Back to School means Picture Day!

Camera Day Tips

Closed eyes, wrinkled clothes, goofy smiles, no smiles — these are all flops familiar to school picture day.

However, when every child in school is getting his/her photo taken on the same day, there’s a lot that can go wrong in the short window typically allotted each child. Remember, school pictures are not a professional portrait session. Photographers literally have seconds with your child to capture that piece of history in his/her life and for school records.

Good photographers might quickly check that hair and clothing are properly in place, but with time constraints on scheduling the following tips may be helpful for a successful picture day.

Comfort rules: When picking an outfit, think cute, comfortable and seasonally appropriate. Clean and pressed clothing goes a long way. The photographer cannot hide wrinkles. Pick colors that complement your child’s skin tone. Stay away from white clothing. I recommend clothing with tasteful embellishments over distracting logos, brand names and iconic characters.



Hair tips: The more self-sustaining (a hairstyle), the better. Teachers and photographers don’t have nearly the time to style and fluff like Mommy styled that morning.

I advise against getting a haircut the day before; aim for a week prior. Also, keep hair off your child’s face. Watch large bows… sometimes they become more of an eye sore.

Makeup doesn’t necessarily enhance a young face. If your child has blemishes, scrapes or stitches, check with the photography company to see if retouching is an option.

Lunch tips: Pay attention to what you pack in your child’s lunch. Stay away from Cheetos, Kool Aid, fruit juice and any other food or drink that may stain skin and/or clothing.

Glasses: Leave them on if he/she wears them all the time. Most photographers can work around reflections. However, you may ask about retouching services.

In my thirty years of taking school photographs, my saddest memories were those of children who had missing teeth or braces that wouldn’t smile. When asked, “Why aren’t you showing me that pretty smile?” They would reply, “My mom told me not to smile, I have missing teeth” or “I have braces”. School pictures are a historical image of the way the child is at any given age. Parents, embrace the missing teeth and braces stage. A toothless grin is so much better to look back on and reminisce then a blank expression.

Remind your child that these pictures are to be given to love ones and that they will be displayed in your home. Ask them to try their best to smile comfortably but don’t put pressure on them. A good photographer is going to be able to connect with the child and capture his/her sweet personality.

Happy Successful Picture Day!!!