Ideas to Inspire Your Back to School Pictures

Although my children aren’t starting school just yet, the mommy-tographer in me is already thinking (and “pinning”) ideas to remember that special time of year – the first day of school. My first son will be three in November and my second son will celebrate his first birthday next month so although I have a little more time, I know it will be here before I know it!  So in the spirit of back to school time, here are few ideas to inspire your back to school pictures.

#1: Chalk your Driveway

I love this option. You simply get out some chalk and write on the driveway. You could do their name and grade. What they want to be when they grow up. You may need to stand on a ladder to get the full shot but the possibilities are endless.

Chalk   chalk 2

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#2: Use a Sign

You may want to start a back to school tradition and take the same photograph each year (this would be a fun graduation present for your child). One easy thing you can do each year is to simply have your child hold a sign. The sign could say anything you want. It could have you child’s name, age, grade, teacher, current favorites (food, TV show, color). Once again there are lots of options here.

Skip to my lou sign

{Photo Credit} And here is the link for a free printable of this sign.


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This website has another free printable sign you can use.

I also love this picture using little chalkboards especially if you have more than one child for the photograph (make you sure you take individual pictures and then one group shot).

Little chalkboards

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#3: Record their “Stats:

In addition to having your child hold a sign, you could also experiment with something a little larger and photoshop in some “stats” to mark the beginning of the school year (see tip below for a great site to use to photoshop in text to your pictures). One option is to simply stand them in front of a blank wall leaving a little space to their right or left so you can add in the information. Consider a blank wall in your house, a brick wall, or you could even put a black blanket behind them for a chalkboard-type of effect.

Maggie Proof


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You could also interview them and photoshop in their and answers.

Nick's First Day of School Sample

#4: School Bus

If your children ride a bus, it would be cute to snap a picture of them in front of the bus on the first day of school. The bus itself makes a cute backdrop and marks the beginning of school in a very cute way.

School Bus

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#5: Classroom

Head to school a little early (or even a few days before school starts, if possible) and snap a few pictures of your child in his or her new classroom.


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You could also snap a picture of your child meeting his or her new teacher.


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#6: Get the Details

With all of your back to school pictures, remember to take a few pictures of the details. The new shoes. The special lunch box they picked out. Their  first day of school outfit they are so excited to wear. Their backpack. Things that mean so much to them now that you don’t want to forget. You could even pull out some of their new school supplies (pencils, books) to use for an easy to set up photo shoot.


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A few other tips to help prepare for back to school pictures:

  • If you are interested in having your child hold a chalkboard sign (see idea #2) you can make your own very easily. Take an old picture frame (or pick up a cheap one at a garage sale) and use some chalkboard paint to make an easy sign you can re-use each year and for different occasions.
    DSC_0402                               DSC_0405                                                          Audrey 12 with Text
  • You can use some chalk to write your message on the sign or simply photograph your child holding the sign without the saying and then photoshop in the text afterwards (see the next bullet point for tips on adding text after-the-fact).
  • You can also use a piece of black or white foam board (picked up at Michael’s or even the dollar store) to write some fun statistics onto. You can write on the sign before you take the picture or photograph it blank and then add the text in later using Photoshop or another editing program (see next tip for my favorite FREE online editing program). I like the idea of photoshopping in the text later so you can reuse your sign or board.

714 Final  739 Final with Text

  • Some of these ideas require “photoshopping” text onto a wall, sign, etc. but you may not have access to photoshop. Be sure to check out the website PicMonkey. I absolutely love this online photo editing website. It is so easy to use, FREE, doesn’t require installing any software, and allows you to photoshop text right onto your picture. And did I already mention it is FREE? I always love finding really cool free things! There are fun graphics and shapes you can add to your pictures as well and you can make collages in just a few clicks. Be sure to check it out!

One final thought for you to consider. Although I can’t say this from my personal experience, the first day of school is likely a hectic time so it may not be the best time to take the actual photos. Aim for the weekend before (or even after – no one will ever know) to take your pictures when there is less stress to get everyone out the door.

Do you have plan to take first day of school photos? If so, what do you plan to do?


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