Back to School

It’s that time of year! Backpacks are bought. Lunches are packed. New outfits and shoes are ready to go. But before you put your monkeys on the bus, get your camera and get ready to document this first day. Here are a few suggestions beyond just the standard kid with a backpack and a sign image for your back to school photos.

First day of School Photo Tips

Tip #1: Turn off the flash

My first tip for anyone using any type of camera to take any type of picture in daylight- TURN OFF THE FLASH!! The on camera flash on most cameras is awful and that’s what makes people look washed out. If you have a dark house or if it’s raining and you have no other options, then you may use your flash. Otherwise, have your kids stand next to a bright window in your house or better yet, take them out into the front yard find some shade and snap away.  I try to plan one full length shot and one close up.  Not too demanding but captures how they’ve grown.

boy with glasses, book and backpack in front yard, back to school photos, Pittsburghlittle girl with backpack standing in front yard, first day of school, Pittsburgh

Tip #2: Capture the Morning

Don’t be afraid to take some shots throughout the morning (especially if this is a big year for your child- Kindergarten, Middle school, etc) Take some of them waking up (if you dare), eating breakfast, gathering their backpacks, and then getting to the bus stop or going into the classroom. This can make the day special as well as make the day memorable and fun.

collage of little girl waking up and getting ready for the first day of school* Just so you know, the little girl is usually not that perky when she wakes up in the morning.

little boy getting his hair combed on the first day of school

* Don’t forget those last-minute fixes.

Tip#3: Have fun with Props

Have fun in the morning (if you have some extra time). Pull out a bright red apple for the teacher, a pencil to show they’re ready to write, or some books. My kids never leave the house without a book and so just about every year my boy is pictured with his backpack and his latest, favorite book.

* This was from Kindergarten.  oh my, was he really that small 🙂

Tip #4: Practice

Don’t be afraid to practice. I would love to have you all think I was that on-top-of-it mom but that really isn’t me. I’m more of the always scrambling to catch up kind of mom and sometimes, I just don’t have it together to grab those first days of school shots on the first day of school. Don’t stress, just try the next day. Or consider having a practice run. This really works with little ones just starting preschool or kindergarten or even starting in a new school. They get to practice the process and you can take plenty of pictures without the stress of being at school on time.

little boy and little girl standing in front yard on the first day of school, Pittsburgh

* I may redo this one.  We were running late and grandma and papa wanted a photo too but no big deal.  I got them both together and you can see the girl’s boots (a very important detail)

Have a Great First Day of School!!

school bus driving away from bus stop on the first day of school, Pittsburgh

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Hi there, it's Jodi!

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portrait photographer for the Pittsburgh area including:

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