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Our son’s first birthday photos at In-N-Out Burger were a SMASH hit

Our son’s first birthday photos at In-N-Out Burger were a SMASH hit


Becky Vieira

posted in Parenting

Let them eat cake. But if they don’t want to, try a burger smash instead.

This is the theory behind my son’s first-birthday, In-N-Out Burger (and fries) smash photos. My grandmother, who was one of my best friends, was a big fan of the restaurant chain. She died when I was pregnant, yet we strive each day to incorporate her into our son’s life. These photos are an homage to her and her incredible spirit.

Photo collage of birthday burger smash

My son is proving to have similar taste to his great-grandmother. When offered an option he almost always chooses savory over sweet. With his first birthday approaching, my husband and I wanted to find a way to incorporate his tastes and personality into a photo to mark the occasion.

Baby wearing In-N-Out Burger uniform

Baby drinks water from In-N-Out Burger cup

“Schedule a cake smash session,” said everyone, everywhere. But we wanted something different, we’ve never been especially traditional. I still haven’t opened his baby book and never took maternity of newborn photos.

First birthday decoration atop In-N-Out Burger fries

baby eats In-N-Out Burger for first birthday cake smash

Our inspiration was found in a shell, actually — a creative Taco Bell themed birthday smash that sent my mind soaring with ideas. I immediately thought of my grandma and In-N-Out Burger. At 100 years old she would always request its cheeseburger and fries (animal style). I lost count of how many times we enjoyed it together and it felt perfect.

Photographer Michelina Russell of Love My Baby Photography didn’t skip a beat when I presented her with my idea. She even took it one step further by suggesting we shoot on location inside an In-N-Out Burger restaurant. I recreated the associates’ uniform down to its signature, oversized safety pin on the apron and let my son and his appetite do the rest.

Baby holds In-N-Out Burger

Baby wears In-N-Out Burger uniform and eats French fry

When I lost my grandmother during my pregnancy I had many emotions swirling around. One surprising feeling was anger. That she was gone, that my son would never know her or even be rocked to sleep in her arms. As I dried my tears I promised that I would keep her spirit alive and a part of his life.

Each day I try to remind him that he has a “Gigi” (great-grandma) who loved him very much and will always be with him. I tell him stories, point out the items in our home that were once in hers, and sing him the lullabies she once sang to me.

Baby eats In-N-Out Burger for first birthday smash

Sure, we could have done a first birthday cake smash. But instead we chose to honor my grandma and do an In-N-Out Burger smash.

This one’s for you, Grandma. Archer loved his burger.

For more of my mom shenanigans follow me on Instagram at Witty Otter.

Did you do a cake smash for your child’s first birthday? What other types of smashes do you think would be fun to see?

Photo credit: Love My Baby Photography

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