Winter ONEderland | A Winter First Birthday Party

Saturday found us celebrating our youngest daughter’s first birthday.  First birthdays are always so bittersweet!  On one hand, you find yourself celebrating all the milestones and moments that made up the first year.  But on the other hand, you find yourself grasping for more time and a little sad to say goodbye to that meaningful first 12 months.  It’s always wonderful to watch your baby become more independent, yet we also cling to those moments when they let us cuddle a little longer before they squirm out of our arms.  All that being nostalgically said, having a January birthday means a winter first birthday party for our little one.  And nothing says winter better than snowflakes, cocoa and cupcakes.

This birthday was a couple months in the making, as I shopped and browsed for the perfect winter details to bring this party vision together.  I knew I wanted to incorporate a little snow, cocoa, snowflakes, and tiny coffee cups to bring the Winter ONEderland vision to life.  To recreate this party for your own little one, be sure to check out the source list located further into this post to see where I found each item.

As a birthday gift, my husband and I spent a lot of time thinking about what to get her.  First birthdays are so meaningful and we wanted to get her something special, as we did our first baby.  I fell in love with the idea of giving her a white rocking chair, as I had something similar when I was very young.  To say the least, she adores it.  And looks so big sitting in it by herself!

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Winter ONEderland | A Winter First Birthday Party

Winter ONEderland | A Winter First Birthday Party | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Having quite a few young toddlers in attendance, I knew I wanted to keep the food simple.  We served popcorn and cupcakes, with cocoa and cocoa cups given as party favors to enjoy at home.  We created the cocoa jars and cups using some simple ribbon and snowflake punches that are linked below.

Winter ONEderland Party Source List

ONE balloons | purchased locally, can be found here

window frames | purchased locally, similar ones here

large white snowflakes | amazon

pale pink snowflakes | amazon

1 cake topper | purchased locally, similar one here

cocoa cups + lids | amazon

mason jars | amazon

circle punch for mason jar tops | amazon

large snowflake punch | amazon

small snowflake punch | purchased locally, can be found here

snowflake cupcake decor | amazon

white child rocking chair | amazon

birthday banner | amazon

table streamers | purchased locally, similar one here

gold party hats | purchased locally, similar idea here

small cupcake pedestal | purchased locally, similar one here

Winter ONEderland | A Winter First Birthday Party | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Our toddler loved singing “happy birthday” to her little sister multiple times on her actual birthday and sweetly insisted that it was her birthday too.  At two years old, it is rather confusing for only your sibling to receive presents, but she had fun helping her open gifts and sharing her new toys.  And really, in a way, it was her birthday too.  It was the day that she became a big sister!  To make her feel extra special, we gave her and her baby sister small ballerina dolls to celebrate her “big sister birthday.”  And to make the day extra special, the girls’ grandma came to visit and spend some very special time with us and the girls to celebrate!

All in all, her first winter first birthday party was everything I hoped it would be.  Sometimes all of the planning can be a little stressful, as I make sure I have all of the supplies and ensure all the details go together.  But once everything is set up and I hear laughter of little ones enjoying the party, I sigh in relief and silently whisper a prayer of thanks that everything turned out how I hoped.

To plan your winter first birthday party, be sure to shop the links above to help your party come together as smoothly as mine did!  And a word of advice, definitely opt for the cocoa jars!  Not only are they so adorable and exciting for the kids, but the kids love having their own miniature cups to enjoy it at home in.  Plus, you won’t have to worry about a hot cocoa mess with a large number of toddlers, but can simply say, “Enjoy this at your house!”  Smart momming!

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

Winter ONEderland | A Winter First Birthday Party | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Our Cozy Snow Day | Taking Photos in the Snow

For a week, we saw that beautiful snowflake icon on our weather app…teasing snow in the forecast.  My husband and I are from the west coast and grew up with snow.  We absolutely love it and have found ourselves longing for some snow to complete this winter season.  As the days led up to that little snowflake icon, we filled our grocery cart with cocoa and marshmallows and prayed that we would wake up to a winter wonderland.  As we put the girls to bed, a light snow began to fall and we thought, just maybe our dream of a snow day with our girls might just come true.  My husband, a big lover of snow, excitedly thought about playing in the snow with our two year old for the first time together, while I excitedly thought about taking photos in the snow.  We both went to bed that night thinking of snowflakes and I am not ashamed to say that I woke up several times throughout the night to peek out the window.  Snow has a way of taking adults back to childhood and making them children themselves.  We were giddy.  We were hopeful for snow.

