The little boy whose Mechanicsburg first birthday portraits are featured in this blog, TJ, is one who is especially close to my heart. I’ve had the absolute joy of watching him grow and photograph his adorable milestones throughout his first year. Along with his newborn portraits, I created TJ’s six-month sitter session portraits and, recently, his one-year portraits.
Not only is TJ the happiest little cutie, but his portraits make me reflect on a topic I wish more clients knew about: the benefits of using the same photographer for all your baby’s milestones and your family portraits.
Why Use the Same Photographer for Your Mechanicsburg First Birthday Portraits and Other Milestones
Finding a family photographer you love isn’t easy. Did you know that you could do yourself a favor in multiple ways by revisiting them for every milestone and portrait session as your family grows?
As a portrait photographer who specializes in newborn portraits as well as maternity, family, baby, child, and senior photography, I have had the honor to do this for countless families in the Mechanicsburg area. There are several perks beyond the convenience of never needing to find a new photographer again.
Portraits That Feel Personal
When you visit the same photographer numerous times, it lets us get to know you and your family. With every photo session, we understand your aesthetic tastes and your personality better. Each session’s portraits will feel more and more authentic to your family.
Comfortable Photo Sessions for the Whole Family
The best portraits always come when my clients are comfortable enough to be their genuine selves. Sure, getting experience in front of a camera helps, but it also comes from getting to know your photographer. When your family feels at home during your photo sessions, it allows me to capture more authentic smiles and it makes your sessions more enjoyable.
A Cohesive Gallery of Portraits
While I cater to your aesthetic tastes in each session, photography is an art form at the end of the day, and every photographer has a natural style. When you get all your portraits from the same photographer, you can more easily display your portraits together because they’ll all have the same artistic style.
Hiring Your Long-Term Family Photographer for Mechanicsburg First Birthday Portraits
When you become a parent, there’s a whole new baby world to learn. You’re trying to figure out everything you need to know about your child’s health, how to make them happy, and how to enjoy this stage of life. You’re learning it as you go, and I’ve been there with you! One of the many parts of baby parenthood for new parents to figure out is baby photography. As a Mechanicsburg baby photographer, I can help.
What photo sessions should you schedule for your baby? What are the key milestones you need to capture? I’m happy to guide you through this world. For starters, I’ve created a basic guide to the top types of baby photo sessions to help you understand your options and what to expect.
Newborn Photo Session
A newborn photography session is all about capturing the fleeting newborn stage when your baby is at their tiniest and newest. Technically, newborn sessions should take place in the first 14 days of your baby’s life. Sometimes life gets in the way or your baby has a long hospital stay and the session doesn’t happen within 14 days, but we aim for as close to that timeframe as we can.
Your newborn session is often several hours long because we’re on the baby’s timeline. We take most of the photos while they sleep, so when they wake up and need to be fed, changed, or soothed, we take a break. This is also a relaxed session for you, proud parent, because I can take care of everything while you sit back and relax.
Sitter Session with a Mechanicsburg Baby Photographer
A sitter session is a photo session when your baby is comfortably able to sit up on their own – usually around 6-9 months. This is a popular photo opportunity for a few reasons.
First, your baby is able to sit up and give us adorable smiles but they aren’t yet walking so they’re easier to keep in one place. Second, we get to highlight your baby’s new skill and show it off so you’ll have mementos of these proud moments forever. Third, your baby is starting to show the first hints of their personality, so we get to put their precious little quirks front and center.
One-Year Session/Cake Smash Session
Your baby’s first birthday is an incredible milestone, and there’s no better way to celebrate than to preserve this exciting moment! That’s what a one-year photo session, first birthday photo session, or cake smash session does.
The cake smash is a tradition for one-year baby photos. Your baby gets to dig into a birthday cake and get messy like babies do, and we capture all the gooey fun on camera.
Keep in mind that one-year photography sessions tend to be hands-on for you as a parent. Kids at this age are very mobile and energetic, and as much as we all love to see that fun, vibrant spirit on camera, it does mean I’ll need your help to keep them in place and happy.
Milestone Photo Sessions with a Mechanicsburg Baby Photographer
Milestone photo sessions are less specific than most other baby photography sessions because you can do them at any point you want. While newborn, sitter, and one-year sessions are designed for precise times of your baby’s life, you can opt for a milestone photo session for any milestone.
