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The school photograph

It's the start of the new term so it's time for the annual school snapshot. Try these tips to ensure your child is looking her best


Posted: 17 April 2010
by Sue Lacey

school photo 1

  • The art is getting an image of the child that is more than a dating record for the parental album. It’s to capture the essence & character of the child at that particular age. You need energy and creative chat to engage the child’s attention and get that sparkle out of them that most kids have if encouraged in the right way.

  • The biggest headache is having to clean snotty noses when parents or carers aren’t around to do it!

  • As a photographer, you have to be strict with yourself – it’s hard having to move on to the next child when a really characterful child is there giving you loads of varied expressions!

  • Some children will always have wheels on their bottom and are constantly on the move. In these cases I simply up sticks and follow them with my camera! I don’t like stuffy formality anyway so that’s fine by me.

  • For a serious fidget – you’d be amazed how the promise of a sticker can work miracles in buying a few more minutes of concentrated time! Another trick is to get them to hold something out of shot or to draw a quick chalk doodle on a pavement and get them to sit on it!

  • For the reluctant smiler – Some children are just sultry but even then these photos can make very striking images. I like the challenge because you know if you struggle then the parent probably does too. To capture a rare smile means the shot is even more valuable.

  • For some reason children always laugh if I pretend to fall asleep. Another trick I do is to get them to balance something on their head or mine. I’m ready with the camera and inevitably when it falls off…they laugh. Simple but true!

  • It can be equally hard to deal with a child that has the forced fixed grin. Getting them to drop the cheese!

  • Dealing with the full-on tantrum – Multi mount them in a series in frame! They look great! Life is full of tantrums - every parent knows that! It’s a moment in time to capture & smile at.

  • Getting whizzy with photoshop – You do have to use the wonder of Daz Photoshop. It’s a great tool to scrub up clothes, faces, coldsores, scratches etc. The little time it takes is much better than hearing a parent say nice photo shame about the gravy stain!

  • Change the scenery – I personally cannot bear the cloudy, mottled grey background. For me it feels stuck in a time warp. I love natural light and natural shots of kids given an alternative edge with great colour or in striking black and white. I aim to take shots that a parent would want to frame straight away or blow up large into a wall hanging or some sort. There are so many great ways to present pictures these days.

    For me as a photographer I think my creative spirit would wither if it was a factory line approach to photographing a nursery or school.

    www.suelaceyphotography.com

    School photo 2 School photo 3


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