Kindergarten is one of the most important and exciting times in your child’s life, and yours! It is during the first school experiences that children learn not only the “Three Rs”—reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic—but they also get their first sense of being an individual outside of their family unit. School portraits in New York are the perfect way to hold onto the memories for years to come, but excited children do not always make for the easiest subjects. Taking the following steps can help ensure that your child’s first school photos capture their true personality on film.
- Prepare Them: The unknown is frightening for anyone, especially for children who may still be adjusting to school. Let your child know what to expect so they are not startled by strangers, backgrounds, and cameras.
- Practice making faces: Talk to your child about the different expressions they make. Show them photos of themselves and have them pick out the ones where they look happiest, and practice making those expressions in the mirror. It may even be helpful to take some photos on your own and let your child see the results.
- Pick Out The Right Outfit: It can be very tempting to buy brand new clothing for your child’s first school photograph, but this can often backfire if the outfit agitates them in any way. Instead, have your child help you select 3 to 5 outfits that are their favorites and make sure they are all ready in case they change their mind at the last minute. Avoid logos and try to find clothing in bright colors that accentuate your child’s personality
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Pay special attention to bedtime the night before picture day. Make sure that your child is calm and relaxed at bedtime so that they wake up rested and cheerful and ready to put their best face forward.
- Brush Their Teeth: Make sure your child brushes their teeth after breakfast on picture day to avoid food stuck between their teeth that may show up on camera. Make the process fun by singing a song or making a game of it so your child remains in a good mood.
- Hair Styles: Just like with outfit selection, it is best to hold off on anything new and different until after picture day. If a haircut is necessary, do so about two weeks before the school photographs are taken so your child can adjust to any discomfort or awkwardness. Choose a cute but easy to maintain style so that it won’t be destroyed if photos are taken in the middle or end of the day.
- Comfort and Personality Items: Ask your school if props are permitted. It can be a fun idea to send your child with a symbol of their favorite hobby or pastime. If they cannot bring items from home, perhaps consider some accessories that highlight their interests.
- Have Realistic Expectations: Having kids means expecting the unexpected. If your child loses a tooth right before picture day, or gets a black eye during sports practice, it is not the end of the world. Remember, it is all a part of their personalities!
- Have Fun!: Above all, make sure your child is having fun! That first school portrait is important to most parents, but putting too much pressure on your child will make them anxious and scared of disappointing you, and that will show up on camera. Build your child up with words of encouragement so that their self-confidence is evident on camera.
Your child’s kindergarten pictures will serve as a reminder of their very first taste of independence and individuality. Follow their lead and let ABC School Photographers do the rest!