animals, reading a bedtime story, or just relaxing in their pajamas.

23. Little chef


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Dress your little munchkin in a miniature chef’s hat and apron and place them in a child-safe kitchen with age-appropriate utensils and ingredients (or replicas). Capture candid photos of them as they ‘prepare’ food, play with dough, or taste ingredients. This fun and cute theme will highlight your child’s creativity and sense of wonder.

24. Outdoor adventure


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Plan an outdoor photography session in a nearby park or a location with abundant trees. Capture your baby’s amazement as they discover the wonders of nature, whether it’s collecting flowers, playing with leaves, or relaxing by a gentle stream. You can use natural lighting to achieve a delicate and ethereal effect. Dress your child comfortably and appropriately for the weather, and bring along some props, such as a picnic blanket or a favorite toy..

25. Storybook fantasy


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Bring your baby’s favorite storybook to life with a creative photoshoot. Choose a favorite children’s story and build a setting based on the illustrations. Dress your child like a character from the book and reenact major scenes with props and a good setting. The final photographs will capture the beauty of storytelling and provide lasting memories.

26. Teddy bear picnic


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Set up a teddy bear picnic in a beautiful park or garden to create an appealing atmosphere. Arrange a cozy picnic blanket on the ground and surround it with teddy bears. Put on a cute picnic outfit for your baby, complete with a picnic basket and a cuddly teddy bear companion. You can capture candid moments of your child enjoying ‘tea and snacks’ with their animal friends.

27. Sailor adventure


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A sailor-themed photoshoot will send your little one on a virtual sailing trip. Dress your baby up as a sailor with a scarf and a matching sailor’s cap. You can position a miniature boat next to your child or have them hold them as if ready for an adventure. Stand next to the camera and call out your baby to capture an adorable expression of this junior seafarer.

28. Fruit orchard


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Dress your baby in fruit-themed or flowery attire to match the environment. Take photos of them interacting with ripe fruit, picking flowers, or having a small picnic with fruit-themed decorations. The orchard’s vivid colors and natural charm provide a stunning backdrop for a pleasant shot of your one-year-old.

29. Black and white


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Pick a black-and-white theme for a traditional and timeless look. Consider dressing your baby in plain, neutral attire and use simple props. You can capture candid moments in natural light to emphasize your child’s purity and innocence. The lack of color allows the focus to remain on their expressions and feelings, resulting in wonderful and emotionally powerful photos.

30. Superhero


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Celebrate your baby’s first birthday with a superhero photoshoot. Dress them up as their favorite superhero or make up their own superhero persona. You can use props such as capes, masks, and action figures to add to the theme. This colorful and imaginative theme highlights your one-year-old’s developing individuality and sense of adventure.

31. Pet pal


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You can include your family pet in the photoshoot for heartwarming moments. Capture your child engaging with their pet pal, whether playing, cuddling, or simply sharing a moment of connection. You can dress your baby in identical clothing or props that emphasize the pet’s presence. This idea honors your child’s special connection with their favorite pet, creating unique memories.

32. Mini artist


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Turn your child into a growing artist in their own studio. You can give them safe and washable art supplies, such as finger paints, brushes, and a tiny canvas. Try capturing candid moments as children express themselves via art by exploring their imagination, creating finger paintings, and expressing themselves through art.

33. Night under the stars


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Arrange a spectacular night sky photo shoot in your backyard or another dark outdoor location. To create the illusion of a starry night, set up a cozy campsite with blankets, cushions, and fairy lights. Dress your little one in lovely pajamas and bring along cuddly toys to click amazing pictures.

34. Music maestro


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A musical-themed photo shoot will help you celebrate your baby’s love of music. Put on a rock star or musician costume for them and give them miniature musical instruments and other accessories. Position your child with their favorite instrument, whether it’s a little guitar, a piano, or a tambourine. You can easily take amazing candid photos of them as they discover the world of sound and rhythm.

35. Tiny gardener


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Dress your cute baby in adorable gardening clothes, including a sun hat and gardening tools. You can create a little garden area with flowers, potted plants, and a miniature garden bench. Capture precious moments of your child ‘tending’ to the garden, growing flowers, or experiencing the natural beauty of the outdoors.

