Photo Guidelines

  1. JPEG format
  2. Landscape oriented
  3. 800x600 pixels
  4. Under 1MB in size
  5. Colorful
  6. Photograph should speak to your project (it could be a visual metaphor or a literal image)

If you’re not certain about your photography skills, don’t be afraid to ask someone in your school or community for help or use this handy guide for tips:

If you want to use your students in the photos, you will need to get written permission from parents first, and send the copies of permission forms to us before the pictures can be used on the website. If the students in the photo are not recognizable the permission is not needed (e.g. student is only visible from the back, the photo is a close-up of the student’s hand, etc.)

Download the Photo Release Form

The camera

This picture should be a simple headshot. If possible try to use a proper camera. They take better pictures. If one is not available to you, a mobile phone camera will do.

The location

Effective pictures have a relevant background. Think about taking your picture in your classroom, and, if possible, close to a window. When appropriate, take advantage of the great outdoors. Natural light is always better than artificial.

The set-up

Tripods are great but if you don’t have one try propping up your camera on a window ledge or some books.


When your camera is placed, have a look through the lens and make note of the picture borders. You don’t want to miss the top of your head. You also want to make sure the background elements are appropriate and will be captured.

Choose the Pose

Your pose should suit your character. Most “selfies” will contain the shoulders and sometimes the torso. Be creative but keep the platform in mind.

Timing is Everything

Set the timer on your camera. 10 seconds should give you enough time to get in front of the lens and strike a pose.

Assume the Pose

Remember that you don’t have to look straight on into the camera. The ¾ shot or a slight head tilt can add visual interest to your selfies. Some cameras have the option to take multiple shots in quick succession. If your camera has this option, you may want to give it a try.

The Project Picture

This picture can really attract donors and will come to reflect your project, just like your selfie does you! It will be the first picture potential donors to the site will see, so it has to have maximum impact. What’s more impactful than the smiling faces of your students? In order to protect images of your students, MyClassNeeds requires permission releases for the parents or guardians for children under 18, and individual releases for those of age. When all the releases have been signed and delivered. The picture taking can begin!


When selecting a setting for your picture, your classroom is your second best asset (right after your students). A colourful classroom is the perfect setting for your picture. Open the blinds and enjoy the natural light.

Get inspired. Mix up the framing. Don’t centre the subject of the photo. Include the background and create a scene. Buck the trend, go for the untraditional.

Wherever possible, get your students involved. Take a picture of them interacting and socializing.

If releases can’t be secured, you can still involve your students… just not their faces.

Make this a mini story in one shot. Tell your story in one picture!

  • Yes!
  • No.