Photo of the Day


Eye-Catching Motherhood Portraits of the Week for May 13

May 13, 2024

By Hillary Grigonis

Motherhood is a mix of joy and strength — and capturing the essence of the role in a single image is often a challenge for photographers. But, when done right, motherhood portraits convey a sense of both strength and love. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re sharing five stunning portraits of motherhood across maternity, newborn, and family photography. Find inspiration in these stunning images by Jill Jones, Jovana Marinkovic, Aleisha Boyd, Emily Rocha, and Taran Rai.

Jill Jones, Jill Jones Photography

© Jill Jones Photography

Juxtaposing a mother with Mother Nature creates a dramatic statement on the power of a mother in this image by Jill Jones of Jill Jones Photography. Jones explained that when her hiking friend told her she was pregnant, the two of them decided to take maternity photos throughout the hiking season. While the location was planned, the unexpected storm was not, but the photographer and mother-to-be were able to brave the elements for this shot. Jones captured the image with the Nikon D750 and Tamron 24-70mm lens.

“I absolutely love photographing maternity sessions and working with women during this season of life,” she says. “So often, they come to me towards the end of their pregnancies tired, uncomfortable, not feeling themselves, and not seeing the beauty that emanates from all expecting mothers. And it’s my goal to capture them in such a way that they not only see themselves as beautiful, but strong and capable.”

Jovana Marinkovic, Jovana Marinkovic Portraits

© Jovana Marinkovic Portraits

This outfit and power pose give off Superwoman vibes from this image of motherhood by Jovana Marinkovic of Jovana Marinkovic Portraits. The photographer was inspired both by the woman’s challenging road to motherhood and the protective yet strong way she held her child. She captured the shot with the Canon EOS R and Sigma Art 50mm lens. Lighting included a strobe with parabolic umbrella and an unmodified strobe reflected off a white wall.

“From a practical side, [the biggest challenge in motherhood portraits is] probably the fact that no one can predict the mood of a baby or kid, which is totally fine and natural,” she says. “You do all you can to prepare, and then don’t force or rush things. Being patient and compassionate is key in my opinion — it helps a mom relax, then good energy goes from mom to a child. Then everything is way easier and everyone enjoys the process.”

[Read: Take Great Candid Photos of Kids with Elena S Blair]

Aleisha Boyd, Aleisha Boyd Photography

© Aleisha Boyd Photography

This shot by Aleisha Boyd of Aleisha Boyd Photography is part of a series of motherhood portraits in water, inspired by the photographer’s own motherhood journey. The window light illuminates both the child and the mother’s pregnancy, highlighting multiple stages of motherhood in one image. Boyd captured the shot with the Canon 5D Mark IV and a 35mm f1.4 lens.

“One of the most challenging aspects of motherhood portraits is asking mothers to be more vulnerable with me,” she says. “I have overcome it by asking questions to help them feel more comfortable in sharing their own motherhood journeys with me. I feel this has helped mothers feel more comfortable in front of my camera to document their amazing journeys in motherhood.”

Emily Rocha, Framed by Emily

© Framed by Emily

Inspired by the shadows in the room, documentary photographer Emily Rocha of Framed by Emily used that light to highlight the connection between mother and son. The deep shadows block out distractions while highlighting the mother’s grasp on her child and the strength of her arms. Rocha captured the shot with the Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z 40mm f2.0 lens.

“One of the challenges is expressing intimacy without being intrusive with people I’ve never met before,” she says. “However, I find this aspect intriguing because everyone is unique. To overcome this, I focus on engaging with my clients as much as possible to understand their personalities and characteristics, ensuring that my photos truly reflect them. I also practice patience, treating the first few minutes of my sessions as a warm-up to establish a comfortable dynamic between the client(s), me, the camera, and the location.”

Taran Rai, Taran Rai Photography

© Taran Rai Photography

Inspired by this mother’s story, Taran Rai of Taran Rai Photography wanted to capture a peaceful moment between mom and baby during this newborn session. The dark background — adjusted in post — and black and white edit draws the eye to the mother, the tear in the corner of her eye, and the new infant. Rai captured the shot with the Canon 5D Mark III, a 24-70mm lens, and an Elinchrom D-Lite 4 IT with a softbox.

“One of the most challenging aspects of photographing motherhood with young ones (especially toddlers) is that the time required to set up for a shot usually can’t be afforded the way it can when working with older children and adults,” she says. “To overcome this challenge, I have adopted a fast shooting style using a versatile lens rather than my prime lenses which allows me to capture a variety of shots, so that I can get the most out of the little time I have before an unexpected diaper change, feed or tantrum. Having less time to set up my shots also means less time to change my lighting and background setups, which is why post processing has become a major part of my workflow. In  many cases, I composite several shots together, until the perfect image that reflects my client’s family and the essence of motherhood is achieved.”

Dig into our Photo of the Day archives for even more timeless photoseye-catching wedding photos and portraits. Submit your wedding, editorial, documentary and other interesting imagery (up to 5 images at a time) to: hillary.grigonis@emeraldx.com.

[Read: Motherhood Portraits: Maternity, Birth, and Family]

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