Tired of back-to-school photos that don’t quite capture the moment?

Maybe the kids are squinting into the sun. Or their clothing disappears into the background. We asked some local photographers to share tips on how to take your photos from ho-hum to awesome. 

  1. Stage it.

Don’t leave the photo taking for the actual first day of school. “The last thing on your kid’s mind will be posing for the camera,” says Aino Assmus of Aino Photography. “And I was a nervous wreck myself.”

By taking the photo beforehand, you give your child—and yourself—room to relax. “If your child is feeling her
best, the photo will come out nicely,” says Tiffany Corbett of Studio213.

By Aino 3

photo by Aino Photography


  1. Go outside.

Many photographers prefer the natural look of daylight, and the “golden hour” just after sunrise and just before sunset adds a beautiful glow to faces. “Natural light will give best results,” says Assmus.

But choose shady spots over direct sunlight. “You want the eyes to be relaxed and not fighting the sun,” says Corbett.

  1. Use props.

Write the year and your child’s name on a chalkboard or splash it on the driveway using sidewalk chalk. Have your child hold a photo from the previous year or an apple or a stack of books.

“There certainly are a ton of cute ideas to be found on Pinterest,” says Assmus.

By Tiffany 1

photo by Studio213.net


  1. Set it up.

Take a moment to consider your child’s clothing and the background for the shot. “Solid backgrounds like doors make good photographs,” says Corbett. “Solid clothing photographs best. Shirts with large logos can be distracting.”

Nichole Renee of Nichole Renee Photography says, “Get your camera at eye level with your child. Don’t look down on them.”

  1. Add personality.

Asking your child about her favorite things—books, movies, animals, foods and activities—will make your photo session fly by. “Children will think of things they love and have a more genuine smile,” says Corbett.

When the photo session is over, go back and add in these personal details in the space around the photo, including your child’s age and grade.

By Nikki 2

photo by Nichole Renee


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