5 Tips For Picture-Perfect Yearbook Photos


Getting a great yearbook photo can be challenging. Every parent can remember a particularly bad photo from their own school days that still makes them slightly mortified to think about, whether due to an obnoxiously-loud neon green shirt or crazy uncombed hair that no one was allowed to help fix. To help save your own children from future embarrassment due to a bad yearbook photo, here are five tips that you can use to help your child look their best in front of the camera on picture day.

Choose a Flattering–but Not Overly Dramatic–Shirt Color

When helping your child pick out an outfit for yearbook picture day, steer them towards colors–particularly for the top–that are complimentary but not too loud and overwhelming. Darker colors such as navy often help drawn positive attention to the face and flatter many skin tones. On the other hand, neon colors can be distracting. Avoid white if possible: photographers typically must use the same lighting set-up for all picture takers, meaning that a bright white shirt will result in a washed-out portrait.

Keep It Simple

In general, busy patterns and large accessories don’t show up well in yearbook photos. Choosing a simple solid shirt and subtle accessories like a plain headband are more flattering. Perhaps counterintuitively, an old favorite outfit may be a better choice than a brand new one for picture day; if that new sweater turns out to be itchy, your child will have a hard time looking natural in their photo.

Be Strategic With Haircut Timing

A good hair day can be difficult to guarantee, whether you’re a child or an adult. Give your son or daughter a better chance at having a good-looking hairdo by taking them for a cut seven to 10 days before picture day. This time gap allows the hair to grow out and look more natural while also giving your child time to get used to their new look. 

Steer Clear of Avoidable Disasters

Proper preparations on the morning of yearbook picture day can help your child make it to their photo session without making their neatly-ironed clothes (or themselves) messy. Pack a lunch filled with options that are unlikely to stain or get stuck in teeth, particularly for younger children who are likely to spill and kids who have braces for food to get caught in. Just in case, include an extra clean shirt in your child’s backpack as a backup. Similarly, avoid complicated hairstyles such as French braids or fancy buns if your child is the type to tumble around on the playground during recess. 

Encourage Your Child To Be Themselves

At the end of the day, the goal of yearbook photos is to capture children as they are. Coaching children on how to smile can backfire if the resulting smile looks forced or fake. As an alternative, encourage your child to think of something funny when their picture is being taken; this can often induce a genuine, beautiful smile.