Capturing Mother’s Day
…a woman we couldn’t live without.
So, if you are looking to surprise your Mum on this special day, there is nothing more unique than a Mother’s day photo shoot. This will be a great way to spend time with your family and a perfect opportunity to get portraits of motherhood, mothers to be, and even the Grandmothers.
** and breathe**…
Photographing any type of subject requires a CONNECTION which gives your image MEANING.
This is what keeps your image alive, and keeps the viewer’s attention, so it’s pretty vital you master and understand this before taking your shots.
With shots that are personal and family focused, whether it’s Mother’s day, or not, the best way to get that ‘connection’ (we keep talking about) is to keep things NATURAL and CANDID!
The second shot is off the cuff and candid. Looking at the shot you can see the connection between mother and child and the photographer has captured a beautiful moment, timed brilliantly. The shot might not be technically perfect, but it’s a spontaneous and intimate shot that shares a beautiful story.
Timing and a good eye are crucial if you want to capture those special moments!
So, what story do you want your image to convey?
Let’s start by thinking about what the term ‘Mother’ means to you…
• Mother is a form of unconditional love.
• Mother is knowing you are protected, guarded.
• Mother means you are never alone, she is always there.
• Mother is always being able to go back to being a child in her presence.
Think about this as preparation before simply shooting. Why not write a list?
What are your favourite memories with your Mother? What activities remind you of her? Does she have a particular style or look that is significant to her personality? Is there anything unusual that can demonstrate your connection, such as a particularly special item or object?
Let’s twist these typical ‘Mothers Day’ shots on the head and approach Mother’s Day from a different angle.
It’s the morning of Mother’s Day, and what mum wouldn’t want breakfast in bed?
Whether you’re a mother to be, daughter/son, grandchild, why don’t you use this as the perfect photographic opportunity to capture the smile and surprise on the face of a loved one.
Use this opportunity to get some natural shots, lazing in bed with family. Dads can get involved too!
Don’t forget if you want to get the whole family in the shot to use a timer, a remote shutter release or try time lapse for some more natural shots.
If you aren’t a great cook, or don’t trust the kids in the kitchen, then why not try similar shots but with the giving of gifts? Flowers, chocolates and cards… all the best gifts for Mum.
This is one for those of you who love a little TLC… so let’s think candid – set up your self- timer and try this. Get your dressing gowns on and have a pamper morning on Mother’s Day. Think facemasks, rollers, makeup and nail polish!
You could both sit at the mirror and apply make-up simultaneously. Try using a remote trigger, or if you have a time-lapse function on your camera use that to capture some fun moments.
Why not get a little matchy matchy?
These images work perfectly no matter what age you are and are always effective when done correctly. If you can’t get the same outfits, or think that’s going a bit too far, focus instead on the same shades and colour palate.
You don’t have to break the bank with these matching outfits! Jeans and a plain T can work just as effectively as a Chanel suit darlings :)
These theatrical, stylized shots require an element of planning – everything from location and weather forecast, to hair and make-up will need to be considered before embarking on this kind of shoot.
Things to try: Why not add in props, flowers, cuddly toys, capture moments having lunch together, looking at memories shared together, look at old books and photo albums.
It’s beautiful to see family distinctions within the face, so why not try a few side profile shots too? Keep it natural and simple to maintain focus on features.
Try portrait shots, with soft lighting and muted colours.
click to see an example
If you want to surprise mum with a gift, this is a great one for all ages…
Nothing brings back great memories more than childhood photos. What better way to preserve those moments than by recreating some of them?
click to see an example
Once again, you will need to be very accurate and detailed, but you’ll get lots of laugh-out-loud moments, which makes for fabulous photography.
Tips for Recreating Photographs:
• Same people, same photo. Is it a photo of you and your brother? Make sure he can participate in the recreation. Choose photos that the same people will be happy to recreate.
• Choose similar clothing. You may not fit into that dress or shirt from 20 years ago, but look for similar clothing in your current size.
• Strike a pose. Was your leg bent? Did one relative sit and the other stand? Keep the same positions and try to mimic the original.
• Height doesn’t matter. Time has passed – people’s heights have changed. Don’t worry about these differences, it will just add more humour to the photo!
• Set the right background. If you can return to the same place the photo was originally taken, even better!
Think of it like a game of spot the difference. Especially if you look very similar to your Mother! These images can be heartwarming and emotional!
Do you have similar eyes or even the same smile? Try and focus on similarities to make the most of the shot. You’ll soon see how effective and powerful these headshots can be.
Her images feature casual glances, hand gestures, subtle shifts in body language, physical closeness (or lack thereof), shared embarrassments and vulnerability; admissions of uncertainties became the focus of the photographs.
Notice her shots aren’t always hearts and flowers, nor do the subjects have beaming cheesy smiles plastered on their faces. Her shots convey the complexity of a mother and daughter relationship; they capture the ‘real’ connection.
We love how most of her shots focus on and celebrate woman; her maternity shots in particular are outstanding and magical. Jessica has such a great eye and evokes emotions through the stories in her imagery. She creates connections – not only with the subjects she photographs, but also with the viewer.
She makes these women feel empowered and sexy, and this comes across in all her maternity photography. She also manages to convey the connection between mother and ‘bump’, a difficult task for any photographer.
When I am shooting it is so important to try and get the connection, which can sometimes be hard to get across if they are uncomfortable in front of the camera.
I always tell the little ones we are going to play a game getting the kids to play with their mom and be silly will make them more comfortable with you and you will get their real smiles. I always tell them to get really close together have them whisper in each other’s ears, or tell jokes to each other. Depending on how old the child is walking together, holding baby up in the air, or having mom spin around will get them both smiling and interacting together.” Jessica Nightingale
Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at iPhotography.
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