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For years, school pictures have consisted of awkward, stiff poses against repetitive, bland backgrounds. That’s one tradition we’d all be glad to ditch, and Little Bird School Photography is taking the initiative. Oakland-based photo experts Mary McHenry and Kirsten Policy teamed up for these natural child portraits, and the result is memorable shot after memorable shot that looks genuine and fun for the yearbook as well as inside your own frames.

Just take a gander through the Little Bird Gallery. The lighting in these photos is natural, the smiles look real, and the warm and playful poses differ with each child’s personality, giving you a glimpse of what each kid is about. And isn’t that what a good photograph is supposed to do?

Schools pay nothing for inviting Little Bird School Photography to their campus; in fact, they earn a percentage of the profits back. At the same time, parents get the convenience of ordering their prints online and receiving their orders directly in the mail, so you don’t have to double and triple check the backpacks, only to find a wrinkled envelope! What you do get is a professional, glowing portrait of your child that will mark the passing of another big year–with style.

—Renee M. Rutledge