Ideas for School Pictures

Updated on September 14, 2012
M.S. asks from New York, NY
8 answers

My kids go to public school. I do realize schools have their own picture days. But it is super expensive this year and I have three kids. Each year the price just keep going up!! So I am wanting to do my own pictures this year. Granted these will not be "professional quality" school pictures. But I do own a few nice cameras that take pretty decent pictures (I am not a self proclaimed photographer!!).

So what kind of ideas do you have for school picture backgrounds? I thought maybe an outdoor type scene. What are some of your ideas?

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answers from San Francisco on

Outdoors and quantity. Also google portrait photography for beginners and you will get a lot of great tips. One thing to use is a car sun shade, the shiny kind. They can be used to direct light where you want it to be or even block unwanted too bright light. If you don't have one handy white posterboard will do the same thing. If you can find a friend to help or the kids are cooperative this can go really well.

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answers from Cleveland on

I never buy school pictures, I think they are just dreadful. I only purchase the class photo. I would take them outdoors to a park and look for some nice backdrops. Dress them similarly, ie. white shirt and jeans, something like that, or in solids rather than prints. Best to have the focus on their faces rather than competing with an outfit. Natural poses on the teeter totter, along the river bank, in front of a bridge, etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

I took my girls to a park and took pictures of them. I found a cement thing, aobut 10 inches tall - it was the edge to a shelter, anyway, it had a really pretty flowering bush behind it. I took pictures of them in a row sitting on the ground, leaning on the cement thing. then I took individual ones in the same spot - them doing whatever they wanted - turned out really cute.

Another one I've done is to set up camera infront of a big brown leather chair - I took pictures of all three of them in the chair, then individually all without moving the camera if that makes sense.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Everyone is correct about the sunrise and sunset light, "Golden hour". You don't mention the kids ages.

If you are not satisfied with your photos, you can probably find a photographer outside of the school who will photograph all 3 of the kids for less than you would spend on the school photos. Call around.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Outdoor pictures come out so much better because of the natural light. My daughter is a senior this year, pictures start at $125. She loves the water so when we were on vactation, I took tons of pictures of her, sitting near the waterfall, climbing on the rocks at the beach, near the water with the lighthouse in the background. These pictures show who my daughter really is.



answers from Minneapolis on

I hear ya on the school pics. I responded to a post earlier today where I explained why I 'quit' them and now take the kids to a professional photographer 1x a year to get all the dance, karate, football, soccer, etc pics done in one sitting. Pics are always good, kids are bound to be in a better mood, and it's a fraction of all the school and extra curic. prices added together. ANYWAY, if you do it yourself, I've learned that the light at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day is much gentler for pictures. It'll give you a more professional look than a glaring mid-day sun exposure will. Colors are more vivid in the evening light. Get them moving and snap away! Posed pictures tend to be the most difficult. One year I tossed my kids in a leaf pile around 5 pm and let them have at it. Some of the best amatuer pics i ever took!



answers from St. Louis on

You can hire your own photographer and have them taken OUTSIDE of the school. Bring a few school related props. School sweatshirts. Get an old school desk...

My son is stationed in Ft. Riley and there are some amazing parks on base. Check out!/pages/Whitehall-Photography/12... I'll be back that way in the spring if you need a photographer.



answers from Portland on

If it were me, I'd head outdoors when the light is good. I'd try to catch them doing something they enjoy. So many of my favorite photos of children I love show them doing something in the moment. Dress them in something that has simple color and maybe layers that coordinate well. Then take'em out to have fun outside, use their favorite activity for props, and go from there.

I don't think you'll have any problem doing something as least as good as the 'school photo' person can. And it will be more personal. Have fun!

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