And snow, it did!  We woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow and, while most days find us thankful that our girls sleep in, we were practically making noise in hopes they would wake up early to see the snow too.  I always planned to take photos of our daughter’s first time playing in the snow, but at the last minute grabbed my camera to photograph her waking up to snow.  And I am so grateful that I did.  She was completely ecstatic to see the white outside her window and instantly wanted to build a snowman.  While our 1 year old didn’t understand snow this year, she definitely understood our excitement and found herself so excited just because all of us were.

To learn how I photograph Christmas with my children and get all the photos I want, without the stress during the holidays…be sure to read The Thoughtful Christmas: A Complete Guide To Intentionally Photographing Your Holiday Memories.

One of my favorite things about snow is that it is the best natural reflector and instantly brightens up our home.  The moment we opened the curtains, beautiful light bounced into the room and allowed me to easily photograph bright and airy photos early in the morning.  (around 9:00am)

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Our Cozy Snow Day | Taking Photos in the Snow

Our Cozy Snow Day | Taking Photos in the Snow | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

For these photos, I chose to photograph with my DSLR and favorite everyday lens.

Upon seeing the snow, both of our girls were instantly smiles.  Between peeking out the window at the snowflakes and playing peek a boo with her comforter in bed, there were a lot of giggles as we woke up on Sunday.  And while we usually don’t allow jumping on her bed, if there was ever a day to break a rule…it was a snow day.  So jumping on the bed in her pajamas, she did!  Her excitement was contagious and had us all excited to spend a cozy day in the snow.

Because am often asked for resources, to shop her bedroom items, here are links to the following: bed, bedding, ballerina sheets

To see more of her brand new bedroom and get additional links, be sure to read more about how I designed her toddler ballerina room.

After a hot breakfast, it was snowman time.  After bundling up our toddler to the point where she could barely move her arms, we ventured out the front door to put our first footprints in the snow.  As the snow fell and our littlest watched excitedly from the front door, our toddler played in the snow for the first time.  She was a little hesitant to walk in the snow, so it actually looked more like her telling her daddy how to build a snowman while she patiently watched Frosty come to life.  Every once in a while she would pat the snow, but was happily content watching the snow fall around her.  I had so much fun taking photos in the snow and documenting this moment, before my husband ushered me indoors to find the fixings for Frosty.  We were out of coal and carrots, but our Frosty came to life with a celery nose and fresh ginger for eyes.  He was a fancy snowman.

Our Cozy Snow Day | Taking Photos in the Snow | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Our snow day was pretty perfect.  Not only did the girls experience their first snow together, but it proved to be a cozy day for the whole family.  After building our snowman, we stayed cozy inside and checked on Frosty from the window to make sure he was still smiling.  Truth be told, this was my very first time taking photos in the snow so I was really excited.  Aside from a few snowy photos in the past, I haven’t ever truly taken a storytelling series in the snow and it was so much fun!  Snow acts as the perfect natural reflector, allowing me to get beautiful bright photos with just my camera and favorite everyday lens.

When all is said and done, our snow day was definitely a day to remember.  It’s so nice to just slow down and be.  To not be able to go anywhere and to not feel guilty about having a simple day full of simple fun.  And ensuring that my camera was ready for taking photos in the snow proved well worth it!  We love these final images!

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

Our Cozy Snow Day | Taking Photos in the Snow | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Taking Monthly Photos of Your Baby | 4 Tips For Getting Consistent Images

Our littlest baby just turned one and, aside from feeling nostalgic about how quickly her first year passed, we celebrated her very first year!  As mamas do, birthdays always prompt me to look at pictures of my girls to see how much they have grown and reflect on their year.  It’s something that has me smiling and teary-eyed; photographs can be so very powerful.  One thing that I did for both of my girls was take monthly photos of them, with a monthly sticker, to document their monthly growth.  It is such a special photography project, as babies change so quickly within the first twelve months and seeing their monthly images side by side is a testament to that.  It’s so amazing to see what a difference 4-5 weeks between images is!  Today, I took the final 12 month image of my baby girl, as she woke up on her first birthday.  As I edited it and put it with the other eleven images, I found myself so proud of how beautiful this photography project turned out, both for her and for me.  If you’re thinking of taking monthly photos of your baby, DO IT!  And if you need a little help knowing how to do it wonderfully, here are 4 tips that helped ensure I was happy with my final images.  Plus, I will share what gear I used, stickers I chose and favorite bow shop if you have a little girl!

