Simply Me Student Portraits take the artistic vision of contemporary, high end child portraiture and brings it to your school. Forced smiles, awkward poses and distracting backgrounds are set aside in favor of encouraging the natural expressions and genuine reactions that you see every day in your child.

My Why?

As a mother of three, I frequently hear how many parents purchase their kids’ school portraits just for posterity’s sake, stick it in a drawer and forget about it until they’re ready to turn 18 and dust them off to display. As a photographer, I want to hang the photos of my children all over our home! As a Montessori parent, I’ve been able to look at portraiture, especially with children, from a less conventional view.

Follow the Child

It’s this concept that has inspired me to offer a new way to approach school photography. Less “say cheese,” and more authentic interaction encouraging natural expressions reflecting how they’re feeling in the moment. Most of the children will, at some point, smile but as you know your child, some won’t, and that’s okay! These portraits are about your children, not the photographer.

While the concept of “Follow the Child” came from Montessori, this style of student portraiture translates to all kinds of schools. From toddler, all the way up to seniors in high school, children and parents alike appreciate this approach.

I’m available to work with public, private, and charter schools as well as daycares, co-ops, and home school groups in the Greater Charlotte, NC area. Picture day is scheduled individually based on each school’s specific needs.

How Does It Work?

Other than picture day, the entire process is completely online. Before picture day, I provide a detailed PDF for the school to distribute to families that tells them what to expect and how the online ordering process works. I handle all questions from parents and families regarding the online gallery, products offered, and the ordering process.

The Process:

On the day of the shoot, I provide all equipment including camera, laptop, backdrop, and lights if necessary. I just need a room with at least one large window, and a parent volunteer to help each child look their best before their turn.

I spend 1-2 minutes with each child in whatever order makes sense for the school, and, when applicable, take class photos. I know the importance of every minute of classtime, so I work quickly to get kids back to class and back to learning.

In addition to student portraits, I take staff photos and provide a complimentary digital image for each staff member. I also offer sibling photos, which are usually taken at the beginning of the day if requested.

Ordering Process

Within about two weeks of picture day, a private webpage with ordering instructions, the print order deadline, and links to the galleries will be provided. Online galleries are organized according to grade, class, homeroom, or whatever grouping makes sense for the school.

Each child has several images provided in color and black & white. Rather than having a pose chosen for them, families get to choose which images best represent their child.

The online galleries will remain live through the end of the school year, although prints and print collections must be ordered within two weeks. After the print deadline, only digital downloads and framed images will be available. Print packages are delivered directly to the school to be distributed to the families.