5 Tips for Amazing Back to School Photos

A brand new school year is upon us. For most that means school supplies, uniforms, and yes, lots of back to school photos. Today we're sharing five tried and true tips to taking the best back to school photos.

Back to School Photo Tips // Cornerstone Christian School

1. Light

It's no secret that light will make or break your photos. When you go to shoot your back to school portraits, whether before the big day, or that morning, think for a moment about the direction of light.

Even lighting makes for the most flattering images. When the sun is high and directly overhead, you end up with squinty eyes and dark shadows across those precious faces.

First look for indirect light, the shade of a tree, or beneath your porch. If you can't avoid harsh light, simply turn your subject so the light is behind them, this enables softer light across their face.

2. Kill the Flash

Which leads me to my next point, the flash is not your friend. Whether it be your iPhone or fancy camera, turn that baby off. Not only does it wash out skin tones, but leaves the eyes with a glare.

Natural light is always the best. You'd be surprised at how much light you can let inside by turning the blinds, pulling back the curtains, or positioning your child next to the sliding glass door. The simple trick of switch your flash off, takes a snapshot, to a portrait.

3. Crop + Zoom With Your Feet

Did you know the crop tool/ zoom can be a danger zone? When you crop your image after shooting it, especially if it is a significant amount, you're losing precious pixels. The same goes when you pinch your camera phone "lens" to zoom in. Have you ever wondered why an image went from fabulous to fuzzy? Likely you lost most of the resolution after you cropped it down/zoomed too far, to fill the frame with your little one.

Instead of cropping post-shooting, or even zooming in, move into your subject with your feet (ie: step closer to them and fill the frame with them while shooting).

4. Clear the Clutter

One of the simplest, and easiest ways to take a nice back to school portrait is to make sure your student is the star of the show. If you're shooting in your back yard say, be sure to move bikes and basketballs out of the frame. Instead, place your children against a fence, in a clear zone, or near the flower bed. The less clutter that's in your picture, the more your student will shine.

Taking a few moments before shooting to clear the clutter, will make a world of difference.

5. Details

Last but certainly not least are the details. The brand new shoes, this years lunch box, perhaps just the detail of them holding their backpack, or even a class ring for your upperclassman - these are the moments and details you'll soon forget, so be sure to include them in your back to school shooting!


Have you downloaded your free First Day of School signs? Click here to get your own! Simply print at home, or at your local office store! We hope you enjoy, and are looking forward to seeing your Back to School images this year!