Monday, August 22, 2011


Photo Grooming Tips & Hints. 

How to get great portraits of your kids.


We always bring combs to shoots. We do not allow children to share combs, and we discourage them from keeping them afterward. All of our photography teams are trained in lice prevention.

If you have special hair concerns feel free to send them in writing with child. 90% of the time the person doing hair will be one of your fellow parents or a teacher. Be kind, they are voluntary hairstylists doing the best they can.
Schedule the hair cut at least 10 days ahead of photo day. The front of hair should not "eyelash brushing long". Neat, shiny hair always looks best.

NO BED-HEAD! We love our boys but they can have some pretty knarly snarls in the back of their heads. Promise them sugary cereal if they let you wet and comb their hair before they leave for school on photo day!!!
Bang cuts should be at least a week old. Complicated hair styles do not withstand recess and school schedules do not allow much time for hairstyling.

Ponytails are great as long as you include some barrettes or hairpins to manage flyways. We love pigtails but they can be hard to manage if the child's hair is too short for them to look neat all day.

We LOVE tied back hair on windy days. Love, love love it!
Headbands are a nice solution for growing out bangs and their color should complement eyes and clothes. We will often photograph long hair both in front of the ears and in back of the ears as we don't know how your child wears their hair daily.


If you child shows up to camera in a baseball cap we will generally photograph both with and without the cap. This is fine with us...except when there is a serious case of "hat head". Hat head can be avoided if you could ask your (usually) boy to keep his cap off until after his first photos.

Same goes for girls. Wear those sassy hats, but not at the expense of your hair!


The best choice is the simplest - dress them in a collared shirt that fits as well as complements their eyes and hair.

A sweater, a dress, neat tee or a clean soft polar fleece will work. You are looking for a top that complements your child's face not distracts.

Small patterns or solids are best. We love Gap clothes but the word GAP across a t-shirt is a bit distracting in a photo.

Superman, Spiderman, Giants, 49'ers, Cinderella, Dora the explorer or Hanna Montana will immortalize childhood passions but that should be your intention not an accident on picture day.

Clothes that are clean and stain free will save you retouch costs. You can even send a second shirt in case of snack accidents (remind them to tell the teacher they brought it).
Iron those collars!

Summer spaghetti strapped dresses that have some "growing" room are usually not the best choice for your girl. They tend to hang to low and if it is chilly in the morning the goosebumps on their arms show.


Children who bring a positive attitude to the camera are a joy to photograph. Our photographers work hard to elicit natural expressions, we are not looking for a "cheesy smile" (remember, cheese is a dairy product, not an expression..).

We spend our days unlocking real smiles from our subjects. We have lots of energy, tricks and even bribes in our arsenal to eradicate fake smiles. We have teddy bears for the muffins that are too scared to smile.

We focus on pensive eyes when that is where the camera finds the soul. You can help us by remaining positive in your message to your child.

A successful photograph is a collaboration, and we encourage our subjects to put their best face forward. We have found that if a student is respectful of our time and efforts to make a pleasing photograph they will ultimately be happy with the results.

You can reinforce a positive attitude by sharing with your children how wonderful they are and how you are looking forward to seeing their portrait this year. Let them know you trust them to work politely with the photographer in creating a portrait that they can be proud to share.
More Poses:
Children learn by observation and repetition, this is a good thing in school but not in photos.
Please do not "teach" your children poses. Let us help them position themselves for the best image.

We agree with "American's Next Top Model" on one thing- No Posey Photos!

Special hints for Preschool Parents

If you would like to be there on picture day we welcome your sense of team support, but suggest you head to the bathroom before your child comes to the camera. Most of the time your child will do better without you. (This includes peeking around trees- we are talking to you- preschool parents).

Preschoolers under the spell of their teachers and classmates may forget they are doing something new and unsettling. When their mom or dad is nearby they tend to cling, cry or refuse to participate. There are always exceptions but they are exceptions. 

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