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Tips for Hosting a Successful Photo Day

The success of a center's Photo Day relies largely on the preparation and coordination between all parties. Keeping that in mind, here are some tips that your center can implement to help make your Photo Day a success.


1. Delegate 1-2 Staff Members to Help

This is more of a requirement than a suggestion. Your staff knows the schedules and temperaments of each child, plus the center's layout and procedures.

So, for Photo Day, we'll need you to delegate 1-2 staff members to help with a few things:

Bringing out the children and taking them back to their classrooms

Making any minor adjustments with hair, clothes, and dirty faces (We're happy to do this too, if appropriate.)

Helping the children feel comfortable and happy


2. Make (and Share) a Formal Timeline Writing out a formal timeline and sharing that with you staff and photographer will make your center's Photo Day much more successful. When creating this timeline, make sure to consider when each child and classroom has set activities, snack time, nap time, etc.

You don't need to have the exact photo order of each individual child, but an outline for specific classes or rooms will help streamline the process, let all your staff know what to expect, and reduce stress.


3. Remind Your Families!

As a former student and current parent, I've forgotten many Photo Days for myself and my kids. It's almost impossible to remind parents too many times about their child's Photo Day, and if they forget, chaos ensues.

We send out one email reminder to the parents who have registered for photos, but don't be afraid to send your own reminders one, or two, (or three) times. :)


4. Let the Photographer Choose the Exact Photo Spot While we certainly understand that there will be restrictions with where we can shoot around your center, please let the photographer make the final decision from those available options.

Lighting can make an enormous difference in the final photo, and shooting in "bad" lighting can potentially make images un-usable. So even if you (or the child) really want to take photos in a specific place, please let the photographer use their expertise to make sure that the locations used will produce the best results possible.


5. Keep the Background Clear

We often take photos on or around play equipment, and this could potentially lead to other children being around during each photo session.

Whenever it's possible, please keep other children out of the areas where we'll be shooting. Parents don't typically want other children "photobombing" their child's portraits. :) Also, having those other kids running around can restrict our shooting spots and make each session take longer while kids are constantly being cleared from the background.


6. Stand Directly Behind the Photographer If a staff member is helping get a child's attention or making them smile for photos, it's best if they stand as close to the photographer as they can get, preferably directly behind them. Having a photo with a big smile from your child is infinitely better when they're looking at the camera instead of way over to the side.

So, while it may feel awkward to cozy-up with your photographer, I promise they won't mind, and the parents will thank you. :)


7. Start as Early as Possible

Drop-off time for daycares and preschools can be pretty chaotic, so it's understandable that you don't want to start shooting right away. That being said, the sooner you can start taking those photos, the better. With the sun rising so early in the late Spring and late Summer, getting photos while the sun is still low will produce the best results. Shade gets much harder to come by as the sun gets higher, which limits the places we can take photos.

In addition, no one wants to work or cooperate when they're hungry or sleepy. :) As lunchtime and naptime approach, the chances of cranky children (and staff) increases, so help avoid that by starting those photos early.


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