Mom and Son Photoshoot Ideas

Mom and Son Photography Blog

Looking for Ideas for Mother and Son Photoshoots?

Family photoshoots are fun, beautiful and special. What can be even more endearing is breaking up a large family photoshoot into a smaller one-on-one session, like that between a mother and her son.

Summary Preview

In this post, we’ll discuss central themes, location tips and give examples to help make those intimate mother and son photoshoot ideas come to life for you and yours.

Let’s start with discussing some general themes that will give you plenty to think about when it comes to planning your mother and son family photos.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

General Themes

#1 Focus on Special Times

First on the list for mother and son photo ideas is one of my favorites of the following themed photoshoots. And that is focusing on a special time.

The best way to brainstorm for something like this is to just think of the usual milestones in the son’s life. For example, when it comes to baby pictures, the first milestone is that of a newborn.


A newborn child session is a great way to obtain great photos of both mother and son during a special moment in both family members lives. Because the son is newly born, the special bond between mother and son can be seen naturally and without too much coercion or even posing.

We could go into much deeper detail here but for the sake of staying on topic, I’ll just refer you to check out another post on when is the best time for newborn photos.

Mom kissing newborn boy on the cheek

Natural poses like mom rocking her baby boy back and forth, kissing him on the cheek, or even just holding the baby’s hand are all special mother and son photography ideas.

Mom holding and kissing newborn son on the head

First Year

Another unique photoshoot idea in this theme of milestones, more specifically being development milestones, are those commemorating the son’s first birthday.

Turning one year old is an awesome way to capture images of spontaneous creative ideas between a mother and son.

Not only are mom and son able to spend quality time together, but the baby boy is usually young enough to still be in that clingy state yet growing enough to start being a little independent too. Capitalizing on these qualities is a fantastic way to capture adorable photos and candid shots at the same time.

A great example of this is one of my sessions with a mother and her son on his first birthday. We went to a local park known for its natural beauty called the Cibolo Nature Center and did his one-year-old baby pictures there.

Mom with son playing in the water

Seeing the natural interactions of mother and son together resulted in beautiful photos without prompting.

The many faces of a mother trying to encourage her son to smile, or watching him in delight while he curiously explored the park’s river waters was the best creative way to capture their relationship together in front of the camera.

Which brings me to this *pro tip.

For the professional photographer worried about coaxing unhappy baby boys to smile or trying to do that at the same time as you’re supposed to capture those photos, encourage your clients to bring family members to help coo and cheer the baby son while standing behind you during the photo shoot.

This will help the baby be more comfortable since he’ll have familiar faces around him and thus provide multiple opportunities to capture great shots of sweet moments between mother and son.

#2 Special Events/Milestones

Pregnant mom and dad looking at son

Another general theme to keep in mind for great mother and son photo ideas are to celebrate other special events. Even if they’re not specific to the son itself. I mean, there are no rules here. It’s all about your imagination.

A maternity photography shoot, for example, could be exactly that. I had a mother who had adopted a baby boy. She later got married and became pregnant and then hired me for her maternity photoshoot.

You can read more about the best time for a maternity photoshoot here.

She had her husband and adopted son present and even though you might originally think this should focus on her and her pregnant belly, we didn’t.

Even though he was now an older kid, we had her son play a central part in some of the photos and let me tell you, they came out ahhh-mazing. There were some mother and son moments that were absolutely spectacular to capture. Her son kissing her belly, or just standing in front with his hand out in the popular “peace” sign.

Son kissing mom's pregnant belly

Alongside these lines of other special events, think of things outside of the box. You know, something different than graduation day. Even though graduation day no matter if it’s kindergarten, first grade or high school is special.

But like the first day of school, a son’s first suit, or even a son’s first haircut. Events that you’ll want to remember in a son’s life could result in unique mother and son family portraits.

#3 Everyday life

And last for this post, but certainly not least in these general themes are home sessions.

I love home sessions for various reasons. For both mother and son, this is a familiar environment so being comfortable in this natural setting will come effortlessly.

For clients who may feel awkward out in public, around other people, or for a son who is a little skittish with being around a photographer in the first place, this setting could be the best option for the family portraits.

Remember, a great way to increase mother and son photo ideas can be simple. Just have them do things that are consistent with their everyday life. This could literally be anything.

From doing photos of their morning routine, like giving the son a bath or getting dressed, to playing games around the house or backyard, swimming in the local pool, and so on and so forth. The list goes on.

Sometimes these could end up being the greatest photos because they’re of real moments and thus that much more authentic.

Mom talking to newborn son

Best Time of Day and Location Tips

Now let’s discuss the best times of day and even ideas for locations for mother and son photo shoot.

As always, the ideal time of day that most, if not all, professional photographers will tout is that of golden hour.

Golden hour is that magical time one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. If scheduled right, you can experience some of the best light for your mother and son photoshoot pictures.

Read more about the best time of day to take photos.

Sunset at the Historic Pearl

Natural lighting can be, and honestly is, ideal for many professional photographers. Some, like myself, hate doing flash photography.

Golden hour is consistently known for producing that awesome lighting that can help make those mother and son photos look beautiful, flattering for the clients and unique simultaneously.

For location tips, a great idea is to keep the background in mind. Those locations that have a naturally beautiful backdrop can help create the perfect picture for your clients.

Think of historic buildings around your local city or town, garden grounds, and open fields. Sometimes these can be favorite locations for both locals and tourists around town, but that is totally okay because it takes the guesswork out of guaranteed photo-friendly locations.

Posing Ideas

And now for some unique tips for posing ideas.

I can boil this down to one hyphenated word. Close-ups. I love, love, LOVE these types of shots.

Why? Because they will easily make what feels like a general, mundane family photo session unique.

We’re talking close-ups of the hands, fingers and toes. Doing this with a mother and son will easily be a perfect way to capture your clients’ relationship.

Mom rocking newborn baby boy

Kisses of mother to son or son to mother, on the cheek, on the toes, on the belly on the forehead… you name it. Again, easily a great way to capture a meaningful family portrait for your clients.

And to create even more photo ideas, do these same shots but at different angles. Take a side shot for a profile view. A top down shot or from the angle of the feet to looking at the mom or son. Such pictures will convey that strong bond between mother and son without words.

And taking a host of these? You’re talking the perfect variety for a future photo book that your client could create or purchase and even for you to showcase your work.

There are numerous mother and son photo ideas.

The good news is that there are so many different things you could do. The bad news is that it’s limited by your lack of creativity.

Which, if you feel like I did when I started out in photography and think you’re not that creative, don’t believe that lie. You are. You just may need to do some brainstorming and research before your session.

My hope is this blog post has helped fill in some of those gaps for you.

Another suggestion would be to find a photographer whose work you admire and follow them on social media. Before a shoot, look at their Instagram feed and get inspired. Or create a business profile on Pinterest and create boards specific to this photography shoot niche. Start pinning photos that you love so you can refer back to them at a moment’s notice even during the shoot should you suddenly blank on ideas.

Every great mom and little boy booking a mother and son photography shoot should have the best of the best captured.

Their most affectionate moments, those everyday moments, the laughs, maybe even the tears. They are all beautiful and great ideas that will result in beautiful images because each client is unique and even if it’s the same photo idea, will turn out different every time.

So get out there. Put these ideas to work and let me know how things work out for you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *