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4 Tips for Better Back-to-School Photos . Denver Family Photographer

IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!!! Back to school!!! Any other moms or dads out there who love back-to-school as much as Christmas?!? Please don't get me wrong, I love Summer with my kids. I truly, madly, deeply do. (I also love a good 90's reference.) But I also love fresh school supplies, a solo trip to the grocery store, and getting back into a routine after the months of fun, Summer chaos. Plus, somehow at school they survive on a packed lunch and a single snack, but at home they are starving every 30 minutes and the sink is chronically full of dishes.


In celebration of this beloved transition back to school, here are four tips for getting better pics of your kids at the start of the new school year!



No. 1: BACK TO SCHOOL PHOTOS DO NOT HAVE TO BE TAKEN ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.


Say whaaat?! Listen friends, the first day of school can be many things - exciting, stressful, sad, happy, scary. Especially if your kiddo is heading to a new school this year, you may want to think about pushing back-to-school photos out a day or two. You can also take their photo the evening or weekend before school starts. It will free both you and your kids to take your time, feel pulled together, and in the end, they'll look and feel more calm.



No, 2: INSTEAD OF TELLING YOUR KIDS TO SMILE, ASK THEM TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP THEM SMILE NATURALLY.


I cringe when I hear the words "SAY CHEESE!" Here are some ideas of what to do instead. Ask them to swish their hair or dress; jump as high as they can; cross their eyes, or wink, or make a silly face (and make one back at them!); or ask them about something they love ("Remind me again what your most powerful Pokémon card is...? Balthazar? Jiggly Butt?"). You get the idea. And then be ready, once you both stop crossing your eyes and sticking out your tongues they'll usually laugh at themselves, and you, and that's when the best smiles come.



No. 3: LET THEM CHOOSE THEIR OWN OUTFIT. (AND HAIR!)


Pick your battles parents, and remember, the point here is to capture who they are at the beginning of this new year. Save your outfit requests for family photos. This year we let our daughter get blue-tipped hair, and I'll tell you what, she has never been more delighted to have her photo taken.



No. 4: LET THEM RUN WITH THEIR OWN IDEAS!


Once you stop asking your kids to "say cheese" and give them other prompts, they may begin to come up with their own cool photo ideas. My kids all wanted to kick in a line. Not how I would have posed them, but they look super-happy, and so the photos are great! My daughter wanted to blow kisses to the camera. Again, not my number one favorite pose, but let's try it out! Most of the time a genuine photo that's their idea is going to be better than a stiff one that's yours.


THAT'S ALL FOLKS!!! Four tips to help you take better photos of your kiddos. Let me know if you give any of these a try! And now that you've let them pick their own back-to-school outfit, you'll be ready to choose theirs for your next round of FAMILY PHOTOS.




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