Stress-Free Back to School Pictures


Stop the madness! Use these tips to take stress-free back to school pictures.


girl with back to school sign

Everyone wants to capture those back to school moments each year so we can have them forever. But who needs the added stress of taking the perfect picture during this already hectic time?

Here are our tips for getting those memorable moments on film without pulling your hair out.

Find your inspiration


You may have seen some back to school pictures you like, or maybe you need some inspiration. Or you may just want to find a picture that gives you an idea so you don’t have to try and re-invent the wheel here. Gather your ideas together and think about what you like about each picture. Is it the color scheme that’s catching your eye? Do you love the background or setting? Or do they have a fun prop that’s making you love the picture? Or does it look really simple and like something you can pull off with minimal stress or planning and that sounds exactly, well, perfect.


Prep ahead


Now that you have an idea of the pictures you want to capture for back to school, think about what you’ll need to make it happen. Depending on what you liked about the photos you gathered from your inspiration, you may need to get outfits together, create or gather props, or map out your location- even if it’s your front porch, decide on where you are going to take pictures ahead of time.


back to school photo with kids on porch


Timing isn’t everything


The first day of school is exciting, but it can also be stressful, for parents and kids. New teachers, new friends, new workloads, new schedules. It’s a lot going on! Sometimes adding in time to take photos is just too much. Consider taking your back to school pictures the week before or the week after school starts. On the actual first day, just snap some no-stress, quick picks with your kiddos with your iphone.



Here are some tips that will work for whatever kind of back to school photos you end up taking.


1. Remember your lighting

Try to take your pictures with some good natural light working for you. Consider morning light or that last hour before sunset. Great lighting makes the difference between a good and a great picture.If nature isn’t cooperating, don’t stress, you can always edit later.

2. Get them laughing

Lighten up the mood when you are ready to take the pics. Capturing some great smiles will be easier if photos aren’t being taken while they are running out the door and stressing about getting to school on the first day on time.

3. Mark the moment

You can make a sign or card as elaborate or simple as you like- you can even print one out that is already made for you for free. If you can’t talk your kids into holding it, prop it up where you can get it into the photo on the floor, on a table, or on the wall.

4. If all else fails

Of course, sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our picture dreams are, well, a great candidate for a #nailedit post. Don’t feel bad. The story you will have for the picture is probably even better than the picture-perfect version you had in your head .


back to school chalkboard sign




Remember back to school pics can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Just do what makes you happy. You can recreate an image you love, or simply take an element here and there and bring it into your pictures. Whether it’s a pin-tastic image or just a simple snap, you will have saved a memory either way. Happy back to school!


image for stress free back to school photos


Jane Goodrich is a newborn, children, and family photographer in Westchester county who was chosen as Westchester Families reader’s choice #1 child and family photographer. Please contact Jane here for more information on how to book your next photo session.

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    Meet Jane

    Shoots take place in Jane's Larchmont, NY studio, on location and in homes in Westchester and NYC

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