I’ve been there- senior year hits you fast and is a whirlwind of activities, banquets, and to-dos. Through it all, you are also dealing with the emotions that come with one of your babies graduating- sadness, excitement, anxiety…it’s a LOT. Whatever I can do to make it a little easier on moms is part of what I love about my job. I get to capture memories for them but also give them tips on how to make things go a bit smoother. I may not know the best time to take SATs or visit college campuses, but I do know how you can help her prepare for her senior photos that are an important, but sometimes overlooked, part of this special year. This is what you’ll have to memorialize this year and give her an experience that will stay with her as she navigates graduation year and beyond.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when it comes to having her senior portraits taken and how you can help make this a positive experience for both of you.
Be sure you are allowing her to Express Herself in her senior photos
A major part of these images is capturing who she is- from her style to her personality. Don’t force her to wear dresses when her preferences lean towards jeans. She’ll feel awkward and it will show in the final result. These photos reflect HER and while I encourage mom to make suggestions, her outfits, hair, etc. should be things she feels comfortable with.
In the same vein, be sure you Don’t Project your concerns on her
We just want to protect our kids and keep them happy, but sometimes, our thoughts belong solely to us. If she doesn’t mention something as a concern, don’t make it one. If she wants to wear a skirt, don’t ask her if she’s concerned about her thighs looking “big” or ask if we can hide her ears that stick out a bit while we are in the middle of the session. This add unnecessary stress even when you think you are helping.
You Don’t Have to Buy the School Photos just because they are required for the yearbook
When I first began photographing seniors, parents could submit photos for the yearbook, but it is no longer this way for most schools in the Atlanta metro. The contracted photographer helps give the yearbook a cohesive look, but that doesn’t mean you have to purchase them. I tell moms to purchase their drape photo if you’d like, then book a custom session with a senior photographer to get those images you want to adorn your walls and tell the story of her- not the ones that herded her into an assembly line of boring poses.
I always encourage mom to Help her with the Planning Process
Make this something that you two can do together. It’s a great bonding experience to spend time shopping for outfits and getting her hair/nails done together. Make suggestions when finalizing outfits or let her borrow something of yours to use for her session. Make it fun time you get to spend together, not another chore on the senior to-do list.
Be sure you Consider Her Schedule before booking
If she plays a Fall sport, that may not be the best time to try and squeeze in senior photos. She’ll be stretched thin already and won’t feel her best. Even one-off events should be considered such as SAT’s, school trips, and when her focus is somewhere else for the moment. Those busy seasons are definitely ones to avoid scheduling so wait until a slower time in her schedule.
You also want to Book Early
You’ve determined when the best time to schedule is, so to ensure you get the time that works for you with the photographer you love, contact them at least 5-6 weeks in advance to get a spot on their calendar. Booking early gets you prime dates before they sell out, especially during peak seasons like Fall and Spring.
Give Her Encouragement, especially if she is nervous or self-conscious
One thing us mamas should be doing everyday is encouraging our teens and that goes for before and during her senior session too. I do plenty of hyping up for my clients, but hearing that you know she’s going to do great, that she picked out perfect outfits, and that you’re proud of her can do wonders for her confidence going into the shoot. It’s my job to make her feel special and important, and what teen can’t use more of that from a person they are close to? Read this post about all the ways a photo session can boost her confidence.
Remember that even though it’s her session, It’s Not All About Her
Ok, so yes these photos reflect her and what she loves, but there is a part that mom should be getting plenty of say in and that is when it’s time to figure out how to display these gorgeous images. These are what you’ll have when she’s off at college and want to make sure you have that piece of her still at home. Our kids influence many of our buying choices, but this one should be about what MOM wants. I also encourage moms to jump in for a few shots during the session so you have that special memory as well. Not sure what you want to do with these photos, here’s 5 ideas for you.
This is a time in her life you should be involved in where you can, even if it’s just providing support and love. What better way to show that than by spending some quality time together?
If you’re looking for some fun date ideas, I have the perfect guide for you. Click below to for the instant download!