The Firefly School Portrait Experience




The Firefly School Portrait Experience

School photography is getting a make-over - can we all just say "finally?!?" 

Your new school photography experience has been designed to create high-quality, personality-filled images of your children and an easy, enjoyable ordering process for parents. No scaring big lighting or cheesy backdrops and props - I'll be kneeling on the ground, spinning in circles like an airplane, giving your kids space to be themselves, and meeting them at their energy level to produce authentic, beautiful images and capture your child's unique features.

This page will give you all the info you need from planning to print, and I'll be your point of contact through it all. Click these links to jump to areas of specific interest: 



Meet your photographer

Hi there, I'm Leah O'Connell, owner and photographer of Firefly Photography. Based in Charlottesville, VA, I specialize in lifestyle and documentary photography for families of all ages. My goal in working with schools is to bring my style of personality-filled, colorful imagery to schools who are ready to offer a more modern and personalized option for photography. Other fun facts that contribute to my passion for this program: 

  • I have a masters in education and will always have a huge heart for giving back to schools and the children/families they serve
  • I have a 2 year old daughter of my own! 
  • I can say will 100% confidence that the images that mean the most to a parent, rarely involve their child sitting still and saying 'cheese.' 

want to learn more about me, my business, or my style? please get comfy and check out my main page while you're here!


How it works

How it works

How it works

How it works



All ages and classes are able to participate in these photos. I have 5 years experience working with infants and children from the newborn stage through teenagers, and am confident working with all personality types and comfort levels. 


Each child will have about a 2 minute mini-session with me. There are no backdrops, lighting, or cheesy set-ups involved. The extent of our props include things like quilts, sitting props for infants, and maybe a few objects things to engage with like books if necessary.

There is no “assembly line” approach as in the old school photography. Classes will wait and/or play in a nearby area while we pull individuals or small groups for their sessions in the designated spot to eliminate pressure on the child and allow each individual the space to feel special and valued. 

Sibling Option: 

If you have more than one child who attends the school and would like to have them photographed both individually and together, you may opt for this simply by indicating that preference to the director. The school will then arrange to send them to the shooting location during one of their class's time slots. Final galleries will be combined to feature all final images together. 



Sometimes more than one day is necessary to complete sessions for all the classrooms, depending on the size of the school. Parents will be notified of portrait days for their child's class, as well as a rain plan/make-up day in place should the need arise. Sessions will all take place before noon to make every effort to capture kids while they are rested, full, and clean! :-) 


Sessions will take place a a pre-determined location on school grounds. Each location will be different and decided based on light, easy proximity, safety, and aesthetics to create a clean and natural setting.  


Viewing and Placing orders

Viewing, Pricing, and Ordering

Viewing and Placing orders

Viewing, Pricing, and Ordering


No more FORMS, pre-orderS, or minimum purchase requirements:

There is no need to pre-pay for your child’s photos or decide what you want before you've seen the images. You’ll make your selections via an individual and private online gallery that you'll receive by email. Simply order what you need and love! All selections can be made and paid for by credit card or paypal directly through your gallery on my secure site. Offline payment methods may be arranged by request. 



You will receive your private, online gallery to the email your provide the school within 2 weeks of portrait day. There will be a 1 week ordering window to place all print and digital selections. Digital images will be delivered immediately upon payment for direct download. I will place all print orders with my professional lab when the ordering window closes and have them available at the school for pick-up / delivery within 1-2 weeks from then. From capture to delivery, I guarantee a 4-5 week maximum turnaround. 

Digitals files and prints available for purchase: 

Your gallery will include about 5 final images of your child to choose from. No confusing or fluffed up packages -  just choose what you love! You will also have the option to purchase individual high resolution digital files or purchase the full gallery of images at a reduced rate. 


Can extended family members purchase prints?

Anyone to whom you give your gallery password can place an order. To keep costs and shipping low, all orders will be delivered to the school for parents, who may then distribute to family/friends at their convenience.

Cost to school:

This custom service is no cost to the school - in fact, you can consider it a fundraiser! 5% of each order placed will be donated back to your child's school as my way of supporting you as fellow parents and the quality care/education you've chosen for your child. 



4X6 - 10.00

5X5 - 10.00

5X7 - 20.00

8X10 - 25.00


10X10 MOUNTED PRINT - 40.00

11X14 MOUNTED PRINT - 50.00

12X12 MOUNTED PRINT - 55.00


12X12 CANVAS - 115.00

11X14 CANVAS - 125.00

16X20 CANVAS - 150.00





10 PRINT BUNDLE [ 2 8X10'S, 4 5X7'S, 4 4X6'S ] - 150.00

WALL BUNDLE [ 1 Mounted 11x14, 2 8x10's ] - 85.00

Buy 4 5x7's get 1 free: 



Tips for a great picture day

Picture day tips

Tips for a great picture day

Picture day tips

A few tips to remember that will help make this experience a success for your child:  

1. A no-pressure day!

It's fine to discuss picture day, but there’s no need to stress your child out by reminding him/her to smile, stand up tall, or keep their eyes open. In fact, these types of instructions often make the process worse, because the child tries to do everything perfectly instead of just being natural in front of the camera! These sessions are designed to be pressure-free and fun for the kids, not scary or intimidating! 


2. Choose timeless clothing

Dress your child in clothes that are comfortable, but clean and wrinkle-free. Try to stay away from neon colors or bright patterns as they reflect color on the skin and distract from the subject! Most importantly, avoid clothing with logos or other words on them to keep you images looking clean and timeless. Also, keep in mind that it’s likely that your child’s full body will be photographed as a part of the session!



If you choose to have your children photographed together, dress your them in coordinating colors, but don't feel the need to match outfits. Pick a color scheme or one piece you like andcoordinate around that. Some great combinations include: neutrals (cream, tan, grey), warm tones like mustard yellow/denim, or muted colors like soft pink and pale blue.