First Year Anniversary Photo Shoot

When we got married, we decided to do a photo shoot every year for our anniversary. We thought it would be a great way to document what was special to us that year and have a photo memory of our highlights throughout the years. Our first year of marriage we lived in the beautiful city of Santa Monica. We loved being close to the beach and so many great restaurants, as well as setting up our first home together. We initially planned to take photos all over Santa Monica, but since the weather was so terrible, we were stuck at home. We ended up loving having a home shoot, as it was the perfect way to document the cozy love nest we had built together. The day we received the photos from our amazing photographer, Jillian Rose, we were actually moving out of our apartment and into our first real home. It was such a great way to close out that chapter.

The funny thing is that throughout this shoot, Lena was incredibly nervous and awkward. We’ve been taking a lot of photos lately so it’s surprising that Lena felt like this, but it seems like the intimate setting of our apartment made it a bit difficult for her to relax. Jill and Bassam both cracked tons of jokes {mainly inappropriate ones}, so in many of the photos you’ll see, that’s what was going on behind the scenes. Also behind the scenes, we had our photo shoot just a few days before our move. Our apartment was mainly packed up in boxes besides the props we wanted to use for the shoot. We just hid all those boxes in the hallway {sorry neighbors!}.

Some highlights from our year that we featured in our photos:

  • Our love of wine and cheese nights
  • Adopting our dog, Buddy. This was an especially big one for Lena as she was terrified of dogs!
  • Brunches on our balcony which we setup with fake grass and twinkly lights
  • More goofing off in the kitchen than actual cooking
  • Reading the messages from our “first year advice book”. The table numbers at our wedding were books for our guests to fill with advice for us. We are opening each one on the corresponding year

You’ll notice things such as starting our blog are not featured here. That’s because they didn’t happen until year 2! We were about 8 months late with doing this shoot, but better late than never!

We hope you enjoy our photos and this little glimpse into our intimate life.

1st year sign: Lumberwave Creations Etsy Shop

Date folded book: The Book Artisan Etsy Shop

Cake topper: The Pink Owl Designs Etsy Shop

The most stressful part of any big event or photo shoot is finding the right vendors. Once you find the right people to work with, it all falls into place. We’ve been lucky to find amazing vendors to work with across all of our big events. Here’s who we worked with for our first anniversary photo shoot:

Photographer {also our wedding photographer}: Jillian Rose

Hair and makeup for Lena: Wafa

First year cake topper: Etsy shop

Folded anniversary date book: Etsy shop, website

First year anniversary sign: Etsy shop

Lena’s plaid top: Anthropologie

Lena’s blue maxi dress: Anthropologie


Have you done an anniversary shoot?

What location did you pick?

Disclosure: We received a few items as a gift in exchange for sharing them on this post. As always, we only feature products we truly love and think you will like too.


  1. LENA!!!! Oh my gosh I’m dying right now!!! These are adorable. I love how they turned out and all the things you incorporated to make it highlight all the wonderful things in your first year of marriage!!! So stinking cute!!

    • Aw thank you for your sweet comment, Kate! We were a bit rushed in our planning due to our move, but I love how they came out! I think the sign, cake topper, and folded book added polish to an otherwise not well planned shoot! I’m so glad you liked the photos! I’m looking forward to seeing your family shoot!

  2. Hi Bassam and Lena! This is sooo sweet and adorable. You guys look beautiful together. We can really feel the love and happiness. We are already looking forward to your 2nd anniversary photo shoot!

    • Hi Carmen! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! We were so late with the first shoot and that the second one is almost here! Thanks for your support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.