40 Ideas for Unique Back To School Photos of your Children (Free Printable)

40 Ideas for Unique Back To School Photos of your Children (Free Printable)

I’m a big fan of traditions, and using photography as one of the way to mark or celebrate them. One of my favorites is back-to school-photos. They can be done professionally, by a friend who likes photography, or even just snapshots you take yourself to mark this point in time. To reflect and celebrate your child as they are today. And, to capture some of that first day of school excitement!

One photo of your kid is great – it’s the cornerstone. But if you are looking to capture and portray a more complete picture of this special time in your children’s life, or if you are looking for some creative ideas, use this free printable as guideline.

Please use this as just an idea-generator. You’ll note that I call it “ideas” not a “checklist”. That’s b/c almost nobody (including me) is going to do all of them. So, don’t look at the list and think that you need to take them all, or take them all on the first day. Pick your 10 favorites and just do those, and spread them out over the first week. Or, do them all at once if that’s more your style. Whatever is helpful and fun for you.

Looking for some great ideas for back to school photos? Here is a free printable:

BTS-40-ideas-Natascha-Lee-Studios

 

Looking to for a black and white version that won’t use much of your printer ink? Here’s another version:

40 ideas for back to school photos - free printableBTW, a while back I wrote an article for  Colorado Parent Magazine  on “Tops Tips for Unique First-Day Back to School Photos of your Kids” You can see that article and my photos here, and check out page 11 to read: “8 Pro Tips for Unique First Day Back to School Photos”.

(Note: This is a repost from 1 year ago. I had a request to share it again, so here it is.)

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Top 5 Tips for WOW! Family Portraits | Family Photography by Natascha Lee Studios

Top 5 Tips for WOW! Family Portraits | Family Photography by Natascha Lee Studios

Today I’m updated a blog posting from a while back – its on how to select a great photographer for your family photos.

One of the things I specialize in is capturing your child’s and family’s true spirit and personality during portrait sessions.  Not just stiff posed photos where you look nice. Sure, you want to look great, but you also want to say, “That portrait is so THEM! That’s exactly the expression I recognize.”

This isn’t easy, as your children, spouse, and perhaps even you are possibly meeting me for a the first time, probably at a new location, I’m a stranger behind big black camera, and we are asking them to do things they don’t usually do.

But, as you’ll see from my images and these kind words from super-happy portrait families, capturing stunning images of your children’s true spirit is one of the unique things I deliver to clients.

While I focus (pun intended!)  on local  baby, children and family portraits, these tips will apply to anyone, anywhere planning a professional portrait session with their children.

Here are my top 5 tips for parents looking to have authentic images of your child and family:

Tip 1) Select the right photographer. Look at their portfolio, and see if their style is what you are looking for. Do you prefer posed images? Or more lifestyle images, where people are relaxed and not looking at the camera?  Do you prefer indoor images shot in a studio, or perhaps in your house? Or outdoor images with nature as your backdrop, or perhaps in urban settings? An experienced photographer will have galleries for each of the types of images they shoot, and should have enough images to give you a good idea of their style.

Tip 2) Budget accordingly. Expect to spend money on the right photographer, since talented photographers are in-demand and appropriately compensated for their work. Something to consider: of all the “optional” things you will spend money on this year (restaurants, movies and concerts, new clothes, spa and hair services, those impulse buys at Target and Costco), professional portraits will be one of the most long-lasting purchases, giving you and others the most joy for years to come.

Two Key Tasks: Find a photographer whose style you love and budget appropriately.

Tip 3) Share advance intel. Tell the photographer a few things about your child(ren) in advance – things they like to watch, read, do. That will help create a quick connection and conversation starting point. Similarly, tell your child about the exciting event you are going to do together. Build it up as something special and fun. With your child, visit the photographer’s About Me section of their website – show your children the photographer’s photo, and a bit about them. This will make your child more comfortable with the photographer. And this doesn’t just apply to young children – even teenagers are a bit more comfortable knowing about the photographer (even if they won’t admit it.)

Two Key Tasks: Tell the photographer two things your kid likes, and visit the photographer’s About Me page with your child.

Tip 4) Follow the photographer’s preparation suggestions. A experienced photographer will send you detailed instructions on how to prepare, which go beyond just selecting cute clothes for everyone. Invest time in reading them and doing all the ones that make sense for you and your family. As I tell my clients, proper preparations can take your photos from Amazing to Mind-Blowing.

 Key Tasks: Review and follow the prep  tips. And if all else fails, make sure your kids are well rested, super clean (noses, eyes, face, fingernails, etc.) and select clothes your kids are comfortable in.

Tip 5) Relax. Once you have done all your preparation work, let the photographer do their job. I know it’s tempting to step in and tell you kid what to do/not to do, but that usually creates a more stressed/less cooperative kid, not a more cooperative one. Professional Photographers have plenty of tricks up their sleeve, and sometimes even a roll of SmartiesTM.

