This family! You just can’t help but smile when you’re with them. And it’s been an absolute joy to witness their story from the very beginning! Molly and I were sorority sisters in college, and she’s a long-time friend of mine. I shot Molly and Kevin’s engagement session in 2019 and later their wedding day. In a whirlwind of events, Molly had her twin boys just one week after I had Ollie. All of that led up to this heart-melting twin lifestyle session on the boys’ first birthday in Chicago. It was really special to capture Molly and Kevin’s wedding day and even more special to capture them as parents this time around! One look at this adorable first birthday photo shoot will have you grinning ear to ear!
This in-home lifestyle first birthday photo shoot involved tons of silly raspberries on the cheek, Cheerio breaks, and exploration. These are two of the happiest little boys you’ll ever meet, and although they’re just a year old, they’re already on the move and walking around in true toddler fashion (cue the baby gates!) I loved capturing what life at home looks like, and I know these photos will preserve special memories from their earliest years as a family of four.
Tips for Getting Priceless First Birthday Photos
Take Snack Breaks
Behind every priceless shot is a tasty snack. Bring your kiddo’s favorite snacks to keep them motivated, happy, and less hangry. If possible, opt for on-the-go snacks for less mess: dry cereal, yogurt melts, pouches, etc., all work great. Unless you’re going for cute strawberry-smeared faces, skip the sticky fruits or things that require utensils. Plus, finger foods allow us to capture those adorable fingers.
Cake smashes are always fun! We can do that toward the end, and I recommend setting up away from walls and cabinets. Drop cloths make for easy cleanup. You could even tape down a plastic tablecloth.
Even adults get cranky when they have to stand and smile for photos. Expecting that from a barely-one-year-old is unrealistic. So, we’ll switch scenes often to keep things moving. As a fellow mom, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to help the first birthday photo shoot feel like a play date—because it kind of is!
Stick to Your Routine
The benefit of a lifestyle family session is that you can get fantastic family pictures in the comfort of your own home, which is a huge plus if you have little ones. As your photographer, I will guide you from beginning to end, but for the most part, just do what you usually do. We’ll schedule your first birthday photo shoot between meals and naps during a typical happy play time (I know how unpredictable that may be, but we’ll do our best!).
We alternated between playtime, snacks, snuggles with mom and dad, and a few traditional portraits for this twin first birthday photoshoot. The boys were happy as could be, with just a few antsy wiggles here and there during the more posed shots. And if they just aren’t having it, you’d be surprised at the amazing photos we can get despite a little inevitable crankiness.
Bring Out the Toys
While you may be focused on getting the house in tip-top shape for your in-home first birthday session, leaving a few toys out is ok (and helpful!). If you suspect your little one(s) may get fussy, try bringing out a new toy for them to discover for the first time. And, if you’re ok with a true lifestyle look, playdough, or other sensory materials make cute, vibrant props for child photography.
Don’t Worry about Posing
“Smile!” seems to be a trigger phrase for many kids. Rarely does it produce priceless grins. Rather than smiles, you might get contorted faces, scowling eyebrows, and less-than-photogenic antics. Instead, let your little ones do their thing. To get those beautiful toothy (or toothless) grins, we can try tickles, raspberries, funny faces, and other playtime favorites.
Relax, and Keep Calm
Above all, roll with it and have fun. We can stop for diaper changes or pop outside for some fresh air if we need to. I promise we’ll find a way to create sweet memories and beautiful photos during this special milestone for your family. I love photographing families and little ones, and there are few scenarios a little treat, warm snuggles, or a silly face can’t fix!
Book Your Lifestyle First-Year Milestone Photos
Whether at home or your favorite Chicago park, your child’s (or twins!) first birthday is a huge milestone you don’t want to miss. Get in touch with me here to start planning your first birthday photo shoot!
For more inspiration for first birthday or family sessions, follow me on Instagram @megadamikcreative.