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Top 10 tips for picture day

Preplan for picture day for lots of smiles.
Preplan for picture day for lots of smiles.Jamie Hicks

Schools all around Maryland and beyond are gearing up for school picture days. Here is a simple list to avoid panic and mayhem on picture day.

10. Yearbook. Remember that even if you are not buying a picture package, your child will be photographed for the yearbook. This picture will be memorialized for years to come one way or the other.

9. Plan for Murphy's Law. Something will go wrong the morning of picture day. Just expect it. You'll sleep a bit too long. The cat will shed on the pants you laid out. The moments will fly away leaving you in a rush to throw a quick breakfast together as you race out the door. Just be ready for it and roll with the punches. The more preplanning you do, the less Murphy will be ruining your moment.

8. Color of the shirt. Pick a brightly colored shirt that will photograph well against the backdrop. A nice colored shirt reflects the light better and will give a special vibrancy to the picture. As they say, avoid white, black and grey.

7. Color of the background. Match your child and their clothes to the background you select. If you select the gray background, think twice before sending your child in a plain white or grey shirt. If you select the bright purple background don't send them in with a purple shirt.

6. Hairstyle. Don't over complicate the hairdo. Pictures are taken at various times of the day including right after recess or after gym. The gel and hairspray could wear off and turn into a mess. Keep it practical.

5. Hype it up. If you are expecting a lot from these photos to match the money you are spending, share your excitement with your child and make the day special like you make the first day of school and other fun school moments.

4. Agreeing on style. Decide at least the day before what shirt your child will wear. Don't forget to include jewelry in this discussion. They might want to wear their favorite faded tshirt. You probably want them to wear something "nice". They want to wear arm bands and you want them to wear a watch or bracelet. This could turn into a battle. Nudge them towards something nice but keep it their style.

3. Preplan. Talk to your child at least a week before picture day to decide if she needs a hair cut or if he needs to buy a shirt. Make sure everything fits. You want them to be involved in the process. They'll be proud of how they look and it will show in the photograph.

2. Practice. Take practice pictures at home on the digital camera. Can't decide between outfits? Check out which looks better. Can't decide hairstyles? Smile with teeth showing or just a smirk? Show them the difference with some practice shots.

1. Appropriateness. Remember that this is a memory making moment. This school picture should be nice (you sure spend enough for it) but the main goal is to capture who your child is at this moment in their life. If she loves rock and roll, don't put her in a frilly pink blouse. If he's shy and sweet, don't spike up his hair special for the day.

If you haven't gotten ready for picture day, start now. Schools schedule picture day well in advance but they don't send the order forms home until a few days or the day before the event so the forms don't get lost.

SMILE!

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