7 Easy Ways To Take The Best School Picture Ever

If you’ve been in the conventional school system for a long enough time, you’ll know that yearbook photos are notoriously unforgiving. It’s unclear why–it could be due to the fluorescent backlights with their unparalleled washing-out abilities, the Kirkland brand blue backdrop (you know the one I’m talking about), or, simply, the amount of pressure that’s on you in this moment to take a truly excellent, memorable school photo. No matter the cause, the point here is that, when you take your school photos, chances are good that they’ve never really turned out the way you wanted it to.

This would be fine (like, who needs a good school picture when you have a hundred bomb-ass selfies of you in the Snapchat dog face filter?), except for the fact that it’ll be preserved for all of eternity in the yearbook, and, in all likelihood, will end up in the local paper if you end up meeting your untimely demise in a tragic motorcycle sidecar accident. Not to be morbid. But! There is good news, and this good news is that your yearbook photo does not actually have to be your least favorite picture ever. Check out these easy ways to take the best school picture ever:

Prep The Week Before

If you're serious about your school pictures, you'll want to start your preparation the week before. This basically just means to take good care of yourself--get lots of sleep, wash your face, wear some sheet masks (for fun, if nothing else), and  brush your teeth (you can also use whitening strips, if you're into that kind of thing). This will help you look good on the day of school pictures without having to do a ton of work on the same day.

Image source: iStock

Don't Wear Anything Too Trendy

If you've ever looked through your parents' old yearbooks, you've probably noticed--and laughed about--some cringeworthy fashion trends from whenever they were in high school, like massive shoulder pads, possibly, or super-extra wannabe hippie prints. To combat this  20-20 fashion hindsight when you look back on your yearbook picture, try wear something a little more classic (like a simple top and a cardigan) rather than something totally de rigeur (like, I don't know, a t-shirt that looks like it has the Supreme logo on it, but actually says "Harambe," and a thick choker necklace, and makeup that looks like the dog filter on your face). Of course, if you are a person who lives and dies by fashion, and you make sure to wear something hyper-trendy every single day, there's no need to go out of your way to change that. You want to remember what you look like now, so picking an outfit that's totally different from what you usually wear for the sake of your yearbook photo is silly. Still, try and pick something you know you'll be happy looking at a couple years from now.

Image source: iStock

Don't Wear Massive Jewelry

Again--if you always wear statement necklaces and/or huge hoop earrings, go ahead and wear them for your picture. But, for the most part, you don't want to wear anything too distracting or time-sensitive. Instead, stick with a pair of studs and a simple pendant, which will complement your look without drowning any part of you out.

Image source: iStock

Don't Experiment With Makeup

As tempting as it may be, picture day is not actually the time to try that full-face YouTube makeup tutorial that you've been wanting to try. Instead, just go for what you usually do--if you don't usually wear makeup, don't feel like you have to for picture day. If you usually wear a little bit of makeup, do your usual routine and add a little more lipstick or mascara if you feel like you want a little more oomph. And, of course, if you usually show up to school with a totally beat-down face, there's no reason why you shouldn't do that for picture day, too--just don't try it out for the first time just for picture day. I promise you will not love the results.

Image source: iStock

Don't Switch Up Your Hair Right Before The Photo

If you're thinking of getting a haircut, and it's going to be anything more than a simple trim, hold off until after your picture day. Even if you trust the people at the hair salon with your life, weird things can always happen in the stylist's chair, especially if you're going for a big chop or big shaping change. You don't want to be dealing with a look that you absolutely hate when you're getting your photo taken.

Image source: iStock

Practice By Having Someone Else Take Pictures Of You

Do you find that you take your own selfies well, but when someone tries to take a picture of you--particularly if it's with the big, scary camera they use on school picture day--you totally clam up? This is a common problem, I think, but one that's easily solvable. All you have to do is practice--have a friend take pictures of you while you're sitting down like you would on picture day. It'll be a little different than it will be on the actual picture day (they'll probably be using a phone, not a real camera, for on), but it can help you figure out the best pose to do when you aren't controlling the picture that's being taken of you. Is this necessary? Not really. Is it extra? Totally. But it could help you feel more comfortable on picture day and that, my friends, is worth as much unnecessary and extra behavior as you want to pull.

Image source: iStock


I say "chill" here for a couple of reasons--first of all, if you're totally freaked out in the picture, it'll show. Also, it's really not that big of a deal. It's a picture, and while, yeah, a bad one is not ideal, it's also not the worst thing in the world. So, when you sit down in the chair, just relax, think of something that makes you happy, and smile. You'll look great, I promise.

Image source: iStock


Have you taken your school photos yet? Do you have any good tips? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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