Raleigh family photography, Erica Courtine

Five Creative Ideas For Photographing The First Day Of School

The clothes are bought.  The pencils are packed.  The lunch is in the fridge.  School is starting up again and for some of you, that means breaking out a box or two of Kleenexes because your little boy or girl is now ready to start kindergarten.  This is an important year for you and for every parent who is sending their child off to another year of school. 

Photography is one of the best tools for capturing those moments in your child’s life that you’d like to remember forever.  There are so many creative ways to record that very special first day of school.  If you have a third grader or a ninth grader, have no fear!  You don’t have to start these traditions on the first day of kindergarten.  There are no rules here.  Start snapping pictures whenever you feel like it.  If you need some inspiration for some adorable or fun ways to record that first day of school, here are five creative ideas for photographing the first day of school.

Raleigh family photography, Erica Courtine

Take a Look Back in Time

Ever seen the opening credits for the show Modern Family?  This one would be especially neat if you started it in kindergarten.  Take a photo on the first day of school with your child holding some kind of sign (paper, chalkboard, etc) with the child’s name.  The next year, on the first day of school, have the child hold a large framed print of the previous year’s photo.  Each year, repeat the process with your child holding a large print of the previous year’s photo.  By several years into the tradition, you will have a picture of a picture of a picture of a picture of a picture…. You get the idea.  It looks really interesting.

Ideas with Chalk and Chalkboards

Chalk and chalkboards make awesome props for the first day of school.    There are many ways that you can use chalk to help record the first day of school.  One idea that many people make into a tradition is photographing their child holding a small chalkboard with the child’s name and year in school.  You can even have your child do the writing.  For another interesting use of chalk, have your child lay down on your driveway each year.  Beside your child, write his name and year in school in sidewalk chalk.  Using a step stool or step ladder, take a photo looking down onto your child. 

 An Apple a Day

On each first day of school, give your child an apple and have him hold it out in front of himself.  Take a picture of him, focusing on the apple.  Each year, the apple will seem to get smaller and smaller as his little hand grows and grows.  If you’d like to someday arrange the photos into a collage, try using alternating the color of the apple each year. 

Raleigh family photography, Erica Courtine

Grow Into It

This is another idea that would be really fun if it was started when your child is very young, such as in kindergarten or any elementary school grade.  Buy a T shirt sized to fit an adult.  Have it embroidered or use iron on letters to write your child’s name and the year they will graduate from high school.  For example, “Samantha…Class of 2025.”  On each first day of school, take a picture of your child wearing the shirt.  When your child is very young, the shirt will probably hang down to her ankles, but by senior year, the shirt will be just right. 

Photoshop It

If you’re handy with any editing program, you can easily find a way to add text onto a photo.  Take a cute photo of your kid on the first day of school.  Try to leave space in the photo beside your child.  It also helps to keep the background somewhat solid in color so that you’ll be able to read the text on top of the photo.  The walls inside your house are great for this.  On your computer, place text on the photo with the child’s name, year in school, and the year.  Presto!  No sign or chalkboard needed. 


Erica Courtine Photography, Raleigh Family Photography

Erica Courtine
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Cary Heise
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