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8 Fun Birthday Photoshoot Ideas For Everyone

9 min read

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Birthday photoshoot ideas for everyone

Every year that goes by is worth celebrating in life. What better way to do that than with a birthday photoshoot? There are many reasons you may want to celebrate your day with a photoshoot. You may want to preserve memories of family and your loved ones, or you might want to celebrate how great you look on your birthday.

You may want to share them on social media or keep the special pictures for yourself. Doing a photoshoot for your birthday is a fantastic way to capture your special day.

No matter what the reason or what age you are turning. There are so many fun and creative ways to photograph your birthday. Here are a few of our favorite tips for birthday photo shoot ideas! Remember, age is just a number, but a picture says a thousand words!

Hire a Professional or DIY for Your Birthday Photoshoot?

First up, an important decision needs to be made. Will you hire someone to capture your birthday photoshoot? Or are you going to do it yourself?

Almost no matter where you are in the world, there is bound to be a professional photographer close by. You can almost always find someone ready to capture your birthday photo shoot with high-quality pictures. However, if you have been taking our courses, you might be pretty handy with a camera yourself.

There are both positive and negative aspects to each of these decisions. Let’s take a look at the options.

Professional birthday photoshoot.

Booking a Professional Birthday Portrait Photoshoot

Who needs another excuse to put on a cute outfit and take beautiful pictures on your birthday? Hire a professional photographer to capture all your best angels and celebrate your birthday in style. You will feel like a VIP with your very own birthday photo shoot session.

There are lots of options for a professional shoot. You can book a solo photo session or mix it up and get your family involved in the pictures. A studio session may involve props or some fun backgrounds to help your birthday picture shine.

You can shoot in gorgeous outdoor locations like a park or your favorite suburb. Find yourself a photographer specializing in outdoor portraits and roam around your favorite city or parts of town.

You may want to study up on poses before you go for your shoot, so you feel comfortable in front of the camera. Knowing what poses make you look and feel good will help you shine in your birthday pictures. If you are looking for some advice on posing, take a look at our articles here.

When booking a professional photographer for a birthday shoot like this, it’s important to find one that suits the style. Do some research online and on social media to know you are booking the best birthday photo shoot. Your Instagram will be overflowing with birthday comments!

mom, dad, birthday girl and cake.
A professional photographer at a birthday party makes life easy.

Booking a Professional Photographer for Your Birthday Party

If you find the idea of a posed portrait photoshoot a little scary, consider a different approach.

If you want to take the hassle out of being the photographer on your birthday. Or you don’t quite trust your friend or uncle bob to get the images you want. Consider hiring a professional photographer for your birthday party.

This way, you get to enjoy your party. You will also get a mix of more candid, documentary-style photos along with some slightly posed shots. This can be a great way for friends and family to get some photos of themselves as well.

Again, you will want to search for a photographer that fits the style and mood you are looking for. You may not want someone specializing in whistful romantic portraits when your party will be bright and full of color. Try to find someone who will bring life and creativity to your party to make your photos special.

Hire a Photobooth for Your Birthday Party

A trendy addition at weddings and large birthday parties is the option of hiring a photo booth. This way, people can come and go for their own personal photoshoots. Anyone who wants pictures can go and take them when they are ready. The privacy also allows for some great silly shots.

Depending on the model, you may add a banner that says “Happy birthday” at the bottom to personalize the image. Keep a box of silly props in the photo booth to allow your guests to take some Instagram-worthy photos.

Photobooth for birthday party photoshoot.
A photo booth is a great addition to a birthday party.

DIY a Birthday Photoshoot

If you have experience with a camera and want to create your own birthday photo shoot, we applaud you! There are so many fun and creative ways to take beautiful birthday images. Grab your friends and family for help and get everyone involved in creating something special.

Here are some handy tips to help you set up a fun birthday photo shoot.

DIY shoot at home for your big day.
An at-home birthday photoshoot is a great idea to save money.

Useful Camera Equipment and Accessories

If you are looking to DIY your birthday photo shoot, consider the following.


Prime lenses like 35mm and 50mm are great for portraits if you can move around. These lenses are very sharp with a narrow depth of field. But as you can not zoom in and out, you will have to move your body if you want to get closer or further from your subject.

If you are shooting a birthday photoshoot at home, you might want to use a wider zoom lens. This allows you to zoom in and out of your frame even in a tight space.

Off Camera Flash

A flash or Speedlite is useful if you are going to be shooting indoors or at night. This will allow you to capture all the action of your birthday party without having to bump up your ISO or slow your shutter speed. This means your images will be nice and sharp, without grain or blur.


If you are setting up a photo shoot at home, using a tripod is the best way to take full control of your frame. From experience, balancing your camera on top of tables/ chairs/ books is not the best idea! A tripod gives you full flexibility. Then you can easily get the angle you need and move the camera to a new location without trouble.

Remote Shutter

If you have a camera with wifi, you can use a remote shutter app on your phone. If not, you may wish to purchase a remote shutter. These are almost essential if you don’t have anyone else around to click the shutter.

Plan Ahead for Lighting

Lighting makes a huge difference to the result of your photo. Think of the lighting in your chosen location. What time of day would be the best for the style of picture you are going for? Do you want light and bright, or are you going for more of a soft, golden hour feel?

If you are shooting indoors, look for a spot with lots of natural light. Like next to a big window. You may want to consider using artificial lighting if you are indoors. Remember to switch off any overhead or ceiling lights which can often create an orange tone.

Background and Props

You may want to get crafty and create your own stunning backdrop for an at-home studio. Or think about purchasing a ready-made backdrop and stand for your shoots. You can go with plain white or something exciting with sparkles and bright colors. The choice is yours!

