Picture day is an exciting time for students and families. It's a rite of passage each year that hopefully results in a portrait of a smiling kid that can be proudly displayed.
However, picture day is busy and every child has a unique temperament. While there are bound to be a few frowns or silly faces, teachers and parents can work together to set kids up for the best possible success on picture day.
Guide kids in selecting outfits: Letting kids have a say in what they wear on picture day is a wonderful way to capture their personality. However, it's best to save the complex patterns and graphic tees for a different day. Simple, comfortable clothes in classic colors are often best. Accessories can help jazz up an outfit if necessary. Click here for more outfit inspiration.
Say cheese please: Practice smiling but try to avoid the fake smile. Everyone would rather see a genuine smile on photo day than one forcefully plastered from ear to ear. Remind kids to relax and be themselves! Their true personalities — and smile — will shine through.
Set expectations: Kids can worry when routines are off. Both teachers and parents can talk about what to expect so there's no surprises on the big day. Teachers can even do a classroom activity that will help guide these expectations. What's more, talk about what is expected of students, meaning good manners, excellent listening and patience.
Parents should stay home: Unless you are a volunteer helper, parents should stay away on picture day. Having a parent there can put unneeded pressure on kids and distracts photographers from doing the job they're trained to do. Teachers can handle the students and the photographer is the expert in getting little darlings to smile proudly. Parents must trust the team.
Have the right attitude: Set the tone for picture day by having a positive attitude. Both parents and teachers can amp up the excitement of the event to increase enthusiasm for students. Be cautious, though, not to take it too far. You don't want kids to feel nervous.
Be strategic: Teachers should think about what order to photograph the class. Start with the kids who are the most confident and easygoing. They'll set a great example for other kids waiting in line. If you notice a child who is nervous, sit with them and talk about observations and answer any questions. This can help ensure the entire class has an enjoyable experience with great results.
Have a plan B: If a child suddenly falls ill and misses picture day, or is having an off day and just can't give a smile, have a backup plan. Lifetouch Preschool Portraits has a way to ensure you get the portrait you want of your A+ student. Through a partnership, parents can take their child for picture retakes free of charge at a local JCPenney studio if Lifetouch wasn't able to capture their brilliant smile, thanks to the No Smiles Today program.
Picture day is a big deal for preschoolers. These tips will help parents and teachers set them up for success.