{How To} Take Back to School Photos


Can you feel it in the air?  That cool, crisp turn that (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) means the return of kids to school. Parents the world over, dust off their cameras for the classic back to school shots.


Here are some of our top tips to getting great Back to School photos.

1. Fake It : well, not fake it exactly, but recognise that the hectic morning before the first day of school may not be the best time to stage a full-blown shoot.  Set aside a bit of time  in the few days before school for a mini-shoot.  Get your child to wear their uniform or the clothes they are planning on wearing on the first day. By simply not being in a rush or jittery with first-day nervers, you are almost guaranteed to take better pictures than if you wait until the morning before.

And since you aren’t in a rush, why not go to the school the school to take the photos? It will be much easier to get photos of the school without all of the other parents and students milling about and at an evening or on the weekend, you are bound to have the run of the place, getting whatever shots you want.


2. Tradition: From Iowa to Alloa, Winnepeg to Winchester, children the world over have posed for the classic in-front-of-the-door-on-the-first-day-of-school photo.  There is nothing wrong with this tradition and you can always add to it by having the child hold up a sign with their year at school and date they are starting or get their siblings involved to see them off on their first day.



3. Interview: events like first days of school (or birthdays) are a great way to start and keep a tradition of capturing the details about your child, their likes, their dislikes, what they want to be when they grow up.  It creates a little snapshot in time, that is more than just a photo.


4. Assign Roles: if you are able to take the child to school with another adult, all the better.  Assign one parent (or grandparent, friend, etc) child-minding duties and have one be the official photographer.  This helps ensure that one person is solely focussed on getting photos and can capture the special moments.


5. Capture the Details: Going to back to school is an event.  Capture the build up to the first day – school shopping, trying on shoes, picking out stationery.  Use these photos to put into a photobook at the end of the year.


Like this? Why not enroll in one of our classes? Our film course Shooting Stories is registering now! And Collect the Moments opens registration on Saturday, 1st September!


  • Bonnie
    August 31, 2012

    wonderful photos and ideas…when my grown children were little I always thought I would remember the year …but don’t believe it! It goes by in such a flash such a fun and creative way to help you ALWAYS remember that special date. Plus I love the details of the shoes and hair and the handholding one is precious!

  • September 2, 2012

    I am notoriously bad at capturing all these important moments on film, but by jingo, you have motivated me, Kat!

  • Francesca
    September 2, 2012

    Great post Kat x

  • September 3, 2012

    [...] to capture these heart wrenching yet exciting times, do check out our girl Kat’s tips for how to take back to school photos over at her photography eCourse school Capturing [...]

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