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Taking Monthly Photos of Your Baby | 4 Tips For Getting Consistent Images

Taking Monthly Photos of Your Baby | 4 Tips For Getting Consistent Images | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Before I get to the tips, it’s important that you know that used my DSLR and my favorite everyday lens to photograph these monthly portraits.  I used the same gear each month to ensure the images were consistent.

1. Photograph at the Same Time of Day

One of the most important things about photographs is the light.  You want to make sure you are getting the best light for your images, as light is what will take an image from good to great.  Once you have decided when the light is best in your home, make sure you photograph your monthly images at that same time, each month.  Of course, it may shift and hour or so either direction as the seasons change, but aim for taking monthly photos of your baby during the same time of day each month to ensure that your light is consistent.  For my home and daughter’s nursery, mid morning was a great time of day for natural light so we did our monthly photos at that time each month.

To learn more about how I print photos for my girls, be sure to read my post about our baby’s first year photo album.

2. Use the Same Backdrop

One of the easiest ways to ensure consistency is to place your baby on the same backdrop each month.  Whether you sit them in a chair or place them on a blanket, make sure you use the same backdrop each month so that your images flow and turn into a consistent collection.  While your backdrop will be consistent, your baby will beautifully change each month.  For even more fun, you can use monthly shirt stickers (here are similar ones to ours)to declare their age and, if you have a girl, this is our favorite bow shop!

3. Photograph In The Crib

This is something that I did with my second baby that worked so much better.  Photograph in the crib!  This makes everything so much easier!  First, you can just put a white crib sheet on the mattress and, because it is fitted, it pulls tight to make the perfect crisp backdrop.  Second, your baby is safe at all times because they are safely in their crib, allowing you to focus on photographing and making silly faces to get the perfect monthly photo!

For full disclosure, we have this crib and use these crib sheets (they are our all time favorite, so soft!).

4. Edit Images Side By Side

After you use the same backdrop and ensure that your lighting remains the same by photographing at the same time of day, continue ensuring consistency by editing your monthly images side by side to ensure that your white balance, exposure, contrast and tint are all visually the same.  While the sliders may all be different when editing, editing side by side will allow you to visually match your images so that they visually flow in your final collection.

To learn more about how I edit my images side by side, read Why You Should Be Using The Reference View in Lightroom.

Taking monthly photos of your baby is a photography project that you will cherish forever.  After the 12 month photo series is complete and your baby celebrates their first birthday, be sure to enjoy your photos by placing them in a collage photo frame.  This is the photo frame that I have for both of my girls, showcasing their monthly images in the small slots and using the bigger slot for their first birthday portrait.  Of all the photography projects that I do with my girls, I really enjoy how visually impactful taking monthly photos of your baby is.  There is so much to  be said about how much babies change within their first year of life and photographs tell such a wonderful story of their first year.  To learn more about how I photograph my baby’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve: A Guide To Photographing Your Baby’s First Year.

To read more about our everyday and to inspire your photography, be sure to check out what posts are trending below!

Taking Monthly Photos of Your Baby | 4 Tips For Getting Consistent Images | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

How To Catch Up On Editing Photos : 5 Habits That Make Editing Effortless

As the year came to an end last week, I shared that I was all caught up with my editing and that my total number of final images of my girls was 1,283 EDITED images.  As I rang in the New Year, I started my year off with a completely caught up Lightroom catalog and no image remained unedited.  (Insert sigh of relief!)  So many of you messaged me asking me how I managed to keep up with editing all year and I quickly learned that many were feeling the struggle to keep their photo catalogs up to date, editing wise.  To be completely honest, having unedited images makes me really anxious.  I am sure it makes you anxious too, but it really bothers me to know that my Lightroom catalog is full of unedited images.  I tend to photograph a lot, so allowing my images to build up and remain unedited can quickly create a problem and leave me really behind with editing.  In order to ensure that I am constantly caught up with editing, I have made a habit of continuously doing the following 5 things.  Should you need some help learning how to catch up on editing photos, here is what really works for me.  Note: this post is chatting about personal photography editing, as I edit and deliver client galleries within 3-5 business days.

