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Four Tips for the Perfect First Day Picture

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A new school year starts very soon, and for some, it may be a milestone year. Whether your kids are starting their first year or the beginning of their last, these are the moments you want to capture to save forever.

If you are stressing over how to get that coveted perfect first-day picture while still managing the chaos of a new school year beginning, see below for some great tips on how to prepare, prop and get the best pictures you can get.

Prepare yourself for regular morning stuff the night before. If you want to have plenty of time to take those first day photos, it's important that everything that can be prepared for is ready for your hectic morning. Set out clothing, make lunches and be sure to review the bus schedule or the time it will take to get into the carpool to ensure you have the time for pictures. The easier you make the morning routine, the more relaxed your morning will be, which makes for some great smiles.

Prepare any props in advance. “First day of school” signs are very trendy these days, and not to mention cute. There are several ways you can choose to make a sign. Printed signs are a simple solution, and can be a lightweight prop to hold. If you want to go a little further, create a decorated antique picture frame or oval photo frame for your child to hold in front of their face. Include stickers, paintings and of course, the date. Another great idea is to create a chalkboard easel with information about the year starting. Teacher names, grade level and favorites are often included.

Take your teacher pics at a previous event. Most schools will begin the year with a special night dedicated to “meeting the teacher” as well as getting your child acclimated to their new classroom. This is an ideal time for you to get a picture of your child with their new teacher. This evening is much more relaxed, and there will be much more time for your teacher to take photos and chat. The first day is going to be chaotic and rushed, so teacher photos are going to be close to impossible.

Take a few at home AND at school. The best places at home will be the ones with the most natural light, so outside by the front door, porches or naturally lit rooms will be the best for great photos. Instead of saying "Cheese," ask your child what they are most excited about the new year. This will make them smile the largest and most naturally. After getting a few home pictures, try to make it to the school with a few minutes to spare for some first-day pictures in their new setting, especially if it's advancing to a new school. Take one in front of the logo or school sign, but limit this to only one or two pictures for time.