There are really only a few things I ask for on Mother’s Day – to sleep in, no fighting, and for my husband to take photos of the girls are I. After all, they are the ones who made a mama.
I’d love to share some tips with you that will make DIY Mother’s Day photos fun and stress free. These tips are going to give you the 5 W’s for taking a frame- worthy photo.
Tip #1 – Who will take the photos.
Decide who’s going to take the photo! You can either hand the camera over to your husband or do it yourself. For DIY photos you should know how to locate the self timer on your phone or DSLR. Most self timers have a delay so that you have time to get yourself in the shot before the camera clicks. If you want to give yourself more time to get ready, think about buying a bluetooth remote. They have inexpensive ones for both cell phones and DSLR’s. I share my favorite ones in my online course. You’re also going to need something to prop your camera up on. If you’ve got a tripod, use it! They do make tripods for cell phones! You can also use a stool, chair, counter, coffee table, or stack of books. Just make sure it’s at the right height!
Tip #2 – When to take photos.
Timing is important when you’re taking photos. If you want to do it outside, wait until an hour or two before the sun sets. Around 6:30 is perfect!
If you have early risers, head outside before the sun gets too high in the sky. Make sure you’re in shade and the sun is behind you.
It’s also important to consider nap time and bed times with little ones. If you want sunset photos, try napping them a little later so they’re not cranky in the early evening. Make sure they’re fed and bring a treat just in case.
And lastly, don’t wait until Mother’s Day to take photos. DO IT NOW! The day of an event or special occasion is often rushed and you might end up forgetting. Plus, doing it a few days early gives you time for a do-over.
Tip #3 – What to wear.
OK so the first thing I think you should do is pick something that’s comfortable and flattering. If you have an outfit that you love, start there and build everyone else’s outfits around that. Comfort is key because if you don’t feel good in what you’re wearing it’ll show in the photos.
When you’re going through your closet, stay away from anything that has a logo. If you’re taking the time to set up these photos and get your kiddos involved, you want to make it look like more than a snapshot. You should also avoid bright, neon colors.
OK now that you’ve chosen something for yourself, the kids are kind of easy. You want their clothes to be complimentary, not matching. Pick 3 or 4 colors that go with each other. You can also add in a print or pattern to add texture and depth.
My last tip is to lay everything out on the floor so you can see how it looks together. Oh and shoes! Don’t forget about shoes. It’s just as important as the rest of your clothing!
Tip #4 – Where to take photos.
To some people this can feel like the most overwhelming part (besides choosing what to wear!). All you need is one great spot so don’t drive yourself crazy.
If your yard has great light, do it there. If not, think about a spot in your neighborhood or around town that might work. We did family photos in an empty parking lot right down the road from our house. I chose it because I knew it would be empty (no cars in the background), there’s a pretty pond, and the sun sets right behind the water. Find an area that doesn’t have too many distractions in the background. You want the focus to be on your and your kids.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate and you’re stuck inside on Mother’s Day, find a big window in your home and use that. Get snuggled up with the kids and make sure you’re facing the window so the light is nice and even. If hubby is taking the shot that means he would be in front of the window. Just make sure he doesn’t block your light!
Tip #5 – Why taking photos with your kids is important.
There’s so much I could say on this topic. I think you already know it’s important, but there are a ton of excuses holding you back. It’s never the right time, the kids won’t cooperate, you’re waiting to lose the weight, buy a new outfit, get your hair done, etc., etc. I’ve told myself all of these things. Just for once I want you to ignore all of that and do it anyway. For them. Even if they whine, complain, make funny faces, or cry. Do it anyway. And keep trying. Even if it’s only on Mother’s Day every year. Make it a tradition. You’ll be so grateful you did. I promise!
Bonus Tip – Simple poses to try.
No matter how old your kids are there are a couple things you can do with them that will produce fun, playful photos.
Take a walk. Hold hands. Don’t hold hands. Whatever feels natural. The key is to not look at the camera though. Talk to each other. Tell each child what you love about them as you’re walking. If you have someone taking the photo for you, tell them to keep snapping as you walk closer and closer.
Play a game. This is perfect for younger kids. A game will keep them engaged, especially if mom is playing along! Ring around the Rosie, Red Light/Green Light, and Simon Says are all perfect games for capturing natural expressions.
I hope these ideas and tips help you create a beautiful photo to celebrate Mother’s Day. I’d love to see what you are able to capture. Please feel free to tag me on social media @stacymaeandco or @stacymaephotography If you want to learn more about simple ways to get in the frame with your kids or how to capture your everyday, come check out my online course, “Click & Capture: Your Everyday.” I’m offering 50% off from now until Mother’s Day with the code MOM.