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

How To Catch Up On Editing Photos : 5 Habits That Make Editing Effortless

How To Catch Up On Editing Photos : 5 Habits That Make Editing Effortless | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

1. Make Yearly Albums

While this may not seem to be an editing tip, it is the ultimate end goal.  Every year I make an album of photos for my girls of their year.  Each child gets an individual book of their first year and from then on we create family yearbooks for the whole family to cherish.  Knowing that this yearly album needs to be printed and added to our family collection each year honestly keeps me on top of my editing because…I desperately want the book.  At the end of the year, it’s so nice to open up a Lightroom catalog of completely edited images and quickly make a book to document our family’s year.  I only use Artifact Uprising for our family albums, as I find them to be classic, timeless and the quality is stunning.  You can read more about one of my daughter’s first year album here.

2. Edit Photo Series Completely

I love to do photo series with my girls, whether it is documenting a pancake breakfast or photographing them in Christmas pajamas.  Each of these storytelling series usually generates about 20+ images and I find it best to edit these series entirely in one sitting, or two.  Not only does this help with consistency, but it helps to ensure large blocks of photos get edited at a time.  Which leads me to the next point, blogging.

3. Blog Consistently

I find that blogging consistently helps me to keep up with my editing, giving me an incentive to get my images edited quickly to share.  Whether you blog or share on social media, the idea of sharing your images can be really encouraging when it comes to making time to edit.  It makes you feel like you are editing for more than just a peace of mind, but you are editing to complete images to share.

4. Create An Editing Schedule

Listen, there are definitely times when I get behind on editing.  When I am taking a lot of clients, my professional images always get editing priority over my personal images and…the number of personal images in need of editing adds up.  If I am feeling really behind on editing, I find it really successful to create an editing schedule.  This means setting a daily goal for editing.  I use Powersheets, which have been a gamechanger for me.  Powersheets help me to track my goals every month and I will write “edit” on my daily goal section, allowing me to daily edit and check the task box.  I don’t know about you, but I love to check a box or cross something off of my list.  Powersheets make me complete my goals in a very encouraging way.  When I am really behind on editing and wondering how to catch up on editing photos, this works time and time again.

When creating an editing schedule, I usually aim to edit 5 images per day.  It’s something that takes 20 minutes or less, which is very attainable each day.  And of course, editing can be addicting so some days I edit more than 5 images and that’s even better!

To read more about how I use Powersheets, be sure to check of my post Setting Goals: How It Makes You A Better Photographer.

5. Edit From Beginning To End

I think one of the quickest ways to slow down your editing process is to edit random photos in random order.  As I said previously, I like to edit photos in batches.  More than that, I like to edit my images in date order.  For example, I will edit all of my January images before I edit my February images.  While it may seem simple, it is really about saving time.  When you edit random images, you are wasting editing time deciding what images to edit at that time and spend more time looking through your images than editing.  When I open my Lightroom catalog, I am always editing from left to right and know exactly what image needs to be edited next.

Learning how to catch up on editing photos is a real struggle and I have been there!  As you begin a New Year, keep these editing tips in mind to help keep your editing up to date so that you can spend more time photographing and less time behind the computer.  Because to be honest, a little editing here and there is so much easier than editing hundreds of images after you’ve fallen behind.  And remember, there will be times when you are hundreds of images behind.  It happens!  With these 5 habits, knowing how to catch up on editing photos can seem like a much more attainable task.

To read more photography tips and tricks to further your journey with photography, be sure to check out what posts are trending below!

How To Catch Up On Editing Photos : 5 Habits That Make Editing Effortless | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

A Merry Christmas Eve | Annual Christmas Pajama Photos

I find myself with a little time to spare on Christmas Eve, as the girls are tucked in their beds for a nap, Santa cookies are made and frosted, Christmas movies are halfway watched and all of our hearts are just so full.  Our morning has been so well spent, starting with a big breakfast thoughtfully prepared by my husband…he loves to prepare and enjoy a hot breakfast with all his girls.  Next up, cuddling all together on the couch for a Christmas movie while our sugar cookie dough cooled and having my heart repeatedly melt listening to my oldest say, “Merry Christmas Eve, Mommy” a million beautiful times in her tiny voice.  Later, we found ourselves elbows deep in frosting, creating the most beautiful Christmas cookies to leave for Santa tonight.  Watching our toddler be so creative with her cookie decorating was so fun to watch.  And lastly, finishing up editing our annual Christmas pajama photos of the girls.

