Liam turned five this month… I am still trying to grasp the fact that I am the mother of a five-year-old!

This photo was taken on his birthday, which I spent in a whirlwind of dropping him off at school, touring a potential elementary school, shopping for Valentine's Day card supplies, baking a cake and cupcakes, taking the cupcakes to school to celebrate with his class, picking him up and coming home to make Valentine's Day cards, then opening presents and celebrating all over again with family.

Of course there were classic birthday photos of present opening, candle blowing and cake eating, but I always like to try and take a birthday portrait of my kids on their birthdays - photos that more naturally capture their personalities and emotions. Even on a hectic day you only need a few moments to do so, and even though it was a cold day, I grabbed a few shots outside our house before heading in.

Photo tip

Sibling or group photos don't have to have everyone in focus. Using shallow depth of field, you can put the focus on one child and have the other(s) blurred in the background.

Join me in this year-long photo project and share your photos with the Photosanity Peer-to-Peer Facebook group.

Become part of the group - membership is free with a purchase, past or current, of any one of the Photosanity workshops.