Birthday photoshoot ideas can make any celebrant’s special day more memorable. Let’s go back in time and reminisce for a bit. Do you remember when you were a kid, surrounded by all your friends and family while you stood in front of your birthday cake? Do you remember feeling giddy and excited to blow out the candles while your mom set up her camera to capture this lovely memory?
Ah, those were the days. It’s a core memory that everyone probably has, a milestone that shouldn’t ever be forgotten. Even so, the same photoshoot can become dull after a few consecutive years.
With some tweaks and twists to the setups, you can make your day even more memorable with this assortment of things you can do to celebrate the day you were born. Whatever your preference is, we’ve got you covered with our list of 20 birthday photoshoot ideas.
1. Underwater Photoshoot
Diving anyone? Underwater photography is an opportunity to practice your photography skills in a whole different setting—literally and figuratively. This photoshoot idea is for anyone who is fond of bodies of water, as well as marine life itself.
To be fair, this photoshoot idea can be tricky and dangerous, especially for the inexperienced. You’ll need some practice, training and specialized equipment for this. Start by securing a diving camera or an underwater drone, if you’re not confident in your swimming abilities. Whichever equipment you choose, you’ll be sure to capture some pretty unique shots.
2. Recreate a Certain Time Period
Allow yourself to travel back (or forward) in time with this unique photoshoot idea. Head to your nearest costume shop. Even just raiding your parents’ closet to grab clothing items that will fit your chosen time period will do. Whether we’re talking about the roaring twenties or the swinging sixties, or even a futuristic 2100!
Go crazy and be creative with your props, too! Grab a disco ball to bring in a groovy vibe or a bowl of fruits, bread and cheese if you’re thinking of going back in time.
3. Play Around With Bubbles
Kids usually play around with bubbles, but they aren’t the only ones who can enjoy it. Add a dash of playfulness to your photos by incorporating some bubbles into the mix.
Bubbles can also create some unique effects to your shots when paired with lights of different colors, whether they be natural, artificial, or both. Use them to experiment with perspective, or just as a prop in your background.
Admittedly, the results can be unpredictable, but isn’t that what makes art exciting?
The retro aesthetic has slowly come back in full force, as shown in recent years in TV shows and movies, even in music and fashion choices. For example, a teenager dressed in an outfit that makes you feel like you’re being brought back to the 80s is becoming an increasingly common sight.
Wouldn’t it be fun to make this the theme of your party and ask your friends to come dressed in this style as well?
It isn’t hard to find costumes and props befitting of the 80s style. Simply dedicate a day to look into some thrift stores and you’re sure to find things you can use at a reasonable price.
5. Set Up Your Own Birthday Throne
Ever wondered what it would be like to sit on the Iron Throne and become the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms? Well, grab your crown and be a king on your birthday with this photoshoot idea.
You can easily do this by pimping out a regular chair with some cloth, a hammer, and some nails. Or tap into your creative side and design your own unique birthday throne if you’re not a GOT fan! Experience looking regal on your makeshift throne for a day.
6. Act Out Your Favorite Movie
How much fun would a photoshoot be if you could be one of your favorite characters from a beloved movie?
Dress up as your favorite character and reenact some iconic scenes from that one film you always keep on repeat. You could even invite a bunch of your friends to act as extras. Since it’s your birthday, insist on taking the lead role!
If you’re a movie buff and can’t pick just one favorite, you could go the extra mile and pick one from the exact year you were born.
7. Classic Birthday Balloons and Confetti
Nothing else screams celebration other than balloons and confetti. They’re inexpensive, versatile props that are fun to play around with in a photoshoot. Why deviate from the classics when there’s nothing wrong with them, right?
Try tossing them up in the air and taking a shot as they fall all over you. Or blowing confetti into the camera lens. Using balloons as a prop to create pictures with interesting perspectives also works.
8. Flaunt A Sign Featuring Your Age
Be loud and proud with a big sign screaming you’re officially a year older. Embrace the change and the growth! Everybody gets older, right?
You’ll only need some cardboard and paint from the craft store, then you can apply your creativity while writing down your age. But if you’re not feeling too crafty, you can also just grab some ready-made number printouts or balloons from your nearest party store.
9. Surround Yourself With Your Favorite Flowers
Flowers can double as props and a background in photos. They can add a stunning pop of color to your images and are effortless to style.
Feel free to choose between flower fields, a bouquet, a flower crown, or even just some petals to include in this photoshoot idea. If you don’t mind the mess, you can try laying on a bed full of petals of your favorite flower.
Pro Tip: Floral-themed photoshoots are best shot in natural light.
Take advantage of the generous amount of natural light outside by shooting while surrounded by the beauty of nature. Grab your camera and your loved ones, then head out into the wilderness to take some shots on your favorite hiking trail, or through a thicket of trees.
Test out those nature photography skills, and practice with different light settings and lenses.
