A Photographer explains how to capture PERFECT First Day of School Photos

Step one and most important:

Make the time – There’s a lot going on at the beginning of a new school year and finding the time to take a few photos involves some planning.

And start your first day of school early so the whole morning has a relaxed and happy feel!

(And it goes without saying to have your camera equipment charged and make sure memory cards are empty.)

I love an Official ‘First Day of School” photo  – I made this yard sign when my son Matt went to kindergarten and yes, I made him stand by it every year until he graduated!

Same pose, same place every year – what a mean mom, right?

I’ll spare you having to see all 12 years — but here’s one more:

Back to school photos mark an annual milestone and, as such, are a great way to document your child’s growth from year to year.

Those changes are especially remarkable when taken with the same pose and same location each year, so take at least one photo each school year of your child

on the front porch, next to the mailbox, or beneath the old oak tree in your backyard.

You’ll be capturing a wonderful progression of your child growing up amidst the surroundings of her childhood home.

And you don’t have to cut wood and paint one –  HERE , HERE , HERE and HERE are some signs that are free to print! – just pick your fav!

We also captured a photo of his classroom and teacher each year (in Elementary school – rest assured I didn’t make him do this in high school….ha)

Thanks to Mrs. Gillespie (above) she was Matt’s 4th and 5th grade teacher and an all time favorite of him and me!)

Capture the details – Don’t forget to snap a few photos of the little details that can sometimes go unnoticed.

A closeup of your child’s backpack, a nametag on their desk.

Friends Forever – Getting kids together, whether it’s siblings, neighbors, or classmates always helps break the ice.

(And yes that might mean their best FOUR LEGGED friend!)

These photos are fun for the kids to look back on and see how much their friends have changed over the years.

More photography tips:

Fill the frame
This classic photography tip applies to back to school pictures, too.

The whole back-to-school outfit and the meet-the-teacher scene are probably already on your list,

but a child’s face changes more year to year than you might realize.

So while you have that camera out (and a squeaky clean kid!), come in tight and grab a few pictures that fill the whole frame with that face you so adore.

4. Keep things moving.
“Give me 10 jumping jacks!” With little ones, it’s about getting the wiggles out until they settle down.

With older kids, it’s about loosening up. In both cases, big movements – breakdancing, high jumping, hair shaking, arm waving –

are a wonderful way to lead in to more natural expressions and relaxed poses;

the moments that come AFTER will bring real smiles, more relaxed body language, and the pictures you want.

But even if your goal is a simple smiling portrait, keep snapping; you never know what kind of magic you may capture.

Tell them they’re amazing.
Make like an over-the-top fashion photographer and loudly talk your way through the pictures with, “Beautiful! You’re amazing! That’s perfect! Yes, big smiles like that! Incredible!”

Not only does this lively interaction make the photography experience a lot of fun for both you and your child, but you’ll be giving her a wonderful dose of positive reinforcement to help calm those first day of school jitters.

-Whether they are taking the bus, walking, or driving themselves for the first time, that goodbye photo is crucial to remember that feeling forever

(Notice this was from a distance and with me being in super mom-stealth mode….ha!)

And when you are ready for some Professional Portraits of your kiddos (and you!)

Please give me a call!

Because although cell phone pics are great to remember day to day things,

You need an Extraordinary Photographer to capture Extraordinary Portraits!

ALL Sweet Life portrait sessions are AN HOUR LONG so you all have time to relax and have fun!

Each Custom Portrait Session INCLUDES:

My professional posing advice and help

My brochure with advice on what to wear to look your best

Any location of your choice in beautiful San Diego (I have lots of ideas if you need help choosing a great spot!)

Custom retouching and hand processing of your portraits

Unlimited poses and props

Unlimited Clothing changes

Unlimited people are also included (so yes, bring the family for your high school senior session!)

An online gallery to view your portraits.


As a photographer it is my great joy to capture Family and High School Senior PortraitsEngagement, Events,  Bat Mitzvahs, Bar Mitzvahs, Parties, First Birthday, 1st Birthday

Maternity, Gender Reveal, Family Reunions, Newborns and Babies, Children, CouplesWeddings and MORE that are as special and unique as you are –

Please visit my website to see my photography portfolio, get more details or ask a question:
 I’m waiting to hear from you – to capture a slice of YOUR sweet life!
 I am a full time professional photographer based in San Diego, but will travel for weddings.

Serving San Diego, Poway, Scripps Ranch,La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, 4-S Ranch, Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo,

Outdoor Family, Child, High School Senior, Family Reunion, Gender Reveal, Newborn, Engagement Couples

Best Fun Senior Portraits, Family Reunion, Beach, Portrait Shoot, Park, Portrait shoot, Balboa Park, On Location, outdoor, Wedding photographer





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