Today, I’d like to chat a little about ways how you can rock back to school pictures. No matter what camera you have. No matter what props you want to use or how much time you have. You don’t have to follow all those steps. Focus on one if you want, and you will see a huge improvement in your experience! Save yourself sanity, and at the same time create fun memories.
Don’t over think it. Don’t overstress!
The steps in this post are named by the excuses many of the parents have in order to not to do the back-to-school pictures of their kids. Many just rather go with snapping a quick image on the 1st day while the kids are running out the door (already late!)
Here are the excuses (aka steps) and how to overcome them:
1.”My kid doesn’t want to go with MY IDEAS.”
No biggie. In years of working with kids on a different level of excitement when it comes to being photographed, it is important to just let it go. Sometimes. Pick your fights wisely, I say.
Breathe in and then breathe out. Then go with the flow. You have to be able to sacrifice your super great ideas for having any pictures at all.
I know it all too well, myself.
I have a girl who’s always willing to do what I come up with + some of her crazy ideas.
I also have a girl who often changes her mind as quickly as a woman (only) can do it. By the time I’m ready to click the shutter button, she’s already changed her mind and doesn’t want to do what we earlier established. She doesn’t want to wear what I put on her. And she doesn’t want to be at that particular location anymore.
AND if we don’t change it immediately, well, I might as well put my camera back in my bag and forget about everything.
Ok! I’m exaggerating the whole picture, but you know what I’m talking about. If not… well, you’re lucky! haha!
As I mentioned before, just go with the flow. After you done with photographing what the little one had in mind for the whole session (this is exactly what’s going to happen in many, many cases!), add fun text in Photoshop or Canva. You can also use phone editing apps to add text (something like Snapseed)
2. “I don’t have any props.”
Backpack. Lunchbox. Cute glasses. Cute hairstyle. Fun outfit. And you good to go.
Don’t forget about documenting the details. You might remember them today. In a few years, they’ll become just a foggy blur. You’ll be happy you took pictures of the cute socks or the cute lunch box your kid was using in 1st or 2nd or 6th grade.
3. “I don’t have any interesting background”
Yes, you do!
Just declutter a small space on your backyard / front yard.
Walk your kid to school and take a picture with school buses in the background. (but wait for most of the crowd to disappear).
Just remember to avoid photographing your kids in front of the school sign with the whole name and address on it! Please keep your kids safe. Nobody has to know where your kids go to school. I know it’s easy to figure those things out, but why make it easy on the wrong kind of people.
Go to the park. Go to the library.
Just remember to ask for a permission if you’re planning to take pictures in buildings and other public places. Be careful with that. You might not get in trouble if you’re a private person shooting your own kids, but just to be safe. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Note side: Thank you to Morgan Hill Library for being a part of my daughter’s stylized photo shoot. Check their FB page for more shots from adventures of my private Pippi Longstocking.
4. “The whole day is SO HECTIC. I just don’t have the time!!! And I didn’t even have MY COFFEE yet” – says every mom on the 1st day of school.
Yep! That’s why back to school pictures don’t have to (or even shouldn’t) be done ON THAT PARTICULAR DAY (the 1st day of school). The kids don’t care. They will be happy if you throw an idea out there for dressing up and going out to goof off with the school supplies and what not.
Go for a walk the day before the 1st day of school.
Don’t forget to do it during the golden hour for easier shooting and for not having to deal with the harsh light. I often don’t do it because I like to make my life harder, every chance I get. And I actually like to work with all kinds of light and the full bright sun doesn’t scare me that much. However, to save your sanity and to get really nice images of your kids, just wait to one hour before the sunset and then go out and shoot!
If not the day before then wait for the weekend to come, and then get them out and play with all their school supplies.
For most of the time, they will be more relaxed and ready to be themselves.
Because who is him/herself on the 1st day of school??!?!?!
5. If you have more than one kiddo, try to “catch” them together.
In our case, getting these two together in one picture is like trying to catch a fish with bare hands.
So, if I was able to do it, YOU CAN DO IT, too!
Ask them to touch their noses. Or ask them to tickle each other. Anything to get them close enough and playful enough.
6. “I can’t take good pictures.”
Well, that’s what professional photographers are for. Just saying. ?
And before you go, I felt generous today and made these very simple but colorful free printable lunch box notes. Want it, grab it. Don’t want it, don’t grab it.
And if you’re feeling generous today, left a comment, share this post or send me a virtual hug.
If you’d like me to photograph some of your #1st day of school adventures let me know!!! I’m here to help you create amazing memories.
Even better, sign up for the membership to Ewa Samples Photography, so you won’t have to miss on any photo opportunities through the entire year!