Usually when we start taking pictures we start by making pictures of our friends and the kids of our friends, but in some point of your learning curve your mom will come over and ask you to take some pictures from her. And that´s hard.
Why its hard? First, is your mom, she bosy you all your life around and its quite hard to start giving directions to her. Secondly and more important, is that you are used to shoot people that is young and fresh and don´t mind doing what ever. But moms in general are not that young and they are more shy, you can not ask them to jump around. So now its time to get some tips about shooting mature people and how to make them feel comfortable.
The first thing you need to nail is how to make them feel confortable infront of the camera. Usually young people are used to pose and be infront of a camera, they have a million pictures taken uploaded into facebook, but the older the person is the less pictures they have from themselves, so they are not used to see themselves on screen and they are not used to be infront of a camera.
Some stuff before the shoot. Make sure your mom is comfortable in the clothes she picked and that she feels good about her hair and make up and what ever she is wearing. But try to avoid bright colors or big bold patterns and heavy make up or really weird hair styles. She has to dress and be as she is always in the normal life. If she is too fake during the photoshoot the pictures won´t be about herself. In addition, before the shoot try to scoop around and find some good place to take the pictures, soft light is important, late afternoon or early morning, cloudy days or places with shadows to protect the subject from the direct sun are important.
During the photoshoot, try to talk with your subject, forget that is your mom, direct her, make her look good and comfortable. In my case a photosession last around 1 hour or so, and during the first 10 -15 minutes the subject is nervous and hate the camera, try to work that out, and don´t start to shoot with your favorite pose or light, save it for the middle part of the session, when your subject is warm up. If your subject is nervous incorporate some other elements, a pet, some object so she can do something with her hands. Also show some of the first good pictures to her, that will cheer her up.
Keep in mind some basic poses and then work them out, but try not to be too posy, make them natural but keep the details in mind. The shoulders, be careful of double chins, make the neck long, try to make them look slimmer by separating the arms from the frame and bending the legs and not shooting straight.
During post processing don´t abuse with photoshop, use the light as your natural photoshop, but deleting all the wrinkles in her face won´t be natural. Keep it natural.