Whether we like it or not, the first day of school is just about here! As an Oskaloosa, Iowa Photographer, this is a fun tradition in our family to get photos of my kids on their 1st Day of School.

Our tradition is to take a photo of the kids, with their backpacks, by the front/back door of the house. If we can get a photo at school too, then we’re doing really good.

Looking back on their photo from each year is making this momma tear up. They were SO little!!!

9-Tips-First-Day-of-School-Photos-3.jpg
Looks like Seth wore the same shirt on the first day of Prek and Kindergarten! And last year was our first year at a new school, so looks like we hadn’t figure out our tradition yet.

So for those of you who need a little bit of help, just like I do… here are 9 TIPS to Get AWESOME First Day of School Photos:

1. GET READY EARLY (AND PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE)

It’s always a rush to get out the door with kids any morning, let alone the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! So get everything ready the night before: backpacks, lunches, snacks, set out clothes, decide on breakfast, etc. Then set your alarm a little early and get everyone up just a little bit earlier than you normally would be ready, so you don’t have to rush through the photos. If you have multiple kids, then it’s going to take an extra 10 minutes just to get them each situated and photographed.

2. CHOOSE YOUR PROP
Pinterest has tons of ideas for this. Some do chalk signs, others print out something from your computer, and others just write it on a piece of paper. Whatever clever idea you decide to use, just have it ready the night before so it’s all set out and ready to go.

9-Tips-First-Day-of-School-Photos-4.jpg

3. PICK YOUR LOCATION

Maybe you plan to do it on the front porch or some other special spot, but as a photographer, I highly recommend that you need to know this… lighting is everything! So make sure the sun is not shining right in little Johnny’s eyes. Kids often freak out and get all whiney when the sun is shining right in their eyes.
Morning light is usually a perfect time to take a photo, but when in doubt choose a place in the shade with even, nice, soft light. Step outside BEFORE your kids to get your spot picked out and make sure your settings are right on your camera. Then call them out and you’ll be all ready to go.

9-Tips-First-Day-of-School-Photos-6.jpg

4. MAKE IT FUN

Now it’s time to grab the kiddos and snap those photos! Most importantly, you need to ENGAGE THE KIDS! Don’t just make them stand there and say “cheese!”… INSTEAD, talk to them. Make them laugh. STAY CALM and have fun! You’ll definitely get some great photos!

9-Tips-First-Day-of-School-Photos-8.jpg

5. TAKE A FEW DIFFERENT SHOTS

You have to work fast! Get a full body one, one with waist up, and one close-up. Then one of siblings together and mom and dad, of course! Have them do some silly photos, or photos with the dog. Whatever you all are up for, take advantage of it and have fun!

6. ORGANIZE YOUR PHOTOS AND POST TO FACEBOOK

Now that the kids are off to school…YAY!! Take a few minutes to go through and cull your images. Get rid of the bad ones and keep and save the good ones. Even post a few on social media for your friends and family to see. Select one or a collage of photos to post. There are lots of fun apps to create a fun collage for you.

9-Tips-First-Day-of-School-Photos-7.jpg

7. PRINT YOUR PHOTOS!!!! (I cannot stress this enough)

After you’ve gone through your images, and gotten sucked into social media and liking everyone’s “Back to School 1st Day” photos. Don’t forget to print these images. I love to put these in their annual file folder for each child, and also in their annual album. These are definitely photos that you’ll want to look back on. So, PRINT YOUR PHOTOS!!!

9-Tips-First-Day-of-School-Photos-5.jpg

8. CHERISH THE MOMENTS

Remember this day!  Be in the moment!  Hug your child and let them know how proud of them you are!  Then after you leave school, you may shed a few tears.  Then call up a friend and meet them for lunch and treat yourself!  You made it through the first morning of school!!  Congrats momma!

9. ASK THEM QUESTIONS

There is nothing more ADORABLE than documenting the answers to some of those classic questions you can ask your kids. So have some questions ready and ask your kids the night before as you chat about their first day of school. Kids say the cutest things. I promise you’ll want to remember what they said.

AND GUESS WHAT?!?! I’ve got you covered! Check out this FREE DOWNLOAD  you can use and be all prepared for the First Day of School Photos with your kids, as well as the questions. Once you’ve completed everything, you can put a print in the 4×6 box or have your child draw a self portrait. What an adorable keepsake for you and your child.

All I ask is that you sign up for the RVP Newsletter and you’ll receive fun free templates like this and other neat ideas and tips right in your inbox.  Click on the Photo below to download your FREE PRINTABLE TEMPLATE!

HAVE A GREAT 1st DAY OF SCHOOL!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE ALL YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL PHOTOS!!

9-Tips-First-Day-of-School-Photos