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Tips for Taking Back to School Pictures

Fall is right around the corner, teachers are getting ready to crawl back into their teaching hole and kiddos are stocking up on school supplies. This can only mean a new school year is upon us!  Oh the 1st days of school. I still remember them like they were yesterday. Don’t you?

What am I going to wear?
Wonder who I’m sitting next to in class?
I’m nervous!
Eeeek I’m excited!
Does Billy have the same lunch time as me?
Is this seat taken?
Is Sally going to be in my class?
I forgot my lunch!
I must have a pink backpack with purple stripes
I hope I get Mrs. Polly! I hear she lets you have a longer recess!
Yea school supplies!

All the excitement and emotions centered around the big day!

As parents you want your little one to have the best school year full of leaning with a side of fun and of course you want to document and remember that very special 1st day! Am I right?
Well today’s post is just for you. Here are a few simple tips to help you take better back to school photos!

Meet Brady

Our fun loving, always on the go, genius (no really he is) border collie. You may remember him from this post. Yep he’s still a handful but we sure do love him! Brady has graciously offered to help us with today’s post. I may or may not have told him treats were involved!




Tip 1: Plan in Advance

There’s so much going on the morning of the 1st day of school. Lunches and backpacks to pack, sleepy kids to wake up and get dressed. Help yourself by planning in advance! Take back to school photos the weekend before the big day so you can make it a fun relaxing event! Your little one can do a test run with his/her 1st day of school look and you can make it something they look forward to verses something you need to sneak in the morning of. If taking back to school photos the weekend before is not possible get backpacks and lunches ready the night before and get up early so you have photos time set aside the morning of.

Tip 2: Location

In front of the house is fine but if you plan to take my advice from the 1st tip you’ll have time to find a fun location for your back to school photos. This spot is right around the corner from my house and I had no idea. I put my little “back to schooler” in the car and headed out for an adventure.

Here are some things to look for when picking a location:
-Texture (brick walls, parks with tall trees, wood fences, fields full of wheat or tall grass)
-Colorful painted doors
– Iron work
– A parked school bus
– Check out our your child’s school as well
– Lighting is super important for those photos so when you’re hunting look for nice even light that’s not too bright. If you can find it open shade rocks! This tip helps even with phone photography

Most of these can be found right in your neighborhood! Also check out property around local schools, library’s, and shopping centers! My suggestion is to pick 1 location that offers a few different looks and stick with it!




Tip 3: Props

Look for things you already have on hand! No need to run out and buy a bunch of stuff! I just grabbed an apple and a blank chalk board as we were heading out the door. Keep it simple!
-A globe
-Composition notebook
-Mini chalkboard
-Their favorite toy
– Their new lunch box
-Don’t forget that new backpack!



Brady didn’t have a lunch box to showoff but he wanted to get a picture with his favorite snack!

Don’t forget to not only capture images of your child but the details that make them, them!

I always love a cute backpack shot especially the ones where their back back is bigger than them……precious! That’s big backpack shot is a great size comparison shot for when they’re older.




Tip 4: The Close Up

We love to capture their 1st day of school outfit but be sure to get a few close ups in as well. You’ll want to remember those freckles, curls and missing teeth or in Brady’s case his flop ear, wet nose, and amber eyes!


Along with the close up shots don’t forget to shoot the details!

Brady is channeling his inner E.T in the photo below. Come on, you know that scene where they dress E.T. in street clothes! Do ya see it now?




Tip 4: Keep it Simple Keep it Fun

If you plan to shoot your back to school photos in advance you’ll have time to let loose and have a some fun once the photos are over! Be sure to bring a change of clothes so the beloved back to school outfit stays clean! Brady had a blast running around the playground after we finished his photos but there are tons of other things you can do to make this tradition special for your back to schooler (have an end of summer ice cream sundae party, movie date with your little, a visit to the pool, make book shaped cookies together after you get home). Get creative but most of all keep the photos and the experience simple and easy so it’s fun and low stress for everyone!



Post Update:
This post is an oldie but goodied! I decided to dust off and reshare for all of those who are getting their little ready for their 1st day of school and could use a little giggle. I was 9 months pregnant when our 1st when I shot these photos. I remember Kent having to pull me up from the ground as we were moving between shots. I am now a mama to 2 sweet wild boys, Weston who is almost 3 and Carson who is 13months! Brady is still a handful but is now loved by 2 boys that think he hung the moon.

Ummm and in case you’re wondering YES I was totally kidding dressing my dog up in back to school attire but the tips are all still there to be helpful!




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