Is your kid ready to “say cheese”? If not, the time is now.
Thursday, Sept. 10 is National School Picture Day, a date that’s now recognized by the National Day Calendar and that will occur on the second Thursday in September every year.
In case it’s not obvious, that’s right at the start of “school picture” season – a time when parents everywhere scramble to pick out the right outfits, photo backgrounds (we prefer the neon lasers!) and print packages for their child’s big day in front of the camera.
National School Picture Day was launched as a joint effort between photography company Lifetouch and jewelry designer and mother Danielle Jonas.
“I have the best memories from school picture day as a kid,” Jonas says in a press release about the new calendar designation. “Now with my oldest daughter starting kindergarten and my youngest daughter enrolling in a few years, I’ll be able to capture memories during every stage of their childhood, which is why I’m proud to support Lifetouch’s first-ever National School Picture Day.”
Preparing for picture day at your child’s school also means helping your little one be ready to smile for the camera. After all, we’ve all seen enough picture day memes to know that the pictures don’t always go as planned. With that in mind, consider these top tips – courtesy of Jonas – for school picture day success.
5 Tips for a Great Picture Day Photo
1. Get a good night’s sleep
It sounds simple, but sleep is essential to a great photo. Make sure the kids are tucked in on time – or even a little earlier than usual – the night before picture day.
“A full night’s sleep can help your child feel energized and fresh for picture day. Plus it will help ward off any crankiness if they tend to get a little restless throughout the day,” Jonas notes.
2. Play up the details
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
“Accessories are great for enhancing school pictures while showcasing your child’s style and personality,” Jonas says. “I love putting bows or headbands in my girls’ hair and they love it too!”
3. Keep outfits simple
Don’t go overboard with an outfit that will be too hard to keep in place neatly for a photo. After all, your kids might have lunch or recess – or both! – before it’s their turn to smile for the camera.
“Make sure to choose an outfit for your child that’s comfortable and low maintenance,” Jonas suggests. “When they’re in uncomfortable clothes, they’ll definitely look uncomfortable in a school picture!”
4. Be yourself
Tell your child to be themselves, Jonas says. “Your freshest, most natural smile comes across best when you’re relaxed – so I encourage my kids to just be themselves,” she explains in the press release. “When kids practice their ‘picture face’ too much, it can cause them to have a forced grin in school pictures.”
5. Don’t aim for ‘perfect’
Missing a front tooth or hair that won’t cooperate? Don’t stress. “School pictures are a great keepsake, not because they’re perfect, but because they show all of the different ways your kids have grown up through the years,” Jonas points out.
This post was originally published in 2019 and is updated regularly.