101 Birthday Photo Ideas

comments icon 8 comments

Inspiration for Birthday Photography

Birthdays are such an exciting time! When you are raising kids, the end of the year and the beginning of a new one is a memorable time that you want to bottle up and always remember. Each year they change so much. Capturing that sweet and exciting time can bring you joy for years to come. Even as an adult, taking birthday photos can be a fun way to celebrate another year! We have collected 101 Birthday Photo Ideas to give you inspiration on cakes, cake smashes, props, poses, ideas for older children, ideas for adults, and ideas for snapping photos while the party is in action! We have even included photography tips to make sure you are ready for the big day!

101 Birthday Photography Ideas

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. To learn more about ’em, click here.

With 101 ideas, we have something that will catch your eye and inspire your next birthday photo shoot! We broke up our ideas into categories to help you navigate to exactly what you are looking for! This post includes the following categories to make sure you perfectly capture those sweet birthday moments and milestones:

  • 20 Birthday Cake Photos for Inspiration
  • 22 Birthday Cake Smash Ideas
  • 25 Birthday Photo Props and Poses
  • 15 Birthday Photo Ideas for Older Children and Adults
  • 14 Party in Action Birthday Photo Ideas
  • 5 Birthday Photography Tips

Ideas and inspiration galore! We hope you find one, or several photos, that inspire you and help you create your own gorgeous birthday photos!

20 Birthday Cake Photos for Inspiration

Birthday cakes are a staple of birthday parties and of birthday photos. Whether you are searching for the perfect cake for your toddler to smash, or you are looking for a pretty cake that would complement a snapshot of your child during their party, we have a little of everything. Each cake is a little different and lovely in its own way!

Birthday Cake Photos to Inspire

Cake Inspiration for a Birthday

1. Giant Donut Cake (The Cake Blog) – If you are looking for a unique, yet super cute idea for a cake that’s a little different, this giant donut cake is perfect for your party or birthday shoot.

2. Rainbow Cupcakes (Simple as That) – Cute, easy, and delicious–what more do you need out of birthday cupcakes?

3. Unicorn Cake (Craftsy) – This is the ultimate creative and cute cake! Luckily, this guide makes it completely doable!

4. Unfrosted Cake (Love, Charla Anne) – These unfrosted cakes have become so popular, and for good reason, they make a beautiful addition to any party!

5. Ruffle Cake (The Cake Blog) – A ruffle cake is perfect for a cake smash–adorable with tons of frosting!

Cake Inspiration for a Birthday Party

6. Dinosaur Cake (Butterlust) – This is the kind of cake that little boy dreams are made of!

7. Rainbow Sprinkles (Life Made Sweeter) – Not only is this cake recipe impeccable, the rainbow sprinkles make it an easy and festive addition to any birthday photo shoot.

8. Funfetti Donuts (Baker by Nature) – Donuts are a fun way to switch up a typical birthday party or birthday shoot. These donuts are the perfect DIY birthday treat!

9. Wild Thing Cake (Baking with Blondie) – The simplicity and adorable design of this cake makes it an amazing choice for a birthday photo shoot.

10. Watermelon Cake (Baking Beauty) – If you are searching for a great cake substitute or need to plan around allergies, this “cake” is a great option!

Cake Inspiration for Photographing

11. Fruit Cake (DigiCrumbs) – Whether you are planning around dietary restrictions or just want a healthier option, this fruit “cake” is a great alternative.

12. Cherry Cupcakes (Love, Charla Anne) – There is not a sweeter looking cupcake out there. The look and colors of these are totally swoon-worthy!

13. Sugar Cookie Cake (Sally’s Baking Addiction) – A little different take on the traditional birthday cake, but no less delicious!

14. Ombre Apple Cake (Simple Bites) – If the look of this gorgeous cake isn’t enough for you, you need to take a peek at this super (yummy) unique birthday cake recipe! {Plus, doesn’t the cute pink cake stand just finish it off perfectly!?}

15. Rice Krispie Cake (Sprinkle Bakes) – You can’t beat simple! After all, in a cake smash it’s really the frosting that counts.

16. Easy Smash Cake (One Little Project) – This is the perfect guide for creating a super cute, but super smashable cake!

17. Rainbow Petal Cake (The Cake Blog) – Has there ever been a more bright and beautiful birthday cake?!

18. Giant Cupcake (Phanessa’s Crafts) – This is a different take on your typical birthday cake–it also makes for super cute birthday photos!

19. Rustic Cake (Relish) – Everything about this cake is lovely! There is even a step-by-step guide to make sure yours turns out just as beautiful.

20. Ombre Rosette Cake (Chalkboard Blue) – This cake has everything you need–texture, pops of color, and tons of frosting!

