50 Cakes: “Celebrate Yourself” Adult Birthday Photoshoot

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Who said birthday photoshoots are for 1-year-olds, or 13, or 16? At 50, this accomplished woman has a lot to be proud of to celebrate herself with an offbeat (and sexy!) adult birthday photoshoot!

Meet Dillian! A voracious reader to the degree of heading a book club which is 20 years strong and an ambitious owner of an event management company Event Diligence that conducts over 20 corporate events per year worldwide ranging 10-10,000 participants. People expect a WOW when she throws events and she enjoys entertaining. Through her 50th birthday photo presentation, she wanted to show a more daring side of her personality. Unlike most of my clients, Dillian was not referred by a past client but picked me from a professional listing site.

As my regular readers and clients may testify, I take a methodical approach to my photoshoots and firmly believe in knowing the personality of the person before camera-freezing them. This inquisitive approach leads to finer attention to details and reflects in richness of the photographs. Questions about Dillian’s personal life revealed that she cherishes the friendships she has made through her book club and loves globe-trotting with Greece being her last checked off destination. Her mantra on travelling is that “life is short, buy the shoes, take the trip and eat the cake”. The lady is turning 50 this year and is living a fulfilled life with her husband, two young sons and a seven-year-old Labradoodle that holds a special place in her heart.

Life is short, buy the shoes, take the trip, eat the cake.

Dillian Waldron

In her own words, people expect class at her events and she thrives under the weight of expectations as it gets the adrenaline pumping and creativity flowing. An inherently reserved person, Dillian through her photographs wanted to accentuate her bold side and therefore opted for a more exotic and avant-garde persona. I recommended a photo shoot around her house for a diversity of environment and access to the books as one of main props. Besides the books, Dillian arranged for the cupcakes, angel wings, and a convertible. I brought the flame cans, fog machine, and lighting, both studio and portable.

The broad scope of this adult birthday photoshoot initially necessitated a 5-hour long shoot, which later on got extended to a full day as time-saving at the cost of professionalism and thorough vision development is not her glass of shaken martini. And, because there were no shortcuts in hair and makeup, either, each concept was redone by Tara Patterson of Simply Chic Hair Studio and Stephanie West of ReddMakeup, standing by the entire day. Dillian’s two sons were quick to give their hands here and there, too. I bet they thought their mom was rad, proven by snapping photos during her prep for a crazy look.

As mentioned, Dillian is an avid reader and the chairperson of a functional book club. To start off her adult birthday photoshoot, we made books sexy by sprinkling a business feel and an attire topped with reading glasses, man’s work shirt with an unknotted tie just caressing her neck, and of course, signature Louboutin shoes. Her studiousness, as well as her focus, is shining right through the pictures. After that, we ignited fire upon Dillian’s insistence. She was sparked by my body art pictures and reminded me of the one where little pots were used (I use them here and there). The lady dons an evening gown and looks ravishing with the slight whiff of smoke adding further theatre to the images. Finally, inspired by the boudoir photographs that I took earlier, Dillian wished for a fine blend of light and shadow to accentuate her captured sexuality. You can spot three different Dillons in as many photographs with the looks ranging from spunky, upbeat and joyful to downright crazy, pensive and one longing for something imperceptible.

Dillian’s celebration of a fulfilled life could not be completed without an outdoor shoot emphasizing her joy and happiness in warm, beautiful natural sunlight. I depicted her traveling with a load of suitcases, shoeboxes, and of course, the cupcakes!

Her life story and rationale to have an adult birthday photoshoot were powerful enough to compel me to request her to pen something for the blog. Here is what Dillian wrote:

Life is short, buy the shoes, take the trip, eat the cake. Through photos, I asked Ed to share with my loved ones a fun and daring and sexy side of me. He incorporated the opening phrase and the photoshoot turned into yet another high point in my life. My appreciation for every day and the limited time I get to spend among exceptional people will endure for 50 and more years.

Dillian Waldron

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Here’s a quick look behind the scenes of this packed adult birthday photoshoot and the captures from @zorzstudios IG Story:


Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.


  1. ANGELA COOPER says:

    I love it. i will be turning 50 in 2020 and i would love to do something like this.

  2. […] Ah, my favorite topic of a photoshoot that has no limits. Time limits, that is, but it translates into opportunities, diversity, and ultimately — impact. Most of my all-day photo sessions were done for a creative individual, from a young lady entering adulthood to an aspiring Bollywood actor, from a spiritual visionary to a luxury designer who models herself, from experimental boudoir to underwater Caribbean caves, and from maternity in Greece to a 50th birthday treat to yourself. […]

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