Inside: 40th birthday photo shoot ideas to celebrate the big 4-0!

So… you are turning 40. That is amazing! I know it can feel scary to see the decades go by, but I know that being in your 40s is where it’s at.

You are finally confident in the person you are, and you have learned so much along the way that you can literally do anything you set your mind to. Forty comes with the wisdom you have accumulated and the freedom to enjoy it.

So be excited for this next chapter in your life. You made it! Time to take those special photos that show just how great this new decade is going to be for you. 

Gorgeous 40th birthday photo shoot ideas

One of my favorite ways to kick off a big birthday is with a photo shoot. You can keep the photos to look back on as you continue to go through life, and relish these moments. So, I created a list of some of the best 40th photo ideas I could find, including what I did for my own recent milestone birthday.

Take a look and decide on what best will suit you for your 40th!

40th Birthday Photo Shoot Ideas

1. Blowing Out the Candles

This is a simple and adorable birthday photoshoot idea that perfectly captures your 40th-year essence. You simply need a cake with a 40th Topper and a cute backdrop. The outfit is up to you (I have ideas down below). And that’s it. I love this!

2. Flowers in Your Hair

This is a beautiful way to bring out your delicate feminine side. You simply get some flowers of your choice, then you pin them into your hair. It’ll look even more fantastic if you wear something or include something that is the same color as the flowers.

3. Milk Bath

This is super unique but so cute! You fill up the bathtub and add some milk, flowers, and other props. Then you get into your cutest bathing suit or outfit of your choice(you are 40, you can do whatever you want) and hop in. 

4. Flower Top

Get yourself a bouquet (preferably a flower without thorns) and use it as your shirt. I love this because it is just so natural, feminine, and beautiful. You are blossoming into the best you, so this is perfect!

5. Strutting the Town

If you live in a large city or a cute town, get on your best outfit and strut that runway

6. Bouquet Close Up

I love this because it is up close and personal. Get a bouquet and doll yourself up. Have the photographer come in close and get some photos of you with the flowers. 

40th birthday photoshoot ideas

7. Hello 40

Get yourself some small word balloons that say hello and 40. Then go to your location of choice and take those photos.

8. Mock Baby Photos

This one is hilarious. You know those monthly baby photos that parents take to show the progress their child has made? Well, recreate that with the number of months you will be turning. Which is 480… by the way.

9. Epic 40th Birthday Throne

This photoshoot will tell the world that turning 40 is something to be proud of. Get yourself an epic throne and some 40th Birthday balloons and voila…epic photos will ensue.

10. Having a Drink

Get a bottle of your favorite kind of alcohol or drink and get some balloons that match your outfit. That’s it… simple and sweet.

11. Smash Cake

Another spin on baby photos. Get a cute 40th Birthday cake and get some photos of you smashing and eating it. Super fun!

Outdoor Photoshoot Ideas, outdoor photo with mirror pointing towards sky

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas

Outdoor photoshoots are a great option to put into your 40th birthday photo shoot ideas checklist because you won’t have to set up a backdrop. Nature is the backdrop itself!

Take a look through all of these awesome options and pick whichever one feels right for you.

12. Outdoor Mirror Ideas

This is one of my absolute FAVORITE ways to spice up an outdoor photo. You get a mirror and prop it up outside, and you suddenly have a multidimensional photo that is breathtaking.

Just add any of the props listed below to make it 40th-themed!

13. Running Through the Forest

Forty is such an amazing age. You have grown comfortable in your own skin, and you get to enjoy life in a more relaxed way that your younger self was never able to. So this running through the forest is one of my favorite 40th birtdhay photo ideas to exemplify this. 

14. Picnic

Set up an adorable picnic with all of your favorites(plus a 40th birthday cake) and wear your favorite outfit. You can let the photographer do their thing from here because this is such a cute idea.

15. Beach Sunset

This one requires some formalwear… but it doesn’t HAVE to. Just wear whatever you feel most confident in, and go down to the beach at sunset. Pop some champagne and have a glass of it in your hand when shooting. It’s classy, elegant, and fun. 

40th birthday party photos with cake

16. Cute Cake and Balloons

Ultimate Cake, Balloons, and Wine photo shoot. You will have an absolute blast shooting this.

17. Laying in Flowers

If you love the outdoors then this is the photoshoot idea that is perfect for you. Not to mention it’s free… the outdoors are one of the best (and cheapest) places to have a birthday photoshoot.

18. Sitting on a Tree

Making use of trees in your photos is a sure-fire way to get some great results. Try it out.

19. Sky as Backdrop

Get your camera man down low to the ground and angle the shot upwards. Suddenly you have the sky as your backdrop. Epic!

20. Mountainscape

Get yourself a beautiful outfit and stand in front of a mountainscape. If you have access to one, then you are going to love the way these turn out.

21. Playing Chicken

Okay so you are not ACTUALLY playing chicken, but you are laying on a road. A DESERTED road is the only kind that will work for this, for safety reasons of course. But the end result is beautiful.

40th birthday photo shoot ideas

Outfit Ideas for Photoshoot

Here are some awesome outfit ideas to help you complete the look, so to speak, of your photoshoot. I made sure to add dresses, pants, and rompers…there is something here for everyone. 

22. Sequin Jumpsuit

If you are leaning toward a classy and elegant photoshoot then this jumpsuit is perfect. It looks surprisingly comfortable as well. We all know that the comfier we are the more confident we are able to feel.

23. Polka Dot Wrap Dress

I find that wrap dresses are the perfect mix of comfort and style. If you don’t like the polka dots then find one in a color you do. 

24. Red Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are long but more casual. So if you were leaning more toward that style then check out this beauty.

25. White Short Sleeve

White dresses aren’t just for weddings, they can be for any celebration. Especially this cute mid-length one.  

What to wear for a 40th birthday photoshoot

26. Romber Jumpsuit

Talk about cute and comfy! A jumpsuit is always a win in my book. 

27.  Casual 2 Piece Button Down

I love this causal 40th birthday photoshoot idea because it’s flowy AND it’s cute

28. Women’s Open Front Blazer

If you are going the fancier route, then you HAVE to try this powerful women’s suit.

29.  Women’s Swing Dress

This is a flowy long sleeve dress that I could just live in, it’s that cute. It would be perfect for a photo shoot.

30. Cute Romper

This one is tan with some buttons going down, and it even has a tie belt. Love it!

31. Boho Green Dress

The bohemian style works in just about everything, but this dress is extra special.

Photoshoot Prop Ideas

Photo Props

32. Confetti

Always a party shoot win! Throw it in the air, use party confetti cannons… whatever works to make the look fun.

33. Number Balloons

These are so easy to use now, they have them even at the dollar store and they’re an easy way to throw a lot of fun into your special day

34. Drinks

Cheers and 40th birthday photo shoot ideas go hand and hand, don’t you agree.

35. Cute Banners

Banners can say whatever you want them to say, which makes them great props for this most special of days.

36. The Year You Were Born

Show it on a hat like I did, a banner, a sash… any way you rep your birth year will make for a fun photo style.

37. Favorite Foods

A photo with your favorite things – be it food, books etc is a fun idea to showcase what you love this time of year.

I hope you found a few ideas here that got you extra excited about your 40th birthday photoshoot. Now is the time to celebrate! 

Remember that the photoshoot itself can be so much fun as well. Have a few drinks, get all dressed up, and feel yourself. That is the point of this whole thing. 

After the photo shoot, you get to the party. Now you can throw whatever kind of party you like, but personally, I am a sucker for an outdoor shindig. The fresh air, and spending time with your loved ones… it doesn’t get much better than that.