My Top Dos and Don’ts on School Picture Day

April 1, 2024

When it comes to school picture day, there are a few simple tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your photo shoot. Take it from someone who's been at this a long time, following just a handful of suggestions can help you, and your students, get the photos that you will love.

Be Mindful of Stains

Because photos are often an all day event with different grade levels taking their pictures at different times, what the student has to eat that day can potentially be a photo oops! What student wants to take a picture with a big ketchup mark on their shirt, and what parent wants to buy it? Consider packing a lunch full of foods you know won't stain and are least likely to cause mess.

Don’t forget about breakfast foods and snacks. Fun, squeezable yogurts that are full of dyes aren’t so festive on photo day. That’s because they can stain teeth, tongues and faces. The same goes for that multi-colored lollipop or bag of cheesy chips. 

Additionally, it can be wise to pack a change of clothes for your children who are very young. Even the best planning on the part of parents can't prevent slips in the mud or sweaty recess play that is often part of the average school day. You cannot prevent such incidents, but you can plan ahead by packing your child an alternative outfit they can put on if their first choice gets dirty.

Choose Colors Wisely.

Most photographers will suggest avoiding bright or neon colors for school picture day photos, and I have to agree! These particular hues can reflect on your child's face, potentially drawing color from their features and pulling the eye to the clothing instead of your child. You want all the attention of the photo to be on your child's beautiful face, not on the brightness of their T-shirt. 

Boutique photography is a very simple, clean style and if your child's clothing reflects this it will help create a portrait you love. Consider rich earth or jewel tones which can help draw out the natural beauty in your child without becoming too distracting. 

Minimize Accessories

When it comes to accessories, remember that less is more! Large bows, jewelry, or hats may feel fun at the time, but they will likely just end up being a distracting element in your portrait. With the simplistic style of boutique photographs, large and flashy accessories often steal attention from what is most important. Your child!

Additionally, fashion is always changing and what may have been a really fun necklace at the time of the photo could feel embarrassing a few years later. You're better off keeping any accessories to a minimum or even avoiding them altogether. Stick to classic styles that you know will be timeless! 

The Most Important Do

Most importantly, when it comes to school photos, make sure you always follow this one piece of advice: let your child be themselves! Don't let the pressure of the perfect picture take away from the real purpose behind school photos- capturing your child just as they are in this moment in time. It's never worth stifling those sweet, individual spirits just to get an inauthentic photo. Looking back, you'll love remembering who your child was at each stage, not just what their face looked like!

You may be thinking to yourself, if I let my child really be themselves we'll be breaking all the don'ts you just laid out! If that's the case, take my advice and just roll with it. While the neon, ketchup-stained shirt and the giant bow may not make for the most traditional picture, you and your child will both be thankful to have the most authentic memories of this season in their life. 

Worried your school photographer won't allow your child to truly be themselves and you'll be stuck with bland school photos? Check out this blog on why your school should consider hiring a boutique photographer instead! 

Prepared for Picture Day

I hope these tips have helped you and your child feel more ready to take on school picture day! By following these simple ideas (from someone who knows) you'll have the best chance at getting a photo you love. And if you don't? There are always spring photos! ​

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