For example, many families like to have a photo story of their baby’s first year, so they schedule a newborn session, 3-month milestone session, 6-month sitter session, 9-month milestone session, and one-year session.
You could even make milestone sessions more personal and use them to celebrate unique achievements or landmarks in your baby’s life. For example, you could do a milestone session to celebrate the last of a series of surgeries to repair a congenital health condition, or to celebrate your baby’s first steps or first word.
Navigating the World of Baby Photos with Your Mechanicsburg Baby Photographer
My hope is that you now feel more informed and comfortable with baby photography and the sessions you can choose to preserve memories of your baby’s first year. Remember, you can choose as many or as few photo sessions as you want – there are no rules and it’s all about giving yourself the gift of these memories! A trusted Mechanicsburg baby photographer like myself can guide you along the way.
Your beautiful baby is turning one: congratulations! You’ve made it through that magical yet chaotic year of infancy, and now it’s time to celebrate while also capturing this amazing milestone in your baby’s life. What better way to do that than with a first birthday photo session?
As much fun as a first birthday photoshoot is, it can be intimidating if it’s your first time. Where do you begin? How do you plan for it? What should you bring? Don’t worry, I’m here to help with your ultimate guide to your baby’s 1st birthday cake smash photos.
What Can I Expect from a First Birthday Photoshoot?
While every photographer has their own process, I’ve been working with one-year milestone photos for many years, so I’m happy to guide you through my process when I book a first birthday photoshoot near me.
We always begin with a consultation. This is when we’ll discuss your vision for your baby’s portraits and what you want from your photoshoot. We’ll talk about where you want your session to be, what specific types of images you love, and so on. I can also answer all your questions about outfit ideas for your baby, how to prepare for the session, and so on.
I offer first birthday photo sessions in two parts – usually on the same day if the weather permits. The first part is a cake smash session for your baby in my studio early in the day, where we’ll capture all those adorably messy cake smash photos. All that fun tends to make babies pretty tired, so I’ll then send you home with your baby so you can get them thoroughly cleaned up and they can enjoy a nice rest.
Then, we’ll meet back up outdoors in the late afternoon/early evening (or “golden hour” as it’s often called) for a small outdoor session. Throughout the session, you can relax, watch, and enjoy as I capture a mixture of posed portraits and candid photos that showcase your baby’s personality. We can also incorporate you and the rest of your family into these photos if you would like.
Afterward, I’ll hand edit all the best photos from your session. We’ll schedule a viewing and ordering appointment for two to three weeks after your photo session. That’s when you’ll see all your baby’s beautiful photos in a presented slideshow and you can choose the images and products you want.
Where Do I Get a Cake Smash Cake?
If you want to make it simple, I can source your cake smash cake for you for an additional fee. However, a lot of families choose to get their cake from any local bakery, or you can even bake it yourself if you’re so inclined. There are a few things to keep in mind, though.
First of all, if you’re getting the cake from a bakery, make sure to tell them that it is for cake smash pictures. Sometimes bakeries will have a stabilizer stick inside the cake, and you want to be sure there isn’t one for a smash cake.
Second, while you can get any color and type of cake you want, there are a few things to avoid. It’s best to steer clear of chocolate cake or chocolate icing because it doesn’t photograph well. The same is true for red icing. I also suggest getting a cake with icing instead of fondant, because fondant is hard to chew so it can present a choking hazard.
Do I Need to Do Cake Smash Photos for My Baby’s First Birthday Photos?
Absolutely not! Your baby’s first birthday photos are memorializing a special milestone in your family’s life, and you can make it whatever you want it to be. While 1st birthday cake smash photos are a popular tradition, you can do whatever you want for your photos.
Should I Choose a Theme for My Baby’s Milestone Photos?
Whether or not to have a theme for your baby’s milestone photos is entirely your decision. Some families want their portraits to center around a special interest the family has like their favorite sports team or their baby’s favorite cartoon. But a theme isn’t necessary. When I’m doing a 1st birthday photoshoot near me, I typically combine candid photos of the baby being their amazing self with some first birthday décor so the occasion is clear to see.
What Should I Bring to My Baby’s Cake Smash Photo Session?
When you’re getting ready for your cake smash photography session, there are a few items you’ll want to bring along. These sessions generally last one to two hours, so bring anything you might need to keep your baby (and you!) comfortable during that time. That can include diapers, wipes, bottles, snacks, and so on.
