Back to school season

It’s back to school season! I love this time of year and have for my whole life. Shopping for new school supplies, getting my new backpack all ready for the first day, and labeling all of my supplies with my own special stickers or markers were all a part of the fun. With my own children, I still love it, just in different ways. And with three of them, I have had to come up with some hacks for getting out the door with my sanity by the first day of school.

little boy smiling in old school desk with apple
boy holding apple on old school desk

My top 5 tips

Documenting their milestones is a ‘must’ for me! I wanted to share my top 5 tips for back to school photos to help you find the joy in what can be a slightly hectic season.

  1. My top tip is to do it before the first day! The first day will be hectic as you adjust to new schedules. If you want to do it at the school, there will be 100 other mothers there doing the same thing. Save yourself here. On the first day, you can still snap a pic with your phone, but won’t have to worry about a 10 minute photography session before the bell rings!
  2. Gather all of the items that document this time in their lives. Does he or she have a lovey/favorite outfit/favorite notebook? Bring it along. When my youngest was in preschool, he wanted to wear a pair of yellow rainboots all of the time. You can bet he wore them for his session. Be sure to bring this year’s backpack, lunchbox, nap mat, even a new folder that shows their favorite character on it! You will be glad to have this memory, and they will be excited to show off their prized possessions in the photo.
  3. Speaking of milestones: include a writing sample. I have some old-fashioned personal chalkboards that I love to let them write their own names with chalk.
  4. Head out to the school. I love to document kids at their own schools. Most schools have some great architectural features such as columns, brick, maybe stone or concrete steps that make for great photographic elements. Bonus tip: Go during golden hour for great lighting (an hour before sunset)!
  5. And last, this tip could apply to all photography sessions with kiddos, a couple of cute props can be a sure fire way to engage shy or disinterested little ones. My chalkboard, standard #2 pencils, notebook paper, even an apple or two give little ones something to concentrate on instead of just looking and smiling. This will give you just a moment or two longer to document them than you may otherwise have. I also love to incorporate movement such as walking, jumping, even ‘running as though they are late for school’ to hold their attention and give some perspective to the shoot.
Amazing to watch them grow through the years
3 children jumping in front of school
A little movement.
child writing name on small chalkboard
Let them write their names!
teenage girl laughing in front of high school building
Never too old for back to school photos

Documenting their lives is a beautiful way to freeze moments and memories each year.

I’m happy to help

Want more help? I love Back to School sessions for every age from preschool to high school! We can book a short session during the week, or I have a Back to School Mini Session coming up August 16 in Rockwall, TX. Book your mini session spot at this link:

Or feel free to contact me here for other questions or photography needs.