Some life events really call for a celebration or commemoration, and landmark birthdays are certainly among them. The most significant one for a teenager is surely the 16th birthday, their own rite of passage as they approach adulthood.
With this in mind, they’re usually deserving of a killer party! But, hey, what’s a party without some photos to remember it by? Or, even better, why not organize a milestone birthday photoshoot and freeze this special day in time? Not only is it fun for the youngster celebrating it, but a traditional album of printed photos will preserve the memories for the years to come.
However, as picture-perfect as it sounds, the actual planning demands quite a lot of time. To make it easier, take a look at all the steps you need to take before you turn on the camera. First, you need to think about the theme of the sweet 16 photoshoot, or at least some background ideas. Next, you’ll want to include some interesting décor to make the pictures more memorable and festive-looking. Then, consider the poses which would be most flattering. And, finally, choose the outfit that goes best with the session surroundings. Ready? Read away!
Brainstorm photoshoot themes
Before the celebrant can strike a pose and you hear the camera shutter clicks, the set needs to be ready. The first thing that needs to be figured out is – what kind of photographs does the youngster want? After all, they’ll be the star of the shot! So, grant them the wish of doing it in style, whatever that means for them. If they’ve picked a sweet 16 party theme, then do the matching photo session. However, if they seem indecisive, here’s a couple of fun photoshoot themes just to give you a push in the right direction:
A photoshoot is a great opportunity for the kid to show dedication to their preferred sport. Whether it’s a photo set in a jersey, with a ball or on roller blades, they’ll do wonders at showing the celebrant’s passion and sporting aspirations. This especially holds true for the ones that are involved in high school sports teams or who wish to be professional sportsmen. However, even those who just pursue a sport as their beloved past time might find this idea attractive.
A runway walk is something most teen girls practice at one time or another. But, how about a real photo shoot where the birthday girl gets to show of her catwalk? For a DIY home photoshoot, you can recreate a red carpet show quite easily and get great results. On the other hand, you can surprise the celebrant and contact a professional photographer! That way, photos could be done in the studio or even on a real runway – sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Enhance the creative side and project all sorts of interesting images for extra imaginative effect. For the bold teens with a knack for art this could turn into an amazing day. Trying out different patterns and lighting options guarantees a plethora of sweet 16 photo ideas. With endless combinations to try and experiment with, the result will surely be a unique and colorful photo set.
Nothing is as classy as a timeless 1920’s Parisian vibes. All you need is an Eiffel Tower centerpiece coupled with French fashion and, voilà, you’ll be teleported in an instant. To be even more convincing, try adding the famous French lamp posts as well. Paris isn’t called “The city of lights” for no reason, plus, the lanterns will add an elegant touch to the photoshoot.
Rusty colors, retro clothing and a colorful bandana is all it takes to pull off this timeless theme. Not to mention that you can top it off with a fun detail like a rotary phone, for example. It would make for a great prop during the sweet 16 photoshoot and would certainly add a nostalgic feel.
Season of birth theme
When it comes to photography, nature is always in style. The best part about this option is that you likely won’t need any props – just a killer outfit. The natural environment is, after all, the best backdrop there is. For memorable photos, it’s best to recreate the vibe fo the season – a blossoming tree inspring, pool or palm background if it’s summer. Include favorite seasonal activities to personalize the shoot.
Whether it’s one from a movie, a favorite book or a video game is less important. Here, the focus is on recreating the youngster’s love towards their fictional role model. Think of it as Halloween, but less detailed, and more symbolic. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a costume at all – something as simple as a t-shirt with the logo can be enough. This is a perfect idea for all the teens that are die hard fans of a particular show.
No one’s too old for Disney! If a trip to Disneyland is out of bounds, then consider a princess-inspired dress as one of sweet 16 outfits. If you want to keep it minimal, a Minnie Mouse bow hairclip or ears handband is a perfect solution. Cheeky yet elegant, they’ll easily fit in with almost any dress style and instantly make an impression.
Photo within a photo
Think of the movie Inception, except it’s a photo edition. Have the birthday boy or girl hold the framed picture of them when they were a baby or a toddler. Then, take a picture of them with it and you’ll have a wonderful memory! It’s a great way to commemorate the landmark birthday and show how they’ve grown, wouldn’t you say? Oh, and one thing – don’t forget to frame the final picture as well!
