Back to School | How to Look Good in School Pictures

BACK TO SCHOOL!  Who’s excited? A new year, new you and new opportunities to become that much better than you were last year.  All the fun things that go with a new school year.  Friday Night Lights, pep-rallies, Homecoming and for some of you fashionistas, a new wardrobe.  But > > >  Let’s just talk for a second about those awesome school pictures we get to take every year.  Raise your hand if you wish you could do a “re-take”.  Honestly, they’re not always horrible.  Sometimes they turn out pretty amazing, but there’s always that ONE that comes back and you’re like, REALLY? Why didn’t they tell me to smile, or how come the person taking the picture didn’t say “hey, relax, you look tense”?  

Let me give you 3 TIPS on HOW TO LOOK GOOD IN YOUR SCHOOL PICTURES!  I promise you’ll be happy to have mom put this one up in the hallway.

FIRST! Clothing choice!  Make sure you pick something simple that represents YOU.  Simple doesn’t mean BORING! It just means making sure you’re not competing with the patterns in your shirt.  Pull out your outfit the day before.  Make sure it fits you the way you like.  Pick something with a fun collar or a blouse that has texture. Collars look great in school photos and frame the face and neckline. Let’s not forget the guys, layering a sweater over a shirt for the gentlemen looks really nice. 

Whatever clothing choices you decide, make sure you are comfortable in them all day.  You may not have a chance to change your clothes.  

Here’s an example of texture verses plain tshirt. Paige’s side by side of 2 years ago and this year’s Headshot session are incredibly different!  It’s amazing to see how much she’s changed in such a short amount of time.   

mckinney dance photographer, dance photography, ballet photography

Next we address the element of posing. Do you have a “side”?  You know that side of your face you point towards your phone when you take a selfie? When asked to sit down during your school picture, don’t hesitate to adjust the direction you are sitting to feel your most comfortable. School pictures are usually taken straight-on, but very subtle changes in your head positioning can make a big difference. Practice smiling in the mirror or in selfies, test out slightly different head positions to find out which one makes your facial features look best.  If possible, avoid cheesy poses such as resting your head on your fist.  Make sure you sit or stand up straight when your picture is taken.

To avoid having a fake or forced smile, make sure to think about something that makes you happy while your picture is taken. Consider thinking about your plans for the weekend, or a great Summertime memory.

I love that I get to follow the journey of a dancer’s training and Paige and I are no strangers to working together.  Here’s a few more images from Paige’s Headshot session!  Couldn’t help but throw in a few dance poses!  She’s just so gorgeous!! 

The final tip in executing an amazing school photo session is rest and diet!!  Now this doesn’t mean be lazy and go to an ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET.  Simply put, get a good night’s sleep the night before and make sure you try to eat your best, at least the week before your pictures. Make sure that you drink lots of water and chose healthy snacks to reduce any redness in your face.  That’s actually a HUGE goal of mine all the time.

….and here’s a BONUS TIP:  STICK TO YOUR NORMAL MAKEUP ROUTINE.   As with any picture you take, you want to look your best. Chances are your parents are going to frame this photo and keep it around the house, so looking nice is top priority. This may cause you to want to go all out with your makeup. Dont. However you normally do your makeup is exactly how you should do it on picture day. If youre set on trying something different with your everyday beauty look, try out a few different looks the days leading up to picture day. You can figure out which one you like best, and if none of them work out, you can stick to the routine you always follow.

There ya have it!! I hope that this was helpful! I have full confidence that you’re totally going to rock your school pictures!  Make sure you send me one!  I still have all the ones my friend gave me in high school!  

I can’t wait to see your beautiful face!!!
All My Best!!!!


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