One of my favorite things to do during family sessions is to make sure that mama feels like a queen. Because, let’s face it, even if the mom isn’t a professional photographer she is probably the main photographer in the family. Sometimes, she deserves to be in front of the lens. And this is why I make it a priority to make moms look their best in family portraits.
Every time I photograph a family I take extra care to calm the mother’s nerves, reassure her that she looks amazing, and purposefully pose and direct her in ways that will make her look and feel her best. I am excited to share five posing and guiding tips that always help moms look and feel amazing!
1. Photograph mom from above.
After I arrange the family into a pose, I guide them to lean into each other. Then, I either stand on something (like a stool) or I hold the camera above my head and shoot from a slightly elevated angle. If the family is sitting on the ground, I stand up and shoot from above. This overhead angle flatters the mother’s features and also provides an intimate and unique perspective.
2. Direct mama to look at her children or spouse.
Most people are hardwired to look right at the camera, but a mother is going to look and feel her best when she is looking at her loved ones rather than right into the camera. A simple reminder from you is a great way to get her into the moment.
I encourage moms to interact and snuggle with their children. They are always pleasantly surprised with how much they love these authentic photos of themselves. Because they aren’t traditional photos of her staring right at the camera, but instead show her interacting with her loved ones, these photos hold special meaning.
3. Ask her to look down and slightly to the side.
I love to make sure to grab at least one photo of the mother alone. Remember, she may likely be the main photographer in the family and chances are there aren’t many photos of her alone. Her children need photos of her. Having her look down and slightly to the side allows her to relax and I am able to capture her gorgeous face.
4. Incorporate movement to help mom relax.
I love to ask mom to hold one of her children and spin them around. Movement relaxes her body and usually makes her hair move in a beautiful way. Moms love seeing themselves playing and moving with their kiddos.
5. Photograph mom at an angle.
When photographing the family as a group, make sure mom’s shoulders aren’t square to the camera. A slight angle really flatters the female frame.
There you go! Using these five simple tips, you can make the mothers you photograph look and feel their absolute best in photos. Have fun!
Photos by Elena Blair