I am so excited to share pictures from a preschool I photographed in Bremerton! This school had problems with photographers in past, and it took up too much of their time. They took a chance on me though, and everyone is very pleased with the results!
Every school’s needs are different so I schedule a face-to-face meeting in advance of picture day. I am happy to be able to meet most requests. I met with the director weeks before picture day. We scoped out a perfect location: an unused room that would not interfere with the classroom learning. We hammered out the details: times, one staff photo, sibling photos available, individual family galleries with passwords, no retakes, and no class photos this time around. I then got to work preparing for the day. From my years of teaching, I know preparation and back up plans are essential for success.
On the big day, I arrived early to set everything up and get ready. Once school began, the teacher assistants brought small groups of children to be photographed. The assistants were wonderful! It really helped having someone in the room that was able to give me a little preview of each child so I was able to connect quicker and get those genuine smiles.
Getting Those Smiles
When interacting with the students, the only thing I really did was tell them where to stand. WhileI was photographing, I talked to them about things that made them happy: their favorite thing about school (snack time was a clear favorite), their favorite snack (rainbow goldfish is the consensus), what they were going to be for Halloween, or wherever the conversation took us. Of course some students are more reserved and that is where the teacher’s assistants were key. Let us not forget the toys to get those smiles! A laughing minion from McDonalds was a hit, but, alas, his battery died, and a Jedi with a fan instead of lightsaber had to step up to the plate. My entire goal was to make each student feel special and comfortable.
It was so much fun to see the younger siblings that came in to get their photographs taken as well. For some it was a little too intimidating and didn’t want to leave mom’s side. Luckily I have a couple tricks up my sleeve that leave everyone happy. Of course, we were able to get pictures of them with big brother or sister too. We even were able to arrange photos for sibling photos of children in different classrooms.
My preparation and experience working with children and schools created a great experience for the school and its families and students. I am looking forward to seeing them all again in the spring!