I'm Megan, a natural-light photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska. My heart adores authentic moments, soft tones, and all things baby & motherhood. 


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Celebrating a baby’s first birthday is a significant milestone in a child’s life, marking the transition from babyhood into toddlerhood. It’s a moment filled with many mixed emotions for parents. We’re so excited for them to grow up and experience more of life, taking their first steps and saying their first words, but we’re also sharply aware that they are no longer our little baby. It’s bittersweet in every way possible and we want to remember all the joy of this milestone, even if it’s tinged with a little bit of sadness. One of the most cherished ways to commemorate this special occasion is with a professional photoshoot for one year family portraits, and culminating with a cake smash session for the birthday girl.

MC was born on March 17th- Saint Patrick’s Day- and as such we featured shades of green during her session, which blended so nicely with all the creams and whites of my studio and brought a breath of springtime to these images. The beauty of curating a studio space with a neutral setting is that we’re able to bring in soft tones and subtle colors that add personality to the images without competing for attention.

We started off our session with classic childhood portraits on the bed. The soft afternoon light poured through the windows and filled the studio with such warmth. MC had the best toothy grin and so many different expressions with such sass and silliness. We kept saying how these pictures captured her big personality in such vivid detail and mom and dad were so happy to have that personality documented in these portraits.

Next, we did pictures mom, and dad, and the whole family of three together. We laughed and played and got the perfect mix of candid and posed. And then it was time for the grand finale!

The experience of watching your child engage with the cake is both heartwarming and hilarious. Initially, there might be hesitation, a tentative poke at the icing followed by a curious taste. Here, mom had made a super ingenious cake that fully impressed me: it was banana bread! The cake was banana bread that had been made in little cake pans and stacked in two layers with a greek yogurt “frosting”. The denser bread held up beautifully while the birthday girl enjoyed her treat and kept MC from over-stuffing her cheeks while the yogurt “frosting” was easier to eat and lick off her fingers. And the best part was no sugar crash afterward!

The funniest part of the session had to be when MC grabbed the cake with both her hands went into full attack-mode! She kept popping up and smacking her lips and saying, “mmmmm.” It was utterly delightful to watch and created such beautiful memories for this family (and yes, we got video, too). You see, these first birthday images aren’t just pictures but documented memories that encapsulate the joy, wonder, and fun of being one year old. They serve as a beautiful reminder of a significant milestone in the child’s life and parents’ lives, forever immortalizing the fleeting moments of childhood.

Celebrating One | Anchorage First Birthday Cake Smash Milestone Photographer

Current availability is for Spring & Summer 2024 sessions and I am reserving due dates through the end of 2024. Please get in touch to get all the details and begin planning your family's session. 

If you’re expecting a little one in the greater Anchorage or Matsu Valley area or desperately need updated pictures of your own growing family, then I would love to chat and help plan something wonderful for you. 

Megan Marlene Photography offers Maternity, Newborn, Baby, Milestone, and Family Sessions for the Greater Anchorage Area, including Kenai, Girdwood, Eagle River, Chugiak, Palmer, Wasilla, Big Lake, Sutton, and welcomes families from across Alaska. 

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  1. mary says:

    These are so perfect! So many adorable shots of this cutie!

  2. Kathryne says:

    What a precious little girl!

  3. Oh my goodness – I love these!!! That precious little gummy smile!!!

  4. Melissa says:

    I love how her little personality just shines in these!

  5. Rya Duncklee says:

    What adorable images of an adorable little lady!

  6. Renee says:

    The joy on this little ones face is contagious

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