Welcome to the SCH Photo Team
We're so excited to welcome you to the team! At SCH Photo we pride ourselves in our attention to details and the quality of our photographs that we provide our customers. On this page you will find a lot of information that you can come back to at any time. Never hesitate to ask questions, our team will always be here to help!
Sessions that we photograph
School Day (SD)
This is a standard head and shoulder portrait that schools often use for yearbooks and IDs. We photograph these sessions mainly in the Fall and offer makeup sessions for each school (SDM^)
Offered to most schools on a background and all students backgrounds match.
Some schools do choose to allow the parents to pick a different background and this will be visible on the order forms that students will hand to the photographer.
Proof Plan (SDPP, 8PP, SrPP)
This is a standard head and shoulder portrait that allows the parents to choose between 2 and 3 different poses of their student. At these sessions we will not collect money. Photographers should check the contract to see if the proofs will be 2 or 3 poses. If you're unsure ask your lead photographer. The poses are the same style as School Day, head and shoulders, but the expression can change.
Example: Smile with teeth and without. Soft pleasant expression and a big smile. Slightly different tilt of the head. In three pose proofs you can ask the student to rotate to the other direction. Often proof plans are used in School Day, 8th Grade, and for Seniors.
Faculty Groups (FG)
A Faculty Group is a standard group that we offer to most schools. It is optional and not every school will elect to do one. It is often taken on the same day as a School Day session.
In most cases the lead photographer will be taking the Faculty Group. It is taken with Sport Equipment.
Activities cover a large range of sessions including sports, dances, plays, bands, choirs, etc. These sessions are using sports equipment, often done inside gyms with mats as backgrounds or outside where the sport is performs. Example football teams on the football field with score board or field goal in the background. These consist of groups and individuals.
Yearbook Groups (YBGP)
Yearbook groups are a service we offer to the school at no cost and generally we do not collect orders for. These are group photographs of school clubs or teams. Examples are FFA, FCCLA, 6th Grade Band, Student Council etc.
Occasionally we do have a few orders for these and will take an individual photograph of a student, but in general it's not common to have individual portraits or many orders. The school uses these images for their yearbook pages.
Memory Mates (MM, CM, GradMM)
Memory mates are a specific portrait product that takes an individual portrait and a group picture and puts them together on a single 8x10 that will feature both. This is used often in the Spring season for elementary casual portraits + class group (CM), 8th grade (8GMM), seniors (SrMM), and sometimes for Middle and High school casual portraits + class group, Graduations, and First Communions - this information will be on your contract. If you are unsure before a session if you are taking a memory mate or not, ask!
Class Groups (CG)
Class groups are a standard group photograph that we take mainly during our Spring Season, although a few schools do choose to have them done in the Fall. Class groups are generally done by class and often include the teacher and sometimes include the Principal of the school. In some of our smaller schools the class groups will be done by grade. These are used in our Memory Mate products. At many schools we do an 8th grade Class Group or a Senior Class Group to create 8th grade Memory Mates and Senior Memory Mates.
These portraits are the other part to creating Memory Mates. They are casual fun portraits that are generally 3/4 length of students in casual poses. Most Elementary sessions will include casuals and class groups and at these schools we offer Memory Mates (CM). For Middle School and High Schools that do not do class groups, we will still offer Casuals to Middle and High School students (CAS).
These are always photographed on a Green Screen and parents will choose their background.
In many schools they will choose CM (Casuals AND Class Groups) for grades Pre-K - 5th/6th and only CAS (Casuals) for 7th-11th/12th. Sometimes schools will offer their Seniors another option if they are taking a Senior Class Group or Cap and Gown images of their Seniors, so you may come across a school that will end at 11th Grade and different session is scheduled for the Seniors .
First Communion (1st Com)
First Communions are a session we offer our Catholic schools. These session vary widely and to know exactly what the school is wanting to have photographed the best thing to do is to read the contract and communicate with your lead photographer. Always ask questions! We're happy to help! Most of these sessions are on the weekend.
Understanding how to read Contracts
Contracts are vital to our sessions as they will include all of the information on the school. On the contract you will find information including : School address, phone number, the contact person who ordered the session, date of the session, type of session, any special instructions, package pricing, special background request, how many cameras will be at the session, and school enrollment. It's important to be able to understand the information on the contract and be able to use it to help you go into your session with confidence. Please do keep in mind that sometimes the school will change their mind and make special requests when the lead photographer calls to confirm or even on the day of the session. Being flexible, polite, and professional is always important. Contracts are on one side of a sheet that will have a "worksheet" on the other side of the same page.
