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.
We're a little late to the first day of school party but oh well. Last year I was on maternity leave and we just couldn't afford preschool. Even now she's only doing one day a week at our local community centre but I still cried after I dropped her off. So I looked at these pictures and my heart swelled with pride and happiness for her ❤️
📸 : @nicholelmac It's August and time to send our precious babes back to school! We will be featuring #backtoschoolblooms pics all month long, so don't forget to snap your #backtoschoolblooms pic this year and share it with us. It's been so much fun going through the previous years pictures and seeing your babies grow. #theorganicbloom #organicbloomframes #chalkboardinsert #backtoschool #schoolpictures #firstdayofschool #familyheirloom #keepsake #printyourpics #frameyourpics #frameyourmemories
One more😍❤. . . . #firstdayofschool #preschooler #prek #seamstress #seamstresslife #sewinglove #sewingaddict #sewcialist #sewinglife #instafashion #instastyle #fashionsewing #sewing #pdflove #pdfpattern #trendytot #toddlerlife #toddlerfashion #momswithcameras #handmade #handmadewardrobe #blackgirlmagic #blackisbeautiful
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.
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!
First days of school are hard for me, I worry about the girls having a good day, making friends, having what they need. I never want them to feel sad or lost and how will they know what to do if I'm not there to show them the way? But today was different, we walked into a familiar school and as I picked out familiar parent faces, the girls found friends and familiar teachers. They said hi, made eye contact and looked like confident little ladies. First days are hard, but they're getting easier as my littles become not so little. #laylabug #myshae #firstdayofschool #momlife #growingup
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.