School Photography Schedule
How to structure your school photo day

As a team, we have completed over 450 promotional school photo days. We know that it is important that the photo day goes well and that we capture your school perfectly.  The school photos that we capture on that day will be the assets that you use to promote your schools in the months and years ahead. So, in this blog, we provide advice on how to structure your school photo day. 

Before the school photo day

Consent permissions

Permissions for children’s photos are vital for the success of your photography. Before your photoshoot you need to ensure that you have up-to-date permissions from parents, most schools collate this information at the beginning of the school year. However, if you need to refresh this or gather permissions for the first time, here is a sample permission form that you could adapt and GDPR information

Identify your key lessons/areas 

You already know the key areas that are specific to your school. These areas are the strengths of your school and what makes parents want to send their children to your school. 

You will also have your normal lessons running on the day so it’s important to take this into account. However, if the lesson plans for the day are not on the list of the key areas then you’ll need to allow time for us to gather some children and stage a lesson to capture. 

Inform the parents

Communicating with parents would be good practice as this is a good opportunity to check permissions and also remind parents of the uniform standards. As your photos are going to be showcasing your school, you need to ensure that children are wearing the correct uniform that is clean and presentable. 

Inform teachers that a photographer is coming in and to have good lesson content planned

Communicate with your staff so they are informed about the school photo day, as a result, the teachers will plan interactive lessons to get the children engaged. 

Prepare the school classrooms

Once your teachers are informed, they can prepare their classroom or learning space ready for the day. This may include bright displays, tidy tables, activity sheets, and learning resources. 

A typical school photo day schedule

Capturing your school runs smoothly when we follow a rough schedule which you can find here. As we have captured many schools, we have gathered some helpful hints and tips to help maximise your school photography day.

Allow for correct time

Give more time for active lessons such as PE and forest school. These lessons are interactive and involve many activities that we can capture. 

Ensure session time is showing the most engaging part of the lesson. The activity is what the children interact with the most and create the best photos. For example,  if we are shooting a science lesson, let’s make sure we are scheduled in that lesson for when the experiment is ready to happen rather than the setup being explained to the students.

Plan for the unexpected

When working with children, or even the weather, nothing ever goes as planned. For example, A PE lesson planned for outside needs a backup plan if it rains, this doesn’t mean that the activity can’t get captured, we just need to approach it differently.

Communicate with all stakeholders

We always advise that you provide a chaperone to be a guide around the school. This also helps communication between the photographer and class teachers. The class teachers are focusing on their class, and although we aim to keep in the background as much as possible, sometimes we have to request changes to capture the needs of the school. 

Organise pupil permissions

Identify children who have had permissions removed for photography. This can be particularly difficult because photographers cannot memorise this information. We have been asked to capture images throughout the day and then remove any images that include children without the correct permission. However, this could lead to us delivering less usable images.

A top tip –  We suggest using a white address label with a hand-drawn smiley face on it. Place this on the pupil’s jumper and it will clearly stand out in photos. Having this white sticker allows our team to walk into classrooms and capture more natural scenarios if that’s what you are after. 

Schedule time a break

Schedule time for the photographer to have a 30 min lunch break if having a full photo day. We have been to many photoshoots for an entire day with no time for a break or time to get lunch.

Plan for traveling

Plan for travel time. If a lesson is off-site, plan for the realistic time it takes to get there and back. This might be to the local church, woods, swimming pool, or beach. 

Sign off before we leave

Make time, in the end, to have a debrief with the photographer. This is an opportunity to ensure that you’re happy with the photos before we leave. 

After your school photo day

  • Check that all children in the images have permission.
  • Ensure that you are happy with the photo quality 
  • Download all images, we would also suggest making a copy on a USB plus back up to the cloud. We will delete all images 30 days after signing off. However, we will provide a backup storage service for a small fee.
  • When using images, use the correct edited size. We provide a full size and a social media size. And if you use the social media size for printing, the image will pixelate.

Now you know what to expect from a typical school photoshoot day and how to plan for it, you just need to find the right photographer for your budget. At BFI Media, we have different options for your budget. You can find out more about our promotional photography for schools.