If you’re a maternity photographer, you know the challenges of making a mom-to-be look and feel like a million bucks.
Add a toddler or child into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for a difficult shot to master.
Yet, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure the mommy and me photos you take turn out just the way you want.
In a previous article, I offered up a few examples of how you can make maternity photography glamorous.
In this article, I thought it would be worthwhile to offer up a few examples of gorgeous mommy and me photos.
Let’s take a look!
Photo by: Bailey Smith Photography
Part of making a photo eye-catching is making it relatable to viewers.
That strategy is no different for mommy and me photos as it is for any kind of portrait.
In this example, we see how adding a prop - the dandelion - helps make this one adorable shot.
We’ve all spent some time blowing the seeds off of dandelions, and I’d assume many of us have done the same with our own kids.
That’s why it’s so easy to connect with the moment portrayed in this image.
In short: If you want to create an image that is impactful and pulls at the heartstrings, add in a prop, but do so in a way that is natural and not distracting.
Photo by: Kristen Aileen Photography
When creating a mommy and me portrait inside your studio or in your client’s home, you can incorporate more detail-oriented wardrobe choices to add interest to the shot.
In this case, the plain, white background is an ideal backdrop upon which to show off the intricate lace used to construct these mommy and me gowns.
The matching floral crowns add even more detail to the photo that helps bring our attention to the faces of mom and daughter.
Note as well the simple posing - mom and daughter both standing, creating a linear form. Again, like the background, the simple pose helps elevate the gowns and floral crowns, giving the shot the detail it needs to be visually interesting.
In short: Create a compelling visual by pairing highly detailed wardrobe selections with simple backdrops.
Photo by: Bailey Smith Photography
When taking mommy and me photos, it’s imperative that you continue shooting between takes.
You might capture a fun, candid moment like the one above that shows the strength of the relationship between mom and daughter.
Look at their smiles - they are natural, unforced, and show the joy of the moment. That can be hard to replicate in a posed shot.
What’s more, the candidness of the photo provides an interesting contrast to the more formal attire that mom and daughter are wearing. On the one hand, they appear to be playing, yet doing so in beautiful, feminine gowns makes for an interesting narrative.
You can just imagine the little girl singing a song as she plays with mom, can’t you?
In short: Create an emotion-filled image by capturing candid moments between formal takes.
Photo by: Amber Fite Photography
When creating a portrait, remember that you have the creative freedom to experiment with how you frame the shot.
Though more traditional compositions are fine, by framing a tighter shot, and, as was done above, even cropping mom’s face out of the shot altogether, you can create a more unique, eye-catching photo.
In this instance, the image isn’t just about mom and daughter, but also about the daughter and her soon-to-be baby brother or sister.
The placement of the little girl’s head right next to mom’s belly bump and the positioning of her arms reaching up to hold mom’s belly, combined with her sweet smile, makes this an emotion-filled portrait that mom, daughter, and other family members are sure to cherish.
In short: Experiment with framing to find a unique way to highlight the relationship between subjects.
Photo by: Twyla Dawn Photography
When creating portraits, our natural inclination as photographers is to get the subjects to smile.
But as you can see in the image above, capturing an image in which mom and daughter aren’t smiling helps create a scene of great thoughtfulness.
Part of that is the manner in which the little girl is holding onto her mom - almost as a way of offering her physical and moral support.
The other element of thoughtfulness is in the wardrobe selection. Having mom and daughter wearing similar items gives the image a greater feeling of cohesiveness.
What’s more, the very slight variation in the color between mom’s gown and daughter’s gown gives just enough visual difference to separate the two, but not so much that it becomes distracting.
In short: Don’t try to force smiles. Let them occur naturally, and even if your subjects aren’t smiling, you can still create an interesting photo with a formal feel.
Photo by: Susy Martinez Photography
Color and contrast are two elements you can incorporate into your mommy and me photos to give them additional visual interest.
In this case, the coral color of the mommy and me gowns are complemented beautifully by the rust-colored rocks.
Additionally, the brightness of the setting sun in the background adds some highlighted areas that offer a nice juxtaposition to the darker areas of the shot, particularly in the foreground.
