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I love sharing my photography learnings with you since I’m still learning and growing every day. This past weekend I spent time photographing adorable kids in my hometown. One of them was a sweet and joyful little girl named Clara. I was looking forward to this session for months since I know her mom and dad from high school. I see cute photos of her on Facebook all the time and still haven’t met her. And she is just a month younger than Bodhi so I definitely felt like I was in my element with her.

Her mom was such a fun partner in crime for me. She was totally up for helping to make it more than just a normal mini session. And while we kept it simple, a few extra details made all the difference in the world. 

Clara is turning two today, so this photo shoot was a celebration of her second birthday. We laughed, we played, we ran, we ate cupcakes! Well, Clara ate a cupcake. ;)

Clara’s mama brought balloons, an adorable birthday girl with a fabulous outfit and an amazing handmade headband (by Clara’s auntie). I brought a white soft picnic blanket, a wooden cake stand and a cupcake.

That’s it! And I think the images look so beautiful, clean and fresh, but still very festive. These are not perfect images (I’m new at this and have a lot to learn), but they capture Clara’s beautiful spirit and the joy of that day.

My quick tips for photographing your little birthday boy or girl

  • Have a helper who the birthday boy or girl is very comfortable with. Clara’s mommy Rebecca and Aunt Amanda were both AMAZING! They were willing to get down and dirty with me, running, chasing her, playing, laughing etc… It was fantastic. And when I needed to be laying on the ground ready to shoot, I had them help set the cake stand and cupcake down so I wouldn’t miss a thing. So helpful.
  • Make it festive-place balloons or a banner in the background, but be sure it’s at least 3 or 4 feet behind the birthday child so that the child is the focus.
  • Deck them out from head to toe or try a shoot with just a diaper or diaper cover!
  • Cake or cupcakes make it better-Clara sat completely still and was so patient when we put the cake in front of her. I asked her to look at me just one more time (a few times) and she did. Then she got her cupcake and we were able to capture all kinds of beautiful images.
  • Let the child play with the props-Clara held the balloons and we got some of the most beautiful images from that.
  • Lastly, with kids, I recommend taking tons of photos. You never know when you are going to capture the perfect smile, sweetest straight face or interesting moment.
  • If all else fails, just play. On the playground. In the grass. Anywhere. That works for me 99.9% of the time. Here is an image of Bodhi’s cousin Reese that we captured while chasing him around the playground. There is no way you can capture that much joy just having them pose properly in a chair. Get your workouts, my friends!

Happy birthday Clara and happy photographing to all of you!

Read my other photography tips here and here.

p.s. Would you mind taking 10 seconds to vote for Live the fancy life in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Party Planning blogs list right now? Voting ends on Friday so I swear my requests will be ending soon. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your vote!