Thursday, September 23, 2010

What I Learned on My Second Portrait Session

I just did another session of senior portraits.  Just like the last time it was a lot of fun and went really well, but the two sessions were entirely opposite of one another, especially with one defining variable...the mother.

I've learned there are two kinds of mothers when is comes to taking portraits.  Laze-fair mothers and domineering mothers.  Neither is right or wrong, but depending on which type you have will dictate how you handle your client and compose the photos.

Laze-fair Mom: (my first portrait session)
Easy to please.  Laid back.  Watches from afar, if they watch at all. Trusts the photographer's judgements and is open to new ideas, settings, props, and poses.  The session goes easy and a great relationship develops between the client, photographer, and mom.

Domineering mom: (my second portrait session)
Has a detailed plan of how things will go ahead of time.  Hovers during the shoot.  Thinks she knows best... about everything. Often gives directions on how and where to pose the client despite your directions and encouragement.  Constantly telling the client to change looks or smile more. Creates an awkward environment for the client where he/she is unable to feel natural and relaxed.  

The type of mother involved in the session does not change the outcome of the photographs unless you let it.  You just have to tailor your session and options to the specific type of mother.  Here are the samples from my last session to prove it...

(You can click the photo to view it larger)
What a beautiful girl. Can you believe she is only seventeen?  I can't wait for my next session


  1. Wonderful final products Jen. I'm glad you were able to succeed even though you had a helicopter parent involved.

  2. Awesome photos! I've dealt with those kinds of mothers warned if you ever decide to photography a wedding...there's a whole posse of them waiting to hover. =)

  3. Great pics. Good job dealing with the mother, even though I'm sure it was a pain.

  4. The photos turned out fantastic! Good for you for not letting the circumstances mess with you.


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