Momtography: Mastering Back to School Photos

mommywithcameraHi friends!!!!! Are you staying cool in this heat?!?!? Here in Texas the heat came down on us and has not let up! According to our the weather forecasts, the temperatures are going to surpass 100-degree heat rather quickly.
More importantly though, is the fact that school is starting soon and in Texas, this weekend is TAX-FREE WEEKEND on school supplies, clothes, shoes, and some electronics. So while we are helping prepare our Littles for the upcoming school year, I want to help you get your first day of school photos “on fleek” as my teenagers would say. I shared these types last night on Periscope (follow me there at @twillisbestshot) and I’m posting them here for you today!

  1.  Take a photo of you child holding a photo of themselves when they were little. This one is guaranteed to get lots of oohs and as and you and others can marvel over how they’ve grown.10532067_10152615996940731_2856085934567300787_o
  2. Take a photo of your child with backpack and stack of books currently reading. This is a good way to see changes throughout the years as your child progresses from Dr. Seuss to Captain Underpants to Harry Potter to Twilight and probably back to Dr. Seuss. This is one I wish I did over the years when my kids were younger.

ATTENTION. I interrupt this list to inform you that you do not have to take the photo on the first day of school. If there is too much anxiety in your house, take the photos the weekend before school starts and post it on the first day of school. Trust me, your Facebook friends and Instagram followers are not there to hep you recover in the aftermath of the first day, so take the photos when it’s best for you and your child! Shall we continue?

3. Take a photo in front of the school doors or near the school sign. This is a good one to get before the first day so you don’t actually have to wait in line for other families to get the perfect spot. 1930487_38544310730_3043_n

4. For older kids who may want to get out of your sight as soon as possible, grab a photo of your kids walking away but interacting with friends, greeting teachers, and going to class. If you have a DSLR camera, a 70-200 mm lens or higher could be particularly useful here.


5.  When your child starts kindergarten, get an Adult X-Large t-shirt and use fabric paint to decorate the shirt with “Class of _____” for their high school graduation year. Each year, take a photo of your child in the shirt and you will be able to see the child’s growth throughout the years!

6. Use simple props. You don’t have to be glamorous for this one. Use an apple. a lunchbox, a backpack. Any of those items say “school” to those watching. This summer, Tyra has proclaimed to the world that she is only wearing Converse tennis shoes for the rest of her life. Only. Converse. Forever. In light of that statement, I will probably use her Converse as a prop, especially since I’m certain whichever pair of shoes she wears on her first day will match her backpack. So, even if I am faced with 13-year-old eye rolling and attitude when I pull out the camera on August 24, I will have a cute photo of the shoes and the backpack from the night before. And speaking of the night before…don’t forget to take photos of the outfit in the closet, the inside of the lunchbox, and the school supplies stacked on the table.

7. Find a school bus, any school bus, and use it as a photo back drop. Right now, school buses tend to be parked in school parking lots and are unattended to. Take a photo of your child with the school bus in the background!

8. Involve family members in the fun! Last year, my daughters and I visited their younger cousin for a quick photo shoot on her first day of school. It was fun because now the first day of school became a family affair and it made the social media interaction more fun for our cousins who live in a different state.10603476_10152608913120250_925844826717520577_n

9. Give your child a sign that says “STOP CRYING MOM.” Have them hold it and snap a photo as they are ready to leave the house. This is especially cute for smaller children who are in prekindergarten or kindergarten,

Have you seen any really cool ideas for back to school photos? Please share in the comments below!

My Selfie

My friends are talented. They take these cool pictures of themselves in their cars and they look beautiful. And then I discovered that the photos they are taking are considered an art form in the social media photography world. And they are called selfies.

And so I wondered, what makes a good selfie? I scoured the internet for fun ideas and tried them on my own.

my selfie

1. Keep the focus on you. Obvious since it’s called a selfie. We don’t need the backseat and all that other stuff. Better yet, you could crop it so we really can’t tell where you are.

2. Keep practicing. My children and my students work on their selfie look all the time. I do not. But I need to keep practicing.

3. Use photo editing software. Lighting and color enhancements give you a professional look to your selfie. I use PicMonkey and it also also me to embed text on my photo if I want to. And it’s free.

4. Take the selfie using natural sunlight. The flash could cause extra glare and make you blink. Blinking in a selfie is not cool.

5. Remember to share. Put it on instagram, facebook, and twitter. You’re too pretty for others not to see it in their newsfeeds!

What do you think? Can you tell me your selfie photo tricks?