22 Birthday Cake Smash Ideas

Cake smashes are so popular and for good reason! The pure joy that it gives the little one who gets to dig into a cake and frosting is what birthdays are all about! There is not just one, single way to execute a cake smash photo shoot. Take a peek at these adorable cake smash photos and see if any of them inspire you!

22 Ideas for a Cake Smash

Ideas for a Birthday Cake Smash

21. Pink and Gold (Jenn Tuttle, Loveographer) – The pop of gold colors in the outfit and balloons stands out beautifully against the pale pink of this adorable shoot.

22. Baseball Theme (Let Me See You Sparkle) – Do you have a baseball lover in your family? The baseball theme adds so much little boy sweetness to this birthday shoot.

23. Frosting Clap (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – Mid-smash don’t forget to ask your little one to clap–it makes for crazy cute birthday pictures!

24. Frosting Face (Itty-Bitty Foodie) – Get up close and capture the pure joy that only a huge amount of frosting can bring!

25. Messy Shot (Three Peas Photography) – Be sure to catch a few photos of the aftermath of the cake smash. There’s nothing cuter than a frosting covered babe!

Ideas for a Cake Smash

26. Pretty in Pink (Let Me See You Sparkle) – That little tongue just couldn’t wait to dig in!

27. Blue and Gray Hues (Jenn Tuttle, Loveographer) – These blue and gray hues make for the perfect color scheme for this cake smash!

28. Ice Cream Smash (Christine M. Photography in Omaha, NE) – Are you looking for something a little bit different? An ice cream smash is a super sweet and super fun idea!

29. Lumberjack (Tawny Lowther Photography) – A mini lumberjack with a tree stump for a cake creates a fun theme for your little outdoorsman.

30. Smash Smile (Jenn Tuttle, Loveographer) – Pretty pastels, a tutu, and a huge smile–the perfect birthday photo!

Cake Smash Photography

31. Giant Cupcake (Tawny Lowther Photography) – There’s something about a giant cupcake next to a tiny toddler that’s incredibly cute!

32. Simple Smash (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – Who says you need glitz and glamor to have a cute cake smash? All you really need is a naked baby and a frosted cake.

33. Cowboy Theme (Jenn Tuttle, Loveographer) – Yee-haw! This proves a cowboy-themed cake smash is just about as cute as it gets!

34. Unfrosted Smash (Let Me See You Sparkle) – The flower crown paired with the large tutu is almost too sweet to handle. The unfrosted cake gives the smash a sweet and dainty touch.

35. Chocolate Cake (Let Me See You Sparkle) – Have you ever eaten a piece of cake and wondered how your entire body got so messy? Me neither, but that’s the beauty of a toddler cake smash!

Ideas for a Perfect Cake Smash

36. Beach Smash (Mom*Tog) – A cake smash on the beach, in a little swimming suit has got to be just about the most joyful idea ever!

37. Prince Crown (Jenn Tuttle, Loveographer) – Every little boy deserves a birthday crown to smash a cake in!

38. Tutu Smash (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – A sweet, but simple photo that is a great way to show off the birthday cake.

39. Twin Smash (Three Peas Photography) – The only thing more fun than smashing a cake is smashing a cake with your twin!

40. Flowers and Fun (Jenn Tuttle, Loveographer) – This photo shoot has so many little details. The vase of flowers is an adorable addition.

41. Outdoor Smash (Mom*Tog) – This sweet photo is so bright and joyful. That little banner on the cake? The perfect touch!

42. Jeans and Bowtie (Itty-Bitty Foodie) – Wondering what your little guy should wear to smash his cake? Jeans and a bowtie should to the trick!

25 Birthday Photo Props and Poses

Sometimes the smallest touches make all the difference in birthday photos. We have collected 25 ideas that will inspire your birthday photo shoot!

25 Birthday Props and Poses

Birthday Photo Ideas for Different Props and Poses

43. Age Banner (Let Me See You Sparkle) – A banner that spells out your child’s age is a fun way to mark the beginning of a new year!

44. Decorated Car (Christine M. Photography in Omaha, NE) – Who says decorating the back of a car is only for weddings? Send your toddler off with a decorated car!

45. Carousel Ride (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – A carousel makes for an adorable birthday photo and background, but you don’t have to do any prep of your own.

46. Golden Letters (Three Peas Photography) – Golden letters just as tall as your little one show off how small and sweet they are!

47. About Me Board (Jenn Tuttle, Loveographer) – Taking a birthday photo next to a board with little tidbits all about your child is a perfect way to freeze their sweet memory in time.

Birthday Photo Props and Poses

48. Polka Dot Decor (Chelsea Lee Photography) – From head to toe, this bright and cheery scene has everything you want in a birthday photo.

49. Headband Hat (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – This headband party hat adds so much joy and spunk to this adorable birthday photo.

