Great Tips for You to Take Better First Day of School Photos

First Day of School

(Editor’s note: For most Canadian mamas school is back in full swing and you’ve no doubt taken lovely photos of your kids on their first day in school. But for those of us in BC, the first day of school hasn’t happened yet! We are hopeful that next week we can get into the routines that by now are old hat for you. But if you’re disappointed by the photos you did take, we’ve got some great tips to still get your photos in while the school year is young.)

The following was written by Shauna Robertson, Vancouver mama.

The summer always seems to fly by so quickly. Back to school sales have been on since the beginning of August (and September here in BC) and kids will be off to school in a short week! Back to school may not be exciting for kids (or maybe it is, depending on your child) but it’s a perfect time to take a documentary photo of your little (or not so little) to compare from one year to the next.

Ideas for making back to school photos great:

Pick a good location.

You want somewhere uncluttered so that it doesn’t distract from your subject. You don’t want to be say in the kitchen with cereal boxes and milk in the background. Some good ideas would be outside by the garden, against a plain wall or even a closed curtain, ect.


What represents school to you or your child? A new backpack? A book of their favorite subject? An apple? You don’t need props in your photos, but they do make them look more like school photos.

I love using chalkboards!

Each year you can write in grade 1, grade 2, etc., I personally have a framed chalkboard, however, you can just buy a small one at a craft store and it doesn’t have to be framed. Alternatively, you can print something off the computer and frame it and have your child hold it for the photo.


Select clothing you child actually likes and represents them at the time.

Don’t over-pose.

It’s better to have your child look natural then posed. If they’re feeling awkward, try having them sit down or hold something (like a book or chalkboard).

Watch harsh shadows.

Consider turning your flash off or taking the photo outdoors.

If your kids are too excited on the first day, consider taking the photos later in the week or month once things have settled down for them. They’ll be more likely to cooperate with you. Like anything, if you’re stressed out about it, they will be too!

Shauna is a mama to an adorable two year old boy, 14 year old cat and 8 year old dog, wife to an amazing husband, part time photographer, a reality tv lover, and hockey enthusiast living in Vancouver. When she’s not spending time playing with her family she loves to daydream about future vacations or lose the world in a book or movie. Catch up with her at Lavender Lemonade Photo.

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