11. Have Fun With Film Photography
Film photography has successfully made a comeback in the new generation, with Polaroid and film cameras flying off the shelves daily. Even popular media have tried using film in their own projects. One perfect example would be Olivia Rodrigo’s music video for her famed single ‘Driver’s License’.
It’s clear why film photography remains a classic. Photos on film bring a certain degree of authenticity and unpredictability that digital cameras try hard but fail to emulate completely. Plus, it’s an excellent way to hone your skills by making you learn to shoot more critically.
12. Shoot At Your Favorite Location
Think about your favorite place in the whole world. Is it your bedroom, your family’s garden, the library, or somewhere else completely different? Wherever it is, consider the possibility that it might be a great photoshoot location.
Capture yourself where you are most comfortable or are in your element. It would be much easier for you to model and strike poses in an area you already know so well. You could also go to that one place you and your friends love to hang out in.
Pro Tip: Remember to take note of your camera settings, as indoor and outdoor locations will require plenty of different camera adjustments.
13. Take an Aerial Shot of Yourself
Aerial photography is interesting because it allows you to have a bird’s-eye view of your desired location. Allow yourself to be captured in an aerial shot, preferably in a wide area that is mostly empty. The aim is to have you as everybody’s main focus when they see the photo.
You can also apply the contrast principle. One common example is shooting from the roof of a plain gray building and dressing up in a bright color to shift the focus on you.
The perfect companion for this birthday photoshoot idea is a drone. But there are ways you can go around this if you don’t have one. You can instead attempt to shoot through windows, from the top of tall buildings, or implement more creative solutions like attaching your camera to a pole. Make sure to secure your camera on these makeshift tools. Otherwise, your photoshoot may end up being memorable for the wrong reasons.
14. The beach
If you’re someone who particularly loves the beach, then why not drive down to take some amazing beach photos on your special day?
The best thing about the beach is that the lighting there is great, no matter if it’s a bright sunny day, overcast weather, or at sunset. Girls can also dress up in flowy clothes like a maxi skirt, dress, or kimono. Then let your hair down and allow the ocean breeze to do all the work for you. This small effect can make a pretty stunning difference.
While you’re there, throw a beach party with your dearest friends and loved ones. By the end of the day, you’ll have had both a fun time and great photos to show for it.
15. Open field
There are two good reasons why open fields have also become a popular photo shoot location. For one, you are less likely to be disturbed during your shoot as these places tend to be empty, unlike parks or beaches. And two, lighting is pretty good all day long.
And honestly? The vibes of an open field are just pretty cool in general.
16. Pose On A Staircase
Using elevated areas is always great for different kinds of point-of-view shots and unique angles. Find the nearest staircase and strike a pose. This birthday photoshoot idea can be done at home. Or you can go out into the city to explore larger or more unique-looking staircases.
Another helpful trick is to shoot from below the staircase, angling upwards to your subject. This will help make your legs look longer. Depending on the angle and your pose, you can capture some pretty unique shots.
17. Try Out Different Types of Indoor Lighting or Spotlights
If you can’t go anywhere for your birthday photoshoot, you can always take photos within the comfort of your own home.
Choose an empty, neutral backdrop and experiment with using different types of lighting, like a trusty ring light or sunset lamp you can buy online. If you’re strapped for money, be resourceful by covering up some flashlights with colorful cellophane paper to create a spotlight hue of your choice. Like they say: if there’s a will, there’s a way.
18. Go Out For Some Street Photography
Dress up in your best city wear and venture out into the metropolis to take some street photos. Channel your modern and sophisticated alter ego for some equally modern and sophisticated shots. The public setting is great for getting really good candids.
The cool thing about this birthday photoshoot idea is that the different times of your shoots can give off different styles because of the lighting availability. The difference between shooting with natural light and using streetlights or signs is as clear as night and day.
19. Pose In Front of A Mural Or Graffiti Wall
Graffiti walls are pretty common around cities. So, why not use them as backdrops for photoshoots? The best thing about this idea is the murals are completely free to use.
Posing in front of a graffiti wall helps you give off a different kind of energy depending on what the artwork is about. Oftentimes, you can achieve an edgy vibe with loud graffiti walls, while more colorful ones make the mood more playful and fun.
To maximize the potential of this birthday photoshoot idea, put on your best clothes and dress to kill. Come on, it’s your birthday!
20. Get Your Party On At The Club
The club, although a rather chaotic location, is a fantastic setting for photography. Take advantage of their multi-colored lighting setup to capture plenty of portraits and macro shots. It will be like stepping into an episode of Euphoria.
Experiment with different camera settings, especially ISO and shutter speed, to create a variety of different effects. For example, you can create bokeh effects or add light streaks around your photo by adjusting the settings. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.
Growing older is a natural part of life. Celebrate and immortalize this special once-a-year event through these birthday photoshoot ideas. They don’t have to be fancy. They just have to be memorable!