10 Pro Tips For Your Best Back To School Photos
No matter how old your kids are, taking first day of school pics is a right of passage. Whether they're starting preschool or high school, these 10 tips will help the Back To School photos go smoothly and give you terrific results.
10 Pro Tips For Your Best Back To School Photos
1. Talk to your kid(s)a day or two before. Personally, my kids are super annoyed by me taking their pics these days ("MOM, YOU'RE ALWAYS TAKING PICTURES!" --> eye rolls) so I need to prepare them. I’ll talk to them the day before to give them a head's up. I'll ask where they want to take the pictures and am open to their ideas too.
2. Don't wait for the bus to show up. Allow 15 extra minutes for the snaps to avoid meltdowns from both parents and children. :) If you wait too long, tension could be higher and you might have distractions in your shots (cars pulling up, other kids backpacks, etc).
3. Keep it simple. These shots don't need to be anything crazy (unless you're all about the Pinterest-type setup, then go for it!!). Otherwise a simple chalkboard with your child’s name and grade is perfect - you could also do a print out. Keep it brief. If you have too much text you won’t be able to read it. Less is more, eg: "Jade, 5th Grade, 2019" or "Clinton School, 5th Grade, 2019."
4. Ask your child if THEY want to help - If kids feel more invested in this process, they might smile more :) If they want to make the chalkboard or printout, that’s great! If they're young, make a back-up version of the chalkboard in case you can't read their handwriting. Take a couple of shots with each so you have both.
Make these the night before because the busy back to school morning will be too rushed. For older kids, ask if they have a slogan or quote to include, which will add their personality to the shots.
5. First day outfits - Personally I don't care what my kids wear on the first day. I want them to be comfortable and relaxed and feel like themselves. As long as there are no stains or rips, I let them choose.
If you're more concerned with clothing choices, decide on outfits beforehand, and make sure they are cool with the choices. Have it all laid out the night before, including shoes, hair accessories, etc. Don't force them into an outfit they hate. Happier kids = more smiles in the pictures.
6. Your camera and location - Most of us are using our phones. No problem!
When shooting, tap the middle of your screen so it focuses and automatically adjusts for lighting before you snap.
I prefer not to use flash on phones and I take them at a medium distance, not too far away, and not super close up.
Choose a fairly shady spot or inside with natural light, near a window. If the sun is very bright, they’ll squint and you will get uneven shadows. Under a tree or a porch awning is great for outdoor shots. Natural window light is great for inside.
7. Posing and set up - Again, keep it simple. If they're happier sitting, take them on your front steps or porch, or a bench. If they don't mind standing, take them by a shady tree or the side of your house. If indoors, they can sit in a chair or on the steps.
Taking shots "from above" is better than below. So hop on a step-stool if you have tall kids!
Variety is key for getting a terrific picture. If you're using a sign, take some shots with and without it. If your kids like their backpacks/lunch bags, then take a couple of shots with them too. Make silly faces and make them laugh - you can even ask them to make silly faces too.
The more relaxed you are about this, the more they will smile and comply. Try not to yell or get too mad if they're not smiling - sometimes these are the funniest pics! Do they want to stand on their head or stick out their tongue??! Fine with me.
8. Siblings - Do your kids prefer their solo shot or want to be together? You can ask them. It’s important to not force anything.
If they refuse shots with their little bro but you got their solo shot, that's great. We want to avoid tears on the first day :) If they do want sibling shots, lucky you. Not all kids start on the same day, so set this up ahead of time.
9. Funny photos ideas - Back to school pics have become so popular there are now many funny versions. Moms jumping up and down cheering, Dads popping the champagne etc,...I admire anyone who takes these shots!
10. And they're off to school - Congrats, you did it! I recommend doing quick edits on your favorite shots. Even the best of us need to adjust lighting and color! You can do this right on your phone with no fancy apps. Just click "edit" and you'll see options for making the shots lighter, more colorful, etc. If you DO want to try an editing app, Snapseed is my favorite.
I can't wait to see your photos!!!
Reminder to enter @livelovemaplewood Instagram contest by posting your pics with #backtoschoolsoma.