Special Info for Photographers
Type of Session Date Start time # of Cameras Service #
An "X" in this area means a helper
School Contact Information
Future Dates Already Scheduled
Package Pricing and Details
For the Office
School Representative's Name and Date of Contract
School Name + Address
Filling out Worksheets
Worksheets are important for our office staff to know some key information about each session and is also a great tool for the following year. It's an opportunity to write any important notes to the staff, any complaints or notes from the school, and it's also a tool we use to write basic information that we can use the next year to prepare before going into a session. On the worksheet you will write information such as : Arrival, start, end, and leave times, how many photographers and who the photographers were, which camera, background, and how many CF cards were used, notes to the Office, information important to the photographers such as where to park, enter, and set up, as well as notes for if the school had a lot of special needs students enrolled, or if there was a challenge in setting up, an outlet not working, or that you needed to move gear locations 5 times for your sports session!
Did you receive picture packets or any other money from students?
All of this Information will match the contract.
Who was at the school?
What type of shoot happened?
Which Camera was used?
Was more than one CF Card used?
The card No. and Image #s are often filled out by the office staff when loading the school into our system.
CM121 is our standard School Day background.
Greenscreen is our standard for Casuals.
Neutral Blue is used for some school groups
Blueberries are used for some Activity individuals.
Other schools may have a special background.
Time you arrive at the school, start photographing, stop photographing, and leave the school for the day. This is very useful in planning next year's schedule and for photographers to plan around for deliveries etc.
Notes that are specifically important to the office staff about the day, special requests, complaints, errors etc
Notes that are useful for understanding the session and for photographers for next year. Where to park, how the session flowed, how kids were called down, if something was a challenge. EX: If you're in a school with NO air conditioning, your fellow photographers would appreciate knowing this for next year! Be as detailed as possible, but avoid things like profanity or speaking inpolitely about staff/students etc. use good taste. Avoid leaving a contract out where it can easily be viewed by students or staff.
How to read TeamUp
TeamUp is the app that we all use on our phones to read our schedule. TeamUp will contain vital information.
These are examples of the TeamUp schedule. It can seem overwhelming when looking at the complete view. You can choose to customize how you view the schedule. There are options to view everyone's shoots for the day, week, month etc. You can choose to only see your shoots, your shoots and the rest of the schools scheduled etc, there are many different options.
This is the menu inside of team up that will allow you to customize your view of the calendar.
When you are looking at your schedule you can simple click on the shoot that you have coming up and this screen will pull up. On this screen you will see "#C, School Name, Type of Session, Start Time" at the top. #C means the number of cameras, this is the same for contracts and schedules. The school's name is where the session takes place, type of session it is, and the START TIME. Keep in mind this is the time you need to be READY to photograph. You need to plan to be at your school 45 minutes BEFORE this time.
Fall - Need to Know
Dress Code + Standards of Conduct
Each employee is issued an identification badge that must be worn while photographing.
The standard of dress is business casual, think - how would you see a teacher dressing?
Use proper hygiene, keep clothing laundered and neat, beards should be well kept and maintained.
Avoid clothing such as shorts, torn/worn jeans, tube tops, tank tops, and exercise clothing.
Smoking employees, do not come to a school smelling heavily of smoke.
Closed toe shoes - recommend comfortable with plenty of support
Standards of Conduct
At SCH Photo we strive to present a very respectful, responsible, considerate, and professional view to our schools.
Our photographers must be reliable and punctual. Being late is not an option! Emergencies do come up, if you are going to be late to a school you must call your lead photographer as soon as you know it is unavoidable or the school in the case you are working alone.
Do not work under the influences of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Fighting or threatening violence in the work place is prohibited as well as insubordination or disrespectful conduct.
While we cannot get a perfect photograph every time, it is extremely important to always, always try your best.
Tips and Tricks
Glass Glare - When you notice glass glare, check your posing. Is the student turned too much, not enough? Can they adjust a little better? Check the head angle, lowering their chin and your camera height can help for small amounts of glare. Raise your fill light, have your subject lean forward at the waist, keeping a straight back, and try again. If there is still glare that is covering the eye, you can ask them to remove their glasses to take a reference photo.
