Artisan of Imagery Me Ra Koh: Mother's Day photo tips

by Me Ra Koh 05/02/2012, in Contact the Blog

I LOVE Mother’s Day because it’s the perfect excuse for asking the kids and your husband to help with a special photo.

Sometimes I’m in the photo and my husband is working with me to capture a story I have in mind, and sometimes it’s a photo I take of the kids. Whichever direction you are leaning, take advantage of the day! Below are a handful of easy, fun tips that will change your photo results overnight so you can capture the joy of this Mother’s Day.

Three C’s to Capturing Kids

CREATE a Vision Through Observation. Digital photography has given us the freedom to shoot endless photos, and yet we end up with exactly that—endless photos. In the weeks and days leading up to Mother’s Day weekend, observe how the light changes throughout the day. If you are going to take the photo inside your home, what room is the brightest and when? If you are going to take the photo outside, what time does the sunset? When is the afternoon sunlight golden? Now that you know what time and what space to set up your photo, observe the kids. What makes them giggle? What are their favorite toys or objects of sentiment? What are their favorite clothes to wear? Have them snuggle up together and even tickle each other!

COME Out from Behind the Camera. Take advantage of SONY’s phenomenal Live View feature on the Alpha and NEX cameras. Kids often respond better to their photo being taken when they can see your face, especially your eyes. Instead of holding the camera up to your face, use the Live View to compose and grab your focus while keeping the camera out in front of you. This way your smile isn’t hidden behind the camera, and the kids feel more connected to you.

CLEAR the Background. Before you take the shot, do a quick sweep of the background. Is there any distracting objects? It only takes two seconds to move a pop can when this photo will last a lifetime. Now you are ready to put your camera in P (Portrait) mode to give you a softer background that will highlight the kids that much more.

Now it’s Time to Let Mom Shine!

Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to get mom in the photo! Moms may act like they don’t want their picture taken, but take it from someone who has shot family portraits for years…every mom LOVES a great photo of her with the kids. Here are three fast tips to help mom shine and look thinner in the photo (She will LOVE you for this! You can send me a thank you card later.).

1. Shoot Down on Mom. To stay clear of double chins and wide necks, get a little height on mom before taking the photo. You could have her sit in a chair while you stand. Or you could stand up on the curbside. It doesn’t need to be a lot of height, just enough to give her reason to naturally lift her chin. This will elongate her neck and get rid of all double chins.

2. Angle Your Body. We never want to stand straight on when having our picture taken. Standing straight on causes our body to look like a big, square box in the photo. Instead, angle your body to the camera with one shoulder coming forward. Voila! Half your body is gone!

3. Scoot Your Bum. If you are sitting for the photo, scoot your bum toward the front of the seat. This causes your body weight to lean in to the camera which slenderizes you that much more!
With a little height from your picture taker, your body angled and your bum scooted forward, you are looking FANTASTIC! Have your hubby take the photo!

What woman doesn’t want a GREAT shot of just her? After you get that shot, add the kids. Have them cuddle up around you while keep your body turned at an angle.

4. BONUS TIP for the HUBBY! If you want to score some SERIOUS points with your wife this Mother’s Day, frame the photo so that only half her arm is in the shot. This makes her arm look that much smaller and slender which is something EVERY woman wants.

If your little one is a baby take advantage by blocking with baby. Position your baby to block any of mom’s vulnerable spots. For example, if your wife is feeling a little camera shy because she hasn’t got rid of all her baby weight have her lay on her side (a very slenderizing pose!) and place baby right in front of her tummy.

I’d love to see your results! Post them on my Facebook page, and I’ll pick a few to critique! May your Mother’s Day be unforgettable and frame-able!

Me Ra Koh

Me Ra Koh loves cameras, kids and parents, and spends her life bringing them together. Her work and Photo Recipes have been featured on national television several times, including the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and the photo expert for “The Nate Berkus Show”. She is the author of the bestselling book, “Your Baby in Pictures: The New Parent’s Guide to Photographing Your Baby’s First Year.” And Me Ra is proud to be one of the SONY Artisans of Imagery. For more easy and fun photo tips visit Me Ra’s website at or her Facebook page

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