School picture day is often the source of stress for parents and kids alike — but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re worried about what those framed school photos to Grandma are going to look like, or your teen isn’t sure what to do with her hands for the yearbook shot, strategizing ahead of time will go a long way toward calming everyone’s nerves.
Create Interesting Angles
Sometimes it’s hard to predict whether a shoulders-and-head shot or torso shot will be used in school photos. But a pose that utilizes some angles looks good whether it’s waist-up or is more closely cropped. In this case, the subject faces sideways, then turns her head toward the camera. (To get a good shoulder position when seated, have the subject put her hands, folded, above one knee.)
Not only is this pose more interesting for school photos than the usual head-on shot, but it accommodates different moods. With it, your child will look playful if she is smiling or laughing. Yet if she chooses not to smile, the positioning evokes a pensive mood, rather than that sulky “mugshot” look that comes from an unsmiling, forward-facing pose.
Utilize Meaningful Props
Unless there is a school regulation against it, your grade schooler or teen may relish the chance to show off the activity that really defines him or her. He can hold his instrument in the “play” position, or casually hold that soccer ball under her arm. Of course, wearing the team jersey or uniform only enhances the effect!
Some kids feel confident enough to incorporate quirkier props into their photos. So feel free to support your carefree child is she wants to pose with her pet, a hobby item like a fishing pole, or any item that symbolizes her personality. For example, if your teen is known as a snappy dresser, and has a sense of humor about it, he could be posed straightening his bowtie or tipping his cap.
Try Outdoor Poses
Whether your photo session literally takes place in the fresh air, or the studio is setup to evoke the great outdoors, these types of sessions create new opportunities for posing. One classic is a standing pose, in which the child or teen casually leans against a tree, arms folded. Alternatively, he might stand behind a gate, with one hand resting on the fence post and one foot resting on a lower rung on the gate.
Outdoor settings also allow for naturalistic, relaxed poses on the ground. Your child might sit casually cross-legged with her hands on her legs, or propped behind her. She might also lie on her side facing the camera, with her elbow bent and her head propped in her hand.
Remember — more than anything, it’s important to have relax! With a little practice and a sense of fun, your child will be sure to hit on at least one perfect pose for that treasured school photo.