Tips for the best back to school photos


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.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Lifestyle

Head into summer with Steely Dan show, a salsa soirée and more
Head into summer with Steely Dan show, a salsa soirée and more

1. “An American in Paris” 8 p.m. May 30-June 2, 2 p.m. June 2, and 1 and 7 p.m. June 3. $30-$125. Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive. texasperformingarts.org. Inspired by the Academy-Award winning film, this Tony Award-winning play is the idyllic story of an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European...
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, May 27
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, May 27

Today’s Birthdays: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Herman Wouk is 103. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 95. Former FBI Director William Sessions is 88. Author John Barth is 88. Actress Lee Meriwether is 83. Musician Ramsey Lewis is 83. Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is 82. Rhythm and blues singer Raymond Sanders (The Persuasions) is 79....
Kick off the summer with these family events in Austin, May 27-June 2
Kick off the summer with these family events in Austin, May 27-June 2

Events RED Arena Round-Up. Family fun and inclusive rodeo play day with a petting zoo, kid games and mini horses. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Free. Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. redarena.org Ask a Vet. Bring your questions to hear from Thundering Paws veterinarian Lauren Cannon. 11:30 a.m. Saturday...
Dear Abby - Sunday, May 27

Dear Abby: I have the sweetest boyfriend I’ll call “Earl.” He’s 58. I’m a widow and have been with him for two years. Earl loves me, helps me and goes out with me wherever I want to go. One problem: He flirts with other women. It can be family, neighbors, clerks, waitresses, etc. He calls them “sweetheart,&rdquo...
A letter to my son on his pre-K graduation day
A letter to my son on his pre-K graduation day

To my son, Tonight I watched you and your classmates take the balloon-adorned stage at your pre-K graduation as 100 iPhone-wielding parents documented every move. You were hard to miss in the center of the group, wearing a button-up shirt your sisters dressed you in and waving broadly to your dad and me. It’s difficult to believe that just a...
More Stories