Your baby’s first birthday is big, and well-worth capturing in countless ways. Whether or not you hire a photographer, you’ll want to make sure someone snaps certain pics for you to cherish forever. Here are 10 great ideas for what you should ask a professional to shoot, or ones to keep in mind when the camera is in your hands and the little one is ready to blow out his or her first birthday candle and more. Happy birthday, Baby!

Photo by Micah DeBenedetto, MD Photography

1. Oh, the Anticipation!

Before guests arrive, bring baby into the party space and take some pics of the pre-party energy. The birthday boy or girl will likely be in a great mood and ready to ham it up for the cam.

Photo by Jacquie Bounds Photography

2. In the Birthday Buff

A first birthday is the perfect time to capture your babe in his or her birthday suit. Whether that means being surrounded by balloons, splashing nude in a pool or after a particularly messy smash cake session, you’ll want to capture all that sweet baby skin.

Photo by Alexa Lynn Photography + Design

3. Serene At the Beach

Take advantage of the natural environment where you live. If you’re beachside, take the birthday babe for a photos session in the sand. If you live near mountains, use them as a stunning backdrop. Let your little one explore the surroundings and enjoy the great outdoors that you call home.

Photo by Crystal Freemon Photography

4. Because One Is Fun

Find the perfect prop for calling out your baby’s first birthday, like a onesie or a bunting banner that spells out “one.” Or something with the numeral 1, like a wooden block or blow-up toy. Then let your child have fun with it and snap away.

Photo by Ian McKenyon

5. With Just a Hint of Mom and Dad

That first birthday is all about the kiddo, but where would he or she be without you? Take a pic that features the littlest one while showing a hint of the all-important parents.

Photo by Paige Walker Photography

6. Plus A Single Balloon

Even if you want your baby’s first birthday to be abundant and over-the-top, think about how wonderfully simple a photo with a single balloon will be. Then, take this type of picture every birthday while adding a balloon each year. You’ll end up with a collection of photos that beautifully depict the passage of time.

Photo by Paige Walker Photography

7. Some Smash Cake Goodness

A smash cake is a must for any one-year-old’s birthday celebration. Just be sure to take as many pictures as you can, focusing on all the silly places the frosting will inevitably end up. Close up, detail shots are great and can even give the experience an elevated, artsy feel.

Photo by Kate Leigh

8. Points for Personality

A birthday is a good time to take an extended pause and really look at your baby for a moment in time. Pull out the camera and just start shooting without engaging or trying to coax a response from your baby. Let his or her personality shine through, whether that means a toothless grin, a flash of genuine surprise or a sly smirk.

Photo by Paige Walker Photography

9. It’s My Party…

If baby cries at any point during the photo shoot or the party itself, try to quickly snap a pic before the moment passes. We tend not to take photos of our children when they’re teary, but that strong emotion is also worth being captured.

Photo by Kate Leigh

10. What the Future Holds

Babies look adorable (and hilarious) in grown-up clothes. So put your mini-me in an adult accessory like a necklace or necktie, or an entire ensemble, and take some photos of what the future holds on the dawn of Baby’s first birthday.

What photo will you be sure to take at Baby’s first bash? Tell us below.

–Whitney C. Harris