Senior portraits. Second only to the wedding in the list of a GIRL’s most important photo shoots. It’s what little girl’s dreams are made of…a photo shoot all about them, clothes, hair, make-up. All. The. Things.
Then there are the boys.
In all my time at ATJ’s Studio, I am not sure that I’ve seen a senior boy walk through the doors that wasn’t being forced here by his mom.
Outfits curated by mom.
Props packed by mom.
Smile, posture and complexion, pre-critiqued by mom.
Attempted attitude adjustment by mom.
Most of the boys arrive in a less-than-enthusiastic mood.
Because, in their words, “I don’t care, she does.”
So how do you get him to care?
Two words. Back off.
As mothers, we have this innate need to micromanage.
WE know how important these portraits are. These are the portraits going on the announcements being sent out to grandma and judgemental, Aunt Lucille; the portraits that will be hanging on your wall for decades, so, of course, we want them to look their best.
But our idea of “what’s best” is almost never the same as theirs.
So why not give your boy a chance to buy into the whole process?
Book the session, buy or pull a selection of clothing that you can actually stand to look at, and then sit back and let them choose from the options or make suggestions about what they might like.
If they pull together an outfit that’s not exactly what you’d prefer, so what?
If they insist on bringing their old, dirty skateboard, let them.
The clothes they are wearing and the props they are using are secondary to the expressions on their face.
If they are wearing what they love and doing what they love, they will feel more comfortable and confident in front of the camera; and confident = photogenic.
That is when, and only then, we are able to capture the expressions YOU will love.
Let’s be honest, even when they say they don’t care, they DO.
Boys want to look cool, strong and good-looking.
When it comes down to it, they will take the steps to make that happen- like this kid,
who showed up to his shoot alone, with his steamer in hand.
He took control of his session and that confidence translated into the images.