One of my favorite things to do in the Fall, is to take the school photos for the children and faculty at Dartmouth Early Learning Center in South Dartmouth, MA. The school has preschoolers though grade 5. It’s so much fun capturing the innocence of these children and watching them grow each year.
A lot of parents worry about preparing their child for picture day. So I have come up with a list to put all parents at ease.
1.) Do try to clean their face after breakfast. I do my photos in the morning. So all of the children have just arrived from home. No kid likes to wash/wipe their faces. My girls fight me all of the time. But it’s easier for me if you do it at home. I don’t want to be the mean photographer who breaks out the baby wipes and gently wipes the crumbs away. If your child will be eating snack or lunch before their photos, send some wipes along and ask the teacher to assist them in wiping their faces.
2.) While their hair doesn’t need to be perfect, it should be off their faces. If they have bangs that are at that awkward stage where they’re long enough to be in their eyes, but too short to tuck behind their ears, please secure back with a barrette, bobby pin or gel. I want to capture their gorgeous eyes in the photos!
3.) Do prepare them a bit. Let them know that there will be someone taking their pictures. My oldest daughter doesn’t like any surprises. So I try to prepare her for anything different in her schedule. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Just give them the heads up.
4.) If you have a little one who is shy, and they have a favorite stuffed animal – by all means send it along with them. I love photographing stuffed friends! It doesn’t ruin the photo – if anything, it adds to the cuteness, marks your child’s innocence and helps them to relax.
5.) Make sure you buy their class photo. I give class photos out, complimentary to all of the students. But most places require that you purchase them. I highly recommend it. I have most of my class photos from grade school and they are among my most cherished photos. Thanks to modern technology and social media, I’m still friends with a lot of those kids in those photos. It’s fun to look back at those years.
6.) Don’t tell your children to say “cheese”. It usually winds up with them giving, well, cheesy smiles. I draw genuine smiles out by telling corny jokes and being silly.
7.) Lastly, don’t worry. If you make too big a deal out of it, your child will get anxious and be less likely to give genuine smiles. I remember back when I was in grade school and my mom would fuss over the perfect outfit, make sure my hair was just right and remind me to smile. All of that fussing used to put me in a state of panic. I’d have stage fright for my photos. As is evident, in my earlier school photos, I was very serious and stiff. Some cases, I didn’t smile at all and other years, my smile was small and forced. All because I worrying about having the perfect picture for my parents. So make light of photography day with your child. Turn it into something fun. So what if they’re not wearing a specific outfit? It’s ok if little Janey is wearing her hair down instead of in french braids like you envisioned. What’s important here, is capturing this moment in time. The age that they are, their little toothless grins and their personality.
Abrah Zion, of Miss Z Photography, is an award winning maternity, newborn, baby and child photographer in New Bedford, MA. She serves all over the SouthCoast and New England with her satisfied clients deriving from New Bedford, South Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, Acushent, Mattapoisett, Marion, Padanaram, Fairhaven, Rochester, Freetown, Lakeville, Westport, Fall River, Somerset, Plymouth, Rhode Island, Cape Cod and Boston.