Passionate About the Community
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Tips To Documenting The New School Year


I absolutely love the summers off with my children.  No alarms and no strict schedules!   After a summer of trying to keep them entertained and busy though, I am always eager to jump into meeting their teachers and starting the new school year.  Well, a new school year is here and as we all know this year will fly by just like the last.  With all of our busy schedules and running, sometimes we forget to take a second to document it.  As a professional photographer I have forgotten a time or two myself to snap that picture before you run out the door.  If you miss the first day of school it is alright.  Just document the second day.  Nobody will ever know.!  Just make sure to document it!!  You can never get those sweet moments back and they truly do change SO much in one school year.

The number one tip for documenting good photos whether its with your nice DSLR or just your smartphone is good light!  Good light makes any photo a great photo.  A great spot in your home with great light is a doorway that doesn’t have any direct light..  Open the door and place your child right inside the doorway.  Immediately you will see beautiful light on them.  You will notice when they are in great light that your child will have that twinkle or catch light in their eyes.  If you see that twinkle of light in their eyes you are in great lighting.  My daughter in the image below is in the doorway of our home.  You can use the open garage where there is no direct sun or even the side of a house.  Rooms with open big windows have beautiful light too!  If you are at school find shade somewhere under a tree or on the side of the school building.  Shade is your best bet when it is sunny outside.
Documentation in a photo is the next most important thing.
Have you ever flipped through photos of your children a few years back and had to really think about what grade they were in then?  Photos of our children holding a sign on the first day of school isn’t a new idea but there is a reason it is so popular!  It is a great idea!!  Chalk on a mini chalk board is so fun!  A few other fun ideas you can apply chalk to is sidewalks, driveways, and exterior walls.  You can add your child’s age, name, school year, teacher’s name or school name too.  This type photo doesn’t have to be done on the first day of school either.  It can be done the first few weeks.
Document the traditions.
You can take photos of traditions little by little so you are not overwhelmed. Some of these can be taken in the days ahead of school starting.  Some common traditions are school shopping, that special morning breakfast meal, the spot where your children does homework, reading before bedtime and whatever school traditions your family has adopted.
Document the little things.
Snap a photo of them waiting at the bus stop or walking into school with their new backpacks on.  You can even photograph all those sweet projects they do throughout the year.  It is so hard to save all the papers and things they bring home.  Instead of storing them somewhere, take a quick photo of them and that way you will be able to remember them forever.
My youngest wanted to bring this apple to her teacher one day.  When I look at this photo it reminds me of that sweet little girl she was that just adored and looked up to her teacher!
Don’t forget to document all year long.
Your children work so hard and it is so fun to be able to look back at all the amazing things they do each year.  Even if it is documenting just those fun field trips, school parties and the last day of school.  Then at the end of the year you can make a photo book at out of all the images.  And I think we can all agree on how satisfying it is to see our children enjoy a book full of all of their amazing childhood memories!

This post is sponsored by:


The Brett Saks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, hopes  to make our Arizona communities safer for bicyclists by teaching adults and children about road safety and mutual respect between drivers and cyclists in fun and engaging ways. We are “Shifting Gears to Saves Lives,” as more than 600 cyclists are lost each year to car-bike accidents. Learn more at


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