I took my own advice this year from The Thoughtful Christmas and intentionally did a lot of Christmas work ahead of time.  Annual Christmas pajama photos were taken weeks ago, gifts were wrapped and stockings were filled the first week of December, Christmas shopping was completed early, and our Christmas letter was written and card sent out after Thanksgiving. All to ensure I could truly slow down, relax and enjoy the Christmas season with these two babes.  Completing a lot of Christmas tasks ahead of time made doing more fun activities during the Christmas season more enjoyable.  A checked off to do list gave us the freedom to enjoy little things with the girls, like train rides to see Santa Claus, library Christmas events, and cookie exchanges with friends.

To learn more about how I photograph my children’s Christmas season, be sure to read The Thoughtful Christmas: A Complete Guide To Intentionally Photographing Your Holiday Memories.

A Merry Christmas Eve  | Annual Christmas Pajama Photos

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission on items purchased through the links.  Thank you, should you choose to support my blog so I can continue inspiring.

A Merry Christmas Eve | Annual Christmas Pajama Photos | Bethadilly Photography

We have a second little one wearing Christmas pajamas this year and joining in on our Elf of the Shelf fun.  She wants to do everything her big sister does and it’s truly been a magical season watching the girls enjoy the surprises we planned for them throughout the days leading up until Christmas.  It’s been 24 days of endless chatter about hoping Santa brings our oldest a baby crib (check!) and loving on our Elf on the Shelf, Oliver…who hides every morning for the girls to find.  And while most parents stress about their kids playing with the Christmas tree, our girls both surprised us this year by not fussing with the ornaments.  Instead, they enjoyed it with eyes of wonderment and left the decor alone.  (Lucky us!)

To learn more about how I photograph my children’s Christmas season, be sure to read The Thoughtful Christmas: A Complete Guide To Intentionally Photographing Your Holiday Memories.

A Merry Christmas Eve | Annual Christmas Pajama Photos | Bethadilly Photography

While it is getting harder and harder to get photos of the girls together because they are both so fast, it is so worth it in the end.  Anyone who knows me will tell you I am very simplistic.  I am truly not about things, but instead really cherish my photos.  At the end of the day, photos of my girls are the only thing that I will truly keep and savor.  (Which is why my husband is so diligent with our photo storage system, ensuring that my photos are always protected since he knows I would be heart broken without them).  I love our family memories and, while it can be challenging to photograph two silly girls, I always end up with the photos I want.  Photos of them being them.  Photos of them loving each other so darn much, being silly, and giving me their true smiles.  I can just hear their laughter and sweet little voices when I look at these photos.

I love how photos contain a beautiful reminder of the little things that made our Christmas season so wonderful.  Like how our oldest loves “Jingle Bells,” and we taught her to sing Christmas carols in one afternoon.  And how our youngest loves it when her sister holds her tight, especially now that she is learning to stand and can get closer and closer to her big sister.

A Merry Christmas Eve | Annual Christmas Pajama Photos | Bethadilly Photography

I snuck the girls’ stockings downstairs during nap to get a quick photo of them before tucking them away until the morning.  This year, I wanted to get them each an ornament that represents them to hang with their stocking and I found these sweet little ballerinas that were just perfect!  Not only can the girls enjoy them this year, but they can hang on our tree in the years to come, always reminding us of what the girls were like in 2018.  One was a sweet dear who loved looking at their miniature playroom Christmas tree (found here)and the other was a sweet pea who wore pink glasses and adored candy canes (found here).  Truly, these ornaments couldn’t have been more perfect for the girls.  I squealed when I found them.

Merry Christmas!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog to join my everyday with motherhood and photography.  For more posts and to catch up on what we’ve been up to, see what’s trending below!

A Merry Christmas Eve | Annual Christmas Pajama Photos | Bethadilly Photography

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Menu