Back to school can be a stressful time of year. After a summer off, sometimes…
Capture all of the excitement and memories of a new school year with these First Day of School Photo Tips. In this post, I’ll help you outline a photo plan and list my top tips for and using the 5 W’s of storytelling to capture the moment in an easy, stress-free way.
The First Day of School. Such an exciting time. You want everything to be perfect for your little one’s first day at school.
Perfect outfit: Check!
Simple breakfast: Check!
Backpack and lunchbox ready: Check!
First day of school sign: Check!
So, you’re ready to take that Coveted First Day of School Pic…
But is that all?
You’ve done all this work. You’ve experienced so many emotions just leading up to this big day.
It’s important to try and capture the whole morning (and maybe even the afternoon) to really tell the full story.
How the 5 W’s of Storytelling can Guide your First Day of School Photos
As a blogger and someone with a journalism background, I like to think of myself as a storyteller. And I often find myself going back to the 5 basic W’s: Who, What, Where, When (and How).
In the chaos of motherhood, going back to these basic tenets of storytelling really helps me stay focused.
Which, on crazy mornings-like the First Day of School, can be extremely helpful!
So let’s talk about the 5 W’s and how they fit in with your first day of school story.
Think about the story you want to tell
The night before the First Day of School, I sit down and whip a quick plan of my desired pictures—just to make sure I don’t forget anything during the busy morning. I think about WHO I want to photograph (my kids, their teacher, me?), the WHAT (first day of school sign), WHERE (home, classroom, front of school), HOW (are they riding the bus?), and WHY (why is this year special?).
A quick note about the Who
We all know this is your Child’s day, but what about you, Mama?
How are YOU feeling?
Sometimes, jumping in front of the lens and capturing your feelings can also add volumes to your story.
I love these two Instagram pics from actress Kristen Bell. She was trying sooo hard to hold it together during her daughter’s recent Pre-K graduation (Picture 1), and then by Picture 2-she caves and “Ok, I was lying before, please send help.” It’s such a hilariously honest moment. And I think most of us, would probably just quickly wipe away the tears and steer very far away from the camera, but she totally embraced the awkward moment and captured it for posterity.
(Hit the arrow on the picture to scroll to the 2nd pic.)
Plan out your First Day of School Photos
Now that you’ve thought a little bit about the story you want to tell and what you want to capture, grab a piece of paper and write it down.
Or better yet, GRAB this FREE Printable! I’ve included room for notes and customization. Then, on the morning of the first day of school, just keep it in your pocket as you head out the door.Capture all of the excitement and memories of a new school year with these First Day of School Photo Tips. Never miss a perfect photo again! Click To Tweet
My top Pics for Must-have First Day of School Photos
Picture 1: Pose with the First Day of School Sign
This beloved tradition has become so popular because it sums up everything you need in ONE picture. The excitement, the outfits, the cute fresh face, and of course, the grade/year.
Picture 2: Grab some candids of the kiddos Getting Ready for the First Day of School
Special first day of School Breakfasts are a great time to snap photos to really capture the child’s feelings in a candid way. Are they nervous? Excited? Just snap away and record it.
Also great to have are pictures of the kids leaving the house with their fresh backpacks, excited to conquer the new year.
I took this pic last year, just to send to my mom, because I was very proud of my handy-work. But then I ended up including it in our album. I felt it came out nicely and helped frame the story.
Picture 3: Getting on the Bus
I always like to take a picture of my girls walking over to the bus and getting on. It’s fun to look back and see how small they were next to the “giant” bus.
Tip-I usually take this picture on the 2nd day of school because I walk my kids in for Day 1.
Picture 4: School Marquee Sign
This is my Favorite First Day of School Photo! I discovered this idea on my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten-there was a line of parents dodging cars to get to the marquee. I love how it really helps frame the story.
This past year, I wasn’t able to grab one at my older daughter’s campus, so I opted for the Welcome sign in front of her classroom.
LESSON LEARNED—Do what works for you IN THE MOMENT.
Picture 5: Picture with your child and their new teacher
Bonus: If you give your teacher a first day of school gift-grab a picture of that as well.
Picture 6: Picture with your child and some friends
Is there anything sweeter than seeing friends reunited after a long summer apart? (or maybe even just a few days? Capture that moment–a hug, a smile…however it unfolds.
After School Photos
Finish up your special day with these special ideas for after school.
1) Grab a picture of your little one getting off the bus or entering the house with their backpack.
Day complete. The End.
2) Make a short video of your child describing how their first day went.
Then import all the pics and the video into a quick slideshow and share with family and friends.
Don’t forget–Be sure to download the checklist with all of these tips so then you have a handy reminder on the Big Day.
Do you have any favorite moments that I left out? Join our Facebook Group and send me a message.
And don’t forget to Pin this article to read again next year!
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HI! I’m a Shana, self-proclaimed Media Mixologist, wife, and mom to two little girls. I love to mix up cocktails of crafts, recipes, wellness, family and business with just the right amount of sparkle to help you shine everyday. So, grab a glass, and let’s celebrate the cocktail of life!