Best Tips for Taking Great Mother Daughter Photography

mother daughter photoshoot

There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to photographing your daughter, but how do you go about it when it comes to mother daughter photoshoots? Well I have put together my top tips to ensure you get great photos!


I always recommend location scouting. With a mother daughter shoot you want to be able to capture their bond, their natural beauty and most importantly their relationship to one another. It can be daunting to think about where you will find these pictures, but it is best to do this early on, rather than trying to come up with an idea after the event.

The Look

One of the main focuses of the shoot will be capturing mother daughter’s bond. I would recommend having a look around your house, to see what you already have around to help achieve this. This could include things like clothes, props and furniture, but be sure to go beyond these. I personally find having a few pieces of jewellery lying around helps too!


Your daughters wardrobe is full of potential props, so think about what you have in your home that can be used to capture your daughters natural beauty. Have fun trying out different items, but don’t forget that your daughter is a real person, so you may need to adjust to her personality.

The Pose

You want your daughter to stand out in the photos, so think about what poses you are comfortable with, but also what is natural for your child. Again, go away and try things, but do try to avoid posing your daughter with an expression that is unnatural. Try to find something that suits her, whether it is a simple sitting pose, a playful face, a serious face or something completely different.


As with most things, lighting is crucial. As the light changes, so do the results. Find somewhere bright, but not too harsh, and make sure you have lots of extra batteries.


Think about the whole picture. Does it need a lot of space? How does it fit in with the rest of the images? These are all things that will be taken into account as the shoot progresses, but it is important to have a general idea from the start.

Keep the subject relaxed and calm.

The most relaxed, comfortable and confident girls tend to have the best photographs. It can be tempting to try and ‘pose’ a model, but this is likely to cause tension and discomfort. Instead, ask the subject to pose naturally and for them to focus on relaxing into the moment.

Use natural light.

Lighting is important in order to show the subject’s true beauty. Use a window to provide a soft, ambient light and ensure that the subject doesn’t look washed out or unnaturally bright. If you’re working in low light, you’ll need to use a reflector or other artificial lighting to fill the shadows. If you’re using flash, don’t use too much. Try to limit the amount of light that hits the subject’s face.

Go slow.

Taking a few test shots before the shoot will help you to plan and prepare. This will also enable you to determine which direction you’d like the shoot to go. A lot of shoots end up being rushed and haphazard. It’s important to enjoy the moment and allow plenty of time to set up and prepare the images.

Create unique angles.

Try shooting the model from unusual angles. For example, you could use a mirror to photograph the subject from behind, or turn a chair into a prop. You could also use a camera with a tilt/shift lens to give a strange perspective.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Shooting a photoshoot can often be quite stressful. You may feel that you’ve done a few takes already and there’s nothing left to shoot. Be patient and allow the subject to relax into the session. If you keep a positive attitude, you’ll soon find new ideas and inspiration will come from nowhere.

Remember to document.

Once you’ve shot the images, it’s vital to create a collection of images to be used as a portfolio. Include several close up shots as well as wider and more landscape views. Include the title and copyright details and, if you’re happy, you can include your contact details too.

Have fun!

Shoots can be a real joy, even though they can sometimes be a lot of hard work. Remember to have a laugh and make the most of it.