our everyday life

Mother & Son Valentine Portrait Ideas

by Erica Loop

Whether you want a cute keepsake for yourself or you are looking to create a gift for a special family member, a mother and son Valentine's Day portrait is a precious way to capture a memory. While taking the photographer's input into consideration is key, you also can offer your own ideas on themes, placement and overall concept.

Mother and Baby

Make your baby's first Valentine's Day a memorable event with a mother-and-son portrait. Before scheduling a photo session -- either at a professional photographer's studio or at home with Dad snapping pictures -- take your baby's schedule into consideration. Avoid regular feeding times to maximize the chance of picture-taking success. Newborns aren't developmentally ready to sit up and smile, making your portrait position options limited. Try taking the portrait while your newborn is already asleep. A picture of Mom holding her angelic sleeping baby will make a serene holiday portrait. If your baby is able to sit up or is mobile, try a shot with him sitting on your lap or an action picture of him crawling toward you.

Mother and Child

As your child moves into the toddler years and beyond and is able to follow at least one-step directions, use this ability to set up a sweet portrait. Younger children -- toddlers and preschoolers -- can sit on Mom's lap, with both looking toward the photographer. Alternatively, both mother and son can look at each other or try a nose-to-nose pose. Older boys often won't sit on Mom's lap, so try a more standard pose, such as sitting or standing in front of Mom's body -- without obscuring her face, of course.

Moms and Teens

Setting up a mother-son portrait with your teen may be tricky. Your teen is unlikely to engage in a potentially embarrassing situation, such as having his portrait taken while hugging Mom, wearing a Valentine's Day sweater or posing in front of a giant picture of Cupid. Try a simple set-up: Mom sitting on a chair with her teen standing behind her. Instead of making it static, the son can place his hands on Mom's shoulders or look lovingly down toward Mom.

Candid Portraits

You don't have to have a perfectly posed portrait to create a memorable mother-son Valentine photo. Candid portraits are an easy at-home option to try, using Dad as the photographer. You may need to snap dozens of candid photos to get one that is usable. Have Dad, or another adult, follow you and your son around during a fun-filled activity, such as a game of catch in the backyard or craft time. Candid poses with older children can include a mother-son dance or baking Valentine's Day brownies together.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images