I'm a strong believer that every birthday we get to celebrate on this earth is a great blessing and something to be thankful for.
Sometimes as we get older though, we lose that excitement over the milestones we reach. We celebrate every little milestone that a small child reaches as they grow up, but we neglect to see our own milestones as a cause worth celebration. One of the best ways to change that is to treat these other milestones the same as we would a little one's milestones, with an epic photoshoot!
Get a killer outfit
One of the best things I did for myself when I turned 30 a couple years ago, was plan myself a fun, flirty, celebratory photo shoot. There are a multitude of ways to go about a shoot like this. You can go the route I did and own the queen you are with all the pretty things. If you do this, I TOTALLY recommend getting a sparkly dress you will never wear again, just because you deserve to celebrate and be celebrated! Some great shoes never hurt either! And if you're not into all the sparkle and glam, another popular trend is death to your 20's (or 30's, 40's, 50's, any age you want to kiss goodbye!) These are showing up all over Pinterest and across the photography groups I am in and tend toward a more pretty black dress and even a graveyard vibe. If you're planning a milestone shoot for your little one, think about what theme you want to go with and pick an outfit that works with it. Or you could find an outfit you love and work the theme around it! If a brand new outfit isn't quite in your budget, you can always check out my client closet too! Whatever style you choose, get the outfit that you love and adds to your overall look for your shoot.
Don't forget the cake!
Because every good milestone deserves a good cake! Everyone knows that birthday cake for YOUR birthday is completely free calories. And you don't have to be all sophisticated if you don't want to, you can dig right in there and I promise you won't get judgement from me! Just like you would get a fancy cake from an amazing baker for a first birthday photo shoot, do it for other big milestones. And while we're talking about littles, another great time to get a great cake for babes is when they are celebrating their half birthday. It can be a bit tricky with 6 month olds depending on how well they are sitting up, but it is so worth it! I think they sometimes do better digging into cake at 6 months old than they do at a year old!
Get the in Between Milestones too
With little ones, so often parents wait until they're a year old to do the big photoshoot, with maybe a half birthday shoot in between. From there they struggle to try and snag cute monthly photos of their babies in between, but why struggle when you can hire a professional! Having milestone shoots quarterly or even monthly as your little one grows up can be so much FUN! You can have a different theme for every shoot, and there are fun ways to personalize them and make note of how old your little one is at that time. From blocks, to chalk boards, to felt boards there are tons of fun ways to show off their age. I have even come across the most adorable little hand painted wooden discs with months on them. The best part of getting the in between shoots is that you don't have the stress of trying to both get your kiddo to stay put where you want them at for the photo AND trying to get them to look at you for the picture. I did this with both of my nieces and the months I was by myself with them when they were getting more mobile were definitely the hardest to capture! A few more grown up in between milestones that would be fun times for extra special photo shoots are at 13 years old (the beginning of the teenage years!), 16 years old (when they can hit the road) and 21 years old (when they can enjoy an adult beverage!)
Pop Some Bubbly
Speaking of turning legal drinking age, if you're at any age where you can enjoy a beverage, feel free to bring your favorite one along for your shoot! It adds an extra element of fun to your shoot and it helps you relax a bit. I know not everyone is super comfortable having the full attention of the camera on them, so enjoying a drink during your shoot is a good way to ease some of that tension. If you do decide to do this I would also recommend bringing a buddy to keep you safe and drive you home ;-)
It's all in the Details
Whether it's a fun and sparkly crown, some snazzy jewels, a classic hat, a cluster of fun balloons, details make a big difference in making milestone photos even better! Some other great options to step your session up a notch would be confetti, sparklers, smoke bombs, or even a professionally made flower crown or bouquet. Great details are what take any milestone photo shoot from basic to epic, so don't hold back. I always LOVE when my clients are extra, so be extra and incorporate those extra special details.
Whether you're planning a milestone session for yourself or for your kiddo, I am always happy to help! I am here not just to provide the fun and fabulous photos, but I always love giving advice and input to my clients to help all the pieces come together and make visions come to life. So if a milestone session is in your future, reach out and let's get planning!