With school starting again, “Picture Day” is nearly here, so it’s a good idea to prepare for school pictures ahead of time. My siblings and I starred in far too many bad school photos, so I’ve made it part of my mission in life to help others avoid the same fate.
How To Prepare For School Pictures
- Hair fixin’ – It’s tempting to get a haircut right before picture day. Don’t do it. Get that haircut a week ahead of time so it has a chance to grow and soften a bit. Freshly cut hair can often look exaggerated and severe in photos. Also, be sure you style your hair as you normally do. Now is not the time to try something different or add a lot of ridiculous hair accessories.
- Background selection – Photography packages include both neutral backgrounds and colorful, more detailed backgrounds, and the selections are marketed to entice you towards the expensive, fussier options. Resist it, because 9 times out of 10, the basic and less fussy backgrounds will yield the more attractive results. (Except in my case where the background wasn’t the problem… see #3.)
- Clothing – Please let your kids wear something comfortable. The better they feel with what they have on, the more natural they’ll appear in the photos. My mom was constantly putting me in the most ridiculous outfits with snaps, buckles and zippers, and I just went with it because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by telling her I didn’t like the clothes she picked out for me. Oh, and avoid busy and overly colorful patterns (like plaid). Just as the background should be simple, so should the clothing. (Tip: White seems like a good choice, but doesn’t photograph well, so avoid that too.)
- Practice smiling – Smiling for school pictures (or any pictures) doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so practice!
- Check teeth and hair – We don’t have control over when our kids’ classrooms are scheduled for their photo session, and it very well could fall after lunch, gym class or recess. Remind your kids to take a quick peek in the mirror to make sure teeth are clean and stray hairs are brushed back into place.
- Be yourself – Photographers often suggest poses that come off looking awkward, so practice smiles and simple poses in advance so the results will be as natural and real as possible.
Having school pictures taken is a fantastic way to capture the school years, and with a little preparation, the photos you receive will turn out beautifully and be wonderful childhood keepsakes.
To help celebrate this back-to-school season, I’ve partnered with Follett for a #FallBackToSchool Twitter Party on Thursday August 27th from 7-8 pm EST. Join us as we’ll share tips and chat about starting the new school year on a good note!
There’s also a chance to win prizes — Visa Gift Cards and even an iPad are up for grabs!
Join the #FallBackToSchool Twitter Party!
DATE: Thursday, August 27
TIME: 7-8 pm EST
- Prize 1: $50 Visa Gift Card
- Prize 2: $50 Visa Gift Card
- Prize 3: $100 Visa Gift Card
- Prize 4: $100 Visa Gift Card
- Grand Prize: One (1) iPad and one (1) $100 Visa Gift Card
RULES:Entrants must RSVP to be eligible for prizes, must be 18 years or older, a resident of the U.S. and not an employee of Follett.
PLEASE TWEET TO SHARE: