Creating gorgeous photographs of moms with their kids can be a daunting task. But with a little planning, responding well to the family dynamic, and paying attention to whether or not you’re selecting flattering angles you can create lovely portraits that they’ll treasure for years.
Women can be harsh critics of themselves, so it’s well worth spending some time thinking about how to make moms happy with their portraits. Both in terms of helping moms relax beforehand and on the day, and paying attention to choosing flattering angles as you photograph them. I’ve learned lots through my experience over the years – here are 10 tips to help you photograph moms.
Suggest avoiding sleeveless tops so underarms aren’t exposed, as well as avoiding graphics on clothing so that the focus is on faces and not on clothing. For new moms, a loose t-shirt or a shirt is more flattering than tightly fitted breastfeeding tops.
Here you can suggest using a face powder to minimize shine, an under eye concealer to minimize shadows, and a pale eye shadow to brighten the face.
Spend some time chatting to Mom before you meet her, and before you start photographing. The more relaxed she feels, the better your photographs of her will be.
Find flattering angles
If you’re providing any posing guidance, suggest Mom leans her weight on her back foot for the most flattering angle. Suggest she thinks about bringing her forehead in space to minimize any double chins – Peter Hurley has a great video demonstrating this technique (see below). The best place to hold a toddler is generally on Mom’s hip, rather than holding them squashed across or into her body.
Angles for new moms
Be careful that the weight of their baby isn’t creating bulges, as new moms are often sensitive about remaining baby weight and won’t want it emphasized. Holding the baby in the crook of their arm works well to minimize this. Or if Mom is very conscious of baby weight, have Dad hold the baby and encourage Mom to snuggle in from behind, bringing her arm round Dad’s so everyone’s involved.
Another good option is to have Mom lie on her side, near her baby. This brings her head nice and close to the baby for an intimate portrait, and is also a flattering angle for those conscious of baby weight.
Games and laughter
Find out which games the children are particularly enjoying at the Moment, and have Mom instigate those games. Peek-a-boo, spinning on the spot, aeroplanes, lifting babies up in the air (safely!) and tickles are surefire hits for some lovely giggles.
Cuddles and kisses
This is one of the most highly prized photographs for moms, so encourage the children to give Mom a lovely cuddle. If they’re not feeling like dispensing kisses on demand, ask them if they know how to kiss Mom’s nose. Often the challenge of proving they can will get the kids to oblige!
With newborns, encourage Mom to place a gentle kiss on the newborn’s face – you may need to point to the spot that you’ll be able to see in shot.
On the move
moms will want to remember the feeling of holding a little hand in theirs. So remember to photograph moms walking with their children, hand in hand. Having Mom run towards the camera with her children can also be a great way of helping more camera shy mothers to relax and have fun.
Keep an eye out for the tender moments between moms and their children – these are very emotive and can be very powerful photographs for mothers. Capturing the strength of that bond is such a privilege, and the gentle oments of calming a baby or young child can be a great opportunity to do just that.
For shy moms, try to incorporate details such as their arms holding the baby – you don’t need a face-on portrait if it makes her feel uncomfortable. Having these kind of details will mean a lot to the baby when he/she is grown up, to see themselves lying in their mother’s arms.
And if their mom is camera shy, all the more reason to make sure the child gets some photographs with Mom in shot!
For one reason or another, it so often ends up being the mother who takes snaps at home and on holidays – with the unfortunate result that moms are often absent from most home photographs.
Making sure to incorporate beautiful photographs of Mom with her kids is a lovely gift to level the playing field here and make sure that Mom features in their photo albums too!
Do you have any other tips for photos of moms with their kids? Please share them and your images of moms and kids below.