Photo Tip Friday: Photography Tips for Mother's Day

by Mary Denman    @MaryDenman

Throughout the year, we have very special holidays to celebrate those we love. In the US, Mother's Day is this Sunday, 10 May 2015. 

Often, that means family get togethers with mom. It's an opportunity to photograph your loved ones and document time spent together. So today's tips are designed to help you record Mother's Day! 

Since my mom passed away 2 years ago, I don't have any shots of Mother's Day with my mom to illustrate the tips.

But, I do have shots that illustrate how to photograph special family events. These tips will still work for time with your mom and the family get together. Just substitute your mom for my father-in-law! 

Let's get started. 

COLLAGE 1: Take pictures of fun and games by Mary Denman Photography
Collage 1: These are shots from the day celebrating my father-in-law's birthday. 

The whole family got together.  The grandkids were playing the game Spoons so I took a shot of that. 

My daughter was opening a present (a unique mixing bowl) for her upcoming wedding and then her uncle decided to use it as a face shield so I couldn't take his picture. I showed him! 

Seriously, my brother-in-law and I have a hilarious, 25 year-long battle taking awkward pictures of each other! Or, taking a secret, crazy shot on the other person's camera...

TIP 1: Take photos that capture the feel of the get together. Does your family play horseshoes, cards, or watch a particular program? Record that in pictures! Document what goes on around the house or out in the yard. Those shots can become a great memory of good times together. 

COLLAGE 2: Take pictures of the food
COLLAGE 2: Can you tell what we ate? Yep, Italian. My mother-in-law made her awesome meatballs and we had a great salad and lasagna. 

While it may seem a little odd to take pictures of food, think about this: Don't food pictures bring back memories? They sure do for me! This post is making me hungry. My kids will always associate that picture of the meatballs and sauce with their Grandmother! That's a great memory to have. 

TIP 2: Take a picture of the food from Mother's Day. There really are many memories tied up in food. Preserve those! 

COLLAGE 3: Take photos of the person you're celebrating by Mary Denman 

COLLAGE 3: This is a more obvious photo opportunity. This is my father-in-law with his cake and when he's ready to open presents. He was like a kid in a candy store. 

He was so happy to have us all there. It was a pleasure to celebrate with him. 

TIP 3: Take photos of your mom with the cake and presents! 

COLLAGE 4: This was my father-in-law with each of us. Why did I take tall of these instead of one group shot? I couldn't do a group shot. There wasn't really room in the house and it wasn't practical to go outside since it was night. 

But I made a point to get pictures of my father-in-law with each of us. He was in Hospice care. I wanted to have a good shot of him with each child, just in case. I knew we'd have fewer opportunities to see him. I was right. This was our last day with him. These shots are pure gold! 

TIP 4: Take a group shot if you can, and if not, then take individual shots with your mom. 

TIP 5: Take head on shots, but try shots from the side too. Like the first shot of my mom above. You don't only look at a person straight on. Take shots of your mom talking with others. Interacting. Laughing. Crying. Be generous with your photo taking! 

My Mom, by my sister
This is a pastel painting of my mom done by my sister after mom passed away. I think it captures her essence so beautifully. My mom was amazing. She was such an encourager and rock for those around her. I wish I had one more Mother's Day with her. But alas, I'm thankful for the 47 years I had with her. 

Celebrate with everyone you're with this year! 

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I will always love you.

TWEETABLE: Photography Tips for Mother's Day (click to tweet)


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  1. What a fabulous post, Mary! Oh, I wish I'd taken pics of my grandmothers cooking their favorite (or should I say, my favorite) foods. The picture of your mom is incredibly sweet. I'll be praying for you this weekend.

    1. Thanks Cathy! I cherish the pictures I have of mom! Have a happy Mother's Day!

  2. Hi Mary, here I am again to learn from you. I was wondering if you have already written about how to photograph when lights are not on your side. My question is because my place is quite dark and I cannot seem to get the right look on my pictures.
    I am sorry to read about your mom. Beautiful painting from your sister.

    1. That's a great question Debbie. Yes, I have done some posts on lighting.

      Here is a 2 part series about lighting. Let me know if these tips help!

      PART 1:
      PART 2:

      Feel free to ask more questions!

      Thanks about my mom. My sister is talented, isn't she? :)

    2. Thanks a bunch, Mary. I did not even pinned, I added them to pocket because then I am not going to lose it.

  3. I wish I had been older and knew about cameras while I was young and my grandmother and aunts were still living. We didnt have cameras then like we do now.

    Thanks for stopping by to Linkup this weeks Friday Features Party!
    Have a great weekend, Karren

    1. I understand! We only have a few pictures of my grandparents. But I'm glad I have those.

      I try to take frequent shots of family, even if the kids fuss! ;) Have a great weekend!

  4. Great tips Mary, love the photo of your farther in law holding his birthday cake :)

    Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop..

    1. You're welcome Claire! Have a great week!