If you still think cake smash is only done with babies, then you haven’t been following the latest trends. Grownup cake smash is now very much a thing, and it’s also one of the more popular sweet 16 photo shoots ideas. So, if you decide to hop on the trend train, you’ll have hilarious shots to commemorate the occasion. Bake a simple, sponge cake which is soft and crumbly, a true smashable dessert and get the camera ready. For special effect, you might want to include some party props like confetti or a party horn.
Don’t forget the décor!
If themes are really not the celebrant’s forte, than you should aim at finding a good background. No matter whether it’s a small portrait sitting or a full-on posing photoshoot, you’ll want unique surrounding to accentuate the joyful event. Not only that, but other photo props are appreciated as well. So, if you’ve bought the sweet 16 birthday party decoration, include them in the photos for the festive effect.
Also, depending on whether the party goers will be included as well, you’ll need to think of the photo booth ideas as well. To start you off, why not create a moodboard for the jumping point. Hop on to Pinterest for inspiration, or simply read our top suggestions below:
Whether it’s a birthday related one or a colorful fringe one, a good photo backdrop will make all the difference. They’re excellent for the party photoshoot as well, so you can do a photo session before the guests arrive and then use it again for the group photo stand.
These vibrant decorations are all the rage on Instagram right now, and not just for photo shoots. They’re increasingly becoming incorporated in interior home design as well! Written messages, fun slogans or a graphic, they’ll surely add a special touch to the 16th birthday photo session.
Photo booth frame
The easiest way to recreate a photo booth is to order a custom-made printable photo prop frame. They are great both for the solo shots and for the group ones as well. Not to mention that there’s endless possibilities of colors and templates, so find one to match the youngster’s sweet 16 birthday outfit.
Number balloons, helium-filled ones, or even a balloon banquet. No mater which variety you chose, they’re bound to be a great party prop and are always among the best photoshoot ideas for sweet 16. Have the birthday girl or boy hold the letters and pose with them or toss them in the air – it’s a sure way to have some fun pics.
It’s not a party unless there’s confetti flying around! They are a perfect way to add color to an otherwise monochrome outfit or background, and will make a wonderful contrast. If you’re the photographer, just make sure you set the shutter speed on your camera prior to the shoot. The best results will be with confetti in the foreground, with the celebrant blowing them towards the camera.
Strike a pose!
As this isn’t just any photo shot, but a birthday celebratory one, it’s quite important the pics turn out flattering. Today’s teens are usually self-taught selfie models, what with selfies and everything, so it comes natural. However, selfies are one thing, and posing for a photographer quite another. Here’s our pick of three cool poses for both guys and gals to try out during their session:
Leaning against wall pose
The slight angle of the camera and the subject’s head turned gently turned upwards make for a dreamy shot.
Here’s a relaxed pose to try for the portrait sitting. Gently touching the cheek with the hand creates a casual and spontaneous feel.
Want to show off sweet 16 outfit for photoshoot? Here’s the chance! The effect the turn has on the dress is flattering and will make it dance in the wind.
Hand through hair
Another idyllic shot which is great both for girls and boys. It gives off nonchalant vibes and is great for a spontaneous photo.
Hands in pockets
Here’s another easy yet effective pose. Have the subject lean lightly or sit on a railing and look to the side for a more natural photograph.
Hand on wall
Sweet 16 photo shoot ideas are all about capturing the spirit of the celebrant. This kind of pose opens up their side portrait and conveys a sort of mysterious vibe. What is the subject thinking about?
Sweet 16 outfits for the perfect photo shoot
Once you’ve got everything else planned, it’s time to pick out the best clothing combination. Whether you’ve chosen a theme or simply went with a great photo shoot backdrop or a natural scenery, it’s time to blend the clothing into the mix. Well, bland is one way to go – the other is pure contrast, of course. Lack inspo? Take a look at some of the fashion suggestions below:
A seasonal shoot is an evergreen classic. For the ultimate autumn vibes, blend in like a chameleon with the earthy colors, but contrast it with bold colors like bright red to capture the daring personality.
Summer is all about light fluttering dresses, and here’s an example of a flowery tone that never goes out of style.
A band t-shirt and Lennon glasses are really all you need to go back in time. A texas jacket is another great detail which instantly takes one back to the 90s.
Cameras love pastel colors, and they pop extremelly well next to a bland and neutral background like a brick wall.
For the more cozier feel and colder weather, a cute cardigan or a poncho can never disappoint. Add to that a fashionable hat and the outfit’s ready just like that!