woman holding wooden blocks that spell out the number 40

40th birthday photoshoot ideas guaranteed to keep a smile on your face!

So, you’re saying goodbye to your 30s and hello to your fabulous 40s? What better way to celebrate than with an unforgettable 40th birthday photoshoot? 

Having a birthday photoshoot is an awesome way to avoid the hassle of organizing a party and dealing with the aftermath. You can read my blog post on birthday party alternatives if throwing a bash isn’t your thing.

Since I’m turning the big 4-0 pretty soon, I thought I’d go ahead and plan an epic birthday photoshoot to commemorate the occasion.

 I want to capture this milestone in a way that screams “me” and shows off my unique style.

But here’s the kicker – I couldn’t find many birthday photoshoot ideas that I vibed with during my research. 

I thought, why not pass along these super helpful tips so you can have the most amazing 40th birthday photoshoot ever? 

Alrighty, before we dive into the ideas for your big 4-0 photoshoot, remember to consider these pointers while you’re in the works of planning it. 

40th birthday photo shoot tips

A. Come up with a photoshoot budget 

Choose whether you want to have professional photos taken or DIY photoshoots.

To ensure you get high-quality images, hire a professional photographer. Their expertise will help capture the best angles and lighting, resulting in stunning photos.

If you’re worried about the hefty price tag of hiring a professional photographer, get an amateur photographer. Also, you can book your shoot with a photography student at a nearby college. 

If you’re creative, you can plan to do your birthday photoshoot at home.

B. What color scheme are you doing to consider? What is your photoshoot outfit(s) should you choose?

Select a range of outfits that make you feel confident and stylish. You might choose a stunning evening gown for some elegant shots. Or a chic casual outfit for a more relaxed vibe. 

You could even incorporate a few fun costume changes to add some whimsy to the shoot.

C. What type of photoshoot do you want to have? What will your photoshoot theme be? 

Create a photo theme that represents your interests and personal style. It could be anything from a glamorous vintage theme to a bohemian-inspired shoot. You want the photos to reflect your unique personality. 

Check out these different themes and styles below:

-Fun and flirty










D. What photo props and accessories can you use for your birthday pictures?  

Select meaningful objects that represent your journey to 40.

Check out this list below to get a few ideas on what to use in your photoshoot:



-cupcakes or cake with candles to blow out. 

-Flower bouquet,

-a boa,


-a party blower

-Bottle of champagne

-a party hat

-a garland,

-a banner


 -confetti (metallic or multi-colored).

Incorporating props and accessories enhances the theme and adds visual interest to the photos.

E. Create a shot list.

Choose a location that holds special meaning for you. The outdoors will add depth and beauty to the photos.

G: Photoshoot poses

Use different poses that capture your personality. It’s important to have lots of images that represent who you are. 

If you’re struggling to find poses for your photo shoot, these self-portrait photography ideas can help you.

40th birthday photoshoot ideas

The 40th-anniversary color is ruby red! Use this as inspiration for your 40th birthday photoshoot. Since the 40th-anniversary color is ruby red, you can incorporate that shade in your birthday pictures.

Classy 40th birthday photoshoot ideas

1. Goodbye, 39– You can plan mylar 3-9 balloon releases for your photoshoot. Capture pictures of you releasing the balloons outside into the air.

2. Black and white photoshoot– looking like a total bombshell, surrounded by black and white decor, or, for a timeless look, print out your photos in black and white.

3.40’s inspired photoshoot-40s-inspired trends from back in the day. Think vintage glam, old Hollywood glamour, and sophisticated elegance.

woman posing in 1940's inspired photoshoot

4. A classic birthday cake- Take a photo with a cake and a candle that says “Happy 40th Birthday”.

5. Mylay balloon photoshoot– This type of shoot is common. But, you can use sparkly mylar balloons that spell out the number forty.

6. Group photoshoot-Grab your besties or your loved ones and strike a pose together.

Glamour 40th birthday photoshoot 

Picture this: you, looking like a total bombshell, glamorous photoshoot that will make jaws drop.