50. Birthday Crown (Three Peas Photography) – A birthday girl in a golden birthday crown. Such a sweet way to capture your little one on their birthday!

51. Cupcake Car (Let Me See You Sparkle) – A cupcake car is an equally unique and hilarious photo prop. Of course, it has a cherry on top!

52. Favorite Character Theme (Three Peas Photography) – Using your child’s favorite character as a theme for a birthday shoot is a cute and clever way incorporate their favorite things.

Props and Poses for Birthday Photos

53. Birthday Dress (Chelsea Lee Photography) – Little girls love to dress up. A lovely little birthday dress is the perfect photo prop.

54. Golden Sign (Mom*Tog) – The best way to celebrate a golden birthday is with all things gold and this cute sign takes the cake!

55. Clear Balloons (Mom*Tog) – Normally when you think of birthday balloons you think bright and colorful. This photo shows what a cool background dozens of clear balloons can be.

56. Wooden Number (Itty-Bitty Foodie) – Put your little guy at the forefront with a large wooden number in the background for a cute and memorable shot!

57. Framed (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – A cute way to incorporate Mom and Dad into the birthday photo shoot is to have them hold a frame in front of their little one.

Props and Poses Inspiration

58. Hockey Pucks (Jenn Tuttle, Loveographer) – Hockey pucks have never been so delicious! This is the perfect set up for any hockey fans out there.

59. Giant Ballons (Mom*Tog) – These huge balloons add that extra festive spirit to your birthday photos.

60. Painted Chair (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – The chair adds the perfect pop of color, but a little one shouting hooray is the sweetest kind of birthday photo you can get!

61. With Mom and Dad (Three Peas Photography) – Mom and dad chasing after their toddler is a cute way to capture the year in a birthday photo.

62. Holding Newborn Photo (Christine M. Photography in Omaha, NE) – Reflect on the past year, while celebrating the upcoming year all in one clever photo!

Memorable Props and Poses and Birthday Photo Ideas

63. Number Balloon (Mom*Tog) – An oversized number balloon in a bright airy space is just about the most amazing birthday picture there is!

64. Cinderella Carriage (Chelsea Lee Photography) – Let your princess ride in style for this year’s birthday shoot!

65. Chalkboard (Let Me See You Sparkle) – A chalkboard and colored chalk make for a cute and simple birthday photo prop.

66. Donut Cake (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – Stack up a dozen donuts into a birthday cake for your little one to pose with.

67. Bloomers (Three Peas Photography) – Taking photos of toddlers can be hard. Embrace that they are always on the move with cute and funny bloomers.

15 Birthday Photo Ideas for Older Children and Adults

As your kids grow up, you still want to capture memorable birthday photos. Even as an adult, taking fun birthday photos can make your birthday more exciting! We have collected birthday photo ideas that are fitting for older children as well as adults.

15 Ideas for Older Children and Adults

Birthday Photo Ideas for Older Children and Adults

68. Birthday Hat Peek (Love, Charla Anne) – A simple and clever way to capture your child’s birthday in a memorable way without a full photo shoot.

69. Age Shirt (Three Peas Photography) – This shirt is a fun way to capture those sweet birthday memories!

70. Number Candle (Mom*Tog) – Snapping a photo with a number candle is about as easy as it gets, but can be just as cute as ideas that take much longer to prep!

71. Sunny Balloons (Love, Charla Anne) – This is a fresh take on balloon birthday photos. With the little girl facing away, the sunlight gives this photo a beautiful dreamy vibe.

72. Golden Cake and Balloons (Mom*Tog) – With gold touches everywhere, this birthday photo is gorgeous and festive from top to bottom.

Birthday Photo Ideas for Older Kids and Adults

73. Number Stick (Love, Charla Anne) – The simple number stick is such a cute touch to any cupcake, and of course, to any birthday photo!

74. Single Candles (Whipper Berry) – Single candles are a traditional birthday staple, luckily they also make for extremely cute photos!

75. Flower Crown (Tawny Lowther Photography) – I can’t think of a better time to have a flower crown than on your birthday!

76. Balloon Cluster (Grace Pennington Photography) – A cluster of balloons makes for easy and cute birthday photos. Luckily, this idea is great for all ages!

77. Balloon Banner (Love, Charla Anne) – If your older child isn’t into a full birthday photo shoot, a couple pics during breakfast with a balloon banner in the background is a great idea!

Birthday Photo Ideas for Adults

78. Photobooth Props (Love, Charla Anne) – Cute and silly photo booth props make great additions to birthday photos!

79. Full Party Photo (Ginny Haupert Photography) – Adults need memorable birthday photos, too! Snap a photo with all of your party decor!