36. Library adventure


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Make your local library into an eye-catching backdrop for your baby’s photoshoot. Dress your child in comfortable clothes, complete the look with large spectacles and a stack of age-appropriate books. Capture snaps as they look through vibrant pages, discover the world of books, or play with soft book toys.

Seven Tips For A First Birthday Photo Session

  1. It’s crucial to make sure you and your tiny tot are well rested before the big day. You don’t want them to be cranky during the photo session.
  2. You also need to ensure your child is well-fed so they don’t get cranky and the photoshoot goes smoothly.
  3. When you dress your child, it’s important to pick comfortable outfits, so your child can sit through the photoshoot in peace.
  4. Don’t stress too much about your child looking into the camera during photos. Candid photos are equally cute and memorable.
  5. Don’t lay focus only on the photoshoot, it’s important to have fun along the way.
  6. Too much staging can look bad. It’s good to keep the indoor setting decorated yet natural at the same time.
  7. You can consider hiring a professional personal photographer as you don’t want to be stuck behind the camera and miss out on the entire event and all the fun.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What items should I have handy for a 1st birthday photoshoot?

Preparing a list of items and making necessary arrangements way ahead of the birthday photoshoot can help prepare for the function in a stress-free manner. Some essential items include props such as balloons, banners, toys, snowflakes, and items that adhere to the theme of the party. Arrange for a cake if you have included a cake smash in the photo shoot. Keep extra clothes, towels, tissues, and wipes handy as birthday shoots can get messy. Carrying or keeping scrumptious food and drinks for the baby can help if the child gets hungry or thirsty during the photoshoot.

2. What type of lighting works best for a 1st birthday photoshoot?

If you are doing the shoot yourself, conduct the photoshoot in natural light, if possible, as it provides a soft and flattering light that can enhance the child’s features. If shooting indoors, position the child near a window with natural light streaming in. Avoid shooting midday if you are outside. A professional photographer will have the correct lighting set up for a cake smash session already set up.

3. What are some tips for getting my child to smile and engage with the camera during the photoshoot?

Sing in a silly voice or speak the wrong words of a song the child knows to elicit laughter. Ask for a high five and keep pulling your hand up so the child smiles and the photographer captures it. To engage kids with the camera, keep asking questions about things they love. It will make the child follow your gaze and look wherever you are looking. You may also make fun, unexpected noises to make the child curious and look in different directions to get some clues.

4. What are some ideas for using different backdrops or settings in the photo shoot?

You can experiment with different backdrop ideas to make the photos more vibrant. For instance, you may use colorful party streamers for a striped backdrop. You can also explore beaches, gardens, or urban landscapes. Alternatively, you can tape different paper plates in random colors on the wall or drape fairy lights over a curtain rod for a fairytale-like background. Finally, you can cover the lamps or lights with tulle and add some fake flowers to the top for more impact.

5. What are some tips for choosing the best location for the photoshoot?

Beach, woodland, and open field are great locations for the photo shoot. Urban environments like a deserted parking lot or an empty building area are also good options for going creative. Whatever location you choose, ensure the background color matches the child’s clothes well. Take your child out on a cloudy day so that if they change positions, it won’t create bad lighting. Shady environments are ideal for beginner parents as they do not impact the final photo if the child behaves unexpectedly.

Your baby’s first birthday is a special occasion that you await eagerly. Make this day memorable by having a unique photoshoot for your baby. You can pick one of the 1st birthday photoshoot ideas from our post or use a few of them as inspiration to plan a personalized photoshoot for your munchkin. Whatever idea you choose, ensure you and your child enjoy every moment f the birthday, and your photo shoot captures your candid moments with your baby. As your baby grows, their first birthday pictures can become memorabilia that you can cherish eternally.

Infographic: First Birthday Photoshoot Ideas

You capture every moment of your little one, running after them with a camera to capture the goofy and cute gestures. So why hold back on one of the most important milestones? If your little one’s competing one year, we present unique and beautiful photoshoot ideas to freeze this day in a photograph.

create the perfect birthday picture of your little (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Create lasting memories of your baby’s first birthday with these easy DIY photoshoot ideas! Check out this video to learn how to capture the perfect moment with simple props and decorations.

Personal Experience: Source

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