Aug 20, 2015

7 Tips for Capturing the First Day of School Photo, by Kelly Morra, of Kelly Morra Photography

pinterest-branding-horiz-(final)kmo

1. Be ready! Have your camera charged and ready to go first thing in the morning. The first day of school is always hectic … don’t add stress looking for a memory card, or finding a dead battery. While you’re at it, have that backpack, lunch, and first day of school outfit put together the night before, too!

kelly2

kelly3

2. Find the light! Scout some good photo-taking spots the morning or two before the first day. Natural light is best, especially early in the morning. Avoid indoor lights by placing your kiddo near a window or in front of a door, if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Head outside if you can. Avoid harsh shadows if the sun is shining  — a covered front porch or the shade of a tree are great options. Don’t forget the garage … it never fails to have great light – even when it’s raining!

kelly4

kelly5

3. Keep it simple. Your child may be full of nerves, so simple is best. Breaking out the crazy props while waiting for the bus will not fly. First day of school signs are all the rage right now, but if you want that tradition to stick, you better find something simple your child will hold a few years down the road. You may also find your child has no interest in holding a sign (like mine!), so be flexible. You can always add text while editing.

kelly1

4. Don’t rush. Give yourself extra time to capture these moments. Head out to the bus early if you want to grab some pictures at the bus stop. Set your alarm accordingly. Plan those extra minutes in the morning so you aren’t yelling, “Hurry up!” No child will happily pose for a picture if they’re being rushed out the door to do so.

kelly7

kelly8

5. Don’t forget the details! The details are the things so easily forgotten. Take the time to capture those. The backpack he spent weeks deciding on, the gap-toothed smile, and those shoes she HAD to have for the first day.

kelly9

kelly10

6. Be there, too! You are there, in the moment, experiencing this milestone with them. So capture that! Don’t leave yourself and the rest of the family out. This is a big day for everyone.

kelly11

kelly12

7. Give yourself permission to fake it. If you think your child (or you) will be extremely nervous on the first day, it’s okay to fake it. Do it the day before, or the second day. Heck, do it the third day! Nobody will know but you, and you’ll probably forget in a few years anyway.

kelly13

kelly14

 

We love everything about this post, Kelly! Thank you.

Kelly Morra is an on-location portrait photographer specializing in the fashion-forward tween and teen of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her exclusively tween project, Kids of Pittsburgh, can be found on Instagram with the hashtag #kidsofpgh.

For more from Kelly, and to contact her, visit her website, and Like Kelly’s Facebook page.

share this post:

TweetShare on FacebookEmail

About the Contributor: Katie, our Editorial Manager, is our wordsmith and communications extraordinaire!  After college and graduate school, she worked in the nonprofit world, and briefly in politics. She realized she'd be quickly burned out, and started writing for various lifestyle websites. Before landing at NAPCP, Katie shot product photography for Etsy shops and other small business owners. Katie also works with Pinterest, as a member of their Pinfluencer team. She is passionate about making the world a happier, more beautiful place! Katie lives for her husband and two children, updating their totally 90's home, and finding joy in the small things. Even washing dishes.

 

comment on this post

Leave comment

No comments have been added yet

liked this post? img you might also like...
  • We’re Loving This Newborn Session with an Older Baby
    Though most newborn photographers subscribe to the 7-10 day ideal for posed newborn photography, some of my best and most successful newborn sessions take place when the baby is closer to 2 weeks old. A few days isn’t going to make a huge difference in the sleepiness or flexibility factors, but those extra days can […]
  • Inspired magazine November 2018 cover
    December 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Megan Gonzalez!
    NAPCP’s December 2018 issue of Inspired magazine features Megan Gonzalez of Upon Waves, a feature article by newborn photographer Jessica Lynch, information about the 2019 Educational Summit and more! Snuggle up with a warm blanket and dive right in! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and […]
  • Inspired magazine November 2018 cover
    November 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Pamela Salai!
    NAPCP’s November 2018 issue of Inspired magazine features Pamela Salai of Pamela Salai Photography, holiday NAPCP Gatherings, details on the 2019 Educational Summit, child portrait session tips, 4 Myths About School Photography, and more! Grab a cup of coffee and dive in! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with […]
  • #NAPCPThankful 2018 roundup
    Happy Thanksgiving
    Happy Thanksgiving! We hope all of our members and friends have a wonderful, memorable holiday with family and friends. Thank you to all who tagged photos with the #NAPCPThankful hashtag — we are thankful for YOU! Here are some of our favorites: babyrosephoto | catchiappaphotography | courtneyathome | jennyperryphotography | kateluberphoto | megsausted | osirisphotography […]
img find a photographer
in your area
img

We are so delighted that you are here. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is an association whose mission is to promote and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP provides the most comprehensive resources for its members, bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.

NAPCP.com (formally pronounced "NAP-C-P") is a place where professional child photographers can come and connect, learn, teach, aspire and grow. It is also a valuable resource for parents who are looking for a professional child photographer in their area, and want to be inspired and educated about our specialized industry.

img award winning photos click here to view

img most recent issue
img vendors we love
napcp supporters

 
img helpful articles napcp resources
  • Inspired magazine November 2018 cover
    December 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Megan Gonzalez!

    NAPCP’s December 2018 issue of Inspired magazine features Megan Gonzalez of Upon Waves, a feature article by newborn photographer Jessica Lynch, information about the 2019 Educational Summit and more! Snuggle up with a warm blanket and dive right in! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and […]

  • Inspired magazine November 2018 cover
    November 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Pamela Salai!

    NAPCP’s November 2018 issue of Inspired magazine features Pamela Salai of Pamela Salai Photography, holiday NAPCP Gatherings, details on the 2019 Educational Summit, child portrait session tips, 4 Myths About School Photography, and more! Grab a cup of coffee and dive in! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with […]

  • Educational Summit 2019 speaker lineup presented by NAPCP
    Registration is NOW OPEN!! NAPCP Educational Summit

    Hey, NAPCP! We hope you’re feeling refreshed and energized. We hopped right outta bed this morning because we’ve been looking forward to this day all weekend! Join us and our 6 amazing speakers, in Atlanta, Georgia, for the NAPCP Educational Summit! January 23, 2019 In one day you’ll learn about how being “discovered” is the […]

  • October 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Inspired Gallery Event Winners!

    NAPCP’s October 2018 issue of Inspired Magazine features our Inspired Gallery Event winners. Dive in and see what holiday items are available in the NAPCP shop, learn more from our most recent Marketing Mondays and much more! Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save

Categories