Cash Turns One! First Birthday Photos in Redding, CA

WARNING - Be prepared for cuteness overload!

Sweet little Cash came in to the studio for his first birthday Smash & Splash session recently. These sessions are SO much fun…and also a little messy. But messy in a good way!

Like many little ones his age Cash wasn’t too sure what to think of this whole thing. But one he got a taste of the strawberries on the top of his cake it was game on! He mashed right into that cake with sheer delight…as you can tell by that giant smile he gave us.

Once he was done eating and painting the studio with frosting it was time for a bubble bath to get cleaned up. Oh man, did he like that!

Is your little darling celebrating their first birthday soon? Contact me to start designing your custom set! All inclusive packages start at $295.

The Golden Goddess - Creative Portraiture

When I first started doing photography (many, many years ago) it was very innocent and I captured the natural beauty around me. Flowers, the sunset, Fall foliage…you get the idea. But as the years have passed and my skills have grown it’s really enabled me to express my creativity in ways I never imagined when I started.

While photography is now my profession, it also remains my creative outlet. Trying new things and “thinking outside the box” is what keeps me engaged and loving my job every day!

I’m always on the hunt for inspiration as I’m scrolling through IG and FB. About a year ago I came across an image that really struck me. It was of a young woman in a elegant black gown with gold foil applied tastefully to her face. That portrait has stayed in the back of my mind all this time and I’ve slowly let the idea evolve. The original image was too dark and sad for me, but still so beautiful.

So I wanted to take my favorite parts of that artist’s creation and put my own twist and style on it. Last week the pieces finally all came together and my Golden Goddess came to life.

Newborn poses

When it comes to newborn photography each session is different. Some babies are very sleepy, others more alert. Some like to be on their tummies, others not so much. But one thing that is pretty much the same each time is the poses we can safely do.

In general a good newborn photographer has standard workflow of poses that we do in most every session. There are about a dozen unique poses in my repertoire, all of which provide a variety of different angles and looks without having to move baby too much (which of course helps them sleep).

Here I’m going to walk you through just a few of my favorite and most popular poses that you’ll see in nearly every session and rank their difficulty (on a scale of 1-10).

Side Lying

The simplest and most natural pose is the one baby often takes on their own while being held. Almost all babies are happy to be posed this way. Done safely (with hidden props underneath that support baby) with a few accessories this is a beautiful image.

Difficulty: 2

Tummy Time

Tummy time looks rather simple in the finished image, but actually takes a fair amount of skill, knowledge and planning to pull off. The angles have to be just right as well as the props underneath the blanket that support baby in this position.

Difficulty: 3

Why I love it: this pose accentuates baby’s chubby cheeks, little rolls and of course their teeny tiny toes (which you know I love). Plus it looks very natural and timeless, yet beautiful in it’s simplicity.

Forward Facing

This is one of those poses that looks so easy. But let me tell you looks can be deceiving. Tiny newborns naturally want to pull their arms and legs in to snuggle up. This pose requires a gentle, patient hand to get baby to stretch those arms forward and tip their head up.

Difficulty: 5

Why I love it: This is a great shot for getting a full view of baby’s face and their amazing eyelashes.

Womb Pose

When in the womb infants don’t have a lot of space to move around (as any mom can attest to). So in the first few days after delivery they love to curl up in that position. Pretty soon they start to lose their flexibility however. So you won’t always see me do this pose. By the time I see some babies they just aren’t able to do it anymore.

Difficulty: 2

Why I love it: if nothing else, for the novelty of recording just how flexible they are at this age. :)


Arguably the most challenging pose in newborn photography, Froggy is also one of the most popular with parents. It should be noted however that these images are always created as a composite. Meaning that they are a blend of two or more images. The baby is support by the hands of an adult at all times, never actually supporting themselves this way.

If you are an aspiring photographer please, please, please do not try this pose until you have received proper training.

Difficulty: 10

Why I love it: What’s not to love?! Big chubby cheeks, all the details and it’s just adorable.


Timber is the natural progression from Froggy pose. It gets it’s name because basically we take baby from Froggy pose and tip them over…like a tree falling (but of course we don’t ever let baby fall!).

Difficulty: 8

Why I love it: I love how it gives a perfect full face view and their little hands are still squishing their adorable cheeks.

Tucked In

This one I suppose could actually be counted in the “un-posed” category. As baby isn’t in a special position like in those above. But this to has it challenges…namely getting baby to lay their arms peacefully on the blanket.

Difficulty: 3

Why I love it: Because it’s adorable. Do I need a better reason? :)

If you’ve gotten this far, thank you for following along! Next up in my blog we’ll have the other half of the poses. Those that involve wrapping.

Dani D specializes in fine art style portraits of seniors, expectant mothers, newborn babies and children. Based in Redding, CA she also serves the greater north state area of California including Chico, Red Bluff, Anderson, Mount Shasta and Cottonwood. If you would like to schedule a session for your growing family please click here.