Note as well the value of taking portraits from various angles. Though the first thought might have been to have the subjects facing the sun, by placing the sun behind them, there’s no risk of squinty, watery eyes.
In short: Move around your subject to investigate different lighting possibilities. Your first choice might not be the best!
Photo by: Fox and Peony Studios
The relationship between a mother and her daughter is one that is excellent fodder for a gorgeous portrait.
When trying to show that relationship, frame a close-up shot that mimics the intimacy of the relationship. In this case, the tight framing reflects mom’s tight grasp of her daughter, which is a strong visual cue of her love.
Helping to create that vibe of love and connection is the matching wardrobe. It’s virtually impossible to tell where mom’s dress and daughter’s dress begin and end. The same can be said for their floral crowns too.
In that regard, the wardrobe choice, like the framing, is another cue to communicate the intimacy between mom and her daughter.
In short: Framing a close-up portrait can help increase the intimate feel of the shot.
Photo by: Belly Beautiful Portraits
Though most portraits we see include the subject looking right down the barrel of the lens, there is something to be said about having your mommy and me subjects look at one another instead.
Much like tightly framing the shot helps create an intimate feel, having mom and daughter look at one another helps highlight the personal nature of that relationship.
What’s more, having mom and daughter look at one another gives us the feeling that we’re witnessing a private moment, one in which mom and daughter are connecting and demonstrating their love for one another.
The result? A highly engaging portrait that just oozes emotionality.
In short: Have your subjects make eye contact with one another so you can create a more intimate, meaningful portrait that highlights their relationship.
Photo by: Lisa Viox Photography
Some moms prefer not to have their baby bump showing, and that’s completely okay.
But for moms that want to highlight their baby bump, the wardrobe selection becomes even more important.
In this case, you can see how a two-piece gown helps mom look and feel elegant, while also allowing her to put her growing belly on full display.
This makes for an especially sweet portrait when big sister is included in the shot. Here we see the connection between mom, her daughter, and the coming baby, which wouldn’t have been as effective had mom’s gown covered up her belly.
Also note the tight framing, much like was discussed above. By zooming in on this moment, a more intimate photo is the result.
In short: Two-piece maternity gowns allow you to create a more intimate portrait that shows the budding relationship between the baby-to-be and his or her big sister.
As with any portrait, lighting is a crucial element that will determine, in part, the success of the image.
In this case, notice how the soft, evening light doesn’t directly fall upon the subjects, but that it is visible in the surroundings. Just that bit of warm light helps give depth to the photo and results in an image with a higher dynamic range.
At the same time, because evening light is so even, there isn’t worry about harsh shadows on the subjects.
This image is also a reminder of how a frame within a frame can help direct the viewer’s eye. In this case, the bushes in the foreground and the archway above the subjects helps bring our eye right to mom and her daughter.
In short: Golden hour is a prime time for portraiture because the lighting is soft, warm, and even.
Photo by: Robin Long Photography
Many portraits are taken from the front, giving viewers a front view of the subject.
However, when taking mommy and me portraits, it’s worth it to take a few profile shots, particularly if it helps you accentuate mom’s baby bump.
In this shot, the high-key background helps simplify the composition so that mom and daughter can shine. The outline of mom’s baby bump is on full display, as is her relationship with her daughter.
Note again the value of capturing a more candid moment - the little girl appears to be talking to the coming baby, which makes this shot even more adorable.
This image is also an ideal example of how the wardrobe selection can elevate the shot. In this case, it might have been considered to have mom and daughter wear a different color gown. However, by matching the gowns to the background, the photo looks refined, crisp, and finished.
That’s the value of putting thought into wardrobe selections!
In short: Profile portraits give you the opportunity to show off mom’s baby bump as well as her relationship with her daughter.
With that, you have 11 incredible examples of mommy and me photos that aren’t just gorgeous but serve as inspiration for your own mommy and me photo shoots.
The typical tips are there - watch the lighting, try different shooting angles, concentrate on showing the relationship, and the like. But keep the wardrobe choice in mind as well. I think you’ll agree that a common factor between all the shots is the beauty of the wardrobe, which takes these photos to another level of sophistication and elegance.