Your baby’s first birthday is a huge milestone, both for the birthday boy/girl and you. Raising children is hard work and all babies have to endure the “trail and error” phase of parenthood. So give yourself a pat on the back and take joy in celebrating how wonderful that last year has been.

The first birthday party is a fun, exciting and happy time so of course you want to document it. Here are my top first birthday party photos to make sure you get at your little one’s party whether with your cell phone camera or your “good camera” you reserve for special occasions:

The Decorations

You’ve spent hours scouring Pinterest and Etsy for the perfect theme and decorations so make sure you get some photos of how it all came together. The theme of my little guy’s party was “Little Prince” and my amazingly talented friend, Erin, from FoxPartyFix designed a monthly photo banner, happy birthday banner, highchair banner and centerpiece displays for me. A cohesive theme and color scheme really pulls it all together. Check out her blog post on the top trends for first birthday themes.

Cake Time

Seeing friends and family sing happy birthday to your baby is like the culmination of that first exhaustingly wonderful year, so soak it in! Give your phone to a friend and ask them to video it and your camera to another friend and ask them to take photos while you stand beside your beaming baby and take it all in.

Family Photos

I always want my children to look back on our photos and see our family celebrating these milestones. Not just the immediate family, but grandparents too. It’s a special time and those most important to us should be in the photos with them.


Who wants to stop and pose people all party long? Not me! During a lull in the party responsibilities grab a few shots of what guests are doing, who the birthday baby is playing with etc. Candids provide a snapshot of what the party was really like.

The Birthday Star

And last but not least some shots of the birthday star! You don’t need to do a whole photo shoot here but before or after the party get a few of your baby playing with the balloons or a new toy. Capturing your baby’s playful, curious, adorable personality are all goals to shoot for. However, as I’ve done with all of my babies, a first birthday photo session soon after their birthday is highly recommended. That milestone of turning one and seeing how much your tiny baby has grown in 12 months is amazing. A special first birthday photo of each of our boys are proudly displayed on our walls and my heart smiles every time I look at them. If you’re on the fence about having one year photos of your little one taken, read my plea to moms on why you should have them. First birthday family sessions are at the top of my list of favorite subjects to photograph.

How to be present while still getting these photos

Now that can feel like a lot of photos to get in a short amount of time so how do you get all of that while still being present and soak in all the celebrating around your baby?

1. You can simply give your camera to a family member or friend who is willing to document the party for you. At the very least make sure you give your camera to someone for cake time.

2. Before the party starts get your photos of the decorations while everything still looks neat and clean. It doesn’t take long before the party set up looks like, well, a party!

3. Save the posting to social media for later. As we all know social media has a strange way of stealing our precious time and distracting us from living OUR lives. Use your time enjoying being present.

4. Set aside only a few minutes for those posed family photos and candids. Remember you don’t need to go overboard getting the “perfect” shot. It will all come together in the end and you’ll be glad to have those photos while still having time to enjoy the party.

That’s it! I hope these tips will inspire you to capture your baby’s celebration while still being present and enjoying the par-tay!!

Katie Pugliese is an on-location, natural light maternity, newborn, child and family photographer specializing in emotional lifestyle photography. Serving all of Connecticut. 

Contact Me to Book Your Session

View My Website

Follow Me on Instagram

Follow Me on Facebook

First Birthday Party Photos to Capture While Still being Present

FILED IN: Baby, Children, First Birthday, Helpful Tips

October 17, 2018