Tips for the best back to school photos

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 Lifestyle
If you take your photo in the same spot each year, you can see just how much your kids have grown. In 2013, Rebecca Amador snapped daughters Alexa and Katherine Hernandez, then 5 and 9, in front of Guerrero Thompson Elementary School. AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2013

School is already back in session for many Central Texas kids, but those in Austin and several other school districts start on Monday, with even more districts starting later in the week or on Aug. 28. In the hustle of that first day, don’t forget to actually take a photo.

Think about the background and location. Make sure it doesn’t overpower the people in the photo.

Worry about the lighting. You want to see their faces and what they are wearing, not the shadows on their face or behind them.

Get a full-body shot if you can. You want to be able to see how little they are compared with what’s around them.

Take it in an identifying place to help you remember the year. We love to do it in front of the class list or the teacher’s door. It usually will say the grade and the teacher’s name.

Take it in the same spot each year. For years, we took our photos in front of the crayons that said “Cowan” at Cowan Elementary. Now we tend to have to sneak a photo session in the car on the way to the high school bus stop or the middle school drop-off line. The same background helps us see their growth.

Don’t worry about smiles. They might not smile. That makes it all the more memorable of who they are at this age.

Whether your child’s already hitting the books or still enjoying a few last days of freedom, once you do take that photo, send it to readerphotos@statesman.com or tag it on Twitter or Instagram #atxfirstday.

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