Your baby’s first birthday is a huge milestone. While you’re busy planning the theme, gathering decorations, sending out invitations and ordering the cake; it’s so easy to overlook one very important element: the photography. Whether you hire a photographer (a fad that’s becoming more and more common today – as many parents want to capture every moment of their loved one’s big day, but also not have to worry about being stuck behind the camera the entire time) or take photos yourself, the following is a checklist of must-take first birthday photo ideas for your baby’s first birthday!

10 Must Take Photos for Baby’s First Birthday

1The Night Before

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

For the first birthday pictures, take a photo right after your baby falls asleep on the night before your baby’s first birthday. Then you can add this picture to his baby book with the caption: Tonight my little on fell asleep as an 11-month-old… tomorrow he will wake up as a one-year-old! This is guaranteed to become a beloved traditional photo you take every year on the eve of your child’s birthday.

2One Year Old Picture Ideas With a Birthday Theme

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

These first birthday pictures can be taken the morning of your baby’s party (after you have your coffee in peace), or even weeks before. These photos are perfect for invitations, thank-you notes and framed gifts for grandparents. You can even order wallet-sized prints and include them in your party favor goodie bags!

3The Decorations

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

Once the party is completely set up, take photos of the decorations right away. Do this before your guests arrive; because as soon as that doorbell rings, you will have a million other things running through your mind. Before you know it, your beautiful displays will be awry in the chaos of the celebration.

READ MORE: How to Photograph Your Child’s Birthday Party

4 The Food

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

If you made a special cake or slaved over themed hors d’oeuvres, be sure to take photos of these before your guests arrive. If you wait until later, you might find that your Mickey Mouse themed cupcakes are nothing but crumbs.

5First Birthday Pictures of Baby and Parents

In all the chaos of your baby’s special day, it is important to get a picture with her. This can be taken before the party, or even when your posed photos are taken. You will absolutely cherish this photo. It will serve as a reflection of your joy in celebrating the first year of your baby’s life.

daily mom parent portal baby's first birthday
READ MORE: Baby’s 1st Year: Creative Monthly Baby Photo Ideas

6First Birthday Photo Ideas – Cake Smashing

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

“Smash Cakes” have become a “First Birthday Right of Passage.” It is the one time you will let go of your “Mommy tendencies” and let your baby happily make a mess of her food. You definitely won’t want to miss a moment of this. Make sure you have a reliable friends who knows how to work a camera, so that you can get in on the action too!

7 Clean up/Post-Cake Bath

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

For some first birthday photo ideas, be sure to snap some pictures of your messy, icing-encrusted baby in all his glory. These photos will become classics in his baby book!

READ MORE: Fun Turning One! 5 Unique Party Themes for Boys

8Baby Holding His Ultrasound

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

For some sentimental one year old picture ideas, take some photos of your baby holding his own ultrasound photo. These sentimental pictures will commemorate your baby’s first precious year and show just how much he’s grown!

9 The Gifts

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

For more first birthday photo ideas, take a few photos of your baby opening his gifts. Capturing the look of excitement on his face will be a cherished memory for years to come. It will also be fun to look back on the gifts he received years later.

10 Passed Out at the End of the Day

Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

The perfect ending to the perfect day (and year!) One of the cutest one year old picture ideas is to capture your little one all tuckered out after a successful party.

Aside from this list of essential first birthday photo ideas, be sure to snap a lot of candid shots. Try to get photos of all of your guests as well. Not only will these one year old picture ideas help you to remember who shared this special day with you, but they will make an awesome little memento to include in your thank you cards!


For tips on photographing your little one and first birthday pictures, check out Easy DIY Baby Photo Setup

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daily mom parent portal baby's first birthday

Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder, Nicole McDaniel Photography, Stacey Downey Photography


  1. Awesome! Perfect ideas. And really, you can’t truly recreate most of these. It’s good to know ahead of time. Thank you 🙂


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