School communities across the country are finding it difficult to stay together apart in the time of COVID-19. How exactly do you sustain a sense of togetherness when direct human contact is not possible or limited by masks and physical barriers? Visual reminders can help.
Teachers, administration, parents, and children form a kind of family during the school year. Community bonds are reinforced through gatherings and collective purpose. We become a unified group of individuals through our shared goals of meeting students’ educational, social, and emotional needs. In a time of remote learning, photography can make those bonds feel real again.
School pictures give us the opportunity to gather apart. The time-honored school picture ritual is an opportunity to connect with one another while social distancing. Pictures of people—your students and faculty—humanize your institution by offering a psychological bridge to in-person connections.
On a practical level, portraits that feel genuine increase recognition and enhance commitment, faith, and trust in the educational process. In essence, good school photography makes educational services real by encouraging you to identify with the people involved. Good photography makes personal connections. This is why it’s absolutely critical that the child (and never artificial props or styling) be the hero of the photograph.
In a time of remote learning, photography can make community bonds feel real again. School pictures give us the opportunity to gather apart.
When done well, portraits provide insight into how a person is seen and sees themselves, which raises the bar for authenticity in school pictures. The best school pictures this year will tap into a place of shared experience. When viewed as a group, these photographs will ideally create a sense of solidarity. The images bring us together apart.