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School Photo Flashback

School Photos: Putting your Best Smile Forward

September 23, 2016 Sarah Coggins

When I look back at some of my own school photos from years ago, I laugh. My parents may not have at the time. I realize now as a parent myself that they spent real (as in a lot) of money on these photos and, often, they were less than stellar.

School Photos: Putting Your Best Smile Forward

Flip through your child’s school yearbook and you’re likely to see a lot of similarities to those taken during your own childhood. The clothing and hair styles might be different, but many of the expressions are very much the same. Somehow even toddlers that had the biggest smile and happily hammed up for the camera grow up and become a little less smiley and more awkward in front of the school photographer.

I recently came across this photo taken when I was in elementary school. Fourth grade we think. Maybe I was hiding missing teeth?

School Photo Flashback

This makes me laugh a bit now as an adult. But I’m sure at that age, it was a big deal and made my smile my least favorite asset at the moment. (Thank you, thank you, Mom & Dad, for the much needed orthodontic work later! Even if I did hide my smile for a bit.)

Looking through my past photos got me thinking about how to prepare for those annual school photos:

  1. Let your child help pick the outfit. Yes, I do encourage my son to “dress up” a bit for these. He can wear his casual printed t-shirts any other day of the school year. I give him options and let him select the specific shirt. I want him wearing what he feels the best and most confident in. Having a say in the process helps accomplish that.
  2. Practice smiling in the mirror, taking selfies, making silly faces (get those out before photos), etc. Smile with your kids and be sure to tell them how much you love seeing theirs. It’s a simple confidence boost.
  3. Brushing teeth. Yes, this simple twice daily habit helps too. We want our kids to have healthy teeth & smiles they can be proud of and want to show off in those photos!
  4. Getting a fresh haircut the week before. Everyone looks and feels better about themselves after a haircut. Doing so a few days ahead of time gives you the chance to see how it styles best (with/without product? Clips or headband needed?). Of course, you could always just do the home perm like I rocked in the late 80s. 😉 [Does anyone still do that??]

School Photos Stack

What’s your best tip for getting your kids to smile for school photos?

This post was originally sponsored by Orajel™. All opinions are mine alone.

1 Comment

  • Janet W. September 27, 2016 at 6:19 am
    A fresh haircut is a must before school photo time! These turn out to be great keepsakes.
  • Leave a Reply

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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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