Husband and daughter taking photo for mother

A photograph is a priceless gift. It’s also an inexpensive way to show your love and, with a bit of creativity, will be a gift that Mom will treasure forever. If you’re after a simple but oh-so-special gift for your mom this Mother’s Day, then you’ll love the photo projects we have for you below. Each idea has step-by-step instructions so they’re easy-peasy to create.

1. Gather many generations of mothers in one photo

This photo is a gift that will make all the mothers in your family smile every time they look at it. It’s a celebration of several generations of beautiful women, making it a sentimental favorite, and well worth the few steps it takes to execute. You’ll need cooperation from multiple generations of moms — say, a new mom, her mother and her grandmother — so the end product won’t be a complete surprise. But if you keep the image they’re holding a secret and tell each that it’s for the others, no one will be expecting the end result.

Make it:

This project is easiest if you have a home printer and can get all the moms in your family together on the same day. You’ll need a simple, single-color photo frame and one spot in which you will take multiple separate photos (such as in front of a brick wall or under a shady tree).

Start by taking a photo of the youngest daughter in the predetermined spot. Print the picture and frame it. Then have the youngest daughter’s mother hold the framed photo in the same spot as the first photo was taken. Take the picture, print it and place it in the frame. Next, have Grandma hold the framed photo of her daughter (holding a framed photo of her own daughter) again, in the same spot. Print and frame that photo, and that’s it! You have a gorgeous photo that includes several generations of beautiful women in your family, and the perfect gift for each of them (even if one of the daughters was the instigator of the project).

2. Recreate an old family photo

For a fun activity that involves your siblings, find an old photo from your childhood to recreate. It will take Mom right back to a wonderful memory from her past, making it a gift she’ll treasure forever. And if you choose an image that captures a silly moment, such as someone making a funny face, it will give your mom a good laugh, too.

Make it:

Find an old photo from your childhood and recruit the rest of the people who were in the picture to recreate it. Try to wear outfits similar to the ones you were wearing on the day the photo was taken. When you have your family members present and in position, set up your camera on a tripod (or a smartphone propped up on a table), set the timer and jump in the picture.

3. Put it in writing

This captioned image literally spells out what an important part of the family Mom is, as well as capturing the kids she loves in beautiful photos.

Make it:

Choose a phrase that has the same number of words as the number of children in your family. For example, if there are four children in your family, use a phrase like, “We love you, Mom!” Write each word on chalkboards or poster board, or even plain white paper, and then arrange the kids holding the words all together in a line. You can also photograph the children separately and assemble individual photos in a collage frame (this is a good option if you can’t get everyone together at the same time). If there is only one child in the family, write the whole message on one chalkboard or poster board.

4. Plan a Mom-centric photo shoot

Moms more often than not are the ones taking the family pictures, which means they are seldom in pictures with their own children. Plan a special day for your mom to be photographed with the people she loves the most — her family.

Make it:

If you’re planning to be in the photos, enlist a friend who is handy with a camera. Choose a pretty location, such as a park or garden. Fall and spring are especially beautiful times to have portraits taken outside. Coordinate outfits by asking everyone to wear complementary, but not matchy-matchy, colors. (And avoid any big prints on clothes, or words like band names or slogans.)

Go for a variety of groupings. For example, photograph kids walking hand-in-hand with Mom in the middle, or sitting together under a tree. Capture your family chatting casually, or have your child hand Mom a flower or leaf and capture her reaction. Have Mom pick up a baby or small child, and touch noses or kiss the child on the face. Try for a mix of candid photos, with Mom and the kids just enjoying each other’s company, in addition to a few posed shots with everyone looking at the camera and smiling.

5. Create a colorful world with chalk

A creative idea that works especially well when photographing younger children. All you need is willing participants, a sidewalk or driveway, a pack of colorful chalk and a fun idea. This photo project incorporates the children in the family with some chalk art to make a beautiful scene, captured on camera.

Make it:

Think of a phrase you want to write, like “Happy Mother’s Day 2015” or “Love you to the moon and back!” and draw a colorful scene (like flowers and a rainbow or the moon and stars) to illustrate the phrase on the ground. Have each child pose in the drawing lying down, to look like they are flying, jumping or saying the phrase. You can even carefully lay babies next to the words, for a particularly cute scene.

When deciding what to get Mom for Mother’s Day, there are lots of choices, but perhaps none so special as a photograph. Try one of these ideas to make this special gift even more “awww”-inspiring.

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