So often mum is behind the camera or the iPhone.  She’s the recorder of family events and moments.  But as a mum, how often are you in front of the camera?  I’m hardly in any photos with my children- at the time I didn’t notice as I was too busy taking the photo.  But now eldest is nearly ready to leave for university, I realise that there’s not as much of me to remember as I would like.  I have been grouping together photographs for each of my children for a photobook that they will take with them when they spread their wings and fly, and it has been both wonderful and a little bit of a wake up call.

And when I am doing surrey family photoshoots, more often than not I hear from mums that it’s such a treat to be in the photos and not corralling the rest of the family.  But I also hear things like “I don’t like to have my photo taken”- that they think they’ll wait and lose a few pounds, need a hair cut, they’re not wearing the right clothes….. the excuses go on and on.  But I want to say that it is so important for you to be in the photograph with your family, whether you think it’s not important or you’d rather be behind the lens than in front, because you will never have that moment again, and you are building those moments so you must be in them.

So I make a special effort with my family photoshoots to capture the special moments with mum.  And I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you for inspiration, along with some simple tips on how to enjoy the moment and get some lovely photographs that are natural and full of expression.

Here are 5 tips to help you relax and enjoy yourself in front of the camera and get photographs that you and your child will treasure forever.

Mother and baby photoshoot Surrey

Tip 1:  You don’t have to be looking at the camera to get meaningful images.  If you feel awkward smiling for the camera do something you enjoy: focus on your child.  You are giving them the greatest gift of your time and your joy and love will come through in the photograph.  Notice too, how the image is focussed on the child and mum is softer- that can enhance the emotion and connection in the image, giving a more natural feel to the photograph.

relaxed natural family photoshoot surreyTip 2: Black and white can simplify the image to concentrate on what’s important- the connection.

mum and child cuddle in photographs emotional and natural surrey photoshootTip 3: Cuddles, cuddles, cuddles.  Its one of the greatest feelings in the world to hold your child, and that can make a simple but deeply meaningful photograph. When I take a photograph like this, I think of the beautiful feelings that the child will feel when they look at this when they’re grown up.happy family photoshoot surreyTip 4: A simple look. Instead of smiling at the camera, look at your child, tell them something they’d love to hear and enjoy their reaction.

teenage photoshoot surrey happy lifestyle photographyTip 4: Share a moment together.  As your children get older they can be less cuddly- but your changing relationship means you can share moments as equals.  Get someone to do something off camera that you’ll both laugh at.

older child family photoshoot SurreyTip 5: Get in the photo whatever age your children are.  Sometimes as our families grow up, life gets busy and we take fewer photos.  But these can be the most precious- teenagers about to go to uni, family get togethers with grand parents- capture those moments forever.

So next time you’re getting out the iPhone or camera, please don’t stand behind it, hand it to someone else and ask them to take the picture- you’ll be glad you did.

Or if you’d like to book me for a Surrey Family Photoshoot then get in touch, or check out my family photography page here