Tips for First Day of School Photos
For many parents, it’s almost the most wonderful time of the year: back to school time!
Do you know what that means? It’s also time for the annual first day of school photos!
While we may be excited for the first day of school, often times, many of our kids aren’t that crazy about it. Summer’s over for them, and they’re not exactly looking forward to having homework again. Some of them may even be worried about going back to school!
These tips for taking awesome back to school photos will keep everyone happy!
Take photos *before* the first day of school.
There’s nothing wrong with staged first day of school photos. In fact, many parents stage their first day of school photos before school even starts and then take some real-time ones the day of school.
Why before school? You and your child won’t be as stressed as you both might be on the first morning of school. You can take some nice relaxed shots and have plenty of time to do so.
Speaking of time…
Give yourself enough time.
If you do decide to take the photos on the first day of school, give yourself time. Make sure you follow your school morning routine , having everything ready the night before and sticking to your plan.
Try to get ready with at least 20 minutes or more to spare. That should give you enough time to get some awesome photos before whisking the kids off to school.
There’s no shame in bribing for a good cause. You might have to promise a few extra minutes of outdoor play or screen time to get your kiddos to smile for your photos, but it’ll be worth it.
Fill the frame.
Professional photographers make this suggestion all the time: fill the frame. Get closer to your subject (ie your kids) to really capture every detail and to keep the background from getting too distracting.
Kids not smiling? Are they too nervous to think about anything but school? Are they giving you a forced smile?
Get silly! Dance around, tell a joke, make a funny face…anything to make your kids laugh, bringing out their genuine smiles.
Let the kids get silly too! You’ll get some fun shots to share!
Take a photo with a lovie.
One of my favorite things to do with my kids’ first day of school photos is to include one of their favorite stuffed animals.
Cute kid, cute stuffed animal, lots of memories…what more could you ask for?
As a bonus, it helps your child to relax a bit as they are not so focused on school but instead focused on getting some cuddles.
Keep on taking photos.
Kids won’t stay still? Keep taking photos! You’re bound to get at least one really great one in the mix.
You can even use burst mode on your phone to capture a series of photos in a row!
Forgot a sign? Edit one in!
Have you seen the fancy signs some parents make for their back to school photos? Chalk boards, felt letter boards, small marquis boards, posters…
But uh oh! You forgot one!
No worries. There are so many free mobile apps available to just add a ‘sign’ in, and you can make them as fancy as you’d like.
Don’t take photos in the drop off line.
Please. I beg you. Don’t exit your car to take a photo in the drop off line once your kids are at school.
Not only will you hold everyone behind you up, your photos might not turn out as well as you hoped since they’ll be most likely rushed.
If you want to take a photo in front of the school, find a place to park and walk your child to the school. That way you’re not holding up the rest of the traffic of parents waiting to drop their kids off.
BONUS Safety Tip
In this digital age, this tip is very important:
- Don’t share first and last names, home address, school names, bus numbers, or locations publicly on social media.
If your photos are going to be shared publicly, you have to be careful about what information you share. Unfortunately, you just don’t know who’s going to be viewing your photos these days and what their intentions could be.
If you’re going to share school photos of your kids on social media, be sure to:
- Share your photos with a select few, or change your settings to Friends Only (on Facebook).
- Use their first name only.
- Don’t include the school name, bus number, or location.
Of course, how much you share publicly is your business, but just be wary of who you’re sharing the information with.
Ready to Take Back to School Photos?
Ready to take some awesome first day of school photos of your kids? Have any other tips to share? Leave a comment!