Don’t forget about the other birthdays!

The first birthday always gets so much attention, especially when it comes to photo sessions.  Celebrating the first year is always special because of how much babies change before their first birthday. But since I get to photograph so many fun birthday sessions at other ages I thought it was time to share why I think yearly photo traditions are a fantastic (and fun) idea.

This is my third 13th birthday session for this extended family.  When their grandma approached me with the idea several years ago, I was immediately on board. I LOVE knowing the family will have portraits of all of the kids on their 13th birthday.

My favourite things about birthday sessions

As a photographer, I get the chance to photograph birthdays year round. I want to share some of my favourite things about birthday sessions at all ages so that you don’t forget about the other birthdays.

  • Toddlers: cake smash sessions with 2 and 3 year olds are always a blast!  They know what to do with cake and they aren’t shy about making a mess.  If a cake smash doesn’t appeal to you, these are also fun years for action shots that are full of personality.
  • Preschoolers & Kindergarteners: Kids at these ages have such intense passions and interests. This is why we love incorporating their “favourite things” into birthday sessions.  Another fun session option is balloons: their faces always light up when given the chance to play with balloons!
  • Elementary school years: Family members always want updated photos and rather than forced smiles on green screen backdrops, many of my clients opt for a short and sweet birthday photo session once a year so they can send updated portraits to family members.  You aren’t limited to “just headshots” and it’s a chance to capture your child’s personality without the grimacing “cheese” smile.
  • Tween years: A great opportunity to incorporate favourite hobbies, sports, and interests into their photos, which often helps kids to feel more confident and relaxed in front of the camera.  Involving them in planning your session is also a great way to get them on board with a photo session.
  • Teen years: School and team photos aren’t usually “wall worthy” although they are great mementos. Professional photos at this age are often one of your last chances for portraits before your kids head off to post secondary education, travel, or work.  Letting them choose their own outfits and the style of the session also helps with their willingness to have the photos printed and displayed on the walls of your home.  

Don’t forget about the other birthdays!

You don’t have to stop at the teen years.  Since 2020, I’ve had more and more families with adult children coming for sessions, as they realized their last family photo was taken 5 to 10 years ago.

Do you have a birthday photo tradition in your family?