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Hello SSG blog followers! It’s actually Monday night, a day before I will post this blog. Normally, I’d be singing my own praises that I’m writing a day early, except that I missed writing last week. #confession
I’m Jodee Ball, coming to you from my little corner of the world, JP Ball Photography.
I had been planning a blog series on SEO, but after much research I’ve decided that I have much more research to do and that might be best saved for some snowy days that lie ahead. It’s a little overwhelming and I want to be sure I can present it in an easy to read and apply manner.
So, here I sit, sipping on this morning’s reheated coffee whilst listening to Bravo replay Tamara’s OC Wedding. As I sip, I’m thinking and brainstorming on what to write about in these next few weeks and this week’s topic hits me like the blonde dye on an OC housewife’s head.
Thankfully, most moms are anything but this, but many of us will have at least one day in
paradise with a challenging mother.
How we, as professionals, handle these hard-to-love parents is very, very important to the success of the session. You probably aren’t the only one who is feeling the angst of dear ole’ mum. Chances are, the senior will be noticeably on edge or uncomfortable as well. And, of course, this translates into less than desired images!
Relax. It’s not you. You can’t control the personalities of others. Take a deep breath and focus on the first moments of the session. If you are days out from shooting, verify all of the details with the client and mother. This is ensure there are no surprises during the session. The expectations are clearly set and the plan is made.
Reassure mom. Sometimes, it’s not mom’s personality, it’s just her circumstance. Maybe she is nervous, feeling sad about her baby graduating, stressed at work, expressing her own insecurities. The list is endless of reasons WHY mom is a tough cookie. But, reassure her that you are a professional. You have shown her your work and you know what you’re doing! Gently remind her of this and gain her trust. For example, if she suggests a certain location that you know won’t work because of lighting, confidently explain this to her. Wow her with your experience and professionalism!
Redirect her thoughts and words. If mom is constantly behind you telling your senior how to pose and smile, strike up a conversation about anything but what you’re doing! Ask her questions. Lots of them. Meanwhile, continue to work with your senior. A little multi-tasking at it’s best!
Remove mom from the scene. This would be the toughest solution of all. It’s not like you’re going to kick out the matriarch, the one who may control the checkbook. You would like to get paid for the work you do. But you can involve her in the session. You can easily remove her from a director’s position by putting her to work. Have mom hold a reflector, make a trip back to the car for something, retrieve new outfits, etc.
I sure hope you NEVER face a stage mom during one of your sessions. They may be few, but they are walking among us. Be ready. Be professional.
Remember when you thought photography was all about pressing a button on a fancy camera? It’s takes finesse to do what you do and do it well. You have to know photography and know people. You’ve got this!