How to Survive School Picture Day

School Picture Day: few phrases in the English language stress a mama out quite like this particular combination of words strung together.  School Picture Day is no joke.  Not only will these all-important photos appear in the annual school yearbook, if appropriate, they may also make a guest appearance on this year’s family Christmas card.

And you don’t want your poor child to be remembered looking like this, do you?  I didn’t think so.  Choosing the correct outfits and adequately preparing each of your children for this monumental day can be challenging.  Luckily, we’re here to help.  Follow these simple suggestions, and you’re sure to get a photo worthy of the cute frame from Hobby Lobby you’ve been eyeing all summer…

Tip number 1: If you can, try to find out the backdrop color beforehand.  Most of the time (but not always), it is the same backdrop every single year.  Try to avoid choosing an outfit for your kiddo that clashes with this color. You also want to avoid matching your child’s attire to the backdrop – then little Johnny tends to look like a floating head.  Not so great.

Tip number 2: Avoid clothing with writing on it.  You will also want to avoid busy patterns, and anything too trendy.  Classic and timeless, with a modern twist is always best.  You don’t want to look back in a few short years and say “what was I thinking?” Or worse yet, have your child blame you for ruining her life.  Solid colors are generally safest.  Why not have your kiddo wear his or her favorite nice sweater or top?

Tip number 3: Have your child practice his or her best smile for you.  Maybe you can coax them out of the deer-in-headlights look before they get to school.  Perhaps you can even help them develop a joke or funny story to contemplate right at picture taking time. This can be a really big help.

Tip number 4: Make sure your little one gets a good night’s rest before the big day.  Get up a little bit earlier than usual on the morning of --  you will want to have plenty of time to make sure little Susie looks her very best.  Rushing out the door stresses everyone out, and makes for terrible pictures.  You want your child calm, comfortable, and relaxed.  Why not make the morning extra special?  Take your time and enjoy.

Tip number 5: Don’t forget to have them brush and floss thoroughly!  Nothing ruins a picture quite like a little leftover breakfast stuck in the teeth.  Pack a safe lunch – especially if your child wears braces.

Tip number 6: Get a haircut a week or two before School Picture Day. This creates a look that is still clean cut, but grown out enough to look natural.  Avoid ponytails and slicked back to the head styles for girls.

Tip number 7: If your child wears glasses, you may want to suggest he or she remove them for the photo, so as to avoid a glare.  Instruct your kiddo to avoid looking directly into the photographer’s light – this never makes for good photos.

Tip number 8: If your daughter is old enough to wear makeup (we’re talking tween age here), convince her to allow you to help her with her makeup the morning of – tell her you’re going to play beauty salon. Keep it sheer and fresh – just a hint of shadow and mascara, and maybe some natural-looking lip gloss with a little sheen.

Best of luck!  We hope you end up with some truly fabulous school photos this year! Feel free to share them with us in the comments below or on Simply Family's Facebook page. And if you have one of "those" photos lingering in your history, we definitely want you to share them!