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5 Tips for a great 1st Day of School Photo

Kids heading off to big school? It can be such a momentous occassion. Here are my top 5 tips for capturing that special moment.


Tip number 1. This is a record shot. So record your gorgeous little School Starter as they are. Maybe they are raring to go, dressed bright and early and waiting in the car before you've even had a coffee. Take that photo. Maybe they are scared and crying and wont leave the floor of their bedroom. Take that photo. Perhaps they are excited but burst into tears because their toast got cut into squares not triangles... take that photo. What ever it is that your little big kid is feeling, it is valid and worth remembering. When you look back and they look back at this day, what could be better than seeing it as it was.


If you have the foresight and the discipline, consider taking a photo at the start of every school year in exactly the same place, with the same details. It might be your front porch, by a tree out the back, or by your kitchen blackboard. You can also record details that will measure their growth over the years whether it be; "When I grow up I'm going to...", "My favourite subject is...", "I am looking forward to..."

Have them answer this same questions every year and watch as they evolve and change. Here are a couple of images from My sister in law, who has done this for the last few years and it is so great to see the progress.


Details details, details. Sometimes it's the little things which give us the big picture. Doing up those new shoes. Putting on that big hat. Carrying that ridiculously big backpack. Hugs of special toys... Take snaps of these and pop them in a collage and you have a great overall picture of all the little things that mattered to you at the time.


So you might not look as adorable as your little new school kids does, all dressed up in that new school uniform, but when it's time to look back you will be glad you were in the photos too. So put your camera on a timer, give the iphone to your 3yr old, or just take a selfie. Whatever the method just make sure you are in some photos too.

[Yes it is rather ridiculous I haven't taken my own advice here, with no photo to show you, but I promise on her real first day, I will rectify that!]


Lastly if you are still aiming for that "you will smile and look at the camera" type photo, then make sure you steer away from cheese. You don't want a fake smile. You want that photo to reflects your child. So don't ask for cheese. Ask a question. What are they looking forward to? What do they think they'll get to do at playtime? What will their favourite toys/siblings/pets get up to whilst they are away? Somewhere in their answers I can guarantee you there will be a smile, or a pleased look, or a happy glance. All you have to do is ask the question and then wait for it.

Good luck! Enjoy! And remember to get in that photo...

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