“Motherhood photography” is a new niche in photography, but how do you craft photos that matter? Here’s how to document genuine and enchanted motherhood photos!
Capture love authentically, with mom at the center
Before becoming a mom myself I thought documenting moms meant doing maternity photoshoots or newborn sessions. But those sessions are typically centered around the arrival of a baby. Motherhood photography goes way beyond that.
The truth is that moms deserve to be celebrated, honored, and documented every single day. Especially after this past year!
But how can we shift our mindset and build a brand around moms knowing that they are worthy of being remembered?
#1: Take the time to prep her
Being a mom is ex-haus-ting.
Add in trying to convince your spouse the photos are necessary (I’m sure you’ve heard the “Let me ask my partner and get back to you”), coordinating the outfits, bribing the kids to behave, slinging the snacks into your diaper bag, and making sure everyone walks out of the house in one piece AND in a timely manner.
That’s a lot of sh#t to worry about!
So what can you do to make that experience better?
The solution is actually quite simple: prep her.
Things to include in the prep would be setting up a call to learn about her vision, learning the why behind why these photos are important to her, learning what time of day looks best for her little one’s nap schedule and most importantly lifting that mama up.
Listen, one time I booked a photographer who wanted to do sunset photos and I told her my kids usually act up during that time. Do you know what she suggested? That I push their nap times back so that they cooperated more for their session.
If there were an eye-roll emoji, I would have used it.
I don’t know what secrets she had…but if I could dictate when my kids napped, well, I’d have all the cheat codes to unlock parenthood.
So once you listen to her needs, let her know this is an opportunity to get dolled up and document some fragile memories with her little ones.
Just mother and child.
The days may look chaotic now, but one day she’s going to want to look back and relive these moments.
And that starts with her experience with YOU, the photographer.
#2: Be flexible with the session length
*Confession* Before I became a mom my mindset as a photographer for photo sessions was along the lines of:
“Noon does not work for me, let’s do sunset, you can fill the kids up with a bunch of sugar, we’ll shoot for an hour, and everyone will be merry.”
Except, it was not merry. Ever.
And it was creating a chaotic experience for my clients.
Let’s be honest and ask ourselves some questions surrounding motherhood photography:
- Do moms really need an hour session?
- Will kids really cooperate for that whole hour?
- How many photos do you promise vs how many photos do you deliver?
- Will it be a fun car ride back home or will everyone be irritated with one another?
I learned that as a mom, time and money were equally important.
The sweet spot for a session with young kids is typically around 20-30 minutes. That’s it.
After this, kids will lose it, mom will lose it, and spouses will lose it.
Please remember this: just because the session is one hour, they’ve spent at least five hours beforehand getting ready.
And let’s not forget the car ride, “Mommmmm are we there yet?”
Once you chat with mom you’ll have a better idea of what she’s looking for and what her children can handle in terms of session duration.
But the key here is that you have to be flexible with giving your mama clients what they need.
#3: Focus on the memories
Imagine this with me for a moment:
You’re 90 years old at a nursing home when your grandchild runs through the door with an old wooden box filled with photos.
You wipe off the dust then gently pull the latch to open the box. Inside you find a stack of photos.
Some are of your children. Young. Oh so young.
Other photos are of family members.
And then you come across a photo of you and your children.
Suddenly you feel the rush of your warm blood fill your body, the goosebumps on your arm help you relieve that day.
You remember the photographer being so kind, walking you through everything.
You remember getting the kids dressed and how your oldest refused to wear that matching outfit you picked out for them.
And how you made them wear it anyway.
At that moment, you are reliving that day all over again, 60 years later.
These are the memories worth capturing.
These are the memories that will last a lifetime.
The truth is that there are more things to consider when being a motherhood photographer. However, with these three key points, you can start brainstorming how to better serve your clients, which is always the goal when you #focusonwhatmattersmost.
Words and Photos by LINETTE GARY