It’s that time of year again and ya’ll I can not WAIT! BACK TO SCHOOL! I know there are two types of mamas: The first type who are like me: We are excited! We have browsed the shelves of target and clicked our check out carts on amazon and our kids book bags are filled to the brim! Heck ya”ll, I have our wagon filled and ready for meet and greet the teachers so we can drop off Linc’s school supplies!
Then there are the second group of mamas and I promise I will come to your doors with coffee and tissues! I feel for ya’ll something big! Ya’ll are the ones that I admire the most. You savor summer. The sight of school supplies both delights and devastates you at the same time. On that first day of school you will hug your babies and then breathe deeply and try not to cry.
I would have thought that I would be in that group. Instead, the first day back to school is like my Christmas morning! I LOVE IT! The night before is my Christmas Eve, filled with anticipation as we pick out a first day outfit and choose what Linc wants for his lunch! I write little love notes and fill his backpack… for me, it’s the best!
And the best part of back to school for me: ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL PICTURES! I live for these ya’ll! Don’t ask me why but they bring me the most joy!
But as my kiddo is getting older, they are harder and harder to come by. I get that annoyed, exasperated eye roll. I get the MOMMMMMMMMM…. seriously!!!
I realized that I had to “up”. my game a bit and either make them more fun or figure out a way to get him to buy into it more! Here are some of the things I do to make them more fun and a lot easier on both of us:
1. TAKE THEM BEFORE THE FIRST DAY!
This one was an AHA moment for me! Those first day of school pictures don’t ACTUALLY have to be taken on the true first day of school! That first morning is kind of crazy right?! Everyone has to wake up a bit earlier, you’re trying to get a solid breakfast in your kiddo and then to top it all off they are some excited nerves going on! The very last thing you want to think about is running outside with your camera trying to get a really solid first day picture!
Take the pressure off yourself and your kiddos by getting that traditional back to school photo done the night before or a week before even! It’s so much more relaxed and allows for some silliness, some personality and even some extra creativity!
2. GIVE THEM PROPS!
Bring out all the signs, the apples, the notebooks and backpacks! Give your kids something to hold or sit on or play with! This takes away that awkward feeling of what do I do? Where do my hands go? It also gives you something to mark their year and grade! We’ve all seen those adorable little chalkboard. The ones that have name and grade and what I want to be when I grow up! If you do have something like that, fantastic! Roll that out and let them hold it or stand by it!
But you don’t HAVE to go out searching for something just like that. You can make that on your computer at home. Print out your kids grade and teacher name and slip that into a frame you buy from the dollar store! Let them decorate a sign with a giant number grade!
Give them an apple and a few books to hold! There are so many cute ideas that you could come up with that all relate to school! The only thing you need is your own imagination.
Have a senior? Let them wear their college sweatshirt and print a sign saying senior! Have a high school aged kid? Let them take a picture next to something they love or doing a hobby with their grade? If you have a kiddo that can drive to school for the first time (yikes) take their picture next to the car with their bookbag!
3. INVOLVE THEM!
Most kids want to document their life and most want to participate. Invite them in and let them help you plan the process! Tell them you really want a picture of them marking their first day of school and ask them how they would like to do it. Do they have any ideas? Let them pick how they pose or stand. Maybe they have an idea for their prop or location! Maybe you have a tradition every year and they love it. Maybe they want to break out and do something different but keep some parts of that tradition.
When you have participation you usually have a more willing kiddo and WAY more fun!
4. PHONE A FRIEND!
It’s always better when you have a friend! I love getting together with friends for a little back to school mini session fun! Friends make everything better!
Call a few of your child’s closest friends and see if you can get together for a little group photo! You don’t have to be a professional photographer to set something like this up. Yes, it does take planning but nothing changes a WHY MOM attitude to an energetic, laughter filled good mood than putting a bunch of friends together!
I hope this is helpful for you! I can’t wait to see everyone’s back to school photos on social media! I will be sitting on my couch with a coca-cola and some popcorn scrolling through ALL the awesome images. J/K I’ll be doing some kind of work or teaching my dance class but that’s where my heart will be!