Milestone photography sessions are a great way to highlight a particular age (newborn, 6 months or one year, for example) or developmental stage (sitting, walking, etc). My most popular milestone session (and my personal favorite) is the one-year session that documents the transition from babyhood to toddlerdom. Babies at this age are really turning into little people! It’s amazing to watch the transformation.
Whether you hire a professional photographer or DIY, here are 6 simple tips to help celebrate the special one-year milestone through photos.
1. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to make clothing choices, book your photographer, or pick a location. A little prep goes a long way! And more than anything, stay calm – this goes for both getting ready and for the session itself.
2. Outfits and props. Like newborns, milestone photos sometimes includes some fun ‘extras,’ whether it be a special outfit or a wooden number ‘1.’ A word of advice, though: don’t overdo it. The focus should be on your little one and not on the props.
3. Move it, move it. Whether inside (studio or home) or outside, encourage baby to explore and move. Babies at this age can be sitting, scooting, crawling, pulling up/standing and even walking, so be ready to capture all of the many ways they are in motion.)
4. Current loves. What makes your baby smile/laugh/happy? This might be a special toy or blanket, an activity or a particular song or game. For this little guy, it’s being outside, his swing, bubbles, and his dog. We made sure to incorporate all four in his session.
5. Get low and get the details. Photograph your little one low, from their point of view - squatting or lying on your stomach usually works well. Up close detail shots work well to document the ‘little things’ unique to their current stage. What will end/change as they leave the baby stage behind (curly, longer hair or drinking bottles, for example) or what things have they done since they were born that you suspect won’t last? Catch them while you can!
6. Family time. Recruit a parent to help with getting baby’s attention – have them stand near the photographer’s left shoulder. And do be sure to get some individual shots of baby with Mom and Dad to document their special relationship too. Encourage them to play and have fun together. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Remember: the one-year milestone is really also a celebration for parents – 365 amazing and exhausting days down! Congrats to you. Keep up the great work!
And keep on shooting!