It’s also a good idea to bring an extra outfit for your baby’s trip home. I always save the cake smash photos for the end of the session because babies get MESSY! Still, you’ll want to bring anything you need to clean up your baby afterward as well as an outfit for them to wear on the way home. You might get messy in the process too, so it’s a good idea to bring an extra outfit for yourself as well.
Making Your Cake Smash Photos Special
Your baby’s first birthday is an amazing occasion to celebrate, and I’d love to help! Now that you have the lowdown on everything you need to know, it’s time to get your session on the schedule. Contact my Camp Hill photography studio today.
Newborn-Maternity-Family and High School Senior Photographer in Mechanicsburg PA | 2019 year in review!
As a Newborn-Maternity-Family and High School Senior Photographer in Mechanicsburg PA 2019 was awesome! I’ve captured some of my most favorite images this year. I’ve snuggled, loved and photographed some of the most adorable babies in all of Central PA! I am totally sure of it! I’ve giggled with kiddos, ran around like a nut with toddlers, channeled my youthful soul while capturing high school senior pictures and watched my repeat client families grow up a little more this year. I mean, it will be hard for me to write this post without a few tears. Guys – this is not just my job. This is a genuine labor of love here. Some will say “you shouldn’t be emotionally connected to your job,” but I disagree. I do this with my whole heart. I look back on a year and feel so blessed to have crossed paths with each and every one of my clients. Some it was for the very first time and others who feel like they’ve become old friends. You guys are all gold to me. Every one of you holds a special place in this photographer’s heart of memories.
Now, for a moment of transparency…because, let’s be real-2019 wasn’t all sunshine, unicorns and glitter. It included some unexpected hurdles to jump at times- I guess you could say. This 2019 year required some serious faith to get through the things that are out of my control and the drive to conquer all that is within it. With those two things, the most amazing family, a few very close friends and a whole handful of the greatest clients any photographer could have – Here I am! Happy, healthy, and ready to take on 2020 and all it’s new adventures!
All of these moments that we turned into tangible, keepsake memories mean everything.
Not only to you, but to me. I have a genuine value for family and the people we love most. I know how much it will mean to you forever to have these memories of the babies,children, spouses and EVEN PUPPIES you love. Time will change us all. We’ll grow older as will our children. These moments you allowed me to capture for you are frozen forever. That is priceless. Thank you for trusting me to capture these memories for you this year. Thank you for allowing me to guide you through this process and allow me to help you choose tangible, heirloom artwork for your home so that your children’s children will have these special family memories. They’ll be just as important to you decades from now as they are today!
Let’s talk about 2020!
As we say goodbye to 2019 it’s important to plan for the future! Silly resolution time, I know! But, I’m excited! I’ve got big plans for the new year and I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you who will be a part of it! I will, however, be scheduling limited sessions each month. This keeps me on my A game so that I can give each of you a personal and custom portrait experience. Most important, I’m a mom myself, so being present for my daughter is my biggest priority. I’m all about “being the best version of ourselves” and a good start for me is by not overfilling my plate. I want to give everyone I care about the best version of me! So, with that being said…plan, plan, plan ahead! Yep, I know…lots of us a procrastinators, but it’s best to book your session several months in advance! If you’re expecting a baby this year – it is best to schedule your newborn session before your 3rd trimester. That way, all is set when baby arrives! Newborn session openings fill FAST! If you’re thinking ahead to spring and summer – now is a great time to get the planning started! It is MY MOST FAVORITE time of the year for family photography! Absolutely, positively the most beautiful time of the year! And Fall…welll….i’m still recovering from the past few months. We’ll revisit the idea of fall again soon! Hahaha!
Let’s chat about your family!
I’d love to chat about what makes your family special and how we can capture that for you. I’ll sit down with you and carefully plan all the details to how we will photograph your special people. I’ll walk you through my entire portrait process. Send me a quick message HERE to get in touch with me!
Do you follow me on INSTAGRAM? Catch all the sneak peeks and fun updates there!
Doesn’t Claire have the cutest little face!? As always with my First Birthday Sessions, I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that a year flies by so quickly. It doesn’t seem like it can be that long ago that Claire was here for her newborn session! Cuteness!!!