Three Don'ts that Every Mom Should Know For Portrait Day
Aug 26, 2019 | By: Jennifer Lebo
I love Portrait Day.
And I love it even more when I get that special text on the morning of, from my senior, or even from her mom, exclaiming, “I’m so excited!”
I totally get it. I get so excited for Portrait Day, too.
One of my favorite parts of Senior Portrait Day is when mom joins us for the hour. Having moms included in the portrait process can make everything so much more special, as it creates a special bonding experience for both mom and daughter.
But while there are many wonderful things that mom can do to help make Portrait Day an unforgettable experience, I want to focus today on THREE SPECIFIC THINGS THAT MOMS SHOULD NOT DO ON PORTRAIT DAY.
1. DO NOT SHOW HER THAT YOU ARE STRESSED OR NERVOUS
Chances are pretty good that our girls are feeling nervous on the day of their senior portraits. They’ve been waiting for this day for a while- after all, many girls see this as a sort of rite of passage officially beginning their senior year. So she’s nervous. Maybe she’s anxious that she won’t photograph well, that she’ll have a break out, that her expressions won’t look right, that she’ll look childish, or that she’ll look bloated, or that it will rain or her hair will look flat.
Get it? It’s a lot to be nervous about. I’ve photographed enough seniors to know exactly how to help each girl move out of that nervousness.
What I struggle most with, however, is the nervous mom. This I can’t really help with. A nervous mom adds more stress to her daughter’s anxiety. So try your best to hide any nerves you might have. I’m not saying it’s not ok to BE nervous. I’m just strongly encouraging you to work through your nerves without letting her know about them. Show her your excitement. Show her your support. Show her your pride.
Don’t show her the nervousness.
2. DO NOT CRITICIZE HER CHOICES
“Are you really going to eat that double cheeseburger right before your portrait session?”
“Are you really going to wear that skirt with those boots?”
“Are you sure you don’t want to wear your hair back for your pictures?”
Remember that your girl is going to be nervous. She’s going to second guess a lot of things on Portrait Day. So rather than adding more questions to the ones she’s already asking, try sticking to the support. Even if that skirt and those boots don’t match. Even if you prefer her hair back.
She’s nervous and probably second guessing herself. If you add criticism to this, you’ll be creating a memory she might want to forget. And that’s the last thing you want for such a special occasion.
So skip the criticism, and double up on the encouragement.
3. DO NOT TAKE OVER OR “COACH” DURING THE SESSION
The best moms I’ve ever worked with during Senior Portrait Sessions have been those who have stood behind me and my camera and cheered their girls on. I know this sounds lame and a bit cheesy (you know me!), but it truly changes a girl’s attitude and demeanor when her mom cheers her on and encourages her for that hour.
Truly, there is no need to coach here. That’s my job, and I know how to do it in a way that encourages, and builds up every girl I photograph.
A mom’s job is to send positive vibes, express openly how beautiful your daughter looks, and keep smiling yourself. Have fun! Enjoy the moment. Savor the truth that your daughter is a high school senior. Be proud. Be happy.
When mom takes the encouraging approach over the coaching one, the results are a relaxed girl, putting out natural expressions, and creating an unforgettable experience.
Three simple tips that can go a long way.
Senior Portrait Day is truly her day, but it’s so much more special when mom comes along for the experience. So if you can be there, be sure to join her. With these three tips, you’ll help make her portrait day one to remember.
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