Cutest outdoor first birthday photoshoot ideas + tips

A baby’s first birthday is such a special day, and commemorating it with a little photo shoot is a lovely way to mark the special milestone! That’s why we’ve created this post full of 1st birthday photoshoot ideas to give you the inspiration you might be looking for in bringing this photoshoot to life.

First birthdays are such an exciting stage in development, kids will be taking their first steps, experimenting with first words, experimenting with new foods and really starting to communicate and engage with the world around them, making for some brilliant material for a photoshoot!

Whether you are planning to hire a professional photographer for these first birthday pictures, or take these photos yourself, It’s worth having a little think about the style you want, and the ideas below should be a great way help you do this.

Style ideas for a first birthday photoshoot 

The first thing to think about when planning a first birthday photo shoot is the type of style you want to achieve. This is very personal and up to the family, and any of these styles will make for a stunning first birthday photo shoot.

Here are some popular styles for a first birthday photography session:

  1. A Classic Portrait
  2. Lifestyle Photography
  3. Themed Shoot (seasonal or story based)
  4. Close-Up Details
  5. Black and White Photography

A classic portrait is a timeless style where the child is posed, often against neutral backgrounds. The photo focuses on detail in the child’s face and stance, capturing the child’s personality and features.

Lifestyle photography is where a photographer captures candid photos of the child in their natural environment, such as playing in the backyard or perhaps in the local park. Here they might be engaged in an activity, such as eating, playing in water, or interacting with a family pet. These can make for great photos.

A themed shoot is fun, it might focus on a season, for instance, a pumpkin path theme in fall, or a spring daffodil theme for kids with birthdays in early March. It could also be themed after a favourite story book or story book character, and you could dress the child up as the theme, as well as using a variety of props and a themed background. This is a great ideas for something a little different and creative.

Close up details will capture a child’s small features and expressions in intimate detail, perhaps focusing on cute habits they exhibit, such as sucking their thumbs, or ticking their tongue out the side of heir mouth while they’re concentrating. Often these will be taken from an unusual angle, creating an artistic composition.

A black and white photo will emphasise the contrast, texture and emotion in a photo and can be a truly stunning mode of capturing a scene.

You might want to experiment with a few of these styles once you’ve chosen your setting, so its a good idea to keep them in mind

First birthday photoshoot outdoor location ideas:

The photoshoot background is the next important decision in the process. Do you want an outdoor photoshoot? Do you want a plain photoshoot backdrop, or might you like some activity going on? 

The location can give you loads of inspiration for your first birthday photo ideas so have a little brainstorm and see what feels exciting to you.

All year locations for a first birthday photoshoot:

  1. Local Park
  2. Botanical Garden
  3. Beach or Seaside
  4. Orchard or Fruit Farm
  5. Lakeside or Riverside
  6. Flower Field
  7. Arboretum
  8. Vineyard
  9. Castle Grounds
  10. Urban Cityscape
  11. Zoo or Wildlife Sanctuary
  12. Forest or Woodland
  13. Countryside Meadow
  14. Mountain Overlook
  15. Old Town Square
  16. Local farm or barnsetting

There are so many changes in a baby’s first year, that marking the passage of time by acknowledging the season in your photoshoot plan in a great way of marking the passing of time. 

Spring locations for a first birthday photoshoot:

  1. Cherry Blossom Garden
  2. Butterfly Conservatory
  3. In a Tulip Field
  4. Amongst daffodils
  5. Baby Animal Farm (springtime births)
  6. Botanical Garden in Full Bloom
  7. Picnic in a Flowering Meadow
  8. Baby Duck Pond

Summer locations for a first birthday photoshoot:

  1. Sunflower Field
  2. Lavender Farm
  3. Splash Pad or Water Park
  4. Seaside Pier or Boardwalk
  5. Ice Cream Parlor or Gelateria
  6. Fruit Stand or Farmer’s Market
  7. Picnic in a Sunny Meadow

Fall locations for a first birthday photoshoot:

  1. Pumpkin Patch
  2. Apple Orchard
  3. Corn Maze
  4. Hayride through Fall Foliage
  5. Rustic Barn in autumn colours
  6. Halloween-themed
  7. Catching falling amber leaves

Winter locations for a first birthday photoshoot:

  1. In front of a Christmas tree
  2. Holiday Market or Bazaar
  3. On a sledge
  4. Ice Skating Rink
  5. Festive Light Display (for evening shoots)
  6. In the Snow
  7. At a traditional Christmas market

Ideas for candid first birthday photoshoots

Some of the most stunning photos can be taken when kids are in action and having a great time doing something. We’ve got some ideas for activities that will bring them super natural smiles and joy filled faces.

