• Tony Brown Photography

First Day of School Photo Ideas

Take some inspiration from an experienced school photographer who's almost seen it all!


Every year you can feel it coming. Good or bad, back-to-school time is a big event for parents and these days the lead up cannot be ignored, what with social media feeds and WhatsApp groups. Suddenly, we are bombarded with smily faced kids packing their lunches, having their hair braided or trying on their uniform.




Even if you avoid (or rarely remember to) post pictures of your kids, the first day of a new school year is probably the one day you'll let you guard down, considering how fresh and cute they look! As a school photographer, I have seen so many of these first-day-of-school photo sessions, and they can become quite big productions. With parents unwilling to be outdone by her at number 29!



So if you want to get a jump on planning this year's first-day-of-school photo ideas with advice from a professional school photographer, here's how I'd suggest capturing the moment just right.


First Day of School Photo Ideas from a Professional Photographer


Make Use of Your Natural Surroundings

Don't forget to consider your background. Use what nature has given you as a backdrop. If you have access to a tree, hedge, or even your garden, take a few snaps there. Even your garden fence could make a pretty backdrop.




Frame It

With a cute photobooth frame, your children will actually have a fun time posing for their picture. Take note, teachers: Setting up the photobooth is also a fun way to break the ice on the first day!




Chalk It Up

Nothing fits the back-to-school theme quite like a blackboard. This mum went quite professional, but good old chalk will work just as well. Keep your board and use it as a decorative memo station afterwards, top school photographer tip there!




Tame Fidgety Kids

If your child is too excited to stand in one place, there are a couple of tricks you can try to get them to relax long enough to take a picture. Use the stairs, they can also create a great framing for the shot and add some interest showing the front door and steps. Stairs are also helpful for propping up any signs you might create!




Get in the Shot

There's no rule stating that the kids need to stand alone. There’s no reason why parents shouldn’t be in back-to-school-photos! Getting cosy and comfortable together on the couch or acting playful together is always a good idea for catching an authentic moment. Also, get siblings together in photos, so you can watch them grow up together through your lens.



Get the Best Smile

There's nothing more disappointing than carefully choosing the cutest outfit and painstakingly making the sign, only to have your child squinting or moaning in every photo... As a school photographer, I'd suggest avoiding mixed lighting. That means don’t have half your child’s face in bright sun, and the other in shadow. To coax a smile, get a little silly and ask your children to say some goofy things like 'pickles' or 'pizza.'



Your school prospectus and website are vital parts of your marketing strategy. They provide invaluable insights into what's so unique about having fun, learning at your independent school. Eye-catching school photography is key, and I would love to be the photographer to take it for you!


Please feel free to browse my portfolio and get in touch via my contact page.