Two Key Tasks: Show your child you are relaxed and having fun, and trust the photographer to get amazing images (Because you did follow tip #1, right? 😉 )

Capturing Your Child’s True Spirit and Personality in Vibrant Portraits – Colorado Family Photography

Top 3 Tips for Making the Most of Your Family Photos

Top 3 Tips for Making the Most of Your Family Photos

3 Tips for Making the Most of Your Own Family Photos


Don’t loose your memories!

The New Year is a great time to make sure all your digital images are backed up – either to the cloud from your phone, and/or to a backup service from your computer.  Your photos should always be backed up in at least one place, preferably two. You can use the autoback up feature on your phone (b/c chances are, most of your photos are there – right?), as well as an auto back up for your computer like Carbonite or Backblaze, or even Dropbox.

The power of touch:

Speaking of your digital images, how often do you print them out? January is a great time to review your photos from the last year, and print them out. Some people do books, and others make framed prints. Even if you don’t often print your images, at least print a few for your kids. They LOVE having physical prints of their family, parents, friends, pets, themselves. Print out a few small sizes and let your kiddos use them as bookmarks.

Gear up – Top 6 things to look for in your pocket camera.

I love my iphone for convenience, but a good pocket camera will take much better photos than your camera phone. Esp in low light situations like indoor, early morning, and dusk. (One exception – the new iPhone 7 Plus really does take decent everyday snapshots.)
If you don’t have that specific iPhone,  I suggest a pocket camera like a Canon Powershot . Rather than recommend my favorite model (which changes frequently), that link will take you to a search function on Amazon.

You want a camera that:

1) has at least four stars from reviews AND has at least 250 reviews,

2) is available Prime (which means it’s fairly current) – even if you aren’t a Prime member, you can use that as a selection criteria

3) does video in 1080p,

4) has “image stabilization” for taking non-blurry photos in low light withOUT a flash. A flash (usually) just ruins the mood when you are taking low light photos,

5) has “wireless technology” to connect to your phone, so you can send/share/post the images right away, with just a few extra touches,

6) is between $200 and $400. This puts you in the sweet spot for decent quality, but not so expensive that you are a sad panda if/when it breaks or gets lost….and pocket cameras, if they are used frequently, do eventually get broken or lost.

7) optional: is a fun color! Although honestly, it seems the really good quality ones only come out in black, silver and white.

  Watercolor Cameras Image credit: FreePik

 

40 Ideas for Unique Back To School Photos of your Children (Free Printable)

40 Ideas for Unique Back To School Photos of your Children (Free Printable)

I’m a big fan of traditions, and using photography as one of the way to mark or celebrate them. One of my favorites is back-to school-photos. They can be done professionally, by a friend who likes photography, or even just snapshots you take yourself to mark this point in time. To reflect and celebrate your child as they are today. And, to capture some of that first day of school excitement!

One photo of your kid is great – it’s the cornerstone. But if you are looking to capture and portray a more complete picture of this special time in your children’s life, or if you are looking for some creative ideas, use this free printable as guideline.

Please use this as just an idea-generator. You’ll note that I call it “ideas” not a “checklist”. That’s b/c almost nobody (including me) is going to do all of them. So, don’t look at the list and think that you need to take them all, or take them all on the first day. Pick your 10 favorites and just do those, and spread them out over the first week. Or, do them all at once if that’s more your style. Whatever is helpful and fun for you.

Looking for some great ideas for back to school photos? Here is a free printable:

BTS-40-ideas-Natascha-Lee-Studios

 

Looking to for a black and white version that won’t use much of your printer ink? Here’s another version:

40 ideas for back to school photos - free printableBTW, Last year I wrote an article for  Colorado Parent Magazine  on “Tops Tips for Unique First-Day Back to School Photos of your Kids” You can see that article and my photos here, and check out page 11 to read: “8 Pro Tips for Unique First Day Back to School Photos”. Yes, last year it was just 8 ideas…this year I share 40 of them!

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Colorado Parent Magazine – Top Tips for Unique First Day Back To School Photos of your Children

Colorado Parent Magazine – Top Tips for Unique First Day Back To School Photos of your Children

I’m so honored  – Colorado Parent Magazine asked me to write an article for local Colorado parents on “Tops Tips for Unique First-Day Back to School Photos of your Kids”

You can see that article and my photos in their Aug issue that came out like 5 minutes ago. 😉  (That’s the magazine world – they seem to publish about week before the actual month. I think that’s to give the postal service time to distribute the publication.)

Click here, and check out page 11 to read: “8 Pro Tips for Unique First Day Back to School Photos”.

