Putting Students at Ease
As a former teacher, I know how stressful school picture day can be especially if you are in middle school. You want to stand out from the crowd, but not too much, you also need to fit in. You haven’t really figured out who you are yet, much less how to present that to the world. Not a child anymore, but also not an adult. Not to mention the hormones wreaking havoc on your skin and hair. No, middle school is not an easy place to be. Then mention “picture day” and the freak out begins. The perfect outfit must be found, hair and possibly make up done just so, and then start practicing your smile.
To ease middle schooler picture day stress, I patiently waited while they doubled checked their hair and perfect smile in the window conveniently nearby. I would talk to them about their hobbies, weekend plans, or school. Some would do the clenched teeth, tense, fake smile while attempting to answer my questions. I would assure them they could talk to me normally. I would delete the eyes half closed, mouth half open ones. Those would not make me look like a good photographer! They would laugh and that is when I would snap the shutter. A few were still unsure what to do as it is a different approach to school photos. Then I would employ the help those waiting by asking them to make silly faces or tell jokes. For those that needed to know I got a good one, a quick check at the back of the camera calmed their nerves. It sounds like this process takes a long time for each student, but I promise the whole interaction takes only a couple minutes.
Putting Schools at Ease
It is stressful for the school, teachers, and parents as well. There are changes in routine and a buzz of nervous excitement in the air. Questions
I attempt to ease all these stresses while doing school photos. When I approached this Kitsap middle school about doing their pictures, they had expressed they wanted to include their campus in the background of the photos. While I do not normally do this, I was happy to accommodate especially after a tour of their beautiful campus and finding a good location to protect us from any potential sun and rain. They needed digital copies of all the photos for the yearbook, class photos, staff photos, a retake day, sibling photos, and individual password protected galleries for each family. Absolutely, I offer all those for every school, and those staff photos are my gift to them as a thank you for all they do. I do as much as I can for the schools including answer all ordering and payment questions directly from parents so teachers have more time to teach!
While I normally do pre-school photos, it was so much fun working with these middle schoolers. They have a truly amazing school environment! I loved being able to capture their individuality in the place shaping the young adults they will become.