For as long as moms have had cameras they have been taking back to school pictures! It’s a timeless tradition, is it not? There are so many cutesy ways to take photos of your kids these days. Thanks to bloggers and Pinterest, moms everywhere seem compelled now to bribe their kids to hold up printable signs and chalkboards declaring their age, grade level, and/or desired future profession. Darling for sure, but I have never been able to pull myself together enough to prep or even print out one of these cutesy signs in years past.
My social little guy has been going to preschool a couple of mornings a week for the last two years, and he is about to start preschool again, this year for the last time before he starts kindergareten. AAACK! STOP GROWING UP, BABY!! Each year I have gotten adorable pictures of him on the first day by having him put on his backpack and stand in front of our front door while holding an apple. Simple, we always have them on hand, and they feel just a bit more posed and “school-y” thanks to that apple. So simple!
(When I look at this picture I can’t believe how little he was to start preschool! But he LOVED it! As did I, of course. ;) And also, I’m so sad his curls have gone away!)
Getting too grown up! And this was LAST year’s photo! Ay ay ay!
People often ask me how I get cute pictures of my kiddos, who, as you know, are my regular models for this blog. I won’t bore you with a long list of tips, because my friend Katie from Sweet Rose Studio posted a fabulous Guide to Getting Great Back to School Pictures with kid photography tips just last week. I was planning to write the same list on this post, but I decided to give you my top two “secrets” and to direct you to her for more in-depth tips. Here they are: GO OUTSIDE (in a shaded area) and BRIBE THEM. You have no idea how many times I have waved a dum dum or a pack of fruit snacks behind my head to get a smile and a direct look at the camera.
Yes, that’s right, I bribe my kids. I am not ashamed! I do not bribe them to be nice, clean up their toys, eat their vegetable, or share, but I do bribe them to pose for 5,000 pictures until I get the right settings on my camera and the exact pose and focus that I want. I think that’s above and beyond for a little kid, so I’m happy to give them a little something special in exchange for putting up with my high-maintenance picture taking ways.
If you want to use a sign in your pictures I have rounded up some fabulous free printables for you from bloggers that I love. I decided to be organized and print out the super colorful ones from I Should be Mopping the Floor, so this year I will be getting a sign picture and an apple picture. I mean, the signs are INSANELY cute, but let’s be honest: what are the chances of me printing out the same sign for the next 14 years? Ummm…..not great. So I will enjoy the cute sign now, but also continue on with my apple pictures for the sake of long-term continuity.
Here are some fab printable options for you from the following blogs: That’s What Che Said, I Heart Naptime, Tatertots & Jello (I think this one is particularly genuis! Or should I say #genius?!), Thirty Handmade Days, Sweet C’s Designs, Yellow Bliss Road, Nest of Posies, and I Should be Mopping the Floor. There is also a picture of the super cute chalkboard word bubble idea from Skip to my Lou.
If you want to use a chalkboard but don’t own one you can always use my super quick and easy method for making one with contact paper or vinyl, seen in my post here. Or you can paint something with chalkboard paint or coating, seen in my post here.
And don’t forget to thank your child’s teacher on the first day of school! Here is a fun post about The 5 Gifts That Your Child’s Teacher Really Wants to Receive, as told by three real teachers—my sisters and I!