A Mother’s Day photo lasts longer than flowers

My memory isn’t perfect but some images have enough staying power in my mind to last a lifetime. I love the childhood photo my mom captured of me at age three catching light. I like to imagine it was an early predictor of my future path as a photographer!

(photo by my mom, Germaine Sutton)

I’m sure you have photos in your mental database that stand out for you too. Images, after all, have the power to evoke and create lasting memories. So, I can think of no better gift on Mother’s Day than a portrait of you, your kids or the whole gang. Depending on who is reading, this may even be a gift for yourself (mom) or your wife (dad)!

What can you do to make your Mother’s Day gift one of these ‘stand out’ shots?

1. Get in close for a stronger emotional connection. Eyes and hands are incredibly expressive and when you’re up close they come alive. You can do this with your zoom lens, but when you move in physically you will be engaging with your subject (even if that just means that they are noticing you!). With kids, it’s their unpredictable interactions with me that lead to my favorite shots.

2. Accessorize and use color! Follow these styling tips from Jo-Ann: Bows on headbands, shoes and belts will quickly add interest to an otherwise plain shot. A flash of color is another way to wake up an outfit. A bright scarf around the neck, a bold colored watch or socks will always fit the bill.

(styling by Jo-Ann, photo by Cosmic Blob Studio)

3. For a real frame-worthy shot, accessorize AND get in close. You’ll have your friends & family asking: “Wow, who did you get to shoot that?” and have no other choice than to brag that it was you. You’re sure to come up with some memorable results along the way to last through many a future Mother’s Day. Mom will be so happy!

Leila and Jo-Ann are a photographer and make-up/stylist team who write a monthly blog called Foto Shui – make your photos flow. leilasutton.com and jo-anndilorenzo.com.

By the way, what are your most memorable images? Post a link if you have one!


  1. Joey says

    I love this article and these photos are beyond pricelss. I like how you added quick accessories to change up a picture, make it fun. I’m always at a loss as to what to get my mom – so i asked what she’d like; if she’d like a photo of a flower i had enlarged – she liked it but wanted one of her 4 grandkids. I had to be quick as they were leaving for a movie. i snapped and snapped. I ordered one, its not ‘perfect’, but I’m sure she’ll enjoy it. I framed it and wrapped it up. Happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s, aunts, grandma’s!

  2. BarbaraJ says

    Oops I was still typing….. I love this article and you have added so much color and beautiful children. Thank you for sharing.

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