8 Fun Birthday Photoshoot Ideas

Whether you have chosen to hire a professional photographer or you are going it alone with a DIY photoshoot, there are loads of ways to get creative.

Most of these birthday photoshoot ideas you may be able to do at home. You will need to find a space with nice natural light and get creative with your space. If you don’t have good natural light at home, you might want to read up on studio lighting and create a professional effect at home.

If you have chosen to work with a photographer for your birthday photoshoot, send them some examples of the ideas you want to try. Your photographer should tell you what they can do and what props you may need to bring yourself.

Here is some inspiration for amazing birthday photo shoot ideas.

1. Smash the Birthday Cake

You may have seen these all over Instagram and Facebook. Cake smash photo shoots have become a popular theme for baby’s birthdays. This birthday photo shoot is loads of fun and is almost exactly what the name suggests. Get a bright-colored birthday cake, plant a baby in front and watch them smash it! And of course, you don’t have to be a baby to participate in this birthday photo shoot. You can be of any age for this. We would love to see a grown-up giving this a go for a twist on a popular theme!

There are lots of professional photographers who take these birthday cake smash shoots. But it doesn’t have to be in a studio. You can create a DIY studio at home by hanging up a white sheet in a spot with good naturally diffused light.

birthday cake smash photo.

2. Use Confetti in Your Birthday Photoshoot

A birthday photoshoot is a great excuse to get creative with props.

Confetti is a colorful use of decorations that help your photos pop. Try shooting down and throwing confetti over the birthday person’s face. This will create a celebratory feel like confetti rain. Use paper confetti to make it an environmentally friendly decoration.

Confetti is a fun use for your birthday party and looks great in photos.
Confetto makes for a fun birthday party photo.

3. Play With Bubbles

No matter what age, everyone loves playing with bubbles! Bubbles are a fun and easy way to bring life to your images.

Bubbles are great for something like a sweet 16 and are especially cute with kids. You will capture some great expressions as they try to create the biggest bubble they can.

You can either do this in front of a backdrop or find a nice area outside with few distractions in the background.

girl using bubbles on her birthday.
Blowing bubbles is fun for all ages.

4. Create a Fun Birthday Photoshoot Filled With Balloons

Balloons are one of the ultimate birthday photoshoot props.

Fill the scene with a variety of bright and colorful balloons! Or for something a little fashion. Find balloons in the shape of your special birthday number.

balloons and confetti as props for your shoot at home.
Use balloons as a prop to celebrate your birthday.

5. Fill your frame with flowers

Whether it’s bouquets or a beautiful flower crown. Flowers are one of the most stunning props to add to your birthday photoshoot. Fill your frame to really create an interesting photo.

Flowers also make a beautiful background. Find a bush or wall filled with bright-colored flowers and use this as your backdrop.

use flowers as a background in your photos for a unique and classy image.
Flowers always make a photo pop.

6. Have a Picnic Birthday Photoshoot

One of the best birthday photoshoot ideas is to throw a fabulous birthday picnic.

Set up a picture-perfect picnic in your favorite location and fill it with decorations. Not only is this a fun photoshoot idea, but it’s a great way to celebrate your birthday. Gather all your friends and family in your favorite outdoor location. Take lots of pictures and get some shots of them signing you happy birthday.

outdoor picnic photoshoot for your birthday.
Host a picnic for your birthday.

7. Get Dressed Up in Your Fanciest Clothes

Need an excuse to get dressed up in your favorite outfits and hang out with your friends. Why not hold a special birthday photo shoot!? Get your girlfriends over, crack open a bottle of your favorite something and enjoy being silly. Celebrate getting another year older in style and have a party shoot with your closest friends at home. This is also a great excuse to wear that new dress you have been saving for a special occasion.

This style of photography may work well with a flash to create that party atmosphere and light up darker places indoors.

grab your friends and have a party for your special day.
Celebrating with friends is the best way to spend your birthday.

8. Night Time Sparklers

Sparklers are an awesome way to both celebrate your birthday and play around with some creative photography ideas. Wait until just after dusk, light up your sparkles, and get create an Instagram-worthy picture!

Using a slow shutter speed, you can write the birthday person’s age or even “Happy Birthday”. To reduce blur, put your camera on a tripod and set it on a delayed shutter release. Putting it on shutter priority mode will allow you to choose the amount of time you want the shutter to stay open. This will automatically adjust settings like ISO and aperture. Sometimes your camera will try and overcompensate for low light with a high ISO resulting in a grainy image. If this happens, you may need to adjust the settings manually. A shutter speed of about 10s should give you enough time to get creating!

This birthday photo shoot idea is best left for grown-up supervision. Make sure to be extra careful if you are in a dry area.

sparklers make a wonderful photo idea for any kind of celebration.
Create shapes with sparklers.


There are so many amazing birthday photoshoot ideas that will help you commemorate your day. Let us know what your favorite photoshoot ideas are in the comments, and feel free to add your own! We can’t wait to see how you capture your birthday!

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Ainsley DS is a photographer and writer based in between Auckland, NZ and Paris France. She specializes in travel, portrait and documentary photography and has a passion for all creative pursuits. With an addiction to travel, she has lived on three continents and photographed over 40 countries along the way. You can purchase travel prints directly from her website or follow along on the journey!
Ainsley DS is a photographer and writer based in between Auckland, NZ and Paris France. She specializes in travel, portrait and documentary photography and has a passion for all creative pursuits. With an addiction to travel, she has lived on three continents and photographed over 40 countries along the way. You can purchase travel prints directly from her website or follow along on the journey!

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