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6 Do’s and Don’ts for Your Best Back To School Photos

by Beryl Ayn Young, Photo Mom & Mentor

With a daughter who is about to enter Kindergarten this year (where does the time go?!) capturing the memories of her first day of school are fresh on my mind. With the start of school quickly approaching, here are some of my favorite tips for capturing your best back to school images yet.

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Images courtesy of Beryl Ayn Young


DO — Plan the perfect outfit
One tradition we started during preschool was having our daughter where the same dress on the first and last day to see how much she’s grown. I’ve seen other parents put their kids in the same over sized shirt every year to see how long it takes them to fit in it. Whatever you do, have fun prepping the perfect clothing option for you.


DON’T — Turn photo time into an argument
Make back to school photos as much fun for your kids as it is for you. Allow them to help pick their clothes, choose a location, or plan an activity outside. Let them grab their backpack and show it off or wear their brand new shoes. Find something that engages your child and make that a part of the photo taking fun.


DO — Use props! 
Some parents like making signs to show off the grade or age of their child (a quick search on Pinterest for Back To School Signs should result in something you can print real quick!). Others like to share their child’s favorite things at the start of the year. You can even incorporate favorite hobbies into your photos too whether it be a sport, art, or other fun activity your child enjoys. Also, have fun picking the perfect location! Go up to the school, the bus stop, or your front porch to snap pictures. The possibilities are endless.


DON’T — Show revealing information
If you decide to take photos of your child getting on the bus or walking into the school building for the first time, be aware of any information that could breach your families’ privacy. Don’t allow bus numbers, house numbers, or school names to be prominently displayed in your photos. At least the ones you plan to share publicly on social media.


DO — Snap photos before the first day of school
Does your school do an orientation before school starts? Why not take your ‘first day’ photos then? Oftentimes your kiddos will be more receptive to photo taking at that time more so than the first day. On the first day of school there are all the back to school jitters, excitement of seeing friends, and rush to get out the door on time. It can make the photo taking rushed too which can result in a stressful situation for everyone.


DON’T — Wait until the last minute to practice
Along with taking the photos before the first day, why not make sure you’ve learned the ins and outs of your camera before the arrives? I’ve got classes designed especially for families that will give you the jumpstart needed for taking your best back to school photos yet. Come join me for an upcoming Dulles Area Momtographie class or online here to start learning how to take better photos before the back to school rush begins!


Beryl Ayn Young is a professional photographer by chance and a teacher at heart. Check out her classes and e-books, aimed at helping you love your photos and your life. Then go download a free copy of her digital magazine Compose that will have you crafting the perfect recipe for better photos.


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