One of the tips I recommend everyone check out is #6 – “Have your child hold a prized possession.”  Something that is meaningful to them at this current age and stage.  I know from the children’s portraits I create, that children love to customize a photo with their own personality and possessions. For a parent, there is nothing more unique than our child themselves so we often don’t think of including a piece of sports equipment, a stuffed animal, or a special book. But kids love to include their cherished object(s) in their photos. I take photos both with and without that object, so that you have some variety. Oh, and even if the object is so worn that it looks like the Velveteen Rabbit, be sure to include it in a few images.

True story – I just did family portraits this weekend where the 2 year’s old’s favorite thing was a baby doll that had initially been the dog’s chew toy! Sure, it looked worn, but we were going to include it in a few photos anyway….until he changed his mind and wanted the bright yellow truck instead! 😉 So, even if the special object isn’t quite photogenic, it is still a good idea to include it (in at least a few photos.)

Colorado Parent Magazine Tops Tips for Unique Back to School Photos of your Kids

Colorado Parent Magazine: Top Tips for Unique Back-To-School Photos of your Kids

Top 5 Tips for Parents – Capturing Your Child’s True Spirit in Professional Portraits | Family Photography by Natascha Lee Studios

Top 5 Tips for Parents – Capturing Your Child’s True Spirit in Professional Portraits | Family Photography by Natascha Lee Studios

Top 5 Tips for Parents – Capturing Your Child’s True Spirit in Professional Portraits | Family Photography by Natascha Lee Studios

Copyright 2013 by Natascha Lee Studios

One of the things I specialize in is capturing your child’s true spirit and personality during portrait sessions.

This isn’t easy, as they are usually meeting me for a the first time, probably at a new location, I’m a stranger behind big black camera, and we are asking them to do things they don’t usually do.

But, as you’ll see from my images and these kind words from super-happy portrait families, capturing stunning images of your children’s true spirit is one of the unique things I deliver to clients.

While I focus (pun intended!)  locally (Broomfield, Westminster, Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Golden, Highland, Aravda, Denver, Cherry Hills) on baby, children and family portraits, these tips will apply to anyone, anywhere planning a professional portrait session with their children.

Here are my top 5 tips for parents looking to have authentic images of your child:

Tip 1) Select the right photographer. Look at their portfolio, and see if their style is what you are looking for. Do you prefer posed images? Or more lifestyle images, where people are relaxed and not looking at the camera?  Do you prefer indoor images shot in a studio, or perhaps in your house? Or outdoor images with nature as your backdrop, or perhaps in urban settings? An experienced photographer will have galleries for each of the types of images they shoot, and should have enough images to give you a good idea of their style.

Tip 2) Budget accordingly. Expect to spend money on the right photographer, since talented photographers are in-demand and appropriately compensated for their work. Something to consider: of all the “optional” things you will spend money on this year (restaurants, movies and concerts, new clothes, spa and hair services), professional portraits will be one of the most long-lasting purchases, giving you and others the most joy for years to come.

Two Key Tasks: Find a photographer whose style you love and budget appropriately.

Tip 3) Share advance intel. Tell the photographer a few things about your child(ren) in advance – things they like to watch, read, do. That will help create a quick connection and conversation starting point. Similarly, tell your child about the exciting event you are going to do together. Build it up as something special and fun. With your child, visit the photographer’s About Me section of their website – show your children the photographer’s photo, and a bit about them. This will make your child more comfortable with the photographer.

Two Key Tasks: Tell the photographer two things your kid likes, and visit the photographer’s About Me page with your child.

Tip 4) Follow the photographer’s preparation suggestions. A experienced photographer will send you detailed instructions on how to prepare, which go beyond just selecting cute clothes for everyone. Invest time in reading them and doing all the ones that make sense for you and your family. As I tell my clients, proper preparations can take your photos from Amazing to Mind-Blowing.

 Key Tasks: If all else fails, make sure your kids are well rested, super clean (noses, eyes, face, fingernails, etc.) and select clothes your kids are comfortable in.

Tip 5) Relax. Once you have done all your preparation work, let the photographer do their job. I know it’s tempting to step in and tell you kid what to do/not to do, but that usually creates a less cooperative kid, not a more cooperative one. Professional Photographers have plenty of tricks up their sleeve, and sometimes even a roll of SmartiesTM.

Two Key Tasks: Show your child you are relaxed and having fun, and trust the photographer to get amazing images (Because you did follow tip #1, right?)

Below is a sneak peek from a recent portrait session held for a Littleton family. (Backstory: This little boy is impishly looking at the water’s edge, eying the old pieces of wood just begging to be tossed into the lake. ) This is a perfect example of capturing a child’s true personality, and I suspect it will end up being one of his mother’s favorites!

Littleton Colorado Towhead Children's Portraits Photography IMG_8898-eal-sfw - Top 10 Tips for Capturing Your Children's True Spirit in Portraits by Natascha Lee Studios IMG_8898

Capturing Your Child’s True Spirit and Personality in Vibrant Portraits – Colorado Family Photography

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