Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Timeless. Artistic. Genuine.
Is this school photography we're talking about?
School photos CAN be beautiful & unique
What comes to mind when you think of school photos?
If you're anything like me, you might be thinking about the forced, cheesy smile, the stiff pose, or maybe that horrible, blotchy, blue background (where on earth do they find those things)!
I don't think school photography had changed since I was a kid. My school photos are still as cringeworthy now as they were back then.
Yet I can see no reason why school photography shouldn't be beautiful and unique.
When I proposed a contemporary and personal alternative to school photography to the principal at St Leonards School I was beyond thrilled when she agreed to give it a go.
I'm not sure who was more excited about the resulting images - me, the teachers or the parents!
"My husband and I were totally blown away by the photos! You really captured so many aspects of her character. They are just gorgeous." -Elona
No forced smiles, just the authentic child on the day
One or two minutes isn't a long time to get a child you've never met to warm up to you so you can capture their portrait.
That's probably why that 'say cheese' smile is so common - it's simply fast and easy (and we've trained our kids so well to give us their camera face).
Let me tell you now, I hate the cheesy smile almost as much as I hate books with neat and tidy happy endings - they're kinda nice at the time but ultimately completely unsatisfactory.
I believe with a little bit of effort you can get a child to open up in front of the camera.
My goal is always to capture the genuine child on the day. While I will do everything I can - including making a complete idiot of myself - to elicit a genuine smile, I never force a smile.
I don't believe a child's portrait needs a smile to be keeper. In fact, the image with the deep, pensive stare is nearly always my favourite!
Why settle for anything less?
School photographs can be timeless. They can embrace creativity, expression and individuality. They can be quirky. They can make you laugh. They can be images you will love!
Here are a few of my fav images from St Leonards School photos reproduced with kind permission from their parents. Thank you :-)
If you're interested in Fine Art School Photography for your school you can find out more here.