4 Fabulous Birthday Photoshoot Ideas

For most people, birthdays are a day that’s either hugely celebrated with all of the things that the birthday person enjoys OR the opposite – spending the day trying to steer clear of any attention surrounding the event. Then there are those few, rare individuals whose birthday falls on important holidays like the 4th of July, Valentine’s Day, New Years Eve, etc. Unfortunately, I am one of those rare individuals as I was born on Christmas Day, which means that my birthday is often overlooked while everyone is so wrapped-up in the Christmas hullabaloo…

I am an Enneagram 8, over-the-top, talkative woman who loves the spotlight! I’m quick to be the first one to volunteer to try something new and I thoroughly enjoy speaking in front of large groups of people. I’m also not afraid to wear bold clothing that has people stopping to compliment me or ask where I purchased my outfit. So if you haven’t already guessed, I’m frequently labeled as extra – something I’m quite proud of. 😉 But with my birthday falling on the most cherished holiday in America, Christmas Day, I’ve often been left feeling overlooked and, quite frankly, not special on my special day.

I typically throw my birthday parties at the beginning of December in order to beat the overbooking of holiday parties that quickly arise as Christmas Day approaches. While these parties are always fun, in 2018 I decided that I wanted to do something a little more special for myself… Pinterest came to the rescue with an amazing idea – a birthday photo shoot! I mean, what better gift to give myself than a reason to design and sew a new fancy outfit, get dressed up and have my photo taken?! 🤩

I’ve now completed a total of 4 different birthday photoshoots – all of which have a unique theme to them – and I’ve decided to share them all with you in hopes of inspiring your next birthday photoshoot! 😇 Below are all four themes and the different components that I used for them. Enjoy and happy creative planning, friend!

1. Cute & Child-Like

My first birthday photo shoot took place in 2018 for my 25th birthday and it was a BLAST! The theme was “Never Grow Up” because I had one more year left under my parents insurance before the government kicked me off of it. I made the big, fluffy princess skirt without using a pattern, had my makeup done by a pro at Sephora and paid a friend-of-a-friend to take some photos of me.

To Re-Create This Photoshoot, You’ll Need…

2. Sleek & Sexy

In 2019, I decided to make the birthday photo shoot a yearly tradition, with my second annual birthday photoshoot’s theme being “Time To Grow Up“. The thought behind this one was that I turned 26 and got kicked off my parent’s health insurance so it was time to be a “real adult” now. I used a McCall’s wedding dress pattern to create the ballgown that I wore in the shoot. It was my first time making something so extravagant – a challenge that I greatly enjoyed! I hired Protography Studios, a local studio in Houston, to take the photos for this shoot.

Click here to view more photos via @whatisheybailsdoing on Instagram.

To Re-Create This Photoshoot, You’ll Need…

  • An elegant ballgown or cocktail dress
  • Fancy-looking jewelry – I recommend pearls (fake ones are perfectly suitable)
  • An event space, venue or public landmark that has an elegant appeal and allows photography – we conducted this photoshoot at The Crystal Ballroom in The Rice in Downtown Houston with the help of a family friend who lived there at the time

3. Flirty & Fun

The theme for my 27th birthday photo shoot was “It’s My Birthday and I’m Showing Up In My Birthday Suit!” This was the very first suit I’ve made and, additionally, it was the very first outfit I’ve made which included sleeves. I used a Simplicity pattern that I had bought on a spending spree in my younger days and had tossed into a drawer where it’d been laying untouched for years. My “Birthday Suit” fit perfectly on the first try and I didn’t even have to rip out a single seam – for those of you who don’t sew, that is a HUGE accomplishment when trying a new, challenging pattern. My amazing boyfriend took my photos this year and has won himself the job of doing so from here on out. 😉

Recreating this exact photoshoot might be difficult unless you or someone you know can sew… BUT I included some links below for fun, birthday-themed outfits below that you can purchase online. 😊

Click here to view more photos via @whatisheybailsdoing on Instagram.

To Re-Create This Photoshoot, You’ll Need…

  • A fun/silly birthday outfit (if you aren’t a seamstress like me, I recommend purchasing a birthday t-shirt from Etsy, such as this one, and pairing it with a fun skirt or colorful pants)
  • Number balloons to signify how old you are turning
  • A scenic background – I live in Houston, therefore I chose to incorporate the Houston Skyline as part of this shoot, but I encourage you to get creative and use the world around you!

4. Black & Bold

For my 28th birthday, I decided to sew myself a little black dress and use a bunch of Houston’s unique murals as backdrops because, as a Houstonian, I am very prideful of my city. 😉

Click here to view more photos via @whatisheybailsdoing on Instagram.

To Re-Create This Photoshoot, You’ll Need…

  • A little black dress
  • Black number balloons to signify how old you are turning
  • Candles that represent your new age
  • Glitter (if you want to make a cute glitter-blowing video)
  • Locations of local murals in your city/town that you can use for backdrops

If you’re interested in seeing what I create for my birthday photo shoot over the next couple of years, be sure to follow @whatisheybailsdoing on Instagram! I promise you won’t be disappointed. 😉

Hungry for more fun, Bailey’s Way? 😉 Check out these articles below for more creative ideas!

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