Cool Photo Tips for the First Day of School

The first day of school is a milestone, and photos are the best way to capture those memories.

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For generations, back-to-school pictures have been an annual ritual for many families, chronicling the freshly-pressed outfits, trimmed and combed hair, toothless grins and either optimism or anxiety that come with a new school year. But the era of the quick-and-dirty candid snapshot is increasingly giving way to props, poses and postings.

That worldwide reach has millions of proud parents posting their best efforts online. Photo-sharing sites and digital cameras are encouraging parents to consider a more creative touch to the traditional back-to-school shot.

It’s just easier now to share pictures and people want to share them on Facebook and Pinterest. Photos from friends from across the country whose kids have already started school have already started popping up on Facebook. It’s becoming quite common.

Make sure to give kids ample time to play around and have fun when you want to get a great shot. Forcing a child to smile immediately as the bus pulls up will probably just result in a photo of an unhappy and distracted child.

Here are some unique ideas for parents looking to give their first day of school photos an artistic boost.

  • Frame it
    Get a 12x12 inch wooden picture frame, wooden letters, glue and spray paint to create a frame that kids could peek through for a reusable back-to-school photo prop.
  • Fingers show the grade
    Have kids hold up the number of fingers for the grade that they are going into.  Take the same picture on the last day of school to see how much they have grown.
  • Buy the T-shirt
    Buy a large adult size T-shirt and decorate it with the year of their high school graduation.  Wear it on the first day of school each year.  It will start off looking like a dress and you can see how they grow each year.
  • Chalk board dreams
    Grab the chalk board (or dark poster board), and have your kid write out their dream job. It’s especially fun to watch as it changes year to year.

First-day photos don’t have to be taken in the morning if you’re pressed for time; after-school works just as well. And although even small props can enhance photos, first day of school pictures remain about capturing and savoring milestone moments.

How will you be documenting the first day of school 2013?  Let us know or better yet, share your photos with us.