We report observations of 16 candidate polar-ring galaxies (PRGs) identified by the Galaxy Zoo project in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data base. Deep images of five galaxies are available in the SDSS Stripe82 data base, while to reach similar depth we observed the remaining galaxies with the 1.8-m Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope. We derive integrated magnitudes and u−r colours for the host and ring components and show continuum-subtracted Hα+[N ii] images for seven objects. We present a basic morphological and environmental analysis of the galaxies and discuss their properties in comparison with other types of early-type galaxies. Follow-up photometric and spectroscopic observations will allow a kinematic confirmation of the nature of these systems and a more detailed analysis of their stellar populations.