Some ideas for candid first birthday photo shoots include having kids:

  • Playing with bubbles
  • Playing with feathers
  • Playing with colourful balloons
  • Chasing a ball
  • Petting a dog or bunny or other family animal
  • Eating an ice cream of candy floss (cotton candy)
  • Crawling towards something exciting (such as a family member situated behind the camera!)
  • Splashing water in a paddling pool
  • Playing with soft toys
  • Toddling, perhaps holding onto the finger of an older sibling if not walking yet!
  • With a birthday cake, excited to eat it, licking the icing, eating the cake!

How to attract a 1 year olds attention for a photo shoot

To make the child feel at ease, it’s helpful to think of photo shoots that can be done in natural lighting, or familiar and naturally stimulating environments such as at a local park.

  • Use colorful and noisy toys or props.
  • Play peek-a-boo behind the camera.
  • Sing or play music to capture their attention.
  • Offer little snacks and treats.
  • Use a favorite stuffed animal or toy to grab their interest.
  • Use bubbles to capture their attention.
  • Bring out a mirror for them to see themselves and capture their reaction.
  • Interact with them at their eye level to establish a connection.
  • Utilize natural light and outdoor environments to create a stimulating backdrop for the photoshoot.

Outfit choices for a one year old birthday photoshoot

Another way to design a cute photo shoot is in the choice of outfit. Do you want a natural outfit, of your kid in their favorite jumpsuit? Or do you want a timeless, old fashioned look? 

Here are some cute outfit ideas you might like to consider for the photo session:

  1. Bright and colorful outfits to add vibrancy to the photos.
  2. Coordinating outfits with siblings for a cohesive family look.
  3. Dressing the kids in outfits that match the surroundings.
  4. Timeless and classic outfits for a timeless aesthetic.
  5. Soft and comfortable fabrics is always a great idea to make sure they are happy.
  6. Incorporating fun accessories like hats, bows, or suspenders.
  7. Opting for simple and understated outfits to let their natural beauty shine.

Extra ideas and tips for a first birthday photoshoot

  1. Schedule the photoshoot during a time when the has energy, if well fed, and is generally a happy baby.
  2. Bring along snacks and drinks to keep the child energised.
  3. Be patient and flexible, allowing for breaks and spontaneous moments to capture genuine expressions.
  4. Choose a comfortable and familiar location to help the child feel at ease during the photoshoot.
  5. Use positive reinforcement and encouragement to coax natural smiles and expressions.
  6. Get down to the child’s eye level for more intimate and engaging shots.
  7. Utilize natural light whenever possible for soft and flattering illumination.
  8. Have fun and embrace the unpredictability of working with a one-year-old, focusing on creating cherished memories rather than perfect poses.

Quick tips for camera settings for first birthday photo shoots:

As a refresh to DIY photographers, here are some camera tips to make your own photos look polished and professional:

  1. Aperture Priority (A or Av mode):
    • Choose a wider aperture (lower f-stop number) to create a shallow depth of field, blurring the background and drawing attention to the child’s face.
  2. Shutter Priority (S or Tv mode):
    • Opt for a fast shutter speed to freeze motion and capture sharp images, especially if the child is moving around or playing.
  3. ISO:
    • Keep ISO relatively low in well-lit environments to maintain image quality and minimize noise.
  4. Focus Mode:
    • A quick tip for DIY photographers is to use continuous autofocus (AF-C or AI-Servo) to track the child’s movements and maintain sharp focus.
  5. Drive Mode:
    • Use continuous shooting mode (or burst mode) to capture multiple frames per second, allowing you to catch candid moments and expressions.

Happy birthday to your 1 year old!

We hope this post has given you some great ideas for marking your child’s first birthday with some very special photos! You can have so much fun with these and it might even be fun to get the whole family involved for a few of the shots, once the camera is out anyway!

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