Baby’s First Birthday Ideas

First Year

cake smash photoshoot with little girl and tea party theme


Ah, the first birthday! It’s a milestone that’s as exciting for parents as it is for your baby. As a portrait photographer, I’ve had the honour of capturing these precious moments for countless families. From adorable cake smashes to the joyous expressions of babies and their families, first birthdays are filled with photo-worthy moments. In this blog, let’s explore popular themes for your baby’s first birthday and tips for planning the perfect celebration, including a list of ‘must-have photos.’


  1. Jungle Safari: Decorate with animal prints, lush greenery, and cute stuffed animals to create a jungle atmosphere.
  2. Under the Sea: Think mermaids, seashells, and lots of blue and green hues.
  3. Princess/Prince Day: Crowns, tiaras, and lots of pastels can make your little one feel like royalty.
  4. Superhero Adventure: Capes, masks, and comic book decorations will make for an action-packed day.
  5. Farmyard Fun: Tractors, hay bales, and farm animals can bring the countryside to your backyard.
  6. Circus Extravaganza: Bright colours, clowns, and maybe even a mini petting zoo can make this a hit.
  7. Tea Party: Bunting, sandwiches and cupcakes - what more could you want!

cake smash photoshoot with baby boy and circus theme


  1. Start Early: Planning should ideally start 2-3 months in advance.
  2. Budget: Set a budget that includes decorations, food, and entertainment.  It’s easy for the budget to spiral out of control!
  3. Guest List: Keep it manageable; remember, too many people might overwhelm your baby.
  4. Venue: Choose a location that is baby-proof and comfortable for your little guests.  Lots of my clients choose to have a first birthday at home for this reason.
  5. Invitations: Send out invites at least a month in advance.
  6. Food & Drinks: Opt for kid-friendly and allergy-friendly options.
  7. Entertainment: Consider hiring a professional to keep the kids entertained. This also gives some structure to your party.


  1. The Scene: When you’re all set up before your guests arrive take a picture of your venue
  2. The Cake: Before it gets cut!
  3. Baby’s Outfit: Capture the details of their special birthday attire.
  4. Family Portrait: This is a milestone for everyone.
  5. Opening Presents: The joy and curiosity on their face are priceless.
  6. Group Photo: A picture with all the little guests.
  7. Decorations and details: You worked hard on them; make sure to capture them in photos.
  8. Candid Moments: Laughter, tears, and unexpected moments.
  9. Baby with Grandparents: These are keepsakes.
  10. The Aftermath: Post-cake smash and party chaos, capture the end of a successful day.


One of the highlights of any first birthday is the cake smash. It’s messy, it’s adorable, and it’s a moment you’ll want to remember forever. I offer cake smash portrait sessions designed to capture the joy and excitement of this unique experience. These sessions are not just about the cake and the mess; they’re about capturing the essence of your child’s personality as they explore, taste, and maybe even share their very first birthday cake.

Your baby’s first birthday is a once-in-a-lifetime event. With the right theme, careful planning, and a camera ready to capture those unforgettable moments, you can make sure it’s a day to remember.  And don’t forget, a cake smash portrait session is the cherry on top of a perfect celebration!

cake smash photoshoot with baby boy on a blue background with cake


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