Back to School Photo Ideas


5 easy and fun ways to start a back to school photo tradition


As a photographer I’m always looking for fun and unique ways to capture the ‘story’ behind the moment the photo is taken, not just a pretty smile.  So this year I’ve been brainstorming how to create fun and unique first day of school photos for my daughter who’s headed to kindergarten and my son who will start preschool.  Here’s 5 fun ideas I’ve come up with:
  1. Perhaps the most popular idea out there is the one where your child holds a sign with the grade that they are entering printed on it, such as the one that I took of my daughter last year.  I simply printed off a sign from my computer but another trendy way of doing this is with a small chalkboard (such as this one).
  2. Take the picture as your child writes their name, be sure you can see the letters so that over the years you can see how their handwriting has changed.  If they can’t write their name yet just have them draw a picture.
  3. Take a photo of your child reading or holding up their favorite book at that moment.
  4. For the camera shy kiddo, get a shot of them (ideally with their backpack on) walking away from you (i.e. out the door, down the sidewalk, to the school bus etc).
  5. Shoes.  I love kids shoes, they just make me happy!  And they usually have an absolute favorite pair that they wear all day every day.  Get a picture in the same spot every year of their favorite shoes that they plan to wear on the first day of school.
Not a big fan of being behind the camera?  Many professional photographers offer ‘mini-sessions’ for a fraction of the price of a full session.  They typically last 20-30 minutes so a back to school photo with any of the ideas above is the perfect ‘mini-session’ idea.


Do you have any great back to school photo ideas?  Please share in the comments below.

Author: Jennifer Faris is a photographer, writer, mom of 3 littles and wife to a rock star (at least in her eyes). You can see more of her work at and follow her on FacebookPinterestInstagram.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas. This time of year is always bittersweet. I’ve always liked taking back to school pictures by our favorite summer flowers, like giant sunflowers, etc. Keeps the memory of summer we transition to fall.