{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

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 photos of your baby's big day!Baby's First Birthday: Must Take Photos

  • The Night Before

Take a photo right after your baby falls asleep on the night before his 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.

{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

  • Posed Photos With a Birthday Theme

These 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!

{Photo credits: Nicole McDaniel Photography and With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

  • Decorations

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.

{Photo credit: Stacey Downey Photography}

  • Food

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.

{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

  • 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.

{Photo credit: Stacey Downey Photography}

  • Cake Smashing

"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!

{Photo credit: Nicole McDaniel Photography}

  • Clean up/Post-Cake Bath

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!

{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

  • Baby Holding His Ultrasound

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!

{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

  • Gifts

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.

{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

  • Passed Out at the End of the Day

The perfect ending to the perfect day (and year!)

{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

Aside from this list of essential photos, be sure to snap a lot of candid shots. Try to get photos of all of your guests as well. Not only will these 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, check out Easy DIY Baby Photo Setup in NURTURE!

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