"There is my mother and my daughter in the background."
Translation:في الْخَلْفِيّة أُمّي وَبِنْتي.
It would mean ‘My mother and daughter are in the background’. There is indeed a slight difference in emphasis: this would be a good answer to a question concerning their whereabouts, but since the topic is called ‘Describing a picture’, ‘In the background (there) are my mother and daughter’ is a more likely thing to want to say.
Thank you very much, iad58g. Just to make sure I've understood you: If the question (in the context of looking at a photo) is "Where are your mother and daughter?" You could answer: "My mother and daughter (or more likely, "they") are in the background". But if you asked "Who/what is in the background?" You'd answer: " In the background are my mother and daughter." Is that right?
Thank you! Then it's just like Russian: as a rule they put the known at the beginning of the sentence, and the new, interesting information, at the end. There's fancy names for these two things in linguistics. Let me think... ah yes theme/rheme, or topic/comment, and I expect there are others.