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How to Photograph Grandma – a DPS Community Workshop

It’s time for another DPS Community Workshop (this is where a reader asks a question and we all attempt to answer it together).

This week’s question comes out of a sad question and is one that I know the reader would appreciate your help on a lot. It comes from Mandy who writes:


“My Grandmother has been in hospital for the last few weeks – she’s been very ill and we’re told she doesn’t have long left to live.

My extended family suddenly had the realization that none of us have a good recent photograph of her and they have asked me if I would be able to take a portrait of her.

Grandma has agreed to it and even asking seemed to lift her spirits a bit so I’m happy to do so but….

I’m terrified. She’s been bed-bound for a while now and I’ll have to photograph her in her room. I may be able to have her moved to a chair – but she’s frail so I don’t wish to disrupt her much.

My question for you and your readers is to see if you have any suggestions? Suggestions around posing, lighting, framing – everything would be greatly appreciated. I’m going into this pretty much alone with no support from anyone who knows anything about photography – so I’d love any suggestions or encouragement that anyone here at DPS could give.

I’m using a Canon 20D and have a speedlight flash and 24-105mm lens. Can anyone help me?”

Do you have any advice for Mandy? Feel free to leave your suggestions in comments below – even if it’s just a few words of encouragement I’m sure that she’d appreciate it.

image by laurengalik

Update: I have just been on the phone with Mandy to see how she’s doing. She tells me that she will be going in to photograph her Grandmother tomorrow. She asked me to pass on her thanks to you all and wanted to let you know that she’s been reading your advice and that it’s filled her with hope.

Feel free to keep leaving your advice and suggestions in comments below – it seems that this is a problem that isn’t just facing Mandy but others also – perhaps this page can act as a resource for many and not just Mandy.

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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