Outdoor Winter 1st Birthday Session

As a photographer, I do sessions all year long. For some types of photography, there is a season, such as weddings. Those tend to happen in the Spring, Summer, and early Fall. However, with babies, there is no season! Maternity, newborn, and milestone sessions happen all year long. This means we sometimes have to get creative when babies have birthdays in the Winter and families would prefer an outdoor session.

I was excited to take photos for Cameron’s first birthday as I took the family’s announcement photos and did his 6-month session. With Cameron’s birthday happening right in the rainiest time of the year in the Bay Area, we were prepared with a backup plan.

I loved that parents Hilary and Alex were willing to have a plan A and plan B for our photos. Even if it’s not raining, it can also be very cold in the Winter (average temperature is a chilly 56 degrees!). Not only did we have a 1-year-old to think about keeping happy (and dry and warm), but we had his three older siblings too! 

When there is rain or cold, this can make first birthday photos, or any outdoor session a challenge. With Cameron, we planned in advance for a backup location if it was raining. We also had decided on a specific time that, if the skies were clear, then we would proceed with the original plan and if at that time it was raining, we would move to a covered location. Having specific plans like this ahead of time can put everyone at ease.

When the day came (which was Cameron’s actual first birthday), the rain held off and we moved forward with outdoor photos. Hilary brought a beautiful cake from Alpine Bakery in Concord and coordinating balloons to go with his outfit. We added in some additional props and helped to create memorable first birthday photos.

A very personal touch, which I love to show the passing of time, is the hat that Cameron wore. It’s the same one we used during his 6-month session and shows just how much he has grown in the last six months.

Since it was so cold, the kids were prepared with layers. Not only does this help to keep everyone warm and happy, but the change in outfits also adds diversity to the images we captured. 

When it came to cake smash time, the best way to wrap up a first birthday session, Hilary was worried that Cameron wouldn’t want to jump in and enjoy. I was prepared with my go-to tricks but once he saw the cake, he couldn’t get enough! The rest of the family got to enjoy the remainders of the cake after dinner in celebration of Cameron officially turning one.


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