40th Birthday Photo Ideas to Repeat in 2021

If you want to make a celebration memorable, check out these 40th birthday photo ideas. Most of them are budget-friendly, while the effect they cause is bound to please both a birthday person and guests. From classy concepts with balloons to more interesting ideas with modern accessories and decorations – you will find lots of inspirational variants below.

Top 15 Ideas for a 40th Birthday Photoshoot

When it comes to taking photos at the 40th birthday of any person, you have to show the general atmosphere, as well as capture beautiful decorations and details. In order to get professional and lively images, you need to prepare a shot list in advance.

1. Use Balloons

birthday balloons

Though birthday photography with balloons may seem like something trivial, these are universal props suitable for shooting at home, in a studio, or even outdoors. Not only will you get bright photos, but also feel relaxed and joyous during a photo session. If you plan to take images at home, buy as many balloons as you need, hang them on furniture, attach them to walls, make specific decorations, or scatter across the floor.

birthday bunch of balloons

For a more pompous result, you can use a bunch of balloons. A birthday boy/girl can hold balloons in one hand and place the other one on the waist, chair back, etc. Thus, a person doesn’t have to bother about poses and can feel completely relaxed.

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2. Use Arch or Garland of Balloons

birthday party decoration

If you plan a classy 40th birthday photoshoot, you can use such party decorations as arches and garlands of balloons. There are no strict rules concerning color, number, and shape of balloons, so you should fully focus on the theme of your party. You can go even further and combine balloons into flowers and other cute figures.

3. Use Balloon Numbers

birthday number

This is one of the easiest yet very symbolic 40th photoshoot ideas. Buy balloons numbers, so that a birthday person can hold them above the head while a photographer takes images. Fill a balloon number with helium, so they will keep their shape longer. Besides, such balloons can also serve as decorations for a room.

4. Pay Attention to Details

birthday cake candles

Though most photos should feature the face of a hero of the day, remember to pay attention to details, as they also play an important role. These can be birthday candles, posters, flowers, festive dishes, clothes, presents, etc. To highlight a particular object, apply the bokeh effect.

5. Fully Consistent Style

black and white birthday party

Most people find it very complicated to come up with unique ideas for 40th birthday photoshoot. We recommend combining 1-2 colors in the frame and buy clothes, accessories, props based on your choice. This way, you’ll get gorgeous and stylish birthday photos.

man birthday style

A thematic photoshoot is a commonly used idea. Such photos are interesting and original. You may also stick to a coherent birthday style, choosing accessories and decorations accordingly. Athematic photoshoot works great for friends to bring to life the craziest group photo ideas. If everyone follows the dress code, you will end up with balanced, vivid, and memorable.

6. Bright Photos with a Cake

photo birthday cake

Every birthday celebration includes a cake. You can find various cake smashing photography ideas to bring to life. You can capture the moment of blowing out candles or photograph a cake from the above angle. If you are after more interesting scenarios, cover your face and hands with a cake or eat it without cutlery.

birthday cake

When shooting a birthday people blowing out candles, you should focus on a cake, the number of candles, and their bright light. You can experiment with shadows to get a great and unusual shot.

7. Outdoor Photos Can Be Creative Too

photo shoot in nature

When shooting in the studio, you are likely to get great photos because you can adjust light and other equipment. However, images taking under natural light are bound to look the most vivid. A photo of a person with disheveled hair posing against lush greenery will look fantastic.

Such a 40th birthday photo idea is suitable for group photos if models don’t mind experimenting with family portrait poses. A photographer can get really lively images playing with sunlight. However, a real professional can adapt to any weather and get amazing shots no matter whether it is rainy, sunny, or gloomy outdoors.

8. Capture Emotions

birthday fun party

Try to capture candid emotions during the celebration. It doesn't matter what happens. Your goal is to photograph guests and a birthday person in a relaxed atmosphere as if there is no camera lens directed at them.

It is important to focus on decorations, festive cake, and people’s emotions. Everything from sincere hugs and kisses to crazy dances is worth documenting.

9. Photos with Champagne

birthday girl

This is a win-win portrait photography idea that helps convey the birthday mood in photos. Alternatively, you can focus on the glasses of drinks. There are likely to be many situations during the 40th birthday photo shoot when you can take such images.

birthday champagne

Don’t neglect funny poses. Stop thinking about how legs and arms are posed. The more relaxed a person feels, the better he/she looks in pictures. A colorful cake, casual pose, and a bottle of champagne make shots interesting.

10. Collect Bright Moments

birthday photo collage

You can create a collage consisting of several photos. Start with portrait photography and proceed with capturing small details. Alternatively, you can first photography a cake, decorations, candles, or bright confetti and then take images of people.

birthday collection photo queen

Collages of multiple photos look very cool. Ask a birthday person to take a relaxed portrait photography pose, then photograph him/her with a cake, accessories, presents, etc. Such a collage allows you to show the most unforgettable moments in one photo.

11. Patriotic Style

birthday patriotic party

Another classy 40th birthday photoshoot idea is to use patriotic symbols. You can use an American hamburger and hot dog menu, red, white, and blue props, and everything related to the theme. The concept works great for both studio and outdoor photo sessions.

12. Crazy Party Photos

birthday bachelor party

You can organize a crazy party with loved ones to celebrate your 40th birthday. You can either choose a thematic style or simply add distinctive accessories, including a bow tie, one-color T-shirts, etc.

13. Birthday Banner or Bright Poster

man birthday banner

You can use additional accessories, including a colorful birthday banner or festive flags. They can serve as a great photo booth and complement the room interior.

birthday banner

We recommend using a small board as a design element or for entertainment purposes. You can write wishes, meaningful words, and anything you like Alternatively, you can order a ready-made poster that imitates such a board.

14. Bright Outfit

skirt birthday women

When it comes to the 40th photoshoot ideas for women, we recommend choosing an interesting outfit. These can be tulle skirts or elegant evening dresses. Plus, it’s easy to choose matching shoes and a top for a fluffy skirt. Men can wear a suit, adding a bright accent such as a red tie-bow or sunglasses.

15. Thematic Family Shots

family birthday photo

Family pictures taken during the 40th birthday photo shoot can be very touching. A warm atmosphere combined with decorations, balloons, and festive food make a fantastic composition.

Bonus Tools

portrait presets for lightroom

If you want to make the birthday portrait photos brighter and livelier, use ready-made presets. You can give your portrait a professional finishing, so that it will amaze your future generations.

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