Pictures have always been important to me and since I’ve had children, they’ve only become more important to me. Documenting their lives, including all of the important and not-so-important moments, has become my personal momma mission and it is my goal to capture them as best as I possibly can. I don’t think it would be very fair or very nice of me to keep all of my photography tips and tricks to myself, so I’m thrilled to be sharing with you today my guide to taking the BEST back to school pictures!
1. Lighting matters!
I’ve dedicated an entire previous post to the importance of good lighting and the first day of school is no time to have to deal with bad lighting issues. First day of school only happens once a year so it’s key to make sure you get it right the first time! Biggest thing you can do to help your pictures: get outdoors. Without some serious knowledge of your camera or using the flash so you get a funny cast on your kid, taking pictures indoors can be all kinds of tricky.
All of the pictures in this post are straight out of my camera, no editing involved. The indoor picture was taken next to an open window, so you’d assume that the lighting would be just fine. It’s obviously not. The outdoor picture was taken right outside our front door, under our covered porch. When we moved outdoors, the lighting was already infinitely better.
It isn’t just enough to move outside either. Make sure your kidlet is facing towards the sun, but not in direct sunlight. Back lighting places shadows all over their faces and direct sunlight gets that awful squinty-eye look.
2. Say cheese! Or not.
Please make me a promise: don’t ever make your kid say cheese. There is nothing worse than the forced smiles that come out of the famed cheese demand. Do something silly, dance like a crazy person, tell goofy jokes, make inappropriate sounds. No matter what you do, make your child have a real smile. Laughs are an added bonus.
3. Follow directions.
For the love of everything, give your kid directions when you hold up the super cute signs you see all over Pinterest (my personal faves are from Yellow Bliss Road, Nest of Posies, and 30 Handmade Days). And make sure to give the directions before you hand them the sign. There’s no need to stress your poor child out about holding a sign right before you walk him or her off to a day they’re either super excited for or super stressed about it. Give a few calm, happy pointers and have at it.
4. Keep it quick.
No one really wants their pictures to look like this.
Grump face! If all fails, don’t be above offering a bribe. Luke is super proud of his new fast shoes (as he calls them) and really wanted me to take a picture of him running. Our deal was that as long as he cooperated during taking pictures, I’d take the picture that he wanted so much. Plus, I also promised to have it printed for his Project Life album he’s working on. He was sold.
There you have — four tips to help you take winning back to school photos this year, just in time to kick off the new year!
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