It’s become a social media event. Every year, starting in early August and stretching until the last preschoolers have slipped on their oversized backpacks, your newsfeed is jammed with pictures of your friends’ kids on the first day of school.
Although it may seem like a competition, the most important part of back-to-school pictures is making sure your child’s personality shines through, capturing the memory of this special day.
So inject some personality into the picture-taking process and create great first-day-of-school photos that truly capture the moment with these tips.
Tip: It’s important to remember to capture the moment, perfect or not. If your little one is displaying an attitude and giving you an eye roll, snap the picture anyway! Missing a tooth? Dressed themselves that day? No problem. It’s about the memory.
1. Say it with a Sign
You can keep things simple by having your child hold a chalkboard with his name, the date and the grade he’s starting.
Alternately, you can get a piece of poster board or craft paper and make a backdrop filled with fun facts like what they want to be when they grow up , their favorite food, sports, music, activity or hero. Ask them the same questions each year and document how their personalities change as they grow up.
If you’re tech savvy, you can use a photo-editing tool on the computer instead of writing it out and working it into the picture.
2. Measure Up
If you have a family growth chart in your house, use it as a backdrop for your photos. Don’t have a chart? No problem: Draw one in chalk on the driveway and have your child lie down next to it.
3. Throughout the Years
Photograph your child in the same pose at the same location every year (goofy poses optional). Display these photos next to each other in a frame or on a scrapbook page for a powerful visual reminder of just how quickly they grow.
Alternatively, buy or make a shirt with their eventual high school graduation year (Class of 2027) in the size you think they’ll be their graduation year. Have them wear it every year and watch them grow into it.
4. Ready for Their Close-up
Make and decorate an empty frame for your child to hold around their face. No need to spend a lot of money on this — you can buy a plain wood frame or make one out of poster board. Invite your child to ham it up as a living piece of art!
5. Play with Props
What says “school” to you? It might be a bouquet of No. 2 pencils, a stack of books, a blackboard, an apple for the teacher, an overflowing backpack or an antique student’s desk.
Incorporate these ideas as props and backdrops. Flip through a catalog offering back-to-school clothes or products if you need photo ideas.
Tip: Once you’ve compiled a good amount of photos, display them on a wall for a piece of décor that has true meaning.