If you’re about to send your baby off to big school, my theory is you’re either a cryer or a high fiver.
I was definitely a high-fiver, but I have a feeling that may change when I send baby-boy off for his first day in a couple of years!
This post was fun to prepare though, and to share with you, because I took a little trip into memory lane to find First Day Photos from my sweet girl 5 years ago, and we both had a lovely time reminiscing! Were the photos I took on the day perfect?
Gosh no, and as we all know when it comes to super special occasions then that’s A-Ok!
What’s important is that we have the camera out and we’re collecting those memories…
Whether you’re a cryer or a high fiver, one thing is for sure. The first day of school, including the lead up and all that goes with it, is huge and it needs to be recorded! It’s a perfect subject for a storybook album, and as a bonus, it’s also a nice distraction if you think there might be a tear or two!
Here are some ideas of shots you can take to collect those beautiful memories!
A shiny lunch box, brightly coloured pencils, a brand new school bag that’s almost bigger than he is… these universal items that signal a new school year offer so many opportunities for interesting and creative shots.
Look for nice soft light and try lots of different angles such as “shooting down” which is a great way to avoid clutter in the background without having to move it.
Take wide shots of all the items and detailed close ups of little things. Use repetition in your compositions for items such as pencils, labels, books.
Take a shot of his little fingers writing his own name on labels, and a close up of his look of concentration as he does it.
Once you’ve taken all the shots you need, capture him as he packs it all into his own school bag.
Don’t forget the lunch box! Take a looking down shot of his first day of school first lunch packed into his very first big school lunch box.
If he’s helping prepare food, record that process too. This is momentous stuff people!
When it comes to the school uniform the obvious shot includes your child wearing it.
But save that shot for the first day of school, and in the meantime, think outside the square.
Hang it in a simple and interesting way such as a peg on a blank wall or alongside precious belongings.
Or hang it on his bedroom door, and take a shot of it with the door partially open to reveal his bedroom, making sure the focus is on the uniform.
Another fun idea that really tells a story is to sit him on a chair and ask him to slowly swing his legs, which is such a kid thing to do.
Using a fast shutter speed, take the shot, and compose it so that it showcases how their little feet still don’t reach the floor.
If his feet grew a whole lot over summer, take a shot with his old shoes placed next to his new shoes to show that growth.
We love the first day of school photo by the front door, and it’s a perfect way to capture their excitement of the morning before heading off!
But if you’re feeling creative here’s a couple of ideas that can record sweet details for years to come…
You’ll need to start a little earlier for this series but it will be worth it.
Buy a small blackboard from a discount store and write on it “first day of school”, and just before you’re all ready to hop in the car, take a shot of him holding the board.
Then erase that, and write the date, his age, his height, etc. Take another shot. Erase and replace the words with what he wants to be when he grows up, and take another shot.
You’re only limited here by your imagination and the available time!
These shots can form a story within a story, when framed side by side or on the same page in a storybook album.
Here’s a super simple idea you could try – a sharpie and some card:
Alternatively, record all of that information at once, on a larger surface, and I’ve seen some fantastic printables on Pinterest that would be fun to use!
Don’t forget the journey! Take a shot of him once he is strapped into the car and impatient to leave or as you’re walking down the road.
Most importantly, don’t forget to jump in a shot yourself… the Mum shot is very important and one that I’m SO glad we took on that special day for both my girls when they started!
Record him walking into the school gate.
Take a shot of the school sign, focussing on the sign but including your child as he walks into the school beyond.
Most teachers will allow parents to enter the classroom for a short time to help their child settle in.
Take a photo of him at his desk, with friends, with his teacher if he or she will allow it.
Look for signs that have the class name and shoot a close up of that, and don’t forget his pigeon hole or locker with his name on it (didn’t we all have one of those?!).
Another creative shot as you’re leaving is a through the door or through the window shot as class starts, which adds additional context to the shot, and framing in this way is also a great compositional technique.
Lastly, once you’ve given him his last hug and kiss before you leave him to start his new and exciting year, take a shot of him waving you goodbye.
This shot will be the obvious closer in a storybook album.
This last one presumes you can see through your tears to focus and compose it creatively!!
Lovely abundant light is key for great photos. So when setting your child up for these photos at home, place them in an area with good natural light such as facing or to the side of a large window.
Your covered front porch is a great place for flattering light when it’s in shade so this is a lovely spot to photograph that first day of school photo just before they head off for the day. If you don’t have a covered front porch, try taking the photos just inside your front doorway…
And most of all, have fun!