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How to prepare your child for School Picture Day

The new school year has arrived and that means picture day is right around the corner. For some parents, most notably the pre-school and kindergarten parents, this can be a very stressful time for both you and your little one. We hope to take some of the stress and guesswork away with a few helpful tips to get you through picture day effortlessly.

1.Let your child “Help” you pick out the outfit. Letting your child help pick out their outfit is a fantastic way to get them excited about picture day. However, I need to put an emphasis on the word “Help”. You certainly don’t want your child having complete say over what they wear. Although it has the potential to be hilarious, I’m sure that’s not what we’re aiming for.

2.Keep Them Calm and Relaxed. Children often mirror their parent’s emotions. If they notice that you are in any way stressed about picture day, you can be sure that they will also be nervous. Let them know that being themselves is the best way to get a great photo. I’d avoid making them practice smiling because it could often lead to fake and cheesy smiles, but if you feel that it’s necessary to practice a bit, try to make it fun and relaxing for them.

3. Be mindful of breakfast and lunch. This is an obvious tip that sometimes mistakenly gets overlooked. There are most likely hundreds of children at your child’s school and there’s no guarantee that your child’s class will be called in for photos before snack time, lunchtime, or recess. Packing a lunch that will limit the chances of stains is a great idea.

4.Fresh cut or Natural Hair? I’ve seen it happen so many times. Parents wait until the day before picture day to bring their child to get a fresh haircut only to be completely disappointed with how it looks in the photos. Nobody knows your child better than you. Make a mental note of whether or not your child looks best with a completely fresh haircut or if it happens to look better a week or so after visiting the barber or stylist.

5. Limit the need for perfection. A photograph is nothing more than a moment frozen in time. As parents, we want to remember our children just how they were in that moment because we all know how fast they grow. Missing teeth and awkward phases are all part of the growing process. Believe me, you’ll look back on these photos together with a huge smile when they’re grown and laugh about the imperfections. Of course, if there are any temporary blemishes or scrapes, We absolutely have retouching options.

6. Keep the weather in mind. Typically I wouldn’t be stressing this too heavily but if you happen to be reading this while we are still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, then there’s a good chance that your child’s photos are being taken outdoors. Keep an eye on the weather and be sure to dress them as comfortably as possible. Even if you know that photos are being taken indoors, keep the outdoor weather in mind. I photograph most of my schools in Westchester County and the Bronx and September, October, and even sometimes November can be uncharacteristically warm. If your child is slotted after lunch and recess then their outfit can really impact their comfort level as well as make them look very hot and sweaty.

7. Sending a stuffed buddy. Sometimes the little ones are not very comfortable in front of the camera and there’s not much that parents, teachers, or the photographer can do to keep them calm and relaxed. This is the best time to call a fuzzy friend into action. Although this may not be the most ideal photo, I can promise that it’s better than the alternative. I’ve also been successful at being able to convince the little one to allow me to take a photo with and without their stuffed buddy.

I certainly hope that you found these tips helpful. If you have any other tips that you think may be helpful, we’d love to see them in the comment section. I hope your children have a wonderful school year and an awesome picture day experience. As always, if you’re interested in booking a private family session, event, or portrait session with us, click here for our contact info. Stay safe everyone and we hope to see you soon.

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