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.