7. Marquee light photoshoot- Get out a Giant 40th marquee light that will make you shine like the superstar you are.

8. Mini-fashion show photoshoot: Change into 3 photo outfits so you can choose from different looks.

9. Grown and sexy photoshoot – How about a boudoir birthday photoshoot

Yeah. That’s right, it’s all about celebrating your confidence and beauty. 

10. Professional makeover photoshoot– Get a pro lined up to give you a gorgeous makeover – you won’t even believe it’s you when you see the before and after.

Funny 40th birthday photoshoot ideas

Having a novelty photo shoot to celebrate your birthday could remind you that turning 40 is a time for fun and laughter. 

If you’re looking for some non-stop laughs, here are a few ideas to consider to guarantee you have the best comical photoshoot ever!

11. Funny facial expressions- You would have a blast striking ridiculous poses and sharing your birthday photos.

12. Candid photos– Striking the most ridiculous poses to capture the perfect shot.

13. Cake smashing- a funny photoshoot would be complete without some cake smashing.

14. Photobombing – Who knows, the photobomber might become your favorite picture out of the bunch

15. Improv photos– This is where photo props can come in handy.

16. Silly costumes – Costumes make for a fun photo or dress up like a particular character or scene from a movie.  

Regardless, doing a funny 40th birthday photoshoot can be a memorable and entertaining event.

Unique 40th birthday photoshoot ideas

17. Recreate an iconic photo or portrait – One option to consider is to recreate an iconic photo or portrait from a significant time in your life. Adding a nostalgic and personal touch to the shoot. 

Or you can choose a famous person like Mona Lisa or Marylin Monroe as a celebrity Icon to emulate.

18. Action photoshoot – Another idea is to have an action-packed photoshoot, capturing you in your element. Whether it be playing a sport, dancing, or engaging in another activity you love. You could try a few motions like Jumping up in the air, throwing confetti in, or having a balloon avalanche for your photoshoot.

19. Professional photo booth- If you’re looking for a cheaper photoshoot alternative, you can always find a photo booth in your local area. A professional photo booth can also be a great addition to the celebration. Photo booths make fun and memorable keepsakes. 

20. RIP. 30’s photoshoot- For a more unconventional theme, do a “RIP 30’s” photoshoot. Dressing up in funeral attire can add a humorous and lighthearted touch to the milestone occasion.

21. Outdoor photoshoot- If you’re not heading to a photography studio, choose an outdoor location. An outdoor photoshoot can also provide beautiful and natural backdrops for the photos.

You can use natural light.

Stand behind a graffiti wall, skyline, landmark, park, garden, hiking trail, and mountains as your backdrop. If you’re a summer baby, consider doing a beach birthday photoshoot. You can use the ocean as your backdrop.

22. Documentary-style photoshoot- A documentary-style photoshoot can capture authentic moments throughout your birthday celebration. 

Birthday photoshoot ideas for adults at home

If you’re looking for birthday photoshoot ideas for adults at home, there are plenty of creative options. Be sure you use a good-quality camera so your images can have a more polished look.

23. Abstract photos- Spice up your homemade birthday pics by experimenting with filters to give them a funky, artsy, and abstract vibe.

24. Insta pictures- Capture the moment and create a photo collage to hang up in your home. You can take Insta-worthy pictures using your Polaroid camera and create a photo collage to hang up in your home as a sweet reminder of your special day.

woman at a photoshoot holding happy b day sign

25. DIY photoshoot backdrop – Decorate your DIY backdrop with sequins, faux flowers, paper lanterns, or paper fan decorations and streamers. 

Creating a backdrop can add a pop of color and personality to your at-home photoshoot.

With these creative and fun ideas, you can capture beautiful memories of your birthday shoot. 

The best part is you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home.

Your 40th birthday deserves to be stylish! Here’s to the next fabulous chapter of your life. 

Now that I’ve shared some 40th photoshoot ideas, which shoots are you considering doing for your special day?

I haven’t decided what type of photoshoot I want yet, but I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a comment below.

And as always, happy birthday,

Happy celebrating!

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