Confession time. I never remember to take those charming #firstdayofschool photos that I see people sharing on social media. You know the ones I'm talking about. Those shots that you find on Pinterest that look amazing yet also seem to involve a master's degree in carpentry and at least a few weeks of prep work.

When I began researching this post, I was looking for shared images that included some of these super cute ideas, because this year I wanted to plan ahead and not let that "First Day of School" shot pass me by. Yet funnily enough, when I searched through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the pictures that real people were posting to commemorate the back-to-school season, I found that there are very few people taking these elaborate "Pinterest-worthy" shots.

That's not to say that the pics I found weren't adorable and creative. But they weren't poised and perfect. Because let's face it, who really has time for that? And I realized that's what makes these shots even better. They capture the memory without ruining the moment or taking over your life. And that's something even I can handle.

Here's how to get a great shot of your child's first day back to school:

See the sign: Print it, draw it, write it on a chalkboard, or photoshop it in later. This is a popular way to capture that first day without a ton of elaborate prep.



Have fun with a collage: Grab a few quick shots of your kid and then capture the other details (like her grade, a photo of her school mascot, or a favorite quote) later. This is a perfect idea for older kids who may not tolerate a whole lot of fussing in front of the camera. Take whatever pics you can get before complete teen-mortification sets in.


Get creative with the stats: If you have the time and inclination, by all means, make one of these "stat" signs ahead of time that includes your child's favorite things as well as his age or grade level. But if you don't have the time (I'm looking in the mirror here) just add the text to your photo later. You can ask your child to list his faves a few days before school is back in session so you don't have to worry about making the sign and taking the shot on the same morning.

https://instagram.com/p/BXTIz5tlT2P/


Play with numbers: Really, this could not be any simpler. But it's also so cute and a great way to capture the moment and make a memory that you can re-create from year to year. Buy or make some large numbers ahead of time, or print some out on your computer a few seconds before. It's all good!


Stick with what works: I absolutely love how this family kept their first day of school photo simple and re-creatable. Even with just a few years of back-to-back photos you can see the changes in the kids (and mom!) from year-to-year. Imagine how awesome this collage will be when those kids are in their teens!


Capture their style: You don't need any special props to capture images of your kids just being their sassy old selves. And these photos — the ones that truly show who your kids are — are so much more special than anything you could plan out ahead of time.


https://instagram.com/p/BXTQhcpgUY6/