one year old blonde girl with a one year crown with a cake on her high chair tray looking at the camera

One Year Photo Session Ideas

June 18, 2024

Celebrate your baby’s One Year birthday with a one year photo session. One year photo sessions are fun, document a big milestone, show off your baby’s personality, and create memories. We document this milestone because your baby has grown so much over the past year! 

Searching ideas for your baby’s one year photo session can be overwhelming. Just remember there are no rules to a one year photo session. You can have your session in your home, outdoors, in a studio, or at the one year birthday party. You can have a cake smash session or a playful session at a park. You can have a family session or a birthday party. Choose what is best for your one year old and for your family. No matter what you choose, remember it is about preserving the memories and having fun. 

One Year Photo Session Outdoors

Parks, Greenbelts, Desert Gardens

You can document your baby’s one year photo session outside. You choose the location that best fits your baby’s personality. Outdoor sessions are great if you are going to include the whole family with siblings. Choosing a big area such as a greenbelt or a park gives baby the freedom to run around. Candid photos of baby running really show off their personality. 

A couple things to consider when choosing an outdoor location is your baby’s mobility and interests. If your baby is walking, you may want to choose a location that is safe for running. Some one year olds are walking and this is a new freedom for them. They want to take off. We can get some great action shots of your baby running. We may want to avoid places with water if your baby is walking and loves to be around water. A park is a fun spot, but if your baby is distracted by all the fun in a playground, we might want to wait until the end to be around the playground area. It is fun to document your baby playing at the playground! 

Photos taken at Freestone Park in Gilbert, Arizona and at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.

One Year Photo Session – Studio Session

Studio Rentals in Phoenix

Studio sessions are great for one year photo sessions, especially if your baby is mobile or you want to do a cake smash. Studios can be a safe space for your baby to run around and play. We can get creative and set up a background theme. You can also bring a few outfit changes and a few special toys from home that your little one loves most. If doing a cake smash, we leave plenty of time and save it for last. You might want to have a simple studio session, which is just as fun!

When renting a studio, we will consider size, light, and whether you are doing a cake smash. Consider the studio fee as well. We usually rent the studio for two hours so we have plenty of time to clean up. Some studios charge extra for cake smashes. 

Studio Sessions taken at Studio House AZ in Central Phoenix, Arizona

One Year Photo Session – One Year Birthday Party

Parties on Location

You might choose to document your baby’s first birthday party for their one year photo session. Birthday parties are fun but can sometimes be overwhelming for your one year old. We may take some individual pictures of your baby and family photos before your guests arrive. We will take in consideration the placement of the high chair when it is time for cake. We want to make sure it isn’t too crowded and we have good light. Sometimes this is the first time your baby is eating cake and it is fun to watch and we want to make sure we get lots of pictures! 

Birthday parties are fun because we get candid shots of family, kids playing, and your baby having the time of their life! We will also document all the details because we know how much planning you put into this party. 

One Year Photo Session – Home Session

Your Home

Another option I love is the comfort of your own home. Just like a newborn photo shoot, your child’s room or playroom likely has special items in it that are great to include in a one year photo shoot. 

Being at home also makes it easy for you and comfortable for your little one. We don’t have to stick to their room or playroom, anywhere that you want photographed can be included. This can make for a nice mix of indoor and outdoor photos if that is something you’d like. For instance, we can do some with the little one in their room, and some group shots with all the kids or the whole family in the backyard. I love this option because it’s comfortable and easy. 

No matter where you decide to take one year photos they will be special moments that are captured for you to remember forever. As a parent you know how much changes in the first months and years, and making sure you get great pictures of that one year milestone will be something you cherish forever. 

Contact Kendra to book One Year Photo Sessions

Read my blog on Reasons to Book Baby’s First Year Milestone Sessions

See my gallery of One Year Photos and see more about my One Year Experience here.

Kendra lives in Mesa, AZ and services the Phoenix area.


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It’s time to celebrate your family’s milestones together.