Can you believe it’s time for school to begin? Don’t forget to get awesome first day photos!

_MG_0375 B (1)Here in Northwest Arkansas several schools have already started back in session. Hard to believe, right? Here in a couple short weeks thousands more children will be headed back to the classroom.

In our family, and I think in a lot of families, it’s tradition to get that first day of school photo. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get the kids up out of bed after a long summer of sleeping in then get them dressed and fed in time to make it to the bus stop. With a little planning and patience, I think it’s possible to get those amazing and creative back-to-school photos we all love!

A few creative #BTS photo ideas

I was looking through some great ideas for back to school on Pinterest and found a few favorites including:

  • Using a chalkboard (can be bought cheap at Walmart or Hobby Lobby and reused each year) to tell the age and grade of the child. I think it’s a great idea to go ahead and put the year so you don’t forget what year your child was in a certain grade!
  • Get puffy stickers to place on a large apple (or cool notebook or another school-related item) that tells the child’s grade (you can buy these in the craft or toy section of most stores.)
  • Another idea I’m seeing more and more of are side-by-side photos. I love them because you can see how your child has changed over time! You can do this several ways. The most popular method is to take a first day of school photo then a last day of school photo then use a program like (totally free and easy to figure out) or whatever app you have on your smartphone to create the collage. Another idea is to use the last day of school photo from last year and combine it with the new photo from this school year. You’ll be amazed at how your kids changed even over three months.
  • You can also use simple sidewalk chalk to make a “sign” that tells the child’s age, grade and the year. This can be easily washed and it’s cheap!
  • Use other props that you feel are reminiscent of the start of school like books and school supplies.
You can also create an entire graphic around your kids' first day of school with information about their grade, school, interests, etc.
You can also create an entire graphic around your kids’ first day of school with information about their grade, school, interests, etc.

A few more tips for great back-to-school photos

If you miss the very first day of school, don’t fret! It’s really about them starting a new school year not the specific day. Get the photos after school or sometime during the first week if you need to.

Make sure to get detail pictures. Sure we love the shots of the child and all their surroundings, but they will remember the fun of their new sneakers, new backpack and other cool stuff that’s all about going back to school. Get close-up shots of those as well.

For those who have started school already, this might not work but if you’re not quite done doing back-to-school shopping, get pictures of that too! Show your child(ren) picking out their own supplies and even their first-day outfits.

One more tip: These photos should be fun! It isn’t a professional photo shoot so don’t ruin the fun by being a perfectionist. It’s about the memories, not perfect lighting. (Now when you want to schedule some great headshots or family photos, don’t forget to give this Northwest Arkansas photographer a call!).

I hope you and your kids have an awesome school year!