Preparing for Picture Day
Picture day is coming to a Blue Bird near you! This is a great chance to get a photograph of your children and notice their development. However, for some children, picture day can be overwhelming. They may not like sitting still, wearing fancy clothes, or having their hair done differently. Other children don’t like having strangers look at them or feeling like the center of attention. Still some children can be distracted by all of the sensory inputs – flashing lights, a stranger giving them directions for posing, and seeing a classroom set up differently may cause them anxiety.
At Blue Bird we do everything we can to make this a fun event by having staff they know present to support their participation, by keeping the photo sessions short, and by hosting it in play spaces they know. Even still, a photo session can be quite a change from their daily routines. In order to prepare them to have the best photo possible, here are a few ideas:
- Does your child dramatic play? You can have them play dress up, practice wearing the clothes you want for their photograph or even give them a “make over” and practice doing their hair. When they are “ready for their close up” you can try using a camera at home or use your phone to take pictures you can look at together.
- If your child enjoys arts and crafts, try making cameras out of Kleenex boxes or other small empty boxes. They can run around the house and “take photos” of the family, pets, the house, etc. to get comfortable with it. Then try turning the “camera” on them when they seem relaxed and encourage them to show off their best poses.
- Set up a “photo shoot” at home. Use your box cameras or real ones, a stool or small chair, a favorite stuffed animal, and open some umbrellas (these look like what our photographers use for their flashes). Try having them pose with their toys, sitting down or standing up. This will help them feel more prepared when they see the photo set up at Blue Bird.
- For children who are more scientifically minded, you can take apart an old camera to figure out how it works or look at youtube videos of how a photo shoot works. This can help diminish some of the anxiety around what is happening and why.
- Finally, looking at family photographs is a great family activity. Showing them pictures of yourselves as babies, their siblings and pets in younger years will normalize having a picture taken. Looking at older photographs of your child throughout their lives is a great way to share memories, to talk about them through positive stories, and to reinforce how natural it can be for them to be photographed.
Have more ideas about how to encourage your child’s inner model? Share them in our comment section on social media so other families can use them too!