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4 Easy Ways to Get Great Back-To-School Photos

Wow, that was fast. It feels like summer just began. Suddenly, my social media feeds are filling up with posts about the kids returning to school. For us, that day is a few weeks away. But it is certainly on our minds.

Taking back-to-school photos can be a fun way to celebrate milestones and track your child's growth. And it need not be stressful. Follow these simple tips for fun, creative pictures you will treasure:

1. Don't take photos on the actual first day

It can be stressful to try to get your kids to slow down and post for photos on the first day of school. Everyone is rushing, trying to get back into a routine. They may or may not be excited to go to school. There could be tears, sour faces or bad attitudes. Why not take some photos the weekend before school starts? Let your child model the first day outfit and new backpack at a time when you can all be calm and relaxed. We all know the first morning of school does not always go smoothly. OK, honestly, does it ever? Save yourself the stress and check photos off the list beforehand. No one will know the difference.

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2. Let your child choose what to wear

If your child is anything like mine, she has her own sense of style. Which could actually be a complete lack thereof. Believe me, you will look back on these days with fondness. And a smile. And maybe even a touch of sadness as you remember your child's unicorn phase. Or how much s/he loved superheroes. So let her pick out what to wear. She will feel confident, proud and more willing to pose if she makes the decision.

Bonus points for letting her decide how to wear her hair.

3. Pick the right location and pose

For Kindergarten, I took pictures of my daughter sitting in her favorite chair, under our skylight, the background blurred. They turned out well. When I made a side-by-side comparison collage, I could see changes but not how much she had grown. If I had thought the location through, I would have had her stand next to something so her growth would be more apparent. Many people choose the front door of their house. Even better…

4. Use props to mark each year

I found a fun 6-foot pencil growth chart, pictured above, on Etsy. And printed free First/Last Day Of signs. I then added a few fun props, and now we will have a record of how much our daughter grows and changes each school year.

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I always grab a few close-ups while I'm at it. Since I personally do not order official school pictures (they are horrid, and I can do much better), I want to make sure I have some nice portraits from her school years.

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