Poor posture - The posture is the set up for your photograph. The first thing to check when correcting posture is to ensure your student is seated all the way on the stool. If they are hanging off, they cannot achieve the best posture. If you have a student who is younger you can ask the child to sit up tall and straight, grow up tall like a tree/robot/Christmas Tree/Dinosaur etc, or even ask the teacher to help our friend sit up. Placing your hand on their back, and the other on their check to assist them can also help (keep in mind the current Covid Policies before approaching the child). If you are going to help the student adjust, make sure to ask if you can help them first. Verbal instructions will work for some students, but not for all. In the case of Pre-School students sliding the case back and asking them to stand on the stools can help to achieve a nice straight posture. In older students, instruct them to sit up straight, pull their chest up towards the ceiling, or telling them to lean backwards if they are still struggling. Keep in mind special needs students or older faculty members may not have the capacity to sit up completely straight. In those cases, do your best to use an appropriate camera height, angle, etc to be as flattering for them as possible.
No Smile alert! - Don't panic. Not every child or person will give you an award winning smile for their photo. The important thing to remember here is to strive for good posture and a pleasant smile. Take several shots, ask the person if they are wanting to avoid showing teeth, or if they'd prefer a serious expression. Sometimes a student is not confident with their smile, as them to give you a nice soft face. Be silly with the little ones to try and win over a smile. If the person is old enough you can say you definitely do not have to show teeth, or can I see a pleasant face? Or even show me your favorite smile will sometimes get a slightly happier expression. Please keep in mind that while these are "just school photos", you never know if this may be the last professional photograph of that person. In the tragic case of a loss, we do offer to provide bereavement packages and plaques to schools using the images that we have taken.
Special Needs - We pride ourselves in doing our best for all of our students. This includes special needs students. Do not be afraid to ask teachers for help, ask them if the student will/can smile, have the teacher check the image and tell you if thats the "real" smile or if you can do better. In the case of some students they are always on the move, zoom out it can always be cropped in, some friends may only be capable of focusing on sitting up OR smiling, but not both. Being happy, silly, silent, firm, gentle, and more may be needed. It's important to take your cues from the Para assisting the friend. If any student is afraid, quietly let the teacher know they can hold our friend's hand and crouch down beside, offer to let them take the first photograph with the student, let the first photo be a funny face if they will give you that smile. Being happy, upbeat, and open minded is key to helping our special needs friends having the best experience possible. If a child is visibly upset and unable to be photographed, do not pressure them. Many preschoolers may come in crying. Let the teacher know that if the student is that stressed, they are absolutely welcome to come back once they've calmed and let them know as best as you can what time you will be there until. You can also let them know, if the student is not good with noise or crowds etc, they can return to try again at the end when there is no one else there, or even on makeup day.
Handling Camera Errors + Equipment Problems
F0 - Remove your lens CAREFULLY and reattach
How to unlock your camera to fix a setting-
Image on playback looks yellow, orange, blue - White balance and check images again.
Scanner not working - Check all of your connections. Unhook the scanner cords and reconnect them.
"Full FrameNo. Full - Unlock your camera. Go into Setup, System (Found on menu 2 find "system" and hit the over key to the right), Frame # (Find the "Frame # and hit the over key to the right), Renew (select "renew" and hit OK), take a photo to reset. Lock your camera again.
Usually after fixing the "Full Frame No. Full" error, your camera will automatically change your image numbering to reset instead of being continuous and this can be a problem for the office. To fix this problem unlock your camera,
Image looks dark on one side or the other or are completely black - Check your free wire/pocket wizards to ensure they are on and plugged in all the way, if it is happening every few photographs the batteries may be dying. Change all batteries in all three of your free wire/pocket wizards.
Wall Banners - these are large prints that we provide most of our schools. They use the Fall School Day portraits to show every student and faculty member. They are usually displayed in the halls of the schools.
Composites - Composite are prints that we sell that combine individual photos with either other individuals (8th grade class composites) or an individual photo with a group photo (memory mates). During COVID, some schools elected to skip traditional class group photographs and offer composites created with students School Day images.
Virtual Groups - This is something we began doing due to COVID. This is taking individual photographs and photoshopping them together to look as if there was a group photograph done.
Spring - Need To Know
iTag Smiles is the program that we use to identify students in class group photos. The process is simple but there are important details that must be done correctly to ensure the ease of transfer from in the field to our office staff.
When posing groups there are key things to watch for. First make sure that each person is able to be seen. You can do this by ensuring that each person is in a window (directly between the two people in front of them) or by skipping a row so that there is enough space between the rows in height that windows aren't absolutely necessary. Next try to arrange the group in a pleasant formation. Don't have 15 students on the front row 6 on the second and 3 on a third row. Instead have 9 on your front row, 8 on the second and 7 on your third row. Aim for a rectangle shape, not square in most cases. When possible it is best to arrange your group with longer, fewer rows, however this is not always possible for very large groups.
Activity Need to Know