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Tips for the perfect Picture Day

Lifetouch School photography images on wooden shelf next to plant

Picture Day: It's likely to inspire a mix of emotions in parents everywhere. From excitement and nostalgia to overthinking outfits and worrying about forced smiles, you're probably feeling a bit all over the board as the day grows nearer.

Stop. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.

Picture Day is a tradition everyone has been through, plus who doesn't love the amazing photography that becomes a keepsake of your child's growth year after year? Whether this is your child's first Picture Day or they've been there before, you can tackle the day with confidence when you follow these three tips for a great Picture Day.

Step 1: Outfits

The star of the picture is your child, and the outfit worn should always complement rather than distract. Avoid loud, busy patterns and big logos. Some moms are OK with that superhero shirt as it captures the child's personality that year; others may prefer to save the superheroes for another day and opt for a new fun outfit. Ultimately it's up to you and your kid! And even though your first-grader adores a particular superhero, it's best to save that T-shirt for another occasion.

The priority is to dress your child in something comfortable that makes them happy. Help your child pick out an outfit that looks good and fits well. Maybe you want to incorporate their current favorite color into the shirt? Accessories add flair, as long as they aren't too big and take away from your child. Small jewelry, headbands and bow-ties can be great additions that add subtle personality to pictures.

Still feeling nervous and want a fail-safe outfit option? Go for solids. A nice shirt in a single hue is a timeless option for school pictures and always helps your child's smile remain the center of attention.

Step 2: Hairstyles

Up or down? Cut several weeks before or the day before? To gel or not to gel? These are the questions that plague Mom before Picture Day.

The good news is you're probably overthinking the hair. Really, any hairstyle will do for Picture Day, as long as you and your child like it. If you love the freshly cut look, get a haircut as close to Picture Day as possible. If you prefer a little more natural style, get it a couple of weeks out so it has some time to grow back in.

Because school pictures focus on the head and shoulders, hair is particularly important. Nicely combed hair that looks natural on your child is sure to make for a winning school picture. Not sure what looks best? Experiment with styles before Picture Day. Can you say fashion show?!

Step 3: Pep talks

You want the best school pictures ever! So you decide to tell your kids how important this is and make them practice their perfect smiles over and over. Unfortunately, your good intentions might backfire.

While it's good to talk to kids about what to expect on Picture Day, putting too much pressure on them can make them nervous. What's more, if they practice smiling too much, they'll be more likely to give one of those fake smiles on the big day, and you certainly don't want that.

Fresh smiles look best, so no need to practice. Simply explain to your kids what Picture Day is and how you can't wait to get the awesome images back to proudly frame them around the house and give them out to friends and family.

Goodbye worries and wonder! These three simple steps will help put your children on the path to an awesome Picture Day.