80. Gift Bags (Ginny Haupert Photography) – Posing with cute gift bags is a silly and fun birthday photo pose!

81. Confetti (Ginny Haupert Photography) – Throw some sparkly confetti in the air and get your celebration started!

82. Age Sparklers (Ginny Haupert Photography) – Totally in love with age sparklers! They make for some pretty amazing birthday photos!

14 Party in Action Birthday Photo Ideas

A birthday party is a great place for a photo shoot! If you can capture all of the joy, decorations, and fun in one shot, it will be a photo you remember forever. Take a look at these fun ideas for capturing the party in action!

14 Party In Action Photos

Birthday Photo Ideas for Capturing a Party in Action!

83. Making a Wish (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – There is perhaps no sweeter photo to catch than your little one blowing out their candles with all their might!

84. Carousel Party (Chelsea Lee Photography) – Such a sweet moment captured between a mom and her daughter on her special day!

85. Opening Gifts (Love, Charla Anne) – A classic photo opening presents, made infinitely more cute, set in front of adorable decorations.

86. Circus Tent (Ginny Haupert Photography) – Don’t miss the chance to capture your child with their party all set up and ready for action!

87. Doll Tea Party (Love, Charla Anne) – You will always want to remember the sweetness and excitement of the day, so sneak in and snap a few candid photos!

Birthday Photo Ideas for a Party in Action

88. Confetti Surprise (Mom*Tog) – Let the confetti, balloons, and decorations rain down! Birthdays are meant to be exciting after all!

89. Fairy Party (Ginny Haupert Photography) – The joy and essence of this whimsical fairytale party are perfectly captured in this photo of the birthday girl waiting for her party to begin!

90. Cupcake Decorating (Love, Charla Anne) – Candid shots of children enjoying their party will be so sweet to look back and reflect on in coming years.

91. Outdoor Party (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – Grab the birthday girl (or boy) and take a photo of them with their party and guests in the background!

92. Party Animals (Itty-Bitty Foodie) – Who says your child’s favorite toys can’t join in on the party? Bring those party animals along!

Party in Action Birthday Photo Ideas

93. Super Boy (TorBang Photography) – Boys don’t always love their pictures taken, but they always love to get super powers!

94. Party Masks (Love, Charla Anne) – These party masks have got to be one of the funniest (and cutest) additions to any party!

95. Party Play (Wendy Updegraff Photography) – Don’t pause the fun, snap a few photos of the birthday child mid-party!

96. Sweet Smile (Simple as That) – The sweetest moment captured without any of the chaos.

5 Birthday Photography Tips

Now that you have tons of ideas in your pocket and you have a general idea of what you want to photograph, use these photography tips to make sure your pictures are perfect. Each of these sites gives you a little something different that will vastly improve the birthday photos you take!

Birthday Photography Tips

Birthday Photography Tips

97. Party Photography Tips (Laughing Latte) – An amazing resource for tips and ideas for capturing the party in photos.

98. General Tips (Exposure Guide) – Quick and concise tips to getting beautiful and memorable birthday shots.

99. Behind the Scenes Peek (Mom*Tog) – A full behind the scenes look into a birthday shoot that you could recreate with your little one!

100. Cake Smash Photography (Sixth Bloom) – Everything you need to know to execute the perfect cake smash photo session.

101. Tips for Photographing Toddlers (Simple as That) – Having a few extra tricks up your sleeve is the key to getting the perfect birthday photos you have been dreaming of!

Hopefully, by now your mind is overflowing with ideas of your own after reading through all of this birthday photography inspiration! If you are looking for other great birthday ideas be sure to check out our   Birthday Questionnaire for Spouse and Kids, as well as our Family Birthday Kit!


The great loves of my life are my family, maple bars, and hand sanitizer. I’ve been married to my very own dreamboat of a soulmate for ten years. I think that there is nothing in the world that's better than laughing so hard you can barely breathe. In our family we have a policy of making that happen at least once a day.

Learn more about Lauren
Free 7-day Program

One week to a better marriage.

Sign up now and get our 7 Days of Love Program absolutely free!

Husbands or Wives
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You Might Also Like

diamond iconWe love your comments

We LOVE hearing from our readers! Thanks for leaving us some love!

Recent Comments

  1. The birthday photos will help to remember and create a long lasting memories. Great list of birthday photo ideas and these ideas are really cute, thanks for sharing.

  2. These are such cute ideas! What a great round up of inspiration for birthday pics!

  3. SOOOOO many great ideas! I can’t even handle the cuteness of the FROSTING FACE… #24!!! AHHHH! Adorable!!!!

  4. These ideas are all so BEAUTIFUL! My creative juices are starting to flow! All I need now is to wait for a birthday! 🙂

    1. Right?! So glad it was useful, there are so many creative ideas! I have a whole list ready now that I want to try for my sons next birthday!