For most kids, school has resumed in the past couple of weeks and we all know what comes shortly after school starts, pictures! The school picture form always come home within the first full week of school and that gets my mind going on what to wear, what backdrop we want and even what NOT to eat that day.Now I sure we have all had our share of school pictures that are worthy of a long sigh or hearty laugh. I look back at my Freshman picture and realize that was my first year of experimenting with makeup and now realize that under-the-eye black eyeliner look was never really flattering for me. My mom worked full-time and I was always stuck on picture day preparing my own hair, outfit and makeup. Another great moment was in 1988 when I really discovered hairspray. Let’s just say, my hair was taller than my stack of books and probably more flammable that an a can of gasoline. Times have evolved and I really have taken extra steps to assure that my kids are ready every year for school pictures. Here are a few tips to help you and your kids make picture day “picture perfect” each year.
Back Drop Selection
You always get that infamous form early in the year and it shows lots of simplistic choices, along with a few more interesting colorful choices. While you little one may want that exciting blue or green background, I have found that the more neutral colors seem to really make their clothes, eyes and smile “POP”. Stick with the neutral colors and you will be amazed at how much brighter their smiles appear.
Small “Smile” Practice
Sit with your little ones and have them give you the biggest, brightest smile possible. Give them a mirror and have them practice themselves to see and remember just how awesome their little smiles are. Remember though, don’t make it too coached or over-practiced. Let them to relax, be themselves and smile as natural as laughing is.
What to Wear
Now we all have that infamous picture with an outfit we thought was “Perfect” at the time and I am sure it may reflect the fashion sense of the season, but remember this is a picture that will last forever and be passed down from generation to generation. Choose the clothing that is a mixture of complimentary and something you child loves to wear. Don’t make them wear something that is too hot or cold, uncomfortable or makes them miserable as it will only end up reflecting on their face and smile and may ruin the whole picture.
Hair and Make-up
As I previously stated, my mom worked a lot and so she was always out the door before I even got out of the shower for school each day. I wish I had some guidance through my junior high and high school years, but they sure to bring back fun memories. While you cannot have a personal stylist follow you child everywhere during picture day, you can take some simple steps to make sure they are as picture-perfect as they can be.
Each grade has different picture times and inevitably the little ones go first. Take time a few days before picture and work with your child to decide how they want to wear their hair. Does your little guy like combing it over to the side or spiking it up with some hair gel? Does your little gal like her hair out of her face in more of an up-do or let her flowing locks fall naturally around her face and neck? Whichever their personal style is, be sure to practice with them before hand and find what style that you both like.
While each household is different, I made my daughter wait until she was 15 before wearing makeup. If you have a child that loves wearing make up, work with them so that the makeup enhances their already beautiful, natural features and not end up looking like an audition for Ringling Bros. Clown School.
Breakfast & Lunch Options
You are probably looking at those words and wondering what breakfast and lunch have to do with picture day. Well let me tell you, they have EVERYTHING to do with it. First of all, you always want to start their days off with a healthy and hearty breakfast to keep their minds fed and stimulated. One suggestion is to have them eat before they don their picture day clothes, as this may help avoid any mishaps at the breakfast table and cause a last minute wardrobe change.
If you pack their lunches, be sure to pack something that is easy and healthy to eat and won’t mess up their outfit. Jelly squirting out of a delicious PB&J sandwich can really leave a messy stain on their shirt. Like I said, the older kids tend to go later in the day for their pics and anything you can do to help prevent food mishaps will help.
Make It Work
No matter what the situation is, nothing is foolproof. At the end of the day, you can plan and prep until the sun comes up, but anything can happen. Just remember to enjoy each moment and know that they are precious moments. Whether it is a glare on the glasses, a mouth full of braces or a set of eyes closed, all pictures are unique and precious and you will love them no matter what. Tell you kids